WALKING IN PORTO
Porto is a city for walking. Right outside of our hotel was a lively plaza with many outdoor cafes, street vendors and buskers. But don’t limit your exploration to walking out from your hotel or room.
Taxis are a relatively inexpensive way to access other parts of the city.
We chose to start by visiting the retail district and join the crowd window shopping.
Then we decided to walk to the Rossio Train Station to see the artwork in the main lobby.
Along the way, there was plenty of street art and decorative textile exteriors to admire.
ROSSIO TRAIN STATION
The Rossio Train Station is a wonderfully ornate structure that really does not resemble a train station. The interior lobby and ticket area is a wonder of tiles and historical depictions of Portuguese history. It was certainly worth the effort to walk to this very impressive building to admire the artwork.
Majestic Café is the most beautiful café in Porto. Actually, it’s on the Top 10 of the most beautiful cafés in the world. It dates back to 1921 under the name of The Elite. It is located on Santa Catarina Street, the main pedestrian walkway in the city. You can’t miss it. The façade is gorgeous but as you go inside your mouth opens and the sound “Aaaah” comes out!
In its early days, this café used to be one of the meeting points of the elite of the city. Writers, politicians, artists, thinkers, the elites, met in different cafés around the city to exchange ideas and discuss different topics over a cup of coffee or a glass of absinthe.
Time took its toll and the place was neglected. The glamour of “la belle époque” gave in to carelessness and Majestic Café was no longer majestic! In 1994, the Majestic re-opened after two years of reconstruction work to bring back the glamour from the 20s and give the café back to Porto! [credit localporto.com]
At the end of a long day of walking and exploring what better thing to do than find a wonderful outdoor eatery and sample a local delicacy…. barnacles.