Portugal is becoming the home of huge city break destinations and after finally finding photos from my Lisbon trip I thought it was time to do a post and what better than to compare Lisbon vs Porto!  Both cities are big hitters in the city break holiday market at the moment but which one is best and my favourite?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Tourist Attractions

Both cities are very different in what they offer and cost!

In Porto I found a great array of different tourist attractions including a river cruise, snooping inside a palace, shopping for antique tiles, sipping port and just admiring the beautiful city in the sunshine which was of course free.  Price wise I didn’t find entrance fees to be that expensive and thankfully my hotel in Porto provided free entry for a Port tasting at Graham’s.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

In Lisbon I was bored; travel is what you make it however I had visited Porto first and maybe that spoiled Lisbon for me as I loved Porto so much. I did visit a number tourist sites in the city and I thought they were rather overpriced for what was on offer…case in point was Lisbon Castle Castelo de Sao Jorge at 8.50 euros pp entrance…the view is gorgeous (great at sunset with a glass of wine) but if you don’t fancy a view or a glass of wine (additional cost of course!) then don’t waste your euros on the castle as it’s pretty pitiful.  If you want to visit a number of tourist sites then I would suggest buying The Lisboa Card to save a few of your hard earned buckeroos as it offers free access and discounts!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto: Winner Porto

Tiles

Portugal and Tiles…they go hand in hand with each other but which city offers the best tile viewing?

Porto has the iconic blue and white tiles that you see on instagram and tourist websites…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

…blue and white tiles in train stations…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

…blue and white tiled churches.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

In Lisbon, a number of the buildings have tiles however while photogenic, they weren’t as photogenic as the beautiful tiles in Porto.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto: Winner Porto

Safe for Women / Solo Travel

I travelled to both cities by myself and wandered round visiting tourist sites.

In Porto I felt safe from the moment I arrived until the moment I left the city.  I ate at a restaurant on the outskirts of town late at night and the restaurant staff made sure they took my taxi number in case that I had any issues when I was dropped off at my hotel.  I was warned not stray to far away from the main city centre as it could get a little seedy.  Overall I felt safe walking around as a solo female traveller.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

In Lisbon…well I was ripped off by a rouge taxi driver on arrival into the city and he made sure I was blocked in the taxi so I was forced to pay the additional cost.  It was the first time I have ever being in this kind of position and it was disappointing to learn that almost everyone at my work who had visited the city was either ripped off by a taxi driver or pickpocketed while visiting the city.  If you do visit Lisbon, be aware of your surroundings and organise a taxi with your hotel so that you don’t find yourself hating the city on arrival.   As a solo female traveller, nothing much fazes me especially after travelling through the Middle East however I disliked the men hissing and the lewd comments that I encountered while in Lisbon.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto: Winner is Porto…Lisbon needs to clean up it’s act!

Hotels

On both my city break weekends I stayed at the IHG branded Intercontinental Hotels and I can say that both were wonderful and I would happily return to both properties in the future…and just so you know, I pay for all my hotels!

In Porto, I stayed at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas which was a former palace but has since converted into a luxury hotel.  The rooms are very modern and I was lucky to have a lovely upgrade to a duplex suite on my visit.  The location was really good as I was right next to the famous train station and could easily navigate myself around the city.  Speak to the concierge and he may be able to offer you a free Port tasting tour at Graham’s.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

In Lisbon, The InterContinental is located a 20 minute walk away from the main tourist area of Lisbon or you could use public transport.  The hotel is very modern inside and out and I will be honest and say that it’s a tad boring in comparison to the Intercontinental in Porto however the staff are fabulous and friendly in Lisbon and went out of their way due to my IHG status. The views over the city are amazing.  Next door to the InterContinental is the Four Seasons Hotel so this area of the city is teaming with luxury hotels.  The folks at the hotel organised my return taxi so I didn’t get overcharged again which was a blessing and took the stress out of the journey…request the hotel to organise your taxis in both directions.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

^^My room view from the Hotel Intercontinental Lisbon.

