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Postcard from Oporto

Monday, February 04, 2013 Papillon 0 Comments Category : , ,

I went to Oporto for a weekend a couple of months ago and I was, once again, charmed away by this city. 

Oporto is beautiful and charming, the kind of charm that comes not only from the city itself, and its own vibe, but also from its people. There's an amazing harmony between old and new, the architecture of the city is very well preserved and you feel like you are walking on an old city with a youthful soul.

The shopping, restaurants and nightlife is just booming, and everyone seems to want to be enjoying it. You go out and there's hundreds of people everywhere, having dinner or just catching up with friends over a drink... they are all out and about!

I was lucky enough to have two amazing guides who stirred us in the right direction. But the truth is, we got lost, and that was the best part. Re-discovering a city like this, without a plan, is the best way. There's a new discovery on every corner and every street can be a surprise! We met a street artist who uses coal and cotton to recreate old restaurant adds or to paint the beautiful views of the city. He has clients from all over the world and you could see from his red eyes that he doesn't get much sleep. But he was so nice, so thoughtful  and just so engaging, that we ended up gladly purchasing two of his paintings. We stayed at the Gallery Hostel, which is right in the middle of the galleries' street in Oporto. That's another thing I like about this small city, everything is somewhat organized. You want to go to a gallery, you go to that street. You want to go shopping, you go to that one. Everything in its place! The Hostel was amazing, really! Great people, great room, great location, great tips, great everything! I highly recommend it!

Street Art is everywhere you look. And what you see is really art, amazing paintings, amazing ideas, at plain sight, for everyone to see!

And then there's the shopping... I'm still amazed I could find a wonderful vintage fur coat at 50€, it's one of my best purchases of this winter! There's also this mix of old and new when it comes to shopping and there's a lot of street shopping, especially little markets, which personally I love. 

Finally the restaurants and the nightlife. We went to Canelas de Coelho, a kind of tapas restaurant with a great vibe (not so much light, which made it a little difficult to eat) and a great wine list. We had great company, so the dinner was amazing, but the food really helped! It was all wonderful!! From there we went to a new bar called Champanharia da Baixa, a bar that only serves champagne. Their sangria is to die for, I'm still dreaming about it!

Sunday was all about the sun and the beach. We had a light lunch at Praia da Luz, enjoyed the sun and sadly left Oporto behind... at least until our next visit!

So if you are planning a weekend escapade, consider this charming city, you won't regret it!

Enjoy the pictures taken by my iphone&me! ;)