A Weekend in Porto, Portugal

One of our very favorite parts of living abroad in Madrid, Spain has been the incredible places we get to visit as a family, even over just long weekends. One of the easiest places to get to through a quick direct flight from Madrid is Portugal and its various cities/islands. We decided to spend a long weekend in Porto, enjoying a relaxing weekend by the sea.

The Cost of Airfare

One of the most pleasant parts of travel from Madrid airport is the cost of flights to Portugal. For under the equivalent of $200, our family of four flew to Porto. We were really impressed, too, with the airline we used: EasyJet. More comfortable and with an even more seamless process than competitors, EasyJet was a great budget airline in Europe. It’s hard to miss a weekend in Portugal when flight prices from Madrid are so great!

The Home Rental on Booking.com

We last-minute changed our home rental for Porto, as I began to have considered that our rental may be too far outside of walkability in the city. Instead, I searched the day of our flights (gasp!) and found an amazing home rental in Fox du Douro: Blanco House. This home rental was way more than we expected! The owners came and greeted us and even brought us a basket of foods and wines to try from Porto. The rental felt like home immediately and we truly had the most relaxing, wonderful stay there. I have been learning to book things more last-minute and this was an example of a wonderful, last-minute choice. If you’re heading to Porto, do not miss out on this rental!

The Neighborhood: Foz du Douro

We chose to stay outside of Centro Porto and instead be in the neighborhood of Foz du Douro. I’m so glad we did, because this area was the best of all! Located on the coastline and neighboring the local beaches, Foz du Douro was the best way to experience the laid-back, local feels of Porto. Between wonderful restaurants there like Camila’s Brunch Garden for breakfast and Bar Solo for lunch, it’s a completely walkable neighborhood. So much so, that we ended up not really needing our rental car. While we did secure one from a great, local service called Autocunha, we definitely didn’t need a car.

Centro Porto

It’s definitely worth visiting Centro Porto, even if just for a day trip. While down there, be sure to stop to Cafe Aviz to try a local Portuguese sandwich called a francesinha. This cheese and ham sandwich was an interesting experience to try for sure! We also enjoyed local port wines and delicious seafood at neighboring fishing village, Armezem do Peixe. You cannot miss out on a visit to Afuarda while that close to centro Porto, the local village with incredible, freshly-caught fish.

We’ll be Back, Portugal!

We really enjoyed our long weekend in Portugal, so much so that we think it’s tied for our second favorite country in Europe so far (Spain is first, of course and Portugal is now tied with Scotland). We loved the similarities to Spain with wonderful, kind people. We also loved the tile-faced houses and unique architecture. With amazing flight deals and a short one-hour flight to many locations, we will likely be back to visit some of Portugal’s islands in the future.

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