It’s my last day in Lisbon (for the time being), so I am taking a train from Lisbon to Porto today. I’ve allocated 6 days for Porto and the surrounding area, so I can get a taste of Northern Portugal and of course, the world famous port wine!
Waking up early, I packed all my things and grabbed some food at the nearby market for my 3.5 hour train trip to Porto. With a duration of 3.5 hours, the trip was be a pretty long ride. When I bought my ticket, it still had the “promo” price so it was significantly cheaper than if I bought it now. *(Check tips for more details.)
The train ride itself was quite comfortable, and the views from the window was awesome. I wish I brought a neck pillow though, because I always tend to fall asleep in the train. -.-”
I arrived in Porto at 3PM, then headed straight to my hostel to drop off my things. Unfortunately, my hostel was quite far from the central São Bento station, so it was ~20 minutes walk. Fortunately, the hostel was really beautiful. The building itself was old & historical (built in 1911), and interior was nicely designed!
Porto is quite a hilly city like Lisbon, so you will be walking up and down these hills constantly. For this afternoon, I focused on the Ribeira (riverside quarter) & Baixa (downtown) area, since a lot of the city’s main sights are concentrated here. First, I visited the Clérigos Church and its very iconic tower. I didn’t climb up the tower, but I’ve heard that the panoramic view of Porto is beautiful from up there.
I then made my way down to the river and walked along the riverside walkway. From the Ribeira, the domineering Dom Luís I Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luís) is very hard to miss. This iron bridge connects Porto proper to the city of Vila Nova de Gaia in the south of the river.
After crossing the bridge, I took some more iconic snaps of Porto from the vantage point in the south (very beautiful!). By this time the sun was setting and I was super hungry, so I Googled to find a place for dinner.
Vegan dinner at Porto
Luckily, there was a vegan restaurant within walking distance called DaTerra Restaurante Vegetariano (Baixa). This restaurant offers vegan lunch and buffet dinner, but the restaurant was really classy! The food were also presented in a beautiful way, and the options were very, very tasty. Or maybe I was just super hangry!
For a dinner price of €9.90, you had your fill of vegan food! I was super hungry since I hadn’t eaten lunch, so I went back 3 times. #noshame
Drinks and dessert are separate from the price, but honestly, you didn’t need it after eating so much food!
After dinner, I headed back to the hostel. It was a long & tiring first day in Porto, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since the sun was setting, it was much cooler outside, and walking was less of a chore than during the day. Here are some more photos I snapped on the way back. Boa noite!
Buying train tickets between cities
I highly recommend buying the your train tickets about 10 days before you depart if you are a budget traveller. By doing this, you will be paying for a cheaper ticket, since Comboios de Portugal (CP) has a promo price for purchasing the train ticket early.You can book & reserve the tickets early on the CP website.
For example, my train from Lisbon to Porto would normally cost €25 – €30 if I bought a ticket on the day. However, because I bought it weeks in advance, I got it for only €15! I also had the early chance to pick my seat, and I almost always prefer the window seat.
Check my post about my trip to find out about the different trains.