5 Ways To Enjoy Porto On A Budget

5 Ways To Enjoy Porto On A Budget

Have you ever wondered where J.K. Rowling became inspired to write the famous Harry Potter series? This famous writer started her first chapters in Porto, where she lived and worked as a teacher. Read on to explore this inspiring city on a low budget with me.

Buy a book at Lello & Irmão Bookstore

5 ways to enjoy porto on a budget | buy a book at lello & irmão bookstore

Visitors to Porto have probably heard of the famous bookstore in Porto that may have inspired J.K. Rowling to write Harry Potter. Though this is only a rumour, the famous writer lived in Porto for 10 years, so people believe she was inspired by her surroundings. Rated as the third most beautiful bookstore in the world, Lello & Irmão Bookstore has marvellous stairways and gorgeous wooden walls. The experience of walking through this bookstore and buying a book here has become a unique signature for the city.

Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Majestic Cafe

5 ways to enjoy porto on a budget | enjoy a cup of coffee at the majestic cafe

Another place in Porto that you think may have appeared only in the Harry Potter series is the Majestic Cafe. It is certainly one of the most stunning cafes in the country, with its beautiful Belle Epoque atmosphere and royal decoration. Designed by João Queiróz, Majestic Cafe is one of the most symbolic examples of Art Nouveau in the city. It has a striking marble facade, ornamented with floral elements and winding shapes. The cafe was where J.K. Rowling spent lots of time working on “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. This is not just a coffee house, but is also known to have a special aura where many people fall in love at first sight.

Take a sightseeing bus

5 ways to enjoy porto on a budget | take a sightseeing bus

Porto is one of the most hilly cities that is located on the coastline of northern Portugal. One way to get a nice overview of the city is to take a sightseeing bus with two floors. A single ride with a disposable transportation card costs no more than 2 EUR (roughly 2.5 USD). Go to the top floor to enjoy a quick sightseeing tour on the bus starting from the Campanhã Railway Station. Any bus following the route from here along the Duoro River will take you to the famous Lady of Light Lighthouse. You can get off near the lighthouse and take a tram back to the city centre, following the same track. Avoid the hop on-off bus tours, which are way more expensive than public transportation.

Visiting one of Porto’s gorgeous churches

5 ways to enjoy porto on a budget | visiting one of porto’s gorgeous churches

One of the activities you can do for free in Porto is visit a church. One of the most famous churches in the city is the Clerigos Church, which was constructed next to the Clerigos Tower. Churches in Porto are less touristy than in Lisbon; hence, you can experience the spiritual atmosphere here better. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city. The entrance fee for both the tower and the church is 3 EUR or roughly 3.5 USD. But there are plenty of other viewpoints that you can use for free instead. For example, the Porto Cathedral or any bridge between Porto and Gaia offers wonderful panoramic views for photography.

Enjoy Porto’s ancient and modern street art

enjoy porto’s ancient and modern street art

Another thing you will for sure not want to miss is Porto’s street art, which is abundant all around the city. As soon as you enter Porto from its central station, the city surprises its visitors with its artistic beauty. You will find a huge Azulejo masterpiece, a form of Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile-work, on the walls inside and outside of the station. There is also plenty of graffiti artwork you can enjoy throughout the streets of Porto especially in the Art District.

So much to discover

There are plenty of other cheap ways to spend your time in Porto such as go to a music shop or climb up to the stunning viewpoints of Porto’s uptown areas. The city seems small and easy to walk around, but there’s so much to discover.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi! I am Huong, a Hanoi born and raised explorer at heart, who moved from Vietnam to Finland in 2011 and got bitten by the European travel bug. Since 2015, I have been living out of a suitcase,...Read more

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