Porto, Portugal


Porto Portugal | www.germanyja.comOver the Veteran’s Day holiday weekend, my family and I traveled to Porto, Portugal. It is a 17 hour drive from the Ramstein area or a 2 ½ hour flight from Frankfurt, Hahn. Porto is located in near the Douro River in Northern Portugal. It has become well known for the port wine produced in the region. While we were in the area, we were fortunate enough to spend time walking through the city, taking in the sights and admiring the building decorated in the beautiful tile work. The first day was spent walking around the city. We were trying to decide what landmarks we wanted to spend more time visiting, sampled some port wine and we took a cable car ride over the Douro River. The second day was spent on a full day tour of the Douro River wine region and finally the last day was spend with more sightseeing. Porto has a great public transportation system, so we took the Metro everywhere we needed to go. We would love to visit the area again and would recommend the area as a family friendly spot to visit.

Some of the highlights of our trip included a stop to the Livraria Lello & Irmão Book Store, Palácio da Bolsa (stock exchange palace), the São Bento train station, the Mercado Bolhão Market and the Clérigos Tower.

Livraria Lello Porto, Portugal | www.germanyja.comLivraria Lello & Irmão Book Store

I can really believe how the bookstore may have been an inspiration for JK Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter books. When you walk in you are just overwhelmed by how amazing and magical a book store can be. From the grand staircase in the center of the store to the stained glass ceiling to the massive shelves of books. It is a free attraction so it gets very very crowded and you can only take pictures Monday to Friday from 9 to 10 but it definitely a must see if you are in Porto.

Palácio da Bolsa Porto, Portugal| www.germanyja.comPalácio da Bolsa

We had a great morning visiting Porto’s stock exchange. We arrived just before the museum opened, so we had a private tour. They offer tours in Portuguese and English. I thought that it was well worth the 7 euro per person to visit. The rooms were beautiful.   The Arabian room was what attracted us to the tour. It was beautiful and very ornately decorated. My favorite room was the General Assembly room. It looked like the room was completely covered in wood and we found out that it was actually plaster painted to look like wood. The General Assembly room also features a wooden table that was hand carved for over three years. It was beautiful.

São Bento Train Station Porto, Portugal | www.germanyja.comSão Bento Train Station

Mercado Bolhão Market Porto, Portugal | www.germanyja.comYou may think that the train station is a normal hustling and bustling train station, but it is so much more. We welcomed the visit to the train station as a short escape from the rain and were amazed by its grand front hall. The walls are covered with massive murals made from 20,000 blue and white tiles. It was nice to take a break and enjoy the beauty of the artwork.

Mercado Bolhão Market

The market it neatly tucked in an alley way behind the center of the city. It is very rustic looking but most of the buildings in Porto are. We learned that the locals do not make any type of cosmetic upgrades to their buildings because of rent control issues. We love to visit local markets, and this has been one of our favorites. There were two floors of stands with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. The market also has a café and a small diner where you can stop for a snack or for a quick meal. I loved the stands that had local artisans selling linens and fresh flower arrangements.

Clérigos Tower Porto, Portugal | www.germanyja.comClérigos Tower

If you can handle the 240 step climb up to the top of the tower you are in for a treat. The staircase is narrow and can be difficult to climb, but the views from the top are amazing. You can see spectacular views of Porto from 76 meters up. If you are not up for the climb, the tower- not easily missed – is quite beautiful itself and there are plenty of shops/cafes close by the tower.

Tips for Your Trip:

Porto Portugal | www.germanyja.comLivraria Lello

Rua das Carmelitas 144
4050-159 Porto, Portugal

Open hours:
Monday-Friday: 1000 – 1930
Saturday: 1000-1900
On Monday -Friday store opens at 0900 for those who want to take pictures, but all photos are done at 1000. 

Palácio da Bolsa


Rua Ferreira Borges 22
4050-253 Porto, Portugal

Open hours:
SUMMER HOURS (April to October)
9:00 a.m. – 18:30 (Monday to Sunday)
WINTER HOURS (November to March)
9:00 a.m. – 12:30
14h00 – 17h30 (Monday to Sunday)

Tickets for guided tour:
Individual ticket: € 7.00
Student / Senior: € 4.00
(Children up to 12 years if accompanied by parents, admission is free).

Tours in Portuguese, Spanish, English & French

São Bento Train StationPorto Portugal | www.germanyja.com

Praca Almeida Garrett,
Porto 4000-069Portugal

Mercado Bolhão Market

Rua de Fernandes Tomás 623,
4000-217 Porto, Portugal

Monday – Friday 0700 – 1700
Saturday 0700-1300

Clérigos Tower


Rua Senhor Filipe de Nery
4050-614 Porto, Portugal

Vary by season. See here.


Other things to do in Portugal:

Five Favorites from Spain and Portugal

Duoro River Valley






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