While I love IHG properties I know they don’t float everyones boat so why not check out booking.com for more hotel options in both cities.

Lisbon vs Porto: Winner – Lisbon and Porto…both are wonderful but are very different properties!

Shopping

I like to shop while on holiday…sue me!  This includes visiting foreign supermarkets which I just find interesting especially when looking for gluten free options…you would be surprise the gluten free cake mixes I have picked up on my travels compared to the lack of choice in England.

In Porto, I was really taken with the shopping in city; I loved the independent colourful shops, sipping ports trying to find the perfect one to suit my taste buds and moving what felt like heaven and earth to find the perfect antique tile from Porto…I just loved it and it was all a bit fun!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

In Lisbon, it felt like I could have being shopping in any big European city and while I found a great shop selling a gorgeous Portuguese made wool cape (which I then lost about two weeks later in Seville…I think it’s safe to say Lisbon and I aren’t really friends!), I wasn’t really fussed with Lisbon for shopping.  The shop fronts in Lisbon were stunning and very photogenic though.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto:  Porto is the winner…I think my bank balance would agree!

Sore Feet

I love just waddling around exploring a city and my time in both cities I did amble…a lot!  You haven’t explored Lisbon or Porto if your body doesn’t ache…expect stairs, hills and what feels like mountains at times in both cities.  Wear sensible shoes and you’ll be okay but don’t expect flat cities as both aren’t flat.  If you do catch the trams in Lisbon make sure you watch out for pickpockets; hold onto your bags tightly!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto: Winner…both!!

Gluten Free Food

In Porto I had a numerous gluten free hits and misses in restaurants and ended up rather bloated on my trip…the simple but extremely tasty meal at O Gaveto is still one of my favourite resturants in Europe…simple dishes cooked well taste the best.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

And let’s not forget that Port is gluten free…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

…okay a drink may be cheating but it’s still gluten free and very very yummy.

In Lisbon, the city is famous for it’s custard tarts and guess what, they’re not gluten free!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

I ended up eating at the hotel as it was just easier to explain my gluten free requirement than struggle and having to catch a taxi…which I wasn’t keen to after my first ride in the city.  But and this is a big BUT…Gluten free options at McDonalds…I went in for a cold drink and found this…a happy Gluten free Surprise!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Lisbon vs Porto: Both…let’s call this one a tie!

Flights to Portugal

Thankfully there are now regular flights to Porto and Lisbon from all over the UK however there are more flights daily to Lisbon.  I flew to Lisbon with Easyjet and to Porto with British Airways however both airlines fly to Lisbon and Porto now.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

Overall, everyone falls in love with different travel destinations for different reasons.  While I fell head over heels in love with Porto as it felt so authentic, rustic and had a lot of soul; that was missing for me in Lisbon and I thought Lisbon was rather overrated as a city break destination in my personal opinion…I’m sure people will disagree with that statement and that’s fine…opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one.

I’ve heard it being said that folks who didn’t enjoy Barcelona, weren’t fans of Lisbon and I’m not a fan of Barcelona either!

If you do head to Porto then why not check out my Porto Travel Guide here.

Either way…enjoy your city break and let me know which city you prefer – Lisbon or Porto?

xx

Portugal Travel Inspiration - Portugal City Break Destinations: Lisbon vs Porto! These two beautiful destinations are big city break hitters currently but which one is the best for things to do, food, tiles and safety for solo women travellers?

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Forgive me for I have sinned; I’ve slept around lately and ignored my beloved IHG but I’m going to change, really I am!  On my recent city break to Porto I decided that I needed to spend some quality time with my beloved and booked myself in to stay at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas (try saying that fast three times after a few glasses of Port!).

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

Check in was a breeze and I was told there was no Club Lounge at the hotel however I was offered a discounted breakfast in the restaurant (who doesn’t love a discounted brekkie!) and provided with a little box of chocolates as my Ambassador welcome gift (that was dinner along with the grapes – I started reading the new Shopaholic book, enough said!)

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

So are you ready for a snoop inside the Duplex Suite – now I wasn’t expecting this fabulous upgrade that I received as I had used my IHG points for my weekend away so thank you so much for the lovely upgrade!

