Hello Everybody! My name is Roxana, and I’m the face behind @mytravellingbackpack! The first stop on my Iberian Adventure is Porto. I stayed at Tattva Design Hostel (now Gatos Hostel), central to the São Bento Rail Station and the Ponte de D. Luis I bridge. Porto is an absolutely charming city that needs to be explored!
Getting to Porto
I arrived at London Heathrow at 1 am on 2 May. My flight to Lisbon left at 6 am, so I took a nap. I arrived in Lisbon at 8:50 am, and my phone said my flight to Porto left in 10 mins. I bolted out of the plane and ran like my life depended on it! The gate was at the end of the terminal, and it’d take 15 mins to get there! What a way to start my trip. I was almost in tears due to my exhaustion, backpack weight, and the idea of missing my flight!
Arriving at the gate feeling defeated, I asked the agent if I missed the flight. He checked my boarding pass. With the biggest smile, he told me boarding for the 10am flight was at 9:20. Relief washed over me!
Once in Porto, I made my way to the metro and followed the directions to Tattva Design Hostel. It only cost 2,60€ (2€ fare + 0.60 for metro card). As a backpacker you’ve always got to look out for the best deal!
Patty was the receptionist and gave me a great tour of the hostel. She explained the daily activities and gave me a ‘Welcome Card’ for a free drink at Tattva Restaurant.
I took a hot shower, got dressed, and went out to take some pictures. In such a daze from the jet lag, I had forgotten my bankcard! Thankfully the hostel had a restaurant, so I went back for dinner. They serve dinner from 4:30 – 11:30. Just sign up at the front desk!
The ambience was delightful. Jazz music played in the background and the pleasant chatter flowed. Ruben was my waiter. He was very attentive and ensured everyone had a lovely time.
I had the Chouriço Al’ Infierno (Chorizo on fire), and a delicious Linguini Nero com Frutos do Mar (Black Linguini with Seafood). It was hearty and full of flavour! The pasta took me away with its creaminess. The Chorizo on fire added a special touch since I had never seen that before!
After such a lovely meal, I decided to call it a night! My body needed to recharge for a great start to Day 2!
I woke up excited to discover Porto! I had the hostel’s free breakfast buffet, which included pancakes, sausages, fruit, veggies, bread, and cheeses!
Porto Walkers picked us up and took us to the meeting point. I made some friends, which reminded me hostel life is about meeting people from all over the world! Our tour guide Nuno gave us extensive information about Porto! The best takeaway is that every day is leg day in Porto!
After the tour, my new friends and I went to Restaurante Novo Mundo, a great Portuguese lunch spot! I had the Carne Gardenia and it was very authentic and very delicious. The owner and son didn’t speak much English, but I got by with smiles and hand gestures!
We all headed back to the hostel, and relaxed on the rooftop terrace. I got ready for the evening and made my way to Café Santiago to have the popular ‘Francesinhas’. It’s a take on Croque Monsieur, but with ham, beef, chorizo, cheese, and gravy on top!
The meal restored my energy enough to go on a Pub Crawl that night! Porto Walkers also hosted the Pub Crawl and it costs 12€. You get 5 drinks at 4 different bars, and a discount for additional drinks! Jessica and Lucy were so energetic and hyped our party up! The music ranged from current top 40’s, to Brazilian Funk, and Reggaeton.
I called it a night around 4am! There was still so much I wanted to do on Day 3 and needed sleep!
Day 3 flew by because I did so much on so little sleep. A friend and I decided to have a new experience and rent a Vespa for a couple of hours to see the city and take some pictures! The company we rented the Vespa from was near Tattva, called Porto Mod! The gentleman who helped us was so patient and explained everything! Obrigada!
We rode around Porto and Gaia. It’s cool to see the city from a different perspective, and not on foot! After a couple of hours we brought back the Vespa and went back to the hostel. My room was empty so I seized the moment and packed for my departure the next day!
I relaxed once again on the rooftop and waited for a friend to have a last walk around the city. We found ourselves back to the Ponte de D. Luis I bridge and by the Cais de Ribeira, there was a great band playing. We grabbed some drinks from the little shop and sat on the quay while enjoying the sunset and the sounds of Bossa Nova. Apparently this happens every Saturday night by the Cais de Ribeira, so I recommend checking it out!
Seeing the sunset go down while having music playing in the background was the perfect way to say goodbye to Porto!
Lisbon is the next stop on My Iberian Adventure! I’m very excited to revisit this enchanting city!