Portugal Travel Guide: Porto Edition

Portugal Travel Guide: Porto Edition

From the azulejos and cobblestone streets to the brightly colored doors and Manueline style architecture, Portugal has our hearts. We left with full bellies and camera rolls, and a whole lot of inspiration! Keep reading to see where we stayed and ate, what we did and wore, sneak peeks of FW24, and a special note about our manufacturing.

Recommended length of stay for a trip to Porto and Lisbon:

  • 3-4 days in Lisbon (2 full days in Lisbon, 1 day trip to Sintra & Cascais)
  • 2-3 days in Porto (1-2 full days in Porto, 1 day trip to Douro Valley or Aveiro & Costa Nova)

Where we stayed:

  • Torel Palace Porto for two nights - Beautiful hotel in a slightly quieter area but still close to everything.
  • Vintage Pestana Hotel for two nights - It sits at the bottom of a hill on the river where you will find many restaurants, crowds of people, and live music. A very lively and energetic spot.
  • Other hotel recs that we saw/heard about: The Yeatman Hotel (on the other side of the river) and Torel Avantgarde (both 5 star hotels)

(Far Left & Middle: Torel Palace | Far Right: Across the street from Pestana Vintage)

What we did:

  • Gazete Tile Workshop - Gazete Tile is working to preserve the art of azulejos. In the class, you will learn about the history of the tiles and pick 2 to paint from dozens of templates. They have to fire them and then you pick them up the next day. 
  • Tuk Tuk Tour - There are lots of hills and stairs, so we recommend a tuk tuk over a walking tour.
  • Private boat cruise along Ribeira do Porto and 6 Bridges - Fun activity pre-dinner. It was a slow cruise down the river. They served champagne and played music and ended with a view of the sunset.
  • Stopped in the Porto São Bento Train Station for a quick photo 
  • Day trip to Douro Valley for a wine tasting - There are lots of vineyards to visit in Douro Valley. We visited Quinta de Pacheca and had our hotel set us up with a driver. 
  • Day trip to Aveiro & Costa Nova - Both are cute towns but there isn't a ton to do. Aveiro is known as the "Venice of Portugal." We did a one hour boat ride in a traditional moliceiro boat in Aveiro, walked around, and then drove to Costa Nova to see the iconic striped houses.

(Far Left: Douro Valley | Middle: Private Boat Cruise Along Douro River | Far Left: Costa Nova)

Fave shops in Porto:

  • Panamar - Fun concept store with local Portuguese designers
  • Mercado do Bolhão - Food tastings
  • Aramarte - Local tile shop. The woman that runs the shop is a designer and her husband sculpts all of the tiles you see and works with the architects in town to preserve and replace missing or broken azulejos. 
  • There are tons of touristy shops selling tiles and ceramics. We recommend skipping those and finding the local spots. 

    (Far Left: Aramarte | Middle: Panamar | Far Left: Ceramics shop in Aveiro)

    Where we ate:

    Kindly note, we primarily ate at steakhouses due to Lawson's unfortunate and severe food allergies. We recommend doing some of your own research in this department 😉 

    • Chez Lapin - A cute local spot by the river
    • Nicolau - A healthy lunch spot 
    • Flow Restaurant & Bar
    • RIB Beef & Wine by the river in Pestana Vintage Hotel
    • Portuguese foods to try: Francesinha, Pasteis de Nata, Port Wine, & Ginjinha 

    (Far Left: Unknown | Middle: Chez Lapin | Far Left: Flow Restaurant)

     Best spots for photos:

    • Getting lost in the tiny streets by the river
    • Igreja do Carmo - A very popular spot for photos
    • Capela das Almas
    • Torre dos Clérigos - A tower with a great views
    • Tiled walls - You will find these everywhere!

    (Far Left: Igreja de Carmo | Middle: Random Street | Far Left: Random Alleyway)

    Tips for Porto:

    • We recommend 1-2 full days in Porto with one day for a trip to a nearby town. Porto is very walkable so you can see a lot in a short time. 
    • From what we saw, Porto has limited shopping. There is one street with lots of stores, but they were mostly mainstream retailers, and we were on a mission to find local boutiques with smaller designers.
    • Porto is much smaller than Lisbon and more traditional. It's not as modern and metropolitan, but it still the second largest city in Portugal.
    • Prepare yourself for lots of hills and stairs.
    • The Libraria Lello Bookstore you might see online apparently has nothing to do with Harry Potter like people say, but is a really pretty bookstore. If you do go, buy a ticket online beforehand because there is a long line.
    • Visit the Parque Infantil Cordoaria - Our tour guide said these were the trees that inspired the dark forest in Harry Potter.
    • It was very safe! I stayed for a day and a half by myself before my Mom and sister joined me and felt very comfortable. 

    What we wore:

    Shop what we wore here.


    One more special note...

    Part of our trip was for sourcing and manufacturing. While there, we met with an amazing manufacturing partner who specializes in terry and knitted fabrics. While they had all the certifications (GOTS, Oeko Tex Class 1, GRS, sustainable production in Europe, better cotton, etc.), you could tell in talking with them that sustainability is truly a part of their DNA, and has been since the beginning. It was so wonderful getting to meet with them face to face, feel all their fabrics, see all the machines and employees, and chat over a wonderful lunch overlooking a vineyard. We are so excited to expand our capabilities and fabrications, and we are especially excited to bring production to Europe. Stay tuned. 





    P.S. Comment below with any questions and we'll get back to you!

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