Check the Best Things To Do in Porto as an Erasmus+
Porto is one of the favourite cities among students who choose Portugal for their Erasmus+. Divided by the Douro river, this charming and happening city is filled with colourful homes and cheerful locals, loved for its rich heritage by explorers, photographers, visitors, and students alike. The Portuguese city attracts a large number of students from different corners of the world every year because it has everything international students would look for, from an incredible atmosphere to great culture and kind people.
Today, let us talk about a few exciting things you can do when in Porto for your Erasmus+.
Relax by the beaches
One of the best things to do in your free time during the Erasmus+ programme is to unwind by the sea. While you can always head to the beach in the evening, you are likely to see more people dipping their toes in the Atlantic and enjoying the breeze on hot days. There are more than ten beaches within a few minutes of distance from the city. If you don’t mind travelling a bit, the Miramar is one of the must-visit places as it has a 17th-century chapel on the rocks between sandy beaches.
Explore the cathedral
The Porto Cathedral is one of the oldest structures in the city standing as its symbol. A tile-covered stone façade invites you to explore the artistic beauty it boasts. On your visit, you get to see a decorated church with a stained glass window and can climb to the top of the bell tower to enjoy some panoramic views of Porto. The entire experience should hardly take an hour but will surely turn out to be a memorable one.
Take a sightseeing cruise
While a sightseeing cruise can seem to be too touristy, it is actually one of the best things for students to do during their free time. There is so much of city life existing along the Douro river’s edge that not spending time exploring its beauty is like doing a disservice to yourself when in Porto. You can take a city sightseeing boat tour on a traditional boat to learn about the significance of the river while passing through numerous landmarks and bridges.
Things to do in Porto: Explore the Ribeira, Bolhão and Baixa districts
The three districts make up Porto’s most beautiful and historic areas. Ribeira is a bustling and vibrant district with colourful houses and riverfront views, bars, shops, and cafes full of tourists and locals soaking up the atmosphere and the sights. The modern-day neighbourhood buzzes day and night with activity and is busy with craft markets, bars, restaurants, and street performances.
Above Ribeira are the Bolhao and Baixa areas where you can see most of the amazing attractions of Porto including Palacio do Bolsa, Rua Santa Catarina, and Majestic Café. You can always spend a day exploring these areas and learning about the rich history whenever you find time during your Erasmus+ in Porto.
Watch the sunset
One of the most memorable things you can do while in Porto is to watch the best sunset of your life. The city’s west coast location where the Douro river meets the Atlantic Ocean gives some epic sunset views. People are generally seen grabbing some drinks and heading to the narrow park that gets too busy as the daylight fades. Looking at the crowd along the Passeio das Virtudes, it is easy to guess how serious Porto sunsets are. Another great spot to catch the sun’s last rays is the Foz do Douro’s beachfront.
Follow the street art trail
If you want to explore the other side of Porto, go on the streets leaving aside the main sights. As you wander the backstreets, you can expect to come across some vividly coloured murals created by some of the most talented street artists of