After spending my first week in Lisbon attending the Web Summit, I made the impromptu decision to join my friend on a trip to Porto, 3 hours away by car. I spent almost €200 in the short span of 45 hours and I’m not proud of myself. I’m ashamed and I feel terrible. It feels like a horrid hangover that will take ages to go away.
To justify my behaviour, here’s a breakdown of what I did and how much fun I had.
I decided to splurge a little more on experiences because of FOMO. Also, I’m working even while travelling so I’ve decided to put that income to good use.
Friday, 11pm – Pub Crawl, €10 + Got another porto tonic and água, €7
We went to 3 bars and a club and got a complimentary drink at each stop. The group consisted of our guide, our backup guide, three Brazilians, an American, a Russian, a Pole, a couple of Portuguese, an Italian and me. Conversatio was strange and awkward at first but once the group had a few drinks, we got on well.
Fun factor: 7/10
Saturday, 11am – History Walking Tour, €10 (although you get to give as much as you like)
To be honest, I was a little hungover from the night before but the tour was enlightening and I learned a lot about the city, its heritage and the people. I learned that tap water was safe to drink, people from Porto don’t like people from Lisbon and Porto played a big part in the slave trade.
Fun factor: 7/10
Find out more about the History Walking Tour here.
Saturday, 4pm – Wine Tour €20
Despite the rain and getting wet and then freezing in the wine cellar because of my wet clothes, this tour was by far the most interesting.
We went to a Port Wine cellar and 2 wine bars where we were served yummy wine and snacks. I’m not a massive fan of port wine, I find it too sweet, but I had a lot of fun on the tour. It probably had to do with our guide being a masters student in biochemistry/medicine+chemistry. She had incredible knowledge about port wine and was a bubbly and friendly person to be around. The group as a whole got on a lot as well, probably due to the wine and our interest in alcohol and cheese. After the tour, we went out with some of them for dinner and drinks later on.
I went out on both Friday and Saturday night
Having partied since the second night of the Web Summit (i.e. Wednesday), my poor judgement told me that carrying on till the end of the week was a good idea. I now have a cold.
Saturday, 12am – Bar hopped, €16
I spent the evening with the Polish Prince who stayed in the same hostel as me, and with the 4 men from Barcelona we met on the wine tour. The evening kicked off with me losing my phone (I left it at the hostel), getting drinks, the Spanish men hitting on Portuguese women and vice versa, me dancing with one of them (although I spent most of the time laughing to be honest), conversation about everyone’s favourite topic: Tinder adventures, dating and relationships, and home.
Fun factor: 8/10
I ate out for every meal
Since I didn’t have much time to spend in Porto, having to make trips back to the hostel to cook was a waste of time. Plus, eating out was incredibly cheap. Tipping is also a thing, not as big as in America but I always tip, even if it’s just €1 or €2.
Friday, 9pm – Sai Cao, €12
I bought dinner for Stephen/colleague/only person from Europe to have visited me in KL (driver, he rented a car and I hopped in) and I. The place was a hot spot for locals and we both had fried cod with chips. Our fish was a little too salty and my wine tasted like Benedryl, but the conversation was fun and the atmosphere was jovial.
Yum factor: 6/10
Saturday, 3pm – A joint our guide brought us to after the walking tour, €9
I had an amazing grilled fish, fish is so good in Portugal. Our conversation over lunch went from nuances in languages to politics across Europe. Not knowing much, I sat and listened. I’m always awed when people are incredibly knowledgeable about political strife outside their own country. Perhaps I’m just okay not knowing so much because the more you know, the more decisions and stances you have to make and it’s true when they say that ignorance is bliss.
Yum factor: 8/10
Saturday, 9pm – Portuguese tapas, €9
We had to make a reservation for 9pm and come back again because the restaurant was full. We ended up sitting outside, wrapped up in red Ikea blankets. There were three of us so we each ordered a dish, not caring that none of them went together. Dinner was fantastic and the conversation was again a real pleasure.
Yum factor: 9/10
Sunday, 1pm – Lunch by the sea, €8
We stopped by this place for a quick bite that turned out to be a 90-minute affair because the pace was severely understaffed. Was the food good? Meh. I just needed to eat.
I Ubered a lot
Uber was cheap, especially if the fare was split between two people, which is often was. In return, I bought drinks for the Polish Prince. Other only time I Ubered alone was from the hostel to the train station and that cost me €3.95.
I mean, COME ON. WHY YOU SO CHEAP PORTO??
The trip to Porto was a spontaneous one so nothing was booked in advance
Probably my biggest mistake here since I didn’t get a refund on the nights I had booked for Lisbon.
2 nights at Spot Hostel Porto – €30 + Rented a towel €2
I think this is one of the nicest hostels I’ve stayed in so far. It was warm and welcoming, the lounge area had a bar which was perfect for mingling and meeting other people. I missed breakfast (still asleep) and dinner (you can sign up for this) at the hostel but I’ve only read good things about them.
Travel cost from Lisbon to Porto – €30
I decided to chip in for toll charges and also buy lunch for my driver because I simply can’t drive one Europe. The drive on the wrong side of the road and everyone uses a manual. It puzzles me.
Plus, I decided to get a train back to Lisbon so that cost me another €25.
So, my weekend in Porto cost me a grand total of €192. Was it worth it?