Porto, my favourite city in Portugal.

places + travel

Portugal is the first European country I’ve ever visited and it certainly won’t be the last. With its rich heritage, spectacular architecture and cobbled streets, this small country (by European standards) charms you right from the get-go. As a Singaporean who’s used to modern skyscrapers and amenities, nothing quite prepared me for the rich Portuguese culture that’s so vastly different from asian architecture. And I’m saying that despite having lived in Melbourne for 3 years.

I’ve been here for 16 months and by now, have certainly visited quite a number of towns around the country. Porto is the city that amazes me and satisfies my inner cultured soul the most. It is just so incredibly charming.

From the undulating hills (which meant a lot of hiking up and down steep slopes) to the little streets with quaint shops, Porto has pretty much everything you could ever ask for if you want a leisurely vacation. There are tons of landmarks to see, food to eat, wine cellars to visit and my favourite of them all… the gorgeous Douro River and signature bridge scenery to enjoy. It’s a place that inspires me to be more creative. I have also never felt more European than I have in this lovely city.

If you’re planning to visit, your best bet is flying directly into Porto if you can or else take the train up like I did. Or drive, if you’re in the vicinity. I would also recommend spending at least 5 days and 4 nights. In fact, I could potentially spend 2 weeks in Porto since there is just that much to see (and also because I love it there). As for my suggestions on where you could visit, watch out for an upcoming post on that next week.

Portugal is quite frequently overlooked for vacations in Europe, but honestly it’s quite possibly the most affordable place you can visit in the area. Its mediterranean weather and picturesque views, coupled with reasonable prices makes it a thoroughly enjoyable location to spend your next holiday without breaking the bank.

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