Porto is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, say singles, married, lovers, and everyone in between. In fact, it’s more romantic than his older sister Lisbon, and any other city in Portugal. Strolling near the river, getting lost in its cobbled streets, leaning out from the top of its city walls or visiting some of its historic cafés are some of the things to do in Porto if you travel with your better half. This one goes to those who want to come here to fall in love… with the city, or with someone!
DAYLIGHT KISSES: ROMANTIC PLACES IN PORTO
Porto was protected by a wall in medieval times, but the growth of the city meant that it had to be demolished. Fortunately, there are still some walls that visitors find as they walk. But do not settle for seeing it from the top of the Luis I Bridge! Did you know you can walk around it and for free? Discover its small garden with orange trees and benches, climb the steps of the wall and enjoy the wonderful views!
📍 From the hostel: Go up Rua do Cativo, get off at R. da Porta do Sol, until Largo Primeiro de Dezembro, go through the arch that joins the Church of Santa Clara and walk on the left until you see a small entrance and the wall. It’s 5 minutes walking!
CRYSTAL PALACE GARDENS
An oasis within the city, a park that is worth visiting in any season of the year. It has several viewpoints, fountains, different gardens (by types of plants) and many peacocks that will not mind striking a pose for your photos. But don’t try to find any crystal palace because the one that existed in the past, has been replaced by a pavilion that hosts different events throughout the year. Keep your eyes wide open during the walk, wherever you look you will find something that you like, or is it just something that happens when you are in love?
📍 From the hostel: There is a bus from Praça D. João. But walking alone only 22 minutes. Go towards San Bento passing through Torre dos Clérigos, Librería Lello, Iglesia do Carmo … so you see all the essentials along the way!
MIRADOR DE SERRA DO PILAR
It’s in Vila Nova de Gaia, the city on the other side of the river. But that’s precisely why it has magnificent views of Porto. Visiting the Sierra del Pilar monastery on the inside is worth it, it was declared a World Heritage Site by the way. But if you are looking for a privileged place to enjoy in company with the Douro River as a witness, you just have to get to the viewpoint in front of you. Maybe you are lucky to get a good soundtrack, there are usually musicians in that area.
📍 From the hostel: Go down R. de Chã, and walk towards the Luís I bridge. Cross it up to the Jardim do Morro. And you only have to go up to the monastery. It’s about 18 minutes from Cats Porto depending on how well the slopes are given!
PARQUE DA CIDADE (PORTO CITY PARK)
It is worth renting a bicycle to explore as much as you can of this huge green area and enjoy its lakes, forests, animals, etc. Do not miss the spectacular Water Pavilion, a building that seems to float. There you can compose music through the water, among other things! Fun fact: it is the only park in Europe that is directly connected to the sea, complete your visit by reaching the beach! Oh! And it is also the largest park in all of Portugal, so if you’re going with your partner you’ll surely find a corner in which to enjoy your intimacy (and your kisses).
📍From the hostel: Take bus 500 from San Bento Station to Pr. Cid. Savior. It will leave you on the closest side of the beach, but just a minute walking from the park.
TASTY KISSES: PORTO ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS
TERRA NOVA RESTAURANTE
We assume that since you are in Portugal you want to try cod, right? Well, this is a perfect place to do it, although if you decide to try something else it will be a great gastronomic experience indeed. Here they serve dishes with fresh products, but without harming your budget! It is a restaurant to go with no hurry (like most in Portugal, ahem!) But the exquisite food and attention make up for the wait. We recommend you to go with your sweetheart for its romantic atmosphere, but if you are in a small group of friends, book at the famous Captain’s Table!
📍 From the hostel: It is in the Ribera area, close to the river. Take the route by R. dos Mercadores and Praça Ribeira. It’s 11 minutes.
If there is one thing that we adore (and we know our readers too) are the restaurants with views. And if you find Porto in good weather, you’ll fall in love with this terrace, still free of mass tourism. Its € 8.50 menu of the day is very good value for money, but it is also worth asking a la carte if your budget is not very tight. The place deserves it: a meal overlooking the Douro River. Complete your visit approaching the nearby Jardim das Virtudes because… what is more romantic than a walk in a garden? It is uncrowded and mostly visited by local people.
