We are well and truly into the summer months. The clocks are on British Summer Time, the flowers on my balcony are in bloom, but why can I still not shed that jacket I’ve been wearing? That’s the question most Londoners ask before they flock to the sunny shores of neighbouring European destinations.
But what about the winter months? We have been living in London for over 4 years now and have friends from all over Europe (and the world). Every time you ask them about holidaying in their homeland, the sentence always ends with “oh but you should go in summer, it’s amazing!”.
Being the kind of rule-breakers, we are, Mrs FOMOist and I went to Porto December last year. Considering that now we are in July 2019, rather than giving you a blow-by-blow account of what we did, below is a quick summary of our first winter adventure in Porto with a few pictures to feast your eyes on.
Porto in December
Weather: While it might not be the best to make the most of the beautiful coast-line, it is at least 10 degrees warmer than London, with plenty of sunshine to top up on Vitamin D.
Where to stay: I would highly recommend Apartamentos The Arc Carrís. These are luxuriously affordable self-service apartment, close to the coastline that gives you a great base to explore the city and the sea, easily.
What to do: Get lost in the cobblestone streets on Porto or go across the bridge and walk the streets of another city, Gaia. This also gives you the opportunity to brag about another city that you’ve visited. Porto Free Walking Tour is a must-do to tick off all the major tourist attractions in under 3 hours.
What to eat: If you are in Porto, it is a sacrilege to leave without trying the infamous Francesinha. It’s a glorious Portuguese sandwich with multiple layers of meat and drowned in tomato and beer gravy. It might not sound (or look) the best, but take my word for it, it’s the best thing made with sliced bread. To try the best Francesinha in town, I recommend Zenith Café, but make sure you book!
What to drink: Now, you can’t visit Porto and leave without trying a range of port wine. Rather than doing tasting tours, I suggest that you walk around Gaia and sneak in and out of the different wineries. If you rather relax in a cosy setting and let the experts make all the hard decisions for you, then I highly recommend a bar called The Wine Barrels. Located by the banks of River Duoro, the wait staff in friendly and must drink a lot, given their passion and knowledge of port.
Not really a fan of port or a meaty sandwich? Get out! Okay, I understand, it might not be your cup of cha. If variety is your thing and you like the convenience of it all being in one place, then Mercado Municipal de Gaia is a must-visit. It’s an amazing food and drinks market with everything from traditional Portuguese cuisine to fresh sushi, from port wine to craft beers.
How to get to Porto: On a direct flight London to Porto in 2 hours and 20 minutes.