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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

10 Travel Tips to eat, create & walk your way round the city of Porto

“Welcome home, Elena.” 🙂

As soon as I arrive in Porto, the city as well as the beautiful, warm-hearted Portuguese people really make me feel like that: “Home again”. Welcoming me to a city that has won my heart in many ways. Welcoming me, yet again, as I am on my way to delivering my first-ever keynote speech for Tourism Portugal’s Heritage Fair in the university town of Coimbra.

And what could be more natural for me, the creative traveller, to discover firsthand, a new and exciting creative travel addition to the city of Porto? You probably all know, or at least have heard about, Porto’s famous Port wine cellars, the riverside bars & restaurants, the charm of the old town. But did you know that you can now paint your own Azulejos tile after an “Azulejos” walk around the city? Enjoy a delightful fusion of Argentinian & Portuguese food in the recently opened Belos Aires restaurant? Or even be welcomed “home” with a home-made foodie basket, delivered straight to the door of your apartment, featuring local delights from the city of Porto — all made with love? 😀

Here are 10 creative foodie travel tips not to be missed during your next stay in Porto – easily manageable in three days. Or more. As you are likely to lose yourself, your heart and your calorie counter here …


1. “DaJoana”. It literally means, “From Joana”. (With love).

Joana is a wonderful, powerful, and very creative woman. She has an appetite “larger than life” and, quite literally, won’t stop talking if you quiz her on the right topics – food & Porto, that is. Throw in a good knowledge of marketing as well as her absolute love for the local food from Porto, and you get a welcome gift of a kind: A basket complete with her home-made food, drinks (Espumante do Porto!), cutlery, glasses, board, everything you need delivered to your Porto doorstep upon arrival to the city.

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Unforgettable: Our first night in Porto with a view … and a local food & winelover tasting “DaJoana”.

 

Yummy Porto food on my plate ...

Yummy Porto food on my plate …

 

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… as well as meeting my dear friend Rita, of “OPortoEncanta.com” .. Check out Joana’s page & more information about her tasty home food delivery here: https://www.facebook.com/dajoanasegredo

 

2. Francesinhas. Those “little French girls” have at least 2.000 calories each (we are talking about a sandwich of a kind .. not the real French girls of course).

So do dare and go for the Francesinha experience when in Porto. O Golfinho, Taberna Santo António, as well as Taberna Santiago all share good portions of them. Read more here about why they perfectly complete your #winelover experience of Porto, as seen through the eyes of my local friends here in Porto.

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Boa apetite no Porto!

 

3. Belos Aires pairs a love affair of food & people for the cities of Buenos Aires and Porto. 

Check out Belos Aires Restaurant in Rua de Belomonte, just two steps away from the city’s famous Palácio da Bolsa or Clérigos Tower. If you are a meat lover, then this is your place to go to: Juicy Argentinian steaks are preceded by a creative fusion of typical, local Porto flavours.

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Steak time …

 

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… with friends in Porto (remember André & his delicious Taste Porto Food Tours? Do not miss to join him on any one of his upcoming food tours in Porto: Here is why.!).

 

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Love the creative vibes behind the team of Belos Aires: Talking with Maurício & Elisabete about my “Creative Traveler’s Handbook” and its many creative foodie references around the world.

 

4. FishFixe. The “Cool Fish” restaurant, right by the riverside of beautiful downtown Porto.

If Belos Aires is your place for a meat lover experience of a kind, FishFixe is the place to go to for fish & seafood of all kinds. “We will be here again in November”, my friend Rita tells me with a smile, proud of mentioning “FishFixe” as one of her partners in the Second Brazilian Bloggers Congress taking place in Porto next month, a congress that has me speak about “Turismo Criativo” yet again – in Portuguese, that is. You see, Porto has this thing about sticking on you … easily, I’d say. Here are more reasons why.

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Lunch with a view: Tasting famous Bacalhão Porto codfish at FishFixe restaurant, located right by Porto’s well-known Ponte Dom Luis bridge …

 

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… cheers to being here with my lovely friends: Marc Vayreda, of Alberg Costa Brava, Kash Battacharya, of “The Budget Traveller”, as well as Rita Branco, of “O Porto Encanta”.!