📍 From the hostel: Walk towards San Bento until Praça da Liberdade, go straight on Rua dos Clérigos and turn left onto Rua da Assunção. First, you will go through the Jardim da Cordoaria that you will leave on your right and then to the Parque das Virtudes, where the restaurant is located. In total it’s 13 minutes.
A great place to surprise your other half: delicious food, perfect location, and wonderful views. A jewel kind of hidden, so thanks us later for the tip! Do not miss the terrace, and if it’s chilly, do not hesitate to ask for one of the blankets they have! Another option is to get a table inside, which is glazed and very pleasant. But go early because they don’t open till very late and because they are usually full!
📍From the hostel: 10 minutes on foot down by R. de Chã, Rua da Bainharia R. de Belomonte to R. de Tomas Gonzaga.
SPECIAL KISSES: THE COOLEST BARS AND CAFÉS
O PRETINHO DO JAPÃO
On the outside, it seems to be only a traditional grocery store, but the inside hides a garden terrace that few people know. Inaugurated in 1947, it is recognized by the City Council as one of the historic shops of the city. Here you can buy preserves, cookies, dehydrated fruits, cod, coffee, chocolates, and Port wines, among other things. And do not worry, although Porto has become incredibly popular, prices here remain affordable. Its terrace is a quiet and pleasant place to enjoy the sun, Portuguese delights, good music and the company of someone special.
📍 From the hostel: It’s 14 minutes on foot. Climb by R. de Cimo de Vila to Praça da Batalha and then Rua de Santa Catarina until you reach the Bolhao metro. Turn left until you see R. do Bonjardim (the third on the right). It is at number 496A.
LETRARIA – CRAFT BEER GARDEN
Do you paint hearts on the wall with your initials? Or do you prefer instead to have a beer with your initials? Because from each of the craft beers of Letraria is named after a letter that corresponds to a specific type of flavor (pilsner, stout, ale, IPA, etc). It may seem small when you get inside but go downstairs and spot its beautiful patio in the garden, with a very relaxed atmosphere that let flow the conversation, the beers, and the love!
📍 From the hostel: It’s 10 minutes on foot. Climb by R. de Cimo de Vila to Praça da Batalha and then by R. de Santo Ildefonso until you see Rua de Alegría on your left. It’s at number 101.
In the area of Miragaia, something far from the most tourist routes, we find this huge Armazém (warehouse), which is half cafeteria half antique store. It’s worth going for a ride and browsing, even if you’re not going to buy or consume anything. On the outside, there is a quiet terrace where it would be a sin to not to sit on a sunny day. Have a beer, a coffee or some “petiscos”.
📍 From the hostel: 15 minutes on foot down by R. de Chã, Rua da Bainharia R. de Belomonte, R. de Tomas Gonzaga to Rua de Miragaia.
Vintage cafes always have that “Je ne sais quoi” that makes them romantics, and Majestic is one of those classic places in Porto that have remained anchored in the past and transport you back in time. Prices are high (€ 5 coffee) because you are paying for the decoration and attention. But if this doesn’t hold you back, it is worth seeing it at least once to know its history and imagine yourself there in the last century. It is likely that you have to queue in high season, but, how do you feel like queuing for typical pastries?
📍 From the hostel: It’s 6 minutes on foot. Climb by R. de Cimo de Vila to Batalha and from there by Rua de Santa Catarina. It’s at number 112.
INTIMATE KISSES: A DOUBLE ROOM FOR A PERFECT STAY
CATS HOSTEL PORTO
Let’s be honest, as much as we like shared dorms because they allow us to make friends from all over the world, the truth is that for a romantic trip we will have to give them a break. Porto is that city to treat yourself, yes. And do not settle with any double room. Let’s do it right. Book in our DOUBLE BEDROOM DELUXE ENSUITE, with comfortable king size bed, fully equipped bathroom, a very careful design, and city views. Ok, ok, we leave you alone here… enjoy!