Porto is a nice and livable city where is a lot to see and experience. I am going to write you some tips what I would do differently or what I experienced and it is good to know.
The city is easily reachable with the underground from the airport. You can buy tickets at the station. There aren`t any office to buy those tickets so you have to use a ticket machine. The machine offers you to change the language, although some part will still remain in Portuguese language. You can buy a different type of tickets. The daily ticket is called Andante 24. You have to buy it for zones. I didn`t understand it at all. I just found it out later when we walked into a tourist information office. We bought Z4 tickets which cost us 6.75 plus the card fee 0.60 euros. With this ticket you can see the surrounding area also, not just the city centre. To be honest it is not really need.
I would suggest to buy just a single ticket into the city from the airport. That will cost you around 2 euros. In the city you can walk around. Frankly you can see more by foot rather than by public transport. But if you still feel you need a ticket occasionally just buy a single one. I promise you the daily ticket won`t need unless you wanna go out of the centre OR you are tired of walking.
If you are planning to put some nice heels into your luggage, well forget it. You cannot walk in heels at all. It is really steep everywhere, basically it is on the side of a hill. Really tiring if you do not have good shoes for walking. Some sights are impossible to reach with the transport so you will have to walk a lot. You will get lost, as it is impossible to navigate easily between the houses. It is really fun to be honest. I did enjoy being lost, get off the track if you like and see something what you might would not see. I got tired quite a lot, because i am not used to walking uphill. Unfortunately it has ruined a bit of the visit, but as I look back I cannot remember the pain in my legs just for the good things. BUT do not get scared it is a lovely city, just be ready for walking. I think if somebody had told me this before I could make myself ready mentally and wouldn’t be bothered with it at all.
Francesinha is a typical Portuguese food. Quite a lot people did recommend it to me before I went there so I definitely wanted to try it. Well I do not like it at all. The weirdest taste what I have ever tasted in my mouth. They are selling it everywhere so probably I just chose the wrong place. You can buy it from the bakery just as well as in the restaurants. Basically it is a sandwich filled with beef and pork meat, slices of ham with cheese on the top of it. All this poured over – sinking in it – with some sauce. I didn`t enjoy it at all. I ate out the meat but that sauce made it taste bad for me. I would recommend to try it as it is very famous, maybe you should try it in two different place just in case one of it doesn`t taste good.
There is a lot to see and experience. I have a previous post about the sights, if you are interested please click here. The best to do is to get an offline map on your phone. Between the tiny streets it can be sometimes really hard to follow the direction where you would like to go. It will just make it easy and will be there whenever you need. I loved to be lost, loved to go somewhere else instead of where we planed. The houses and the streets have their own atmosphere what I did really love. It was just nice to walk around a bit and see what others – who just following a map – might wont see. This is how we find two nice place what was not a place full with tourists. Both place had a nice view of the city from above. I really liked it. We could easily sat down and enjoy the moment. Wish I could tell you where these places were but I have no idea, it just came in our way.
The ice cream is amazing – I feel sad that I didn`t try more flavour. Real ice cream, nice texture, really creamy. Wish I could eat one now. A cone costs 2 euros, but they put quite a lot ice cream on it. There are a lot of flavour what you can choose of. My favourite is the lemon which was really tasty here. Hope you will try it also. Enjoy 🙂
If you have time I would recommend to go Matosinhos. You can reach it with the underground. Basically it is a smaller town next to the sea-side. It has a big port with different boats, a beautiful sea side, a light house and a lot of shop and restaurant. We spent a day here and I am glad we did. I was really lucky and could go on board of some enormous warship. I had a post about this town and our experiences there, if you interested please clink here.