Described as a big village in a little city, Porto effortlessly relaxes. I visited the city famous for its wine and art scene in April 2017. Small enough to be a walking city, you can easily get lost throughout the steep, cobbled streets that all look to the Douro river. For me, it was the architecture of this city that took my breath away. Interweaving eras, classic Baroque next to contemporary structures; Oporto azulejos besides art deco signage; it crafts a certain kind of beauty and feeling. It’s hard to articulate that feeling but I suppose the closest I can get is using the example of Porto’s public buildings and spaces. All are designed with an aesthetic in mind, an aesthetic that not only served the purpose of functionality but also served the purpose of positive emotion by way of design. To live in a city that is literally a feast for the eyes can only instil a certain pride, calm and respect for new perspectives, something I believe to be one of the most beautiful characteristics of Porto. Everywhere you turn there is something to fixate on, whether it’s graffiti, a dilapidated warehouse or the smoke trails of an impromptu grill on the side of the road charring fresh sardines. Tourism is picking up since the low-cost airlines launched their new routes and money is beginning to trickle in. Pointless tourist activities like 15-minute helicopter rides over the Douro are now available (something I did not partake in), as well as crowded tours of the historic Port houses. I urge you to go against the basic grain and support the independent and local businesses in Porto. There are so many great restaurants and chances to further explore the rich ingredients of northern Portuguese cuisine, so follow your own path and remember to look up.

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Café Santiago, Rua Passos Manuel, 226 

Taberna do Cais das Pedras, Rua de Monchique, 65-68


Vincci Porto



Casa de Serralves

Mercado do Bolhão