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HIGHLIGHTS OF PORTO, PORTUGAL

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Khoi Nguyen

Porto is Portugal's second city, a definite must-see destination. Walking around this small city, you will be amazed by historic monuments, charismatic cobbled streets and endless abundance of Portuguese Charm.

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In Porto, it won’t take you long to start noticing all the amazing art and gorgeous architecture. As part of the city’s cultural heritage, the buildings in Porto have different stories to tell. While walking around, just look up at any of them, you will be able to find something unique and eye-catching, and then encounter the famous Portuguese tiles that can be seen from most buildings.

The famous Portuguese tiles Azulejos (which means hand-painted tiles) greet you on almost every corner in Porto. Old and new, utilitarian and decorative, they dance across the facades of medieval houses, the walls of cafes and bars, metro tunnels, cathedrals and train stations.

Architecture in Porto is the perfect combination between tradition and innovation, there are so many beautiful buildings to discover, and one of my favourite is Clérigos Church. This is a Baroque church in the heart of Porto, and once stepping inside I immediately got amazed by its extraordinary interior, before climbing up 225 steps of The church’s bell tower, for a spectacular view over the city.

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We ended our first day by doing what the young people do here in Porto: watching sunset, here I also got the chance to introduce my friend Monique to our group, who was going to show us more about the city from the local perspective. Monique is actually from Brazil, and she’s been living in Porto for nearly 3 years. With reasons like sharing the same language or similar cultures, Brazilians make up the biggest foreign community in Portugal.

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Our next day in Porto was about food, languages and sunset again. With its charm and friendly atmosphere combined with amazing cuisine, Porto, also known as Oporto will make you want to keep coming back here. Such a lovely and livable city!

Porto food will also surprise food lovers, once in Porto, make sure you try Francesinha, a local sandwich made with bread, ham, sausages, covered with melted chese and egg on top.

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Livraria Lello

If you are a fan of Harry Potter, visit Livraria Lello, the most famous bookstore in Porto.  Livraria Lello, or ‘Lello Bookstore’,  is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling when she was writing Harry Potter. Aside from this story, the stunning Gothic design is another good reason to check this place out. 

The river bank of Douro river is my favorite part in Porto. Sitting on the riverbank in the sun, listening to the city sounds and street performers' music was an unforgettable experience. My friend Monique also joined us to enjoy this beauty of Porto, talk about Portuguese lifestyle, language and also share interesting stories about our cultures.

No trip to this city could be completed without watching the city from the top of the double-decker Dom Louis I bridge. This bridge plays an important role as an icon of Porto, while spanning the River Douro and linking the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia with the main district Ribeira of the city.

The bridge’s top deck is reserved for pedestrians, as well as the city’s metro lines, and the views from there are simply stunning.  

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A lovely city full of kind and friendly people, Porto really stole my heart. Standing on top of the city watching the most beautiful sunset I ever saw in my life, I really felt lucky to be able to see the world this way. And I know this world is mine.

 

See you again, Porto! Obrigado.

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KHOI NGUYEN

Founder and Explorer

 I love taking photos, making travel documentary and connecting myself with people of different nationalities. As an explorer and founder of Viexplore, I have traveled to many places, created beautiful memories with the locals and other travelers. This is why I always want to be someone who represents my cultural identity to the world.

Follow me on Instagram: 

https://www.instagram.com/huukhoinguyen/

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