Porto is one of those cities where it’s best just to wander and explore until you get lost. The waterfront area is like a maze of streets with little bars and cafes at every turn. At some point you’ll most likely find yourself at the waters edge where you can get a different view of the city by taking a traditional Rabelo boat cruise along the Douro River.
We only took a 30 minute cruise along the river but I loved seeing Porto from that vantage point. The colourful riverfront houses are full of character and no doubt history. I’m curious to know how they look on the inside, considering most of them appear to be quite run down from the outside, but I imagine it’s one of the best areas to live in Porto.
From the river you also get great views of the Luis I Bridge, one of Porto’s main landmarks.
On the opposite side of the Douro River is the town of Gaia. Gaia is the place to go for port wine tasting as this is where much of it is stored and aged. Even though I generally prefer my wine on the sweet side, port is a little too sweet for me. I find it to be much more palatable served with tonic water which is how most of the Portuguese like to drink port.
We were lucky enough to finish our Porto river cruise with a cocktail party at the beautiful Freixo Palace Hotel in Porto.1