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Advice offered

Preston
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251 posts
39 reviews
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Advice offered

Just returned from a brilliant week in Porto in Portugal. If anyone wants advice about hotel, getting around, airport, places to visit in the city or the surrounding region, then I'm your man!

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shrewsbury
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170 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Advice offered

Hi Kenneth, glad to here you enjoyed your stay in Porto. We normally visit Lisbon and the Silver Coast but for our anniversary I want to venture North to Porto. Ideally stay in the centre so that all major attractions can be visited easily, good restaurants, bars within walking distance but more importantly a hotel with good facilities and a little bit more up market without being too expensive.

Many thanks in anticipation!

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Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon District, Portugal
Preston
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251 posts
39 reviews
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2. Re: Advice offered

We stayed at the Porto Sao Joao Ibis Hotel. It was a good basic Ibis hotel. We got a good rate on the net of 35 euros per night though I notice it has gone back up to the normal 47 euros now. Rooms had bath and shower, TV, etc. (but sadly ho tea making facilities). That is the cost for the room. Breakfast is a 5.50 euros buffet with all manner of meats, cheeses, croissants, etc. No bacon and egg I'm afraid but I don't miss that. I like the continental style. We do a lot of city breaks and don't tend to go for the upmarket hotels – rather spend the money on more holidays. We flew here with Ryanair from Liverpool.

The new airport is very swish as is the electric metro tram system. I would recommend you get 3 day Andante Tour cards (11 euros) which gives you unlimited travel on the metro, buses and old tram network. You swipe them rather like the Oyster cards in London. The metro will take you straight into the city centre. Our hotel was a 10 minute metro ride from there. I can give you directions should you opt for staying there.

Porto itself has lots of history to see. Go to the Tourist Information Office in the main street, Avienda dos Aliados for street maps, etc. You can take a 10 euro boat trip along the river in the city going under the bridges from the Douro riverside in the historic Ribeira district. Also go to the Cafe Majestic, Livraria Lello (bookshop), cathdedral, Sao Bento railway station, etc. to admire the architecture. Do go inside the churches – the decoration is amazing.

With your Andante Tour pass you can go to Povoa de Varzim (last stop on red B metro line). This is a lovely seaside resort. Go on a Sunday if you can and watch the Portugese strolling up and down the prom in their 'Sunday best' !!! Go also to Vila do Conde (5 stops from end of red B line). This is a beautiful seaside resort with lovely beach.

I would also recommend some train rides out of the city from Sao Bento railway station. Fares are so cheap and the trains clean and efficient. Tickets you buy from the yellow painted office just to the side of the station foyer.

1.Espinho – a fishing village south of Porto. We got there in the morning and watched the fishermen haul in their net and sort the fish then and there on the beach. Fascinating! 2.8 euros return.

2.Braga – a pretty historic town. 4.3 euros return. While there get the number 2 bus to Bom Jesus, a church built on the hillside with 579 steps upto it (yes, I counted them!). There is a funicular railway for the less energetic. 1.4 euros single. Details from the Tourist Information office in the square

3.Guimaraes – a pretty town packed with history – castle, ducal palace, churches, etc. Don't go on a Monday though as everything is closed, including the cable car which affords a great view over the town. 4.3 euros return.

You can also get whole day boat trips up the Douro River to include lunch and drinks. You see the grapes growing for the port. These are 50+ euros. They only run certain days. We missed out on that trip.

The opposite bank of the river is Gaia where you will see the port signs – Crofts, Sandeman's, Cockburn's, etc. They all do free tastings (!). We went to Croft's and had a free guided tour, in English, of the making , barrel stores, etc. followed by more tasting.

Anything else do contact me...

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Liverpool
Liverpool
Merseyside, UK
Aliados
Aliados
69 Reviews
Porto, Portugal
Gaia
Gaia
6 Reviews
Porto, Portugal
shrewsbury
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170 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: Advice offered

Many thanks Ken. I am hoping to stay at the Pestana, a bit more than I would like to pay as it is only a base but it is our wedding anniversary! I have travelled to Porto before but not stayed there.

Thanks again.

4. Re: Advice offered

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