To celebrate finishing my Jan exams (which was an absolute stress), I took the opportunity to let my hair down in Porto, Portugal, in the week’s gap before restarting my lectures in term 2. I absolutely loved this city so I thought I’d write a Porto holiday guide for the sights, drinks and tasty vegan food to offer some travel inspiration!
I also wrote a holiday guide for Lisbon so check that out if you were thinking of visiting!
My Porto holiday guide
The weather was mild (around 16 C) so it will slightly chilly in the evenings but this didn’t take the beauty away from Porto at all as it was still really sunny and seeing as the city is really hilly, this weather was quite ideal as we didn’t sweat at all!
There’s so much to see in Porto as there are so many beautiful hidden streets around every corner. There’s quite a lot of street art and mosaics on buildings too so you could spend an entire day just exploring the streets alone.
This was one of my highlights of the entire trip as this amazing park had such beautiful views of the city- I’d recommend wearing comfy shoes though because there are a lot of hills!
This is an iconic place to visit in Porto (yes it is slightly tourist trappy but I would still recommend going). It is a grand library that is famous for being the place where JK Rowling was first inspired to write Harry Potter.
Porto is an arty city so there are plenty of museums, art stalls and exhibitions to visit. I went to the contemporary art museum which had some interesting sculptures and portraits. There was also a calming study area with huge hanging lightbulbs from the ceiling.
This is a perfect way to see the authenticity and vibrancy of the city. It’s an area with beautiful traditional buildings that’s overlooking the river with cute cafés and restaurants. I recommend walking there in the evening to see the sunset, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the views!
Portuguese food is top notch and I was so surprised by how many tasty vegan options there were with some restaurants being 100% meat-free.
When I went to Lisbon in 2017 I fell in love with their Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts) but i wasn’t vegan back then, so I was determined to find so dairy-free ones when I went to Porto this time round. We managed to find some when we went to a vegan buffet restaurant called De Terra. From memory, I do think the non-vegan ones taste slightly better from memory because of the crispier pastry, but these were still so tasty anyway especially with the sprinkled cinnamon and icing sugar!
If you want to have a go at making your own vegan Portuguese custard tarts then follow this link for the recipe!
Porto is famous for their mammoth sandwich called the Francesinha filled with around three different meats and melted cheese served with lashings of gravy. But don’t worry, most restaurants offer veggie and even vegan options. I tried one and it was filled with a veggie sausages and grilled veg wrapped in courgette- I really liked it but it was super filling and I only ordered a half portion!
Here are my top 5 vegan restaurants/meals that I visited:
I had to include this restaurant in my Porto holiday guide as this was potentially the best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten (I know, big statement). The one I had was filled with huge portobello mushrooms, creamy guacamole and sweet caramelised onions. We had a glass of sangria on the side which made the meal even tastier! The burger was served with herby fries and was only 6 euros!
We went here for the Francesinha (see above) and we loved it! They had big portions and the staff were really friendly too.
A vegan buffet restaurant offering a range of salads and pastries- and of course vegan Portuguese custard tarts. I’d recommend going at lunch time as it’s cheaper then than over dinner.
This isn’t really a restaurant but more of a community space but their traditional food is really tasty, 100% veggie and super cheap – we only paid 7 euros for a starter and a main!
I loved this place for lunch- all the ingredients were really fresh and everything was homemade- their hummus was amazing! The atmosphere was chilled too with funky plants dotted around the café.
Porto has a lively nightlife as all the uni students who study in the city go out to local bars. The main area is called Galerias de Paris which has loads of café style bars with cheap drinks and quirky decor.
For a fancy cocktail overlooking stunning views I would recommend going to Hotel Dom Henrique which has a bar on the top floor where you see the whole landscape of Porto. We timed it so that we were there for sunset which was such a memorable experience as the colour of the sky was so beautiful.
We stayed in LOST apartments which was a 10 minute walk from the main square. I would 100% recommend this place as it was really reasonably priced (around £20 each per night) and the owner was so friendly and hospitable- he even offered us a complimentary bottle of port upon arrival!
I hope you enjoyed ready my Porto holiday guide, check out my other travel posts for more holiday inspo!