Missing the Magical Porto

A shop sign in Porto, Portugal

Have you ever missed a place so much you can’t get it off your head? You keep thinking of that cute restaurant around the corner of your hostel that serves really great bacalhau. And that uphill street filled with local shops selling gorgeous earrings and bracelets.

Missing is definitely something everyone has felt, but I have never wanted to go back to a place as much as Porto. I’m obviously under some sort of Porto spell, the place is too magical to be forgotten. Heck, I even spilled a tear when my plane took off to my next destination! I may also have been a little crazy with my sharing pictures on all my social media channels on Porto.

A bookshop in Porto, Portugal
A perfect bookshop in Porto

Why? Why you may ask, why am I so crazy about this city?

Let me tell you why.

Porto is small. I love small cities, it’s more compact, easily reached by foot and you “become a local” so much easier when you’re in a small city. People tend to be more friendly in smaller cities. In this case, it was proven. However, even though it’s a small city, you can easily be exhausted by the hilly streets. It was something I like secretly since I felt like I was working out, going up a steep hill. Going down the hill seemed like a price after sweating from going up. So fun isn’t it?

The street of Porto, Portugal
Posing is a lot more fun in the streets of Porto

Every corner of the city is picture perfect. I am not kidding. Take a random street, and you will see beautifully faded coloured houses with clothes hanging from its windows. Sometimes flowers and hanging plants are put outside to add more beauty. If you’re lucky you’ll also see some street arts, it’s so much more fun seeing street arts in Porto since it’s actually illegal to do it unlike in Lisbon. Still, these artists brighten the city in some hidden spots.

A shop sign in Porto, Portugal
A gorgeous sign in a random street in Porto

The trams are exquisite. Once I took a tram along Porto’s Douro river. The tram is vintage as if it has been preserved from the past. As the tram speed up, I enjoyed the sound of the engine with the wind blowing on my face and the smell of food along the way. Perfect in every way. As I went back from one corner to another, I remember at one stop a kid decided to join us at the back of the train, without the driver knowing. He held tight on to the railing at the back, I looked at him, he looked back as if saying “Sssh! Don’t tell!”. I kept quiet, it was our little secret, me and this little stranger. It was this kind of little interaction that I keep getting in Porto that makes me fall for the city.

Vintage tram in Porto, Portugal
Tram in Porto

Like so many places in Portugal, tiles are especially popular. The churches in Porto are beautifully decorated with these tiles. I am not used to having tiles being put outside buildings. Aren’t they supposed to be inside a building, better yet usually I see them in toilets. But, in Porto, with these churches, it just works, magically and wonderfully works.

A church in Porto, Portugal
Beautifully tiled church just works in Porto

The neighbourhood near the river is amazing. “Please follow me or you’ll get lost!” said Pedro my free walking tour guide that day. If I wasn’t in a group, I would so get lost in this neighbourhood. I mean, why not? The dark aisles with gorgeous brick and stone walls. Then the uber small restaurants where old men were gathering drinking afternoon beer and enjoying their fried snacks, their laughter filling the small street. Then there were these small street signs which looked like they were individually crafted with orange and blue tiles. It’s like a labirin in there, and who doesn’t love labirin if it was this beautiful!

Neighbourhood in Porto, Portugal
Getting lost here would be a wonderful thing

Porto is a city made for lazing around. You will see so many open-spaced small restaurants and cafés all over the city as if asking you to come and sit and enjoy the seducing atmosphere of Porto. I did that, too many times. I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time eating and drinking while absorbing the city, I felt like it was what I was meant to do.

Lazing in Porto, Portugal
Lazing in Porto is just a must

So now, you tell me how am I supposed to forget and move on from a place like that? I can’t, I just simply cannot. A blissful encounter with you Porto, I promise there will be more of you in the future.

Have you ever been addicted to a city before? Do tell!

Enhanced by Zemanta

33 Comment

  1. ggy, itu bean bag ada dipinggir jalan emang buat leyeh leyeh gitu?
    cooollllll 🙂

    1. Iya Mei! Tapi itu punyanya salah satu cafe deh 😉 Seru kan Porto!

  2. Sweetie, I’m not surprised you’ve been missing this place. It’s just so charming and picturesque. I love the church and narrow streets!

