We were a bit blown away by Porto (also known as Oporto). It’s ace. Neither of us had ever been before (although Roz’s mum went when she was pregnant with Roz but we don’t think that counts).

It reminded us of a kind of Portuguese cross between Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Brighton but that might just be because the weather was a bit shit.

What’s in a name?

Apparently Porto is sometimes called Oporto in English because of a language misunderstanding. In Portuguese, Porto was occasionally referred to with a definite article, eg “o Porto”. In English, that means “the port”. English people heard it as “Oporto” and didn’t bother to check if it was right or not. Idiots.

On the river

One of the prettiest areas of Porto is Cais de Ribeira. It’s on the River Douro and it’s beautiful.

Roz and Tom grinning in front of the Douro river

Tom on the south side of the River Douro with cable cars overhead

Traditional Portuguese boat used by the port manufacturers to advertise their company

Port? Oh!

In case you didn’t know Porto is famous for its port wine. Here’s a fancy port cocktail it took us about 2 hours to drink:

Pink gin and port cocktail in a massive glass with a raspberry and a blackberry in

More tiles

We saw lots more good tiles in Porto.

Tiles split into white and blue diagonally with dark blue patterns on the white section

Wall of tiles split diagonally into blue and white sections

Green embossed tiles

Tiles with a white geometric pattern on a blue background

Tiles with a centralised yellow and blue pattern on white background

Wall of green tiles, each pointing outwards in a pyramid shape

Wall of tiles which together form circles of white and blue on green

Green tiles with a centralised white pattern with some parts filled in with brown

Tiles with a white, light green and dark green geometric pattern

Dark green tiles with a white and light green pattern

Even the station was tiled.

Arch in Porto station surrounded by decorative tiles depicting scenes from Porto's history

Tom in Porto station surrounded by ceramic tiling

And we saw a good cat mural.

Mural of a giant cat peaking out from between two buildings in Porto


We only spent a few hours in Lisbon before we got the sleeper train back to Spain. It was as lovely as ever though.

Scaramago museum in Lisbon

Timeout food market in Lisbon

Patterned stone floor in Lisbon