If you follow me on social media (which you should, *wink wink* – here’s my Insta and Facebook), you may have seen my article flying around on Virgin Australia planes this month in the Voyeur inflight magazine. It’s about how Porto’s food scene is evolving, while simultaneously staying the same. Let me explain.
Essentially, the city’s menu is getting a shake up as a growing number of tourists and an increasingly well-travelled pool of locals ping pong supply and demand. But centuries’ worth of tradition doesn’t evaporate overnight, meaning the new kids on the block are slotting between tried and true examples of regional cuisine (for now, anyway).
When considering the food scene in Porto, it may raise the question, what exactly is northern Portuguese cuisine? So I thought I’d drill it down a bit more since everyone loves reading about food, right? (surely not just me?)
Having seen all the seasons pass in Portugal, I thought I’d give an overview of what to see and expect in the country as the calendar ticks over.
While the ideal timing of your visit will depend on personal preferences and schedules, as someone who travels a lot, I’ve come to realise it can be nice to travel at any time of the year, even if it’s not considered ‘the’ time to go. Places can change so much month-to-month, and what you experience in June can be completely different to November. You could visit the same city in each season and have a completely different holiday.
Summer is a good time to visit Portugal if you want to enjoy long, sunny days and the reassurance that attractions will be open. Of course this is also the busiest time so you’ll have to contend with larger crowds and higher prices. If throngs of people make you squirm or you’re the type who fancies breaking away from the pack, there are some lovely sights to be seen throughout the year, as you’ll soon discover.
Porto is known as Portugal's second city and is located in the north of the country. It has a very different look and feel to Lisbon – so you should definitely visit both – and is positioned on the bank of the beautiful Douro River (if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my recent Insta story for @LonelyPlanet about the Douro :-)).
While Porto is traditionally an industrial city (hence the name, given Porto means 'port'), it is now an uber popular travel destination and has enough going on to keep you occupied for days (I'd recommend staying at least three days, if not more).
This post will guide you to some of the best places to visit in Porto.
It was with great pleasure that I got to write about my favourite aspect of Porto – the street art – for the Wizz Air inflight magazine. Those who have visited Porto will know it can be a rather mysterious and grey city (and does get a tad gloomy in winter...), but everywhere you look, the walls pop to life with cheeky street art characters. I love it.
Rotunda da Boavista, also known as Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque or simply ‘The Boavista Roundabout’, is one of the largest squares (or circles, rather) in Porto.
Did you know that many of Porto's tightly-packed tiled buildings have gardens out the back? Here's my pick of 11 secret gardens to scope out on your next visit to Porto, as written for Lonely Planet.
Porto is a fascinating place with an interesting history, so given I’ve been kicking around in the city for a while now, I thought it was time to give Porto a shout out.
Here are some things you might not know about Porto.
The Portugal Wire is the blog of Australian travel writer, copywriter and photographer Emily McAuliffe.
Things you might not know about Portugal
A brief history of Portugal
Who was the first person to sail around the world? (Hint: he was Portuguese ... and then he wasn't)
A quick overview of Portugal's economy
25 April: a shared day in history for Australia and Portugal
Portugal's bridges: go big or go home
Portugal and Spain: same same but different?
Interesting facts about Porto
Traditional Portuguese food: what to eat and drink in Portugal
Who are they? Famous names on the streets of Portugal
Interesting facts about Lisbon
Uncovering Porto's secret gardens
Lonely Planet Instagram takeover: sharing some of my favourite hidden spots in Portugal
In the news... my feature in Portugal's national newspaper Diário de Notícias
On board the Presidential train in Portugal's Douro Valley
When the lion mauled the eagle (Porto)
Kicking design goals: Cristiano Ronaldo & Pestana's CR7 hotels
Lovely Lisbon: my top picks of where to eat, drink, visit and stay in Portugal's capital city
Porto street art: fighting the good fight
The best places to visit in Lisbon: 5 of my favourite neighbourhoods
Big waves in Nazaré: my favourite beach town in Portugal
Best things to do in Porto
Portuguese wine: yes, the wines of Portugal extend far beyond port
Portuguese architecture Part I: Manueline style
Portuguese architecture Part II: Pombaline style
When is the best time to visit Portugal?
Food to try in Porto: northern Portuguese cuisine explained