The lounge was super spacious, extremely comfortable and I decided I could actually live in this suite quite happily…

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

…and the downstairs even had it’s own toilet and shower facilities!

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

Now let’s take the stairs up to my little bit of Portuguese heaven

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

My bed that I could star fish in all weekend long including a cute little desk for blogging; the only disappointing feature of the whole suite – there were no plugs by the desk (or none that I noticed)…

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

…and a view of Porto that I couldn’t get enough of!  My obsession started on the first morning when I managed to wake up at sunrise (I’m not sure why!) and then I just had to keep taking photos – I took over 2000 photos in 4 days in Porto; not of this view but for the whole trip.

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

Moving right on through to my bathroom which rocked and included the wardrobe / shoe room; it was huge and had everything a girl could ever need including a hurricane force hair dryer!

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

As I’m not the most observant person in the world, I didn’t notice that there were a small outdoor area connected to my suite until the last day, oops!

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

It’s been a long time since I have done a solo trip and I loved it especially when I spammed G on what’s app with photos of the suite to make him jealous.  But thank goodness he didn’t come along as there was a Mont Blanc and a Rolex shop in the lobby area and he has a slight obsession with these two brands.

How cute is the bar area by the way!

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

I loved my suite but the real reason why I love this hotel so much – the chef made me gluten free scones for breakfast and they were light, fluffy and out of this world amazing!  I really needed to have a gluten free scone making lesson with the chef; seriously they were that good.

Review-InterContinental-Porto-Palacio-das-Cardosas

So would I stay at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas again – I’m seriously wondering why I ever checked out!  This has to be one of my favourite Intercontinental Hotels in Europe and yes gluten free scones for breakfast will make me love you forever; I’m that easy!

The concierge team were fantastic especially Rui as he provided me with a great walking tour around Porto and booked me in for my Port tour at Graham’s.

As an Intercontinental Platinum Ambassador I receive complimentary upgrades, a welcome gift and a free movie to watch along with speedy free wifi which are provided without any issues as the IHG brand understands the loyalty products that it sells.  Let’s just say that not all hotel brands understand or offer what they say they are going too to their platinum members hence why in future I will be sticking to only two hotel brands going forward and one of them is IHG.

If you are heading to Porto then I highly recommend you book into the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas which you can do so by clicking right here.

xx

If you liked this post on my Review of Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramPinterest and Bloglovin’ – I won’t bite!

Kylie Minogue once said “I have had a holiday, and I’d like to take it up professionally” and wouldn’t we all especially when there are so many fabulous destinations to discover.  After years of wanting to visit, I finally booked a city break to Porto and let me tell you why it was worth it!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Let’s start with the hotel, I decided to book myself into the Intercontinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas which was super lush and it was a former Palace (I’ve managed to stay in a Castle and a Palace this year!).   The way to my heart is through my tummy and I had gluten free scones for breakfast each morning and they put a spring in my step each morning!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

My first day in Porto started with a visit to the Concierge desk to ask what I needed to see.  I really wanted to visit and see tiles so armed with a map and a walking tour designed by Rui I was off.

First stop was the famous Sao Bento train station, if you think it’s pretty from the outside just wait until you see the tiles inside…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

freaking amazing…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

The cathedral was also stunning but there was always a mass on when I wanted to have a snoop inside

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Continuing my walk I ventured over the top section of the famous Ponte Luis I bridge

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

and then crossed back over using the bottom section of the bridge.  I love the buildings and colours of the Ribeira area…

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

along with all the pretty tiles…(I was yet to get tile fatigue)

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

and the graffiti just made me fall instantly in love with Porto.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Needing a little bit of retail therapy and wanting to check out Cafe Majestic made famous by a certain J.K. Rowling I headed to Rua de Santa Catarina.  The cafe is gorgeous and they offer afternoon tea however gluten free it’s only the Ice Cream Sundae for us folks but I’m not complaining!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Now I had been told that gluten free meals were not going to be a problem, so a friendly call in Portugese to La Ricotta to confirm my reservation and my dietary requirement ended up with me still being served gluten.  The meal was lovely but I would’t recommend if you are gluten free as they were told three times and I even heard the waitress telling the chef!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

