Porto: A Perfect Birthday Weekend

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I realized the other day that I still have not managed to put up a post on the fantastic city of Porto, Portugal, despite the fact that it’s been EIGHT MONTHS since our visit to celebrate my birthday. Looking back through the photos, I quickly remembered what a wonderful time we had in the home of Port wine and how much I adored its retro, artsy vibe. I would say Porto is best explored with a pastry in hand, as my husband sneakily captured in the snapshot below the break ūüôā¬†IMG_1674 9.50.55 PM.jpgAt this point, my memories of the long weekend somewhat blur together but there were a few standout highlights. Of course, there was our visit to the lovely Livraria Lello, which is gorgeous in its own right but even more of a hotspot since it was allegedly an inspiration for JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. We also really enjoyed our visit to the Porto cathedral, particularly its tiled cloister and the view above the city. One particularly perfect afternoon we went for a boat ride on the river and then walked across the bridge to Grahams Port Lodge where we watched the sunset from the terrace while sampling port wines and a Portuguese cheese board. We also explored the parks surrounding the Crystal Palace and visited a Steve McCurry photography exhibit that I could have spent hours upon hours inside. But perhaps my favorite activity of all was just wandering around the city, hunting for decorative tiles and stopping for some very affordable and delicious Portuguese cuisine whenever we needed a rest.

In terms of lodging, I can enthusiastically recommend the Porto River Hotel for its chic decor and convenient location, which, as its name suggests, is overlooking the river. And for your pastry needs, visit Confeitaria Sao Domingos, where we stocked up daily. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything you choose from their overflowing cases of sweets. Enjoy the photos!

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