ONLY BE PORTUENSE

Only-Be Portuense

Porto, Beyond Wine

Not everything is wine in Porto; there is also life beyond the vineyards. Portugal is fado, is soccer, is beaches, is gastronomy, and much more. But Porto is much more than that: it is Harry Potter, Do Dragao, and Matosinhos. Here are some unbeatable plans.

Shopping in Oporto

The Portuguese town of Oporto is known for three things: its river, O Douro, its harbor, and its excellent shopping. Do not underestimate this historic town on a hillside. It is one of Europe’s oldest cities, and its maze of steep and narrow cobblestoned streets hides countless little squares, churches and colorful houses. Oporto’s seaside suburbs outside the historic center are also thriving and becoming increasingly popular for their enticing architecture and contemporary cuisine. Oporto is heaven on Earth for shopaholics, as it offers a plethora of handicrafts, leather goods, and clothes at very competitive prices. You are sure to find something for all tastes- and by all means, indulge!  Head to downtown Oporto and the area around Santa Catarina for the best clothing stores and little boutique shops. If brand names and luxury is what you are after, Boavista is the place to go- a great place to watch people hunt for bargains. There are also many shopping malls to choose from in Oporto but Via Catrina stands out as one of the best when it comes to variety. There is a large selection of shops, including some high street names like H&M, Paco Martinez and Springfield, and all that coupled with a good selection of restaurants. After a long day shopping and trying on new clothes, there is nothing like heading upstairs to indulge in some gourmet cuisine like that offered at Noori Sushi, Nicola Gourmet and Casa Das tapas. Centro Comercial Norte Shopping is also a good option where you’ll find brand names like Bershka, C&A, La Coste, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Nike, Pull&Bear and Kiko Make...

Exploring the Algarve Coast

Located on the south of the Iberian Peninsula, the Algarve coast is one of the most preferred tourist destinations for folks all around the world. Thousands of holidaymakers come every year to enjoy the second to none rock formations and unsurpassed beaches that can only be found on this Portuguese coast. Let’s start our journey around this exciting coast on the East, where we’ll find a beautiful landscape full of dunes, white sand and mudflats in a lagoon called Ria Formosa. Nature lovers heading to the unsurpassed Culatra Island should take a boat in Ria Formosa to get to this stunning fishing island. Culatra is one of the best kept secrets of the Algarve coast, as it is a much less touristy place that offers unique landscapes, as well as amazing places you won’t see in any TV commercial. Here you’ll have the opportunity to swim in crystal clear freshwater rivers and delight yourself with the ecstasy of being in the paradise. Following our tour, let’s continue on the East part of Algarve to the beautiful port city of Tavira, which is also known as Little Venice, thanks to the beautiful landscape formed by patrician houses along the water. In Tavira we will find the famous Tower of Tavira, which is a former water tower located right next to St. Mary´s Church. Tower Tavira hosts the famous Camera Obscura (built over 100 years ago), which by a clever use of a rotating and magnifying mirror projects virtual “tours” of Tavira  on a large horizontal screen.  This is the perfect place to enjoy sightseeing of the whole Island in a...

The Historic Side of Porto

A beautiful city no matter what time of day, a romantic destination, full of both history and poetry, Porto is all of this and much more. This northern port of Portugal captivates every visitor with its wonderful architecture, its relaxed atmosphere and its delicious gastronomy. Foto: Ewan-M A World Heritage Site Porto immediately gives one the impression that the city is being modernized. Its airport, one of the best in Europe, and its comfortable and clean Metro hint at these changes. But this is not why people love Porto, and it is not what the traveler in search of the true identity and culture of the city is going to seek out. The other Porto, the old port, which has long since been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site is where you want to go. There are countless streets that seem to start from the northernmost parts of the city before emptying into the Douro, with multicolored houses, ancient buildings, and libraries that inspire one with their rich history. You will likely see women preparing food through open windows, a cat on the threshold of a door or a window sill, and laundry hung out to dry on the balconies. This is Porto, with the smell of the sea, of rivers, of wine, and of history itself. A tour of the historic The historic old town is so full of places that one must visit. It really is ideal to spend at least five days. To start out, I would recommend visiting the Santa Catarina street before going down to the Ribeira. This vital artery of Porto has several buildings...

Bolhão Market

A good way of discovering the true essence of cities is to walk around their markets. In southern European countries, markets are where people gather every day, where traditions don´t modernise themselves with time. If you are in the city of Porto, that epicentre of people, food and colour is Bolhão Market. This is a place that no visitor to the city can miss out on. The market is located in a two-floor building with a large interior courtyard, where you can find the stalls that sell fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, everything as fresh as you like. The atmosphere that you can sense in this market is totally authentic, and it´s normal to hear how the sellers shout out their product offers and the low prices that they are selling them at. Here they sell all sorts of fresh produce and if you go early in the morning you will be able to see how the farmers come in with their products to sell them. The market is open every day from 7am to 5pm, although if you want to find the freshest food and fully enjoy this lively place, you better come early in the morning. If you were planning on cooking a traditional Portuguese meal to cook yourself, Bolhão Market is the ideal place to go to. You can get here easily since you just have to get off at Bolhão metro stop, with the market located on Rua Sá da Bandeira, in the Santo Ildefonso district. This place has been a centre of commerce since 1839, when the Chamber of Porto decided to build a square to sell...