So the next morning, armed with a belly that made me look six months pregnant due to eating a small speck of bread crumbs, I thought it was the perfect time to try Port.  Every road in Porto seemed to end with Port and a visit to Graham’s is a must!  The view from the balcony at their restaurant is beautiful.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

I’ve always thought of Port as an old persons drink but it actually settled my IBS symptoms (that’s what I was telling myself when I buying some to take home!).

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

It was Saturday and I knew that shopping had to be on the agenda.  I was pretty disappointed with the main shopping drag but then located a few nifty places selling Portuguese products – bright colours are always up my alley and a new hat!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Check out Portosigns  – I may have bought the green fish plate

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

And quirky little antique type shops that you stumble upon

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

I spent the rest of the day discovering beautiful blue and white tiled churches

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

and watching the world go by

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Heck I was one sweaty betty after spending the day walking around Porto so I headed back to the hotel before heading off to O Gaveto for dinner – I would highly recommend.  (Thanks to @andrerib on twitter)

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

They were so sweet and let me photograph other diners meals and explained the cooking process.   I had a great evening even though I was dining alone!

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

My first stop on Sunday morning was a visit to the Palacio Da Bolsa and I was just blown away with the beauty of each room and at 7 euros for a guided tour it’s a steal

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

I love seeing a city from a boat (even though I get horrendously sea sick) and the 6 bridge river cruise seemed the perfect way to end my weekend away.  I managed to pull a party of 60 year old Irish Men – they were so funny especially when they said the bridges were bloody boring.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

For me the reason I loved Porto so much was that the city had so much soul.  It reminded me very much of Dubrovnik in Croatia about 12 years ago before it sold it’s soul to mass tourism.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

Hopefully one day soon I can return and explore a bit more of the north of Portugal.

Portugal Travel Inspiration - fancy a city break to Porto then my travel guide will help you explore this beautiful destination with things to do, restaurants that the locals visit and a hotel fit for a princess or maybe a prince! Porto is a hidden gem in Europe with a fantastic history, beautiful architecture and shopping. Why not add Porto to your next Portugal / Spain itinerary as you won't be disappointed...pop over to the blog to read more!

xx

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I’m going to scare you all by putting up photos of me on the blog in my holiday clothes!  For three reasons really; firstly if I take outfit photos then it will make me brush my hair on holiday, secondly it will make my mummy rather happy to see more photos of me on the blog and thirdly to help you pack for your own trip to Porto in Portugal.  So this is what I wore to Porto last weekend.

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Let’s start out by saying I actually checked the Porto weather out before leaving the UK and lucky I did as it was a ripper of a weekend weather wise in Porto; late 20’s folks in October.

Day 1 in Porto – Linen may keep you nice and cool but darn it creases like you wouldn’t believe and I don’t iron while on holiday hence I’m all creasy.  I started off with different top but managed to get Seche Vite (a top coat for your nails that is awesome) on my nipple area.  A great area to get a mark on when you have big boobies!

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Outfit – Top, Gap – Monsoon, Skirt – Shoes, Poet Sandal Maker in Athens – Handbag, Mulberry (Bryn no longer made but similar)

Day 2 – Today was all about comfort as my IBS had kicked in thanks to a gluten incident at dinner the night before; I got asked twice if I was pregnant by locals!  And this is my new hat that I bought while in Porto, 15 euros well spent.

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Outfit – Top, Oasis – Skirt, Gap – Shoes, BlochHandbag, Mulberry (Bryn no longer made but similar)

Day 3 in Porto – it started to get a bit chilly (down to the early 20’s) so the Icebreaker got chucked on for my last day in Porto and my cruise on the river.

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Outfit – Dress, French Connection – Jacket, Ice BreakerShoes, Havianas – Handbag, Mulberry (Bryn no longer made but similar)

On the way back to London Heathrow – warm clothes for England and way too much luggage!

