I’m not much of a souvenir collector when I travel, but something I’ve found to become a cherished keepsake is jewellery. It’s lighter on the suitcase compared to furniture or ceramics, and much less useless than a snow dome or bottle opener (I’ve found zero of the former and just one of the latter sufficient for everyday living).
So, to let you in on Portugal’s precious treasures, I’ll introduce you to the wonderful world of filigree.
Best things to do in Porto
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.
Given the world-famous big waves of Nazaré are descending with the turn of the new year (they tend to start pumping from around November), I thought I'd repost an article I wrote about this delightful beach town, which has so much more than just monster surf.
Want to know where to eat, what to do and where to stay in Lisbon? Then read my post for the Peregrine Adventures blog (part of the Intrepid Group), which outlines five of Lisbon's coolest neighbourhoods.
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.
“Have you had a Portuguese tart yet?” asked a girl in my dorm room the first time I visited Portugal. I admitted I hadn’t and she looked at me with utter disappointment, despite the fact I’d only been in the country for 30 minutes. That afternoon, two more people asked the same question – obviously these things were a talking point. Needless to say, I hotfooted down to a local café to try one. Little did I know it would start a self-indulgent habit of pastel de nata consumption after I decided to plant myself in the land of the custard tart (or ‘cream pastry’, if you want to get technical on the translation) less than a year later.
I recently wrote about the pastel de nata in a story for Good Food Australia, along with 10 other things to eat and drink in Portugal including Francesinha (a mega artery-clogging sandwich), Queijo Serra da Estrela (sheep milk cheese), Vinho do Porto (port), vinho verde (green wine), Cozido das Furnas (volcano-cooked stew), ovos moles (egg and sugar sweets), ginja (cherry liqueur), caldeirada do peixe (fish stew) and bacalhau (dried codfish).
Given this recent article, I thought I’d take the opportunity to elaborate further on Portugal’s food with a blog post on the subject. So here’s a rundown of some other food and drink to try in Portugal. I've also added a few points about Portuguese food culture at the end.
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
Filigree designs: the beauty behind traditional Portuguese jewellery