Help make our trip to Europe amazing, Porto, Portugal edition
June 10, 2018 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Our family will be spending two nights in Porto, Portugal in July. We're traveling with kids (10 & 12), so our plan is for a mostly low-key trip filled with lazily exploring the city. But we're also looking for other unique or special experiences we could do as a family that would really make our trip special.

We would love to hear any ideas that might involve:

- Meeting and interacting with locals
- Visiting special or unique places in the city that might not show up in guide books
- Anything food or wine related that shouldn't be missed
posted by quantum to Travel & Transportation around Porto, Portugal (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The best meal we had in Porto was at Casinha São João on Cais da Ribeira. Easy to miss amongst all the other more touristy places, but the food was really lovely and the service was excellent. We didn't have kids with us, but there were some families happily eating at other tables, so seems like a reasonable bet.

We also rented bikes and rode along the river, which was great. We also took the train to Guimarães to see the castle, which could be of interest to kids. But if you've only got two days in Porto you may not want to eat up a full day.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 6:27 AM on June 11, 2018

This is surely in the guidebooks, but it's worth highlighting: We loved visiting the Casa da Música and found the tour really worthwhile to see places you wouldn't see just by popping in. (We also saw concerts there, but that may not be as kid-friendly.) There were kids on another tour, but you know your kids best. Even just stopping outside the building was cool and possibly more kid-friendly. (To provide context for this recommendation, I am kind of an urban revival/architecture nerd.)

Do your kids love the subway? I found Porto's transit system cool. It's all honour system, essentially. (You do need to validate your ticket and they absolutely do spot checks, so have your ducks in a row.) The train that goes across the Dom Luís I bridge is pretty cool whether on the train or watching it go by. But you'll probably find yourself on the bridge for the view, so it's not the kind of thing for which you'd have to make special arrangements.

The parts of the city that you see clinging to the cliff near that bridge are walkable and it was worth figuring out how to get there to walk around a bit, especially in the morning when there weren't many people out and about.

We were there two weeks and so we did get outside the city. If you're there two nights, I wouldn't. We didn't do a port wine tour and didn't go up the Torre dos Clérigos until our very last day. In my opinion, we wouldn't have missed anything by not going. But it wasn't bad. And the kids might like it.

As far as food, we self-catered for lunch and dinner but made a point of having a pastry each morning. Some of the places we enjoyed:

Padrão Doce, Largo do Padrão 6
Confeitaria Chicana, Av. de Rodrigues de Freitas 36
Confeitaria do Bolhão, R. Formosa 339

I don't know that I would cross the city to go to any of those places, but they each had something to recommend them and we went to each multiple times.
posted by veggieboy at 8:38 AM on June 11, 2018

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