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Outfit – Top, Gap – Jeans, Gap – Shoes, BlochHandbag, Mulberry (Bryn no longer made but similar) – Suitcase, EastpakHand luggage purchased in Florence (but similar)

I apologise for the selfies but I was on holiday by myself; wait till you see the bad photos that G takes of me – you’re in for a treat for the Egypt post in a few weeks!

I should point out that I’m not a fashion blogger, I don’t have a style and I’m not size zero BUT I’m happy and that’s what is important in life and this is just me on holiday with no make up on.

What are you trusty holiday wardrobe essentials that you take on holiday with you?

xx

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After doing an afternoon tea staycation post earlier this week, I thought I needed to do a post on some destinations a little bit further afield so let me introduce you to some alternative city breaks in Europe to take in the coming months.

Marseille, France

France’s second largest city; once deemed a city to avoid,  it’s now one of France’s best kept secrets.  It’s such a delightful city to visit and the pastel colour streets and beautiful architecture will make you fall in love with Marseille.  You can read my City Break to Marseille post by clicking right here and my second visit to Marseille right here.

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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

A great little destination for a quickie break if you are struggling with time and a great place to take the kids if you are travelling with them the first time. Luxembourg City is compact, doesn’t have all the hordes of tourists seen in the more popular city break destinations, green and ever so child friendly.  You can read my City Break to Luxembourg post by clicking right here.

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Porto, Portugal

The city of Porto has been on my wish list for a number of years and after reading Elle’s posts on the destination last year here and here I was desperate to visit.  You can read my city guide to Porto here.

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Krakow, Poland

This Polish city has so much to offer that I would suggest extending it from a quick weekend break to spending at least 4 nights in the city to visit all the incredible sights the city has to offer. A day trip to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz is a must.  You can read my City Break to Krakow post by clicking right here.

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Athens, Greece

I’m not sure why Athens isn’t a more popular city break destination; it has so much to offer. From incredible historic sights, amazing museums, fabulous shoe shopping and don’t even get me started on the food. The flying time is just under four hours however don’t let this put you off as the extra time spent on the plane is so worth it!  You can read my City Break to Athens post by clicking right here.

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Verona, Italy

The city of love; is this Europe’s most romantic city? Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet in fair Verona and the city makes a perfect city break destination as it’s small and compact. If you’re visiting during summer than try and get tickets to the Opera that is played in the Arena (Roman Amphitheatre).  You can read my City Break to Verona post by clicking right here.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I’m adding Amsterdam to my alternative city break list as the city is shedding it’s dirty drug / sex image and becoming a luxury city break hot spot. If you’re an art lover, this city is the perfect destination for a quickie city break (excuse the pun).  You can read my City Break to Amsterdam post by clicking right here.

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Dusseldorf, Germany

Most city breakers head to Berlin and Munich if wishing to visit Germany however I’m going to suggest Dusseldorf. The city offers incredible shopping however if you are keen on heading to the Christmas Markets, fly into Dusseldorf, visit the markets there and then jump on the train for the short journey to visit the bigger Christmas Market in Cologne.  You can read my City Break to Dusseldorf post by clicking right here.

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Vienna, Austria

If you eat a lot of cake and base your holidays around this requirement then let me recommend a visit to Vienna; the home to so much cake that you will possibly need to buy two seats on the return flight back home! The city is just stunning and I would return in an instant as I found three nights wasn’t enough to enjoy this delightful city break destination.  You can read my City Break to Vienna post by clicking right here or my Gluttons Guide to Eating Cake in Vienna post.

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Split, Croatia

Don’t overlook this beautiful Adriatic city; the city has so much to offer and there is nothing more beautiful than sitting in Diocletians Palace on a balmy summers evening having dinner. The city is so much cheaper to travel to than Dubrovnik and I would high recommend trying to rent an apartment in the Old Town to really enjoy your stay.  You can read my Split vs Dubrovnik post by clicking right here.

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What was your favourite City Break destination? Where would you recommend visiting for an alternative city break in Europe?

xx

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