Porto: Day 1

I don’t really know where to start with my Porto trip. I was blown away with the beauty of this Portuguese city. My first introduction to the city (apart from my couchsurfer’s house and metro lol) was grandiose church Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas (Carmo and Carmelitas Church) which is actually two churches. They are separated by a very narrow house. Apparently, the purpose of this house was to prevent any contact between nuns and monks.

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Igreja dos Carmelitas (on the left) & Igreja do Carmo (on the right). Wall of azulejos (tiles) depicting the funding of Carmelite Order on the side of the Carmo church.

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Baroque opulence inside the Carmo church

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Universidade do Porto (Univeristy of Porto)

When in Porto you cannot miss magical looking bookshop Livraria Lello. It is believed that J.K.Rowling was inspired by this bookshop to write Harry Potter which according to the author herself is not true 😀 The bookshop indeed does look like it belongs to Hogwarts. There is a fee to enter the place but it’s totally worth it. It was super crowded and I was a bit annoyed because I hate the crowds so my pictures don’t do justice to the place. As you can see the staircase is already worn out (is that the right word to use?) by the amounts of tourists. It was impossible to take a good picture on the stairs.

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My beloved shoes which I had to leave somewhere when I couldn’t fit them into my suitcase 😀

After beautiful bookshop experience I took a walk around city centre. I passed by Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), the tallest bell tower in Portugal. It’s possible to go inside. I didn’t visit the tower, I have no idea why 😀 Probably because it was already too late (judging by the time on the pictures) and the tower was about to close. I bet the view from the tower has to be exceptional. I had one goal on my walk, it was Estação de São Bento (São Bento Railway Station). The interior of the station looks like a museum with all the blue azulejos murals.

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Torre dos Clérigos

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Igreja dos Clérigos

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Praça da Liberdade (Liberty Square)

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Câmara Municipal do Porto (Porto City Hall)

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Igreja de Santo António dos Congregados

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Even stones in Porto are a piece of art

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Estação de São Bento

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The station is even more impressive in person

Porto is full of blue buildings. Blue azulejos are on every other building. At least that’s what it felt like. Blue is my favourite colour so Porto is a real paradise city for me. I was amazed all the time and couldn’t take my eyes off all the gorgeous buildings. I walked around city up to Miradouro da Vitoria (view point) which gives views over Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral) and Ponte de Dom Luís I. (Luís I. Bridge). This place had magical atmosphere for me and I spent there at least half an hour enjoying the view. When it was already dark I went down the hill to take a walk around riverbank. Then I headed back to my cuchsurfer’s place to have some rest.

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Igreja de São José das Taipas

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Tribunal da Relação do Porto & Igreja de São José das Taipas

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Miradouro da Vitoria

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The room where I was staying at my couchsurfer hosts’s place had a chalkboard wall. He told me to draw something so I wrote my favourite quote by Thor Heyerdahl and drew a boat 🙂

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