How much does a weekend in Europe's Best Destination cost?

The flights from Stanstead were cheap - that's why we originally chose Porto although I later found out  that it has been voted European Best Destination three times including for 2017! I met up with Selena at the airport and made our way to the gate. Selena had an aisle seat and I had a window one so we switched - I love a aisle seat. We arrived into Porto at about 9am and after Selena made it through passport control, everything takes longer because she is from Canada, we were off to explore. [Return Flights with Ryanair: £66/75.99]
Porto Blue Tiles
The station is just underneath the airport so we bought a reusable train ticket and headed 15 stops to Trindade. It is the most central station on the airport line and from there, everything is in walking distance. [Train ticket: €2.55]
Porto Train
We started by finding out hostel for the night, The Rivoli Cinema Hostel (More of that in another post) but we weren’t able to check in straight away so it was time to start exploring. We walked just down the road to Majestic cafe which had so many reviews online, it was a “must visit” although when we arrived there was a long queue and it was very overpriced so we decided against it and instead went on the hunt for a Porto specialty - La Francesinha. It wasn't the most amazing thing I've ever eaten but when in Rome and all that. We shared an original one which was was stuffed with different meats and cheese and came with chips.
[Hostel for one night including breakfast: €15 | La francesinha: €9 (€4.50 each)]
Porto La francesinha
Porto Hostel
Next it was time for dessert and one of the things I was most excited about visiting Portugal for – Natas! These delicious puff pastry and custard tarts are what Portugal is famous for and can be found in bakeries all over the place. Selena lead us to a residential area away from all the touristy stuff and we round a local bakery where we bought our first fix. They were deep filled, just the right amount of brown on top and seriously delicious! We also found the cheapest bottles of water on that street – move away from the tourist spots to save money.
[Natas: €1 each | Water: €0.20]
porto custard tart
High on custard, we were off to explore! This, surprisingly, is when we stopped spending money! We grabbed a map, which had all of the points of interest marked out and we made our way through all of them. We saw many beautiful churches covered in Azulejo (blue tiles.) On our free walking tour we found out that, apart from looking pretty, the tiles were originally added to buildings to prevent humidity and help with temperature control, I’d recommend Capelas del almas (just across the road from Balhoa station) and Church of Saint Ildefonso as they were the prettiest. We spend the afternoon learning about the history of Porto and finished up at Louis I bridge in Ribera. [Walking tour: Free | Lift up the cliff as the steps were closed off: €2.50]
porto church
backpacking porto
For dinner, we hit up a tapas bar and indulged in garlic prawns, bacon and mushrooms and all of the potatoes. They tried to add a dish to the receipt that we didn’t ask for but after kicking up a fuss, they took it off.
[Two tapas dishes and a bottle of water: €12]
porto tapas
The next morning, we had breakfast in the hostel before heading out to explore some more. This time we went straight to Livrera de lello which is a famous book shop in Porto. Remind you of anything? Did you know that J K Rowling lived in Porto for 18 months? Apparently this beautiful bookshop inspired her. It was packed and it cost to even enter but it wasn’t too much and we really wanted to go in so we paid for it. I also stopped off to buy Andrew a shot glass for his collection. [Entrance to the bookshop: €4 | Shot glass: €2.50]
porto bookshop
porto bookshop
 For lunch, we stopped off in a bakery for a slice of quiche and another nata before heading to my last tourist stop of the trip. The Clerigos Church which again cost to get in. We climbed to the top of the tower and looked out over Porto before exploring the exhibition and church below. Afterwards, it started to rain so, I went back to the hostel for an hour whilst Selena headed to a park for some more exploring. I met her back at the station and we loaded our travel cards up and heading back to the station. 
[Quiche: €1.31 | Nata: €0.65 | Church entrance: €4 | Train top up: €1.55]
Porto tower
So, in answer to my original question, for me, a weekend in Porto costs €127.75

1 comment

  1. I had to Google Porto as I wasn't sure where it was, but seeing as the cheap flights are out of Stansted (my nearest airport) I ought to try it out some time! Sounds like you had a great time exploring the city though, and the food looks SO delicious - especially those custard tarts! :)



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