The perfect midsize city, Northern Portugal’s Porto oozes authenticity with its city center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and slew of viewpoints, cafés, bookstores, and boutiques.
Known for our under-two-minute articles, we’ve rounded up five things that need to (HAP)pen on your next trip to Porto.
Admire Porto’s Azulejo-Tiled Buildings
Introduced to Portugal during Moorish rule, Azulejo tiles are enchanting. Façade after façade, these white tiles with delicate blue illustrations tell stories, often recounting historical events and biblical tales. Check out Igreja do Carmo (pictured) and Capela das Almas’ exteriors.
Sip Espressos at Majestic Café
If you haven’t noticed, we are all about café culture here at HAP: Porto’s Majestic Café is one of our favorites in Europe. Constructed in 1921, the interior is exquisite and timeless with its antique Belle Epoque-style appearance. Located on Rua de Santa Catarina, enjoying an espresso and people-watching here are a must.
Become a Portuguese Bookworm at Livraria Lello
If you adore bookstores, then you will fall in love with Livraria Lello (often known as Lello & Irmão). Opening in 1906, architect Xavier Estes designed the Porto staple, equipping it with shelves of books, neo-gothic touches, art nouveau nods, deft wood carvings, and a stained-glass ceiling. Often frequented by the world’s most-famous literary figures, pasts guests included Portuguese writer Guerra Junqueiro and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The latter lived in Porto from 1991-1993 and was a loyal customer—many say the bookstore was a source of inspiration for Hogwarts?
Eat a Francesinha
Porto’s most famous sandwich, the Francesinha, is a must-try. The ingredients: bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, roasted meat, melted cheese, as well as warm spiced tomato and beer sauce.
Climb the Clérigos Tower
Climb 225 narrow steps to a 360-degree viewpoint of Porto’s cityscape, as well as famous bridges that span the resident Duoro River.