My last day in Porto began with visiting two local markets! The first market had more homemade items like earrings, necklaces, and art prints, while the second market had antique goods. On our way to market #2, Miriam and I passed by the outside of Steak n’ Shake. Isn’t the exterior beautiful?
After the second market, I parted ways with Miriam to go to Clérigos Church and Tower.
Diego highly recommended going here because the tower provided fantastic aerial views of Porto. For 5 euros, you are given access to the museum, which provides some history of the church’s architect and construction, as well as iconoclasm and its role in Portugal.
I did not realize I would be able to go through the museum portion. All in all, I found the information and artifacts on display to be very interesting!
I will say Clérigos Church and Tower is EXTREMELY touristy! The stairway you must go through to reach the top of the tower is VERY narrow. If you are claustrophobic, I do no recommend visiting. For me, I almost feel I went to the top of the tower and snapped my photos and came back down. There were so many people that I could not focus and take in the view because there was not a whole lot of room to move around.
After I wrapped up at Clérigos Church and Tower, I met back up with Miriam and we walked to Church of São Francisco. This particular church is famous for its Baroque interior and exterior and catacombs. Additionally, Church of São Francisco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admission is 7 euros, which includes entrance to the museum, catacombs, and church.
For the museum portion, information was given on the church’s history and some of the interior rooms.
This was my first time seeing any sort of catacombs and the whole experience can be summed up in one word: eerie. The tombs below Church of São Francisco are numbered with names and some have skulls on top. When walking around each area of the catacombs, the wood floor squeaks which adds to the whole experience. One portion of the floor had clear Plexiglas inserted which showed the bones and skulls below my feet! Due to legislation, people can no longer be buried in the catacombs.
Next, Miriam and I headed to the portion of Church of São Francisco where services are held. Now, no pictures were allowed. However, I decided to hide behind some pillars where the security guard couldn’t see me if she happened to peak her head inside; therefore, the pictures are not amazing nor do they adequately capture the amount of gold in Church of São Francisco.
After absorbing the beauty of Church of São Francisco, Miriam and I walked across the street to another church that had beautiful blue tiles. My dress matched pretty perfectly I will say!
Nearby the churches happened to be another market with locally produced clothing, jewelry, and art. Miriam and I ate our packed lunches on the grass listening to the music and enjoying the sunshine.
After lunch, we both walked around together exploring some more as we had checked off our big “to-do’s” for the day. The two of us stopped in a bar and antique store combo to look around. The exterior had these fabulous chairs attached to the wall.
At this point, Miriam and I split up for the afternoon. I decided to walk across the Luís I Bridge, which connects Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. On this side of the river, I walked through another market and took in the view of Porto from the other side. I also wandered through some alleyways, which had some fantastic art and more local shops. Compared to the Porto side along the Douro River, Gaia seemed to have more restaurants and wine tasting opportunities.
After exploring, I headed back to our Airbnb where I met up with Miriam.
For our last night in Porto, we decided to go out and get tapas for dinner! I found a tapas bar on Yelp! called Tascö. The two of us lucked out because the restaurant had a table available until 9:00 pm. Most people eating here had made reservations.
Based on our waitresses recommendation, we ordered two different rices (not intentional, on accident, one had beans and the other tomatoes), pataniscas de bacalhau (codfish “pancake”), pantaniscas de polvo (octopus “pancake”), pico-pau (mixture of grilled meats) and sangria. Everything was delicious and we were stuffed at the end of our meal!
The following morning, Miriam and I Ubered to the airport at 4:00 am and said farewell to Porto and Portugal. Unfortunately, I ended up sick in the morning…I only put this on here because I want to remember the embarrassing moment of having to retch into the trashcan at the airport FOUR times! Haha! Cross my heart I was not hungover!
All in all, Porto, Portugal, made for the most perfect long weekend! After reflecting on my three days in Porto, I do believe this particular Portuguese city is made for relaxing. I do not think tourists visit the coastal town specifically to go to museums, not to say they are not fabulous! Rather, I think people vacation in Porto to do wine tours through the nearby Douro Valley and spend time at the beach.
Is Portugal on your bucket list now? I sure hope so!
That’s all for this week! See you back here on Monday! Obrigado (thank you), Portugal!
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