    1. I know right? Fancy coming with me there now?? 😉

  3. You know I was very close to making Porto my last trip of this year. Only decided to hold off as I would have had to go during the wettest time, so thought I’d hold off for just a little while. Looks amazing though Aggy, so I can’t wait to finally get there!

    1. I think you’l love the place. Come there soon! 😀

  4. I love small cities too. It’s a beautiful story, Gy.
    I didn’t make it to Porto on my last trip to Portugal and now I regret it 🙁

    1. A reason to come back Deb! It’s stunning 😀

  5. I feel like you wrote this just for me 😀 thank you so much Aggy! I cannot wait to visit now!! I will need more explicit advice on which coffee places to go to!

    1. Darling, you will adore this place. Go to Majestic Cafe, it’s amazing!

  6. I’ve only been to Lisbon however I would love to go to Porto and I totally know how you feel… I have been head-over-heels in love with some cities and the missing part is sometimes unbearable, but the memories are always gorgeous =) Maybe one day we’ll meet in Porto =) who knows! xxx

    1. Oh Milene! We should totally come to Porto together! It would soooo awesome 😀

  7. What a beautiful city! I love small cities for the same reasons. Easily navigatable, still a city, and easy to fall in with the locals. I haven’t been to Portugal yet, but I hear great things. Porto will definitely be on my list.

    1. So true Katherine! I easily become attach to small cities because of these reasons! I’m glad you’re considering Porto, it really is worth it! 🙂

  8. I think I just fell in love without ever having been there. ..

    1. So happy you feel that way Sally! Really hope you can go there someday 🙂

  9. Ahh…Porto. My favorite city in Europe!

    1. Definitely mine too! Thanks Stephen for dropping by 🙂

  10. Looks like a beautiful city and that church with the tiles is stunning! We’ve traveled much of Europe but haven’t made it to Portugal yet. We hope to very soon!

    1. I hope you get to see Portugal, it truly is a gorgeous country. Porto, especially is an amazing city!

  11. I miss Porto too. My most vivid memory of the town is of its night-time poetic quietness during winter, so it’s great to see a different, sunnier side of the city through the photos in your post.

    Here is a link to my Porto story three years ago, just in case it can sooth your yearning for the city the way your post did for mine 🙂
    http://dustysneakers.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/porto-quiet-nights-of-quiet-stars/

    1. It’s always interesting to see one city in two different settings. Porto looked romantic on your post! 🙂

  12. Haven’t been to Portugal yet, but am planning to this summer. You’re right, it does look picture perfect. Love that second picture in particular!

  13. I can certainly understand why you miss Porto — you’ve got me missing it and I’ve never even been there. Yes, I’ve had that same longing for places I’ve been. We’re so lucky to visit places that really leave a mark on us, but it’s always sad to leave them.

    1. That’s so true Cathy, we are so lucky to be able to visit places that we admire. I always love to think that I can come back to them again,

  14. I loved Lisbon, and I really want to visit Porto – it looks gorgeous. Hopefully I’ll get there either later this year, or maybe next.

    1. I was in love with Lisbon but loved Porto even more, I think the city has so much characteristics, I wouldn’t even know where to begin!

  15. Oh and I am addicted to Venice! Been there twice and that is not enough by any means!

  16. Portugal is in my top 3 of places in Europe that I have to visit and somehow haven’t yet… Porto is right up there with Lisbon. It seems to have so much charm. I can picture myself in that street car or walking those streets. This has to happen. 🙂

    1. Yes Pola, it certainly has got to happen! It’s such a great place to wander around and there are also a lot of great cafes which I’m sure you’ll love 😉

  17. Now that I’ve read your post, I’m even more excited to go there. It looks like a magical city, I do feel like it’s going to be my favorite place in Portugal. 😀

    1. Oh yes it’s such a magical city, at least for me! I do hope you have a great time in Porto like I did!

  18. […] only buildings could talk in Porto, it would tell you stories of romance, sadness and inspirations. It was easy being charmed by the beauty of Porto, perhaps it was love at first sight for me but there was more than just meets the […]

Leave a Reply