Split into two by the Douro River, the Portuguese city of Porto is probably best known for its wine. One of the oldest cities in Europe, Porto is a maze of narrow cobbled streets, beautiful plazas, tiled facades, and baroque churches. While most travelers hail to the Portuguese capital Lisbon, the country’s second largest city, Porto, has been left undisturbed.
Over the years, Porto’s historic centre Ribeira has also modernized, combining traditional spots with cosmopolitan shops and taste. Walking down the streets, old storefronts are juxtaposed with trendy restaurants. If you are stopping by Porto, here are a few places – both old and new – to check out:
Where to Eat:
Cafe Majestic, Rua Santa Catarina 112
Its doors first opened in 1921 under the name Elite cafe. Decorated in an Art Nouveau style, today Majestic Cafe draws many tourists. Its leather upholstery, varnished wood, and marble surface is a time capsule of the glamour of a time past.
Cafe Guarany, Avenida Aliados 85/89, Oporto
Guarany is managed by the same company as Cafe Majestic but has a much different appeal with its distinctively South American influence. Its wall murals catch the eye of visitors, illustrating the daily life of the South American Indians of the Guarani tribe.
Galeria de Paris, Rua Galeria de Paris 56
Rua Galeria de Paris is home to many great shops, including this cute coffee shop that takes its name from the street. Behind the counter, the cabinets full of vintage items that resemble more of a museum than a cafe. Galeria de Paris offers affordable lunch specials and delicious desserts.
Where to Shop:
Alma Viva, Praça Dona Filipa de Lencastre 49, Oporto
A modern toy store in the historic district of Porto, Alma Viva has intricate toys and beautiful kids-room decor that will be sure to please any parents.
Livraria Lello, Rua das Carmelitas 144
One of the oldest book stores in Portugal and named the third best bookstore in the world by Lonely Planet, Livraria Lello is a popular stop for visitors. The store has a large collection of books for all of your reading desires.
A Vida Portuguesa, Rua Galeria de Paris 20, Clérigos, Porto
The idea behind A Vida Portuguesa came from taking vintage Portugese-made items, in their original condition and packaging, and making them modern again. As the name would suggest, all the items are made in Portugal.
Tracy is a Canadian travel photographer currently based in Toronto Canada. Her trip to Porto Portugal was made possible by Kensington Tours. Follow her travels on her travel photography blog Just-In-Time.