“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.
Then take half the clothes and twice the money.”
Why I went to Porto of all places – is all down to my good friend Suzanne@The Travelbunny – that made such appealing post about her short visit there a couple of years ago. I booked nearly 11 months in advance as I mostly do to get the best bargains on hotels and most of all on flights.
There are some low-cost airlines that fly directly but they have such late arrivals and early take off’s – neither is my cup of tea and also I don’t mind stretching the legs for a couple of hours between flights. So I booked with TAP – with the change of flight in Lisbon. Very smooth journey – no security checks in between flights in Lisbon – and no endless walks neither. Only 4 mins walk from arriving gate to departure gate. My first time with TAP and I have nothing bad to say about them. Very nice staff and the food was good.
I must say that Lisbon airport doesn’t blow my socks off at least not the part that I was using, but there are coffee and food … some shops. A disaster strike between flights in Lisbon – I had to take a “happy-pill” during my flight because my feet were hurting and when I landed in Lisbon I was a bit mushy in the head – ordered a coffee and a donut … and when I was taking the tray I dropped it and became soaking wet for a very small cup of Latte. The gentleman in the cafe gave me a new tray and didn’t want any money for it – so I gave a big tip instead.
But Porto Airport, massive och very appealing, also one of the 4 best airports in the world. Both airports offer great hospitality and everywhere do you feel important to them and their business.
Arrived around 19.15 and my pre-booked airport transfer was there … I had booked with the other company 5 months ago and the day before arrival they cancelled my booking because of a shortage of drivers???!!! If I ordered so well in advance I must be #1 on their booking list???!!!
However, I found a great company, with pleasant drivers and very clean cars (taxis). I changed my booking after midnight for my departure and the driver turned up on the new time. They were even 16 Euros cheaper on a return booking: VM Transfers, I really recommend them! Top Class service.
The hostel, Tattva Design Hostel, was just as it was presented at Bookings.com – the only thing that I had booked a double room with city view in the main building with lift and ended up in little house down the street – on the first floor, no lift – but with double French windows with a big private bathroom, where the shower could have been a little cleaner … some mould in the joints along the floor and I had no TV during the full stay, but I didn’t spend much time in my room .. and when I was there I was sleeping. *smile
Breakfast at the hostel was okay, to be able to make your own pancakes were very popular with everybody and they went through bucket loads of Nutella. *smile – Coffee very good and fresh very tasty fresh rolls every morning. No lavish buffet, but what we eat normally at home … there was some hot small sausage too .. efficient enough to take me to lunch.
The restaurant in the evening had very nice dishes .. and cheap, had 2 meals there and hard to fault it. Lovely helpful staff everywhere on the hostel. I paid 260€ for 6 nights .. and I would stay there again if the price is right. *smile – and they knew to mix a perfect vodka & tonic.
Very busy hostel … and of course mostly youth and young people, but also adults in my age or a bit younger. I think I was their oldest guest. The location of the hostel is fantastic, only 3 min walk to the main railway station and metro station, São Bento. Also a train station with the most beautiful tile decor inside .. will come back to that. 15 min walk from the hostel to the riverfront, where all the action is … it’s downhill all the way. And next to the beautiful Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral).
There are some serious hills to walk up to the hotel, but I soon figured out that if I walked through the São Bento Metro Station the escalators will take me 80% up the hill and it was a lot cooler in the Metro. You need to think smart as a tourist and survivor!!!!
During my stay, I didn’t meet one Swedish tourist (or heard any Swedish) but I talked to many very pleasant tourists from UK, Brazil, Netherland, Italy and Germany. A lot of German and Brazilian tourists in Porto.
I’m playing with the thought to go back in the end of May next year again. It made me feel so good being in Porto. It was like a conditioner for heart and soul … and the stiff body. *smile
“Tourism is the march of stupidity.”