About cara f
Lives in Capitola, California
Since Feb 2014
Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Architectural Buildings, Railways
Observation Decks & Towers, Churches & Cathedrals
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Farmers Markets
Bodies of Water
Sacred & Religious Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks
About a 15 minute walk from Sao Bento station, and a bit uphill, you will come upon the impressive Porto Cathedral, or Se Catedral. After visiting the cloisters and strolling around the impressive interior, including 18th-century 'azulejos' (tiles,) sit for a spell and contemplate the beautiful Gothic rose window, built in the 12th-century.
Built in 1900 and adorned with over 20,000 blue and white tiles called 'azulejos,' the Sao Bento Rail Station is more than a transportation hub. Make time to take in the magnificent vestibule: The paintings on the tiles tell the stories of royals, transportation, wars, and the common plight of the peasants. Across the street is a lovely park, so pick up a picnic and enjoy the station from the inside and out, making for a lovely, low cost date.
The majestic span and feminine curves of this bridge entice couples to walk along it, taking in the magnificent views of both sides of the River Douro. And if a leisurely walk doesn't bring out the romantic in you, try stopping in at a Port house on the Gaia side for a wine tasting before strolling back.
Steps from the Marques de Pombal park and the Metro stop by the same name, you will find the tiny and unassuming eatery Portugandhi. With a blend of Portuguese and Indian cuisines, a sort of Indian Fusion is born. Beautiful presentation and luscious flavors dominate the menu. A great spot for a romantic dinner for two: Grab a little table, take recommendations from the owner, and enjoy!
The weather is a little blustery? Grab a poncho and head over to the Clerigos Tower, a wonderful place to experience at a slow pace without crowds. Climb the ancient spiral staircase up to the top, where you can watch passersby far away on the street. Getting a little wet with rain can be a very romantic thing, especially when you have to snuggle a bit to stay warm!
Looking for a quaint and funky place for a fresh seafood lunch? Find your way to the Mercado Bolhao mid-day during the week. Go a little early and grab a little table in the middle of the market. There, you will be served only what is fresh, and the cooks will get your order from the vendors at the market. It's great value and a lot of fun!
It doesn't matter how you get down to the riverside — whether you stroll or take the funicular — but once you are there, you won't be able to resist walking along the river. Check out the nooks and crannies of the area and discover interesting little shops with unique artistic works, hidden restaurants, and the like, or hang out in the Ribeira plaza and check out the statue of St. John the Baptist while you sip some wine. The walk along the Gaia side of the river is lovely, too — and you can stop in and taste some Port at one of the many Port houses that line the river.
On an average street a block from the riverside, it would be easy to miss ODE Porto Wine House, but it would be a tragedy if you did. Make a reservation and treat you and your loved one to some of the best in Portuguese fine dining. ODE strives to be seasonal and local, and the setting is absolutely one of the most romantic in Porto. Leave your watch at the hotel because the service is relaxed, and leave your credit cards too, as they only take cash.
Skip the long and often hot walk down to the River Douro and take the funky Guindais Funicular. It's a short ride for sure, but a quirky, fun one down the nearly 1,000 feet from the Batalha station at the top to Ribeira at the bottom. From the bottom you can continue your stroll down the River Douro or make your way over the bridge to Gaia.
You don't have to go inside the Capela das Almas or Chapel of the Souls to enjoy the beautiful azulejo tile work adorning the outside. These beautiful tiles show scenes in the lives of several saints. Take some time to look at the amazing details here, then keep moving along Rua Santa Catarina for some incredible shopping.
Santa Catarina boasts an eclectic and delicious collection on shops that is bound to please. You'll find pastries and ham, cheeses, and hand made candies. If you are a book lover, or fascinated by Harry Potter, then stopping by Livraria Lello is a must, as it was featured in the movies. This is also a great avenue to find the perfect ingredients for a quiet picnic later, along the River Douro.