I travel to Portugal for the first time in June 2013, and it’s definitely one of cheapest travel destination in Europe – if not – the cheapest trip I’ve had in European countries. I’ve remembered that we paid only 50 € for return ticket from Lille to Porto using budget airlines, Ryan Air.
Although the weather wasn’t really good that time, me and my friends were still having a very great time. I’ve remembered we spent one night jumping from one bar to another to get cocktail drinks for less than 5€ each drink. I mean, you wouldn’t get that kind of price in France.
Visiting Porto was actually quite convenient, all the tourist spots are reachable by walking distance, almost no need to take public transportation. If you are a food traveler, you must to make a stop for an afternoon tea at Majestic Café, located in Santa Catarina Street, a popular pedestrian walkway for shopping. This cafe opened its door since 1921 and enlightened the street with its Art Nouveau decoration. Inside, you can see magnificent marble details, human sculpture, floral ornaments, plaster-decorated ceiling and endless Flemish mirrors. The interior beauty of the cafe has actually made me want to dress up – not very glamour – but proper to enjoy my afternoon high tea just like a lady. 🙂
Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
Phone: +351 22 200 3887
Open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 11.30 pm
Click here to see their menu
After having afternoon tea, we walked to the Cais de Ribeira, located at the waterfront and in the city center, is the most picturesque part of Porto surrounded by colorful houses and splendid bridge Dom Luis. We can call this a place everyone is enticed to visit. You can also jump into one of many restaurants in the area and try local culinary, such as Bacalhau fish dishes or Francesinha – a portuguese sandwich, or do wine tasting at port wine cellars arround the city center.
If you stay in Porto for more than 3 days, you should visit Braga, a beautiful city in located just 50 km north from Porto and you can travel there easily. You can go by urban train from one of Porto’s railway stations, São Bento or Campanhã, with a journey time of just 1 hour. Although it is not as popular as Lisbon or Porto for tourist destination, Braga has vibrant population as it is home to one of Portugal’s largest universities. Thus, many hipster areas to stop by and local foods to enjoy with reasonable price.
Along with being a fascinating city, Braga has the finest landmark of Northern Portugal, the Bom Jesus do Monte. This beautiful gothic church and much famed baroque staircase, located about 5 km away from the city center. We took a taxi as it was actually not expensive and faster. Not far from the church, you can stop for lunch at the restaurant hotel, Restaurante Panorâmico Do Hotel Do Elevador, and enjoying splendid view from the restaurant windows.
Largo do Santuário do Bom Jesus, 4710-455 Braga, Portugal
Open from Monday – Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Click here for website