Wonders of Porto

Saudade Porto is the second most important city in Portugal. Along with Lisbon, it has that traditional and historical atmosphere as well as having curious and beautiful corners that contrast with modern spaces, all of which make visiting the city an unforgettable pleasure. Despite having the reputation for being a noisy city or a bit of a slum during its times of biggest tourist flow, Porto shows us that characteristic charm of all Portuguese cities: human warmth, traditional architecture, succulent cuisine and romantic routes and walks filled with saudade. If you´ve never heard the term saudade before, it means nostalgia or melancholy in Portuguese, a deeply affectionate feeling caused by the absence of something you love. There´s no literal translation to English of this beautiful word which perhaps slides more into the meaning of melancholy but isn´t quite the same. They say that the Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo defined it as something that “you suffer at the same time of being a pain that you enjoy”. Don´t think that Porto, Lisbon or Portugal are places that will make you sad and feel lost, all the opposite. Saudade refers to a deep feeling to understand and explore the world, a pleasure and beauty that you can only discover by going to beautiful Porto. As you know, Porto is on the banks of the river Douro. If you decide to go on a walk, go towards the huge Dom Luis I Bridge and you´ll discovery this city´s romantic mystique. Crossing it will take a few minutes but the view from it is amazing. Whilst you cross it, you will be walking towards towers and bell...

48 hours in Porto

Holidays are usually short and there´s no time to lose. That´s why we´ve made this quick guide to essential places to visit if you just have 48 hours to stay in the wonderful Portuguese city of Porto. Porto is the second most important city in Portugal after the capital Lisbon. It holds a rich historical and architectonical legacy. You can start our tour by visiting some of the most important monuments in the city, the Torres dos Clérigos. It´s a symbol of the city and by paying just 2 euros you can go up to the top of the tower (by foot). It´s really worth it because the views of Porto from the top are amazing. From here you can go to the Cais da Ribeira, on the banks of the Douro. This dock is a beautiful riverside walk with bars, restaurants and a lot of people. It´s the most active area in the city. Here you can go to Praça da Ribeira, the most beautiful square in the area. You can visit it by foot or hire one of the many cruises that go down the river that will allow us to admire beautiful bridges such as the Dom Luís I Bridge, which connects Porto with the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. If you´re interested in wines, you cannot miss out on a visit to the important wine-making cellars of this village. The cruise would be on board of a rabelo, which is an old wooden boat that was used to transport wine. All of this area is the most popular and busy in Porto so if you´ve...

Shopping in Porto

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and famous for its export of port, the fortified wine that is popular as a pre- or post-dinner drink. In addition to its great food and wine, there’s plenty of shopping to be done in this modern city. Today, we’re going to tell you where you can find locally made products and hand-crafted items as well as where you can find some quality wine and port to take back home with you. A Vida Portuguesa To start out our tour, we’re going to A Vida Portuguesa, at 20 Rua Galeria de Paris. Located in a beautiful, sunlit space on the second floor, this unique store if full of items that have survived the test of time. It was started by journalist Catarina Portas, who sought out Portuguese products that kept their original style and packaging over many years. You can find great gifts and souvenirs here as well as household items, ceramics, stationery, and retro toys, all of which are made in Portugal http://www.avidaportuguesa.com/   Portosigns Another store specializing exclusively in products made in Portugal, Portosigns actually refers to two different stores. The first store, which is named TRADITION, is located at 17 Rua da Alfândega, opposite the “Casa do Infante”. It exhibits and sells items that are of genuine Portuguese origin and more traditional than its sister store. Of especial interest are the bags, hats and ties made of cork and the ceramic and metal rooster sculptures. They also have original, locally designed t-shirts. Stop by to see one of their ongoing exhibitions featuring ceramics, paintings, photographs, and more. INNOVATION is...

Where you can have the best port wine

Port wine originates in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and as a main feature, we can establish the strength it has to withstand and resist different temperatures, important aspect in commercial trade with long routes centuries ago It is in the Alto Douro wine regions in Portugal, which historically produces a lot of wine from large tracts of vineyards, but it is in England where its flavor is more noticeable and where it becomes more popular. This expansion was prompted mainly by given times of shortage of wine in England, first by wars and other conflicts in Europe, and second, because the vinho do Porto was available in seasons in which French wine was not The brandy component that is incorporated during fermentation of Port wine, is the key to providing this type of wine a much sweeter taste while constituting a higher alcohol beverage. For the connoisseurs, the types of this wine are distinguished by their bodies, tone, freshness, aging, youth and fruity flavors with hints, or dryness. From these characteristics, we list several of the most popular types, among which are:     Full Wine: retinto     Red Wine: Red     Ruby Wine: Red Gold     Tawny Wine: Dorado     Tawny Wine Light: light gold   Today, the most important zone as far as wine is concerned in Portugal, is Vila Nova de Gaia, where most wineries that offer tastings and sell wine from different classes, clients and stakeholders in the wine tourism or wine routes concentrate. Some of the wineries that we want to highlight today are: Wineries Rozès, Inc.   http://rozes.com.pt Located at Rua Cândido dos Reis, 526-532, in Vila Nova...