Porto ’23

I recently read someone on Instagram describe how all European villages in Studio Ghibli movies are often depicted as ‘clusters of terracotta roofs on a steep hill’ and that nowhere lives up to that expectation until they went to Porto and I can’t stop thinking about how accurate that was. 

Last year P surprised me with a short city break to said destination. It was my first time on Portuguese soil – and I can honestly say it stole the show for me. 

Having been fortunate enough to travel to a plethora of European destinations in my time. To me, Portugal has it all. I can only describe it as having some of the best parts of Spain & France mixed with the cleanliness, efficiency and feeling of complete safety as that of a German city, such as Dusseldorf for example. 

I often feel that to be truly comfortable in a foreign place we should ask ourselves often what is it we travel for? 

If it’s to get smashed in a ‘British pub’ but with mid-20-degree weather, then I’d argue Porto or in general, Portugal won’t be for you whatsoever. If you’re intrigued by history and architecture and have a hankering for good food and drink then we’re on the same page. 

I found it to be packed with history, excellent food, and hidden gems aplenty, across many undulating hills and winding roads Porto was a dream-like place for me. The waterfront restaurants and neighbouring areas were a break from the standard hotspots of tourism, which I seldom partake in.

The Graff and Mural scenes appear to co-exist well, a refreshing reflection of both the city’s history and its modernity. What I had noted though is that most of the Graffiti there was new (to 2023/last year at least). The buff is in full effect but, there are no real signs of it – not like other country’s use of greys and magnolias to cover handstyles etc. It’s just not there in a typical sense. Making it the perfect playground for any writer who deems themselves truly active. Alongside two neighbouring Graff stores to boot!

My taste for the country, in general, has certainly grown since, so note this will not be the last time you’ll see it appear on my blog, that I’m certain. 

If you get a chance, get it on your hitlist – If only for a long weekend. Thank me later.