Portugal was a pleasant surprise.
We hadn't planned to go there. We were supposed to spend a week doing a Workaway in a small French village in the Pyrenees Mountains, but it got canceled so we needed somewhere else to go. Flights were cheap to Portugal, we'd never been there, and we were all craving a little beach time...
So after Paris, off we went to Porto!
Unplanned adventures are often the best adventures!
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is the city on the south side of the Douro River (Porto is on the North). This turned out wonderful as the place was nice, the neighbourhood was far less touristy, the restaurants and delicious Portuguese pastries were far cheaper and we could walk or Metro to wherever we wanted and needed to go.
I think we all would have liked to stay longer
LJ loved Portugal. She loved the tranquility, having her own room in our apartment, the pastries, the Francesinha (a Portuguese sandwich that she deemed better than pizza), and spending time at the beach. It also helped that out apartment balcony overlooked a small soccer stadium!
L and I also really enjoyed our time there. The city has a lot of character, a laid-back vibe, beautiful views, warm people and of course...delicious food. I don't even want to think about how many pastries I ate that week!
Speaking of pastries, that was our first order of business for our first morning in the city.
Fueled with custard goodness, it was time to spend seven days exploring...
Portugal with Kids
How to get to Porto:
We took an EasyJet flight from Paris.
Where to stay in Porto:
This 2-bedroom Airbnb apartment was in a great location, affordable and very comfortable.
What do to in Porto:
Visit the Croft Port Cellar for a Port wine tasting.
Eat a Francesinha at Bufete Fase.
Eat pastries whenever you can.
Visit the São Bento Railway Station to see the blue tiles.
Watch soccer practices at the Parque de Jogos Soares dos Reis.
Cross the double decker Dom Luís I Bridge.
Wander the Ribeiria - a Unesco World Heritage sight.
Sample all kinds of shareable Portuguese plates at Sancho Panza.
Take the historic tram along the Duoro River to where it connects to the Atlantic Ocean.
Spend a day at Matosinhos Beach.
Spend an evening wandering the waterfront at Foz do Douro and go to the castle playground.
Learn to surf with Linha de Onda Surfing School.
Get a snack at Mercado Beira-Rio.