Last week I visited Portugal for the first time with Ofelia, one of my dearest friends. Unfortunately Isi could not join us, since she is currently living in the library, studying for her exams. But luckily they will be over soon, so she will finally return to this blog. 😀
In this post, I will share with you some of my Portugal travel tips and of course a few shots. The upcoming posts will include more detailed information on what to see and do in Porto and Lisbon, the two cities Ofelia and I visited during our short stay in beautiful Portugal. We only stayed for three days, which were enough to enjoy the sun, Portuguese hospitality and get an insight into the spirit of Portugal, which definitely belongs to a country that I would love to explore again. We also got to spend some time trying new things, such as Kite Surfing (check out Kite Control Portugal for something similar)! It was so much fun to try something new while being on holiday, and it’s definitely something I’d do again.
Rarely in Europe I met such friendly people as in Portugal. The service was always very friendly, people are cheerful and communicative, which I appreciate a lot. Maybe it is smart to mention that the prices of food (both when it comes to dining experiences, bakeries or grocery shopping), train or entrance tickets are quite affordable (much lower than in Vienna if we compare the two), which make Portugal in my opinion a great travel destination also for people traveling on a budget. Even if a traveler wants to move around the cities in a rented car, websites like StressFreeCarRental.com make it easy to compare options and choose an affordable one. Pick-up can happen from the airport or from any place in Portugal, which is great isn’t it?
Where to stay in Porto
As always, I used booking.com to find us a place to stay. I have chosen bnapartments Trindade, mostly for practical reasons, since the building was very close to the metro station Trindade. The flat was very big, bright, nicely decorated (the renovation was done recently, so everything is new), clean, with fast free WiFi, satellite TV, fully equipped kitchen and everything else you might need during your stay. The location of the flat was about 15 minutes walk (luckily down hill :)) from the city center, just 5-7 minutes walk from the shopping area, surrounded by bakeries and supermarkets, and in a safe neighborhood. I also need to mention the super friendly and professional staff of bnapartments, who gave us many local tips on what to see, do and eat in Porto, which were extremely helpful to us. If you’re not looking to stay in Porto and instead you’re wanting to stay somewhere in Lisbon so you can be a walk away from the many attractions you may want to go and visit, have a look into some of the Best hotels in Lisbon for your accommodation needs.
I can warmly recommend bnapartments for anyone wishing to stay in Porto. They have several buildings on different, central locations in Porto (also one where all rooms have river view), with new, beautiful apartments and the service is great.
If traveling to Portugal, make sure not to forget the following:
1. Extremely comfortable sneakers or walking shoes – this is a must, since the terrain is quite rocky and you will walk a lot, so make sure to take appropriate shoes with you.
2. Reliable travel guide such as the one from Lonely Planet or DK – I never travel without a guide. It is always helpful to have something informative at hand, so that you know where to go, what you should visit and to learn many interesting things about the place you are visiting.
3. Sun protection – it can be burning hot in Portugal, so always bring a hat and a sun screen, to prevent turning into a shrimp after just a short walk!
4. Light clothes – as mentioned, the heat can be unbearable, so bring something light to wear. If you are staying longer, a bathing suit could also be a good idea if you wish to spend some time at the beach.
5. Camera – never forget your camera or smartphone, since Portugal is very photogenic country. 🙂
Hope you liked this post and see you again soon!