 

5. For walking off all those calories … head over to the Gardens of Palácio de Cristal, offering some of the most beautiful views of the Douro river & Vila Nova de Gaia.

Lovely, especially now in the autumn as the leaves start changing colours … take your friend, partner or else by the hand and head over here, where …

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… hidden treasures & caves …

 

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… magnificent birds …

 

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… and impeccable views are waiting for you.

 

6. Never to be missed – A visit to the enchanting Livraria Lello.

And I still recommend you to do so, despite the fact they are now charging you a “tourism tax” of € 3,- per person just to enter. The enchanting, central wooden staircase, the bookshelves towering on both sides as you walk in, the feeling of inspiration J.K. Rowling got here and that continues to remind you of Harry Potter today … It is worth your while to get lost in here, book worm or not.

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Love Livraria Lello …

 

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… and did you know that right outside of it, you can just escape the crowds by sitting down in this nice & quiet garden patch?! Happy discoveries of more “hidden places” in Porto.!

 

7. On your way down to Douro river, stop at Estacão São Bento Train Station as well as Porto Cathedral for a wonderful view across town.

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The Azulejos tiles at Sao Bento train station are one of a kind in all of Europe …

 

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… as is the gorgeous Porto view on a sunny morning, taken from the cathedral square near the Bishop’s Palace.

 

8. Cais da Ribeira. There is a reason why they are hugely popular with the tourists …

… and sometimes, it does feel good just to relax and mingle with them, trading in adventure & discovery for a chillaxed, lazy morning coffee & sandwiches on Porto’s famous riverside banks, called “Cais da Ribeira”.

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Chillaxing by the Douro river: One of the best things to do in Porto city.!

 

9. And as we are talking about Douro river, we need to talk about (and pause at) its most famous bridge, A Ponte Dom Luis.

I recommend you to cross it just before nightfall, as it yields the most exciting opportunities for great travel photography. Trust me, even if you are not a very well-trained photographer: The light and the ambiance will certainly do wonders … Check this out.

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Magic: Getting onto Ponte Dom Luis bridge at nightfall …

 

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… enjoying sunset views like these over the Douro river and Porto city.

 

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I just love this bridget upside down, inside out. You?

 

10. Last but not least, here is my perhaps most interesting creative travel revelation as of recent kinds. Try “Passear & Azulejar”: A walking tour around historical, Azulejos-tile-covered buildings followed by painting your own Azulejos in Porto!

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Just recently, ceramic tile artist & historian Ninoska as well as Rita Branco, of “OPortoEncanta.com” got together devising a creative Azulejos walk around town

 

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… explaining all about the art of making azulejos …

 

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… finding them just about anywhere …

 

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… anywhere …

 

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… in the city of Porto.

 

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Sometimes, they do take you away to feeling like part of the Arab world, much further south …

 

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… and certainly serve to inspire you …

 

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… for creating your own just a little later.

 

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At Cafe Duas Letras near the famous, Azulejos-tile covered train station São Bento, we are served port wine as well as …

 

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… further inspiration to become creative with painting Azulejos tiles.!

 

Et voilá: Two days later, Niruska delivers us our very own Azulejos tile as a perfect souvenir of the city of Porto! Find out here how you can do one, too.

Et voilá: Two days later, Ninoska delivers us our very own Azulejos tile as a perfect souvenir of the city of Porto! Find out here how you can do one, too.

 

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
The Creative Traveler's Handbook: Happy Birthday & London WTM Release Party!
#SomosPatrimonio: Creative Travel Keynote Speech in Coimbra, Portugal

4 Comments

  1. Rita Branco

    Elena!!! Obrigada!!! Cada vez que vens ao Porto, nos enche de orgulho!
    És uma andorinha!!!

    Até Novembro!!!

    Reply
    • Elena

      Obrigada eu, Rita querida. 🙂

      Até novembro – can’t wait to be back in Porto once more! Soon again ❤️

      Reply
  2. Paulo Cunha

    Shame on me not metting you everytime you visit Porto !
    Mea Culpa 🙁 Elena….
    I’m so eager to meet you for real. You speak so passionately about Porto that I feel you like if you were my family.
    And your smile is gorgeous…

    Xoxo…
    Paulo

    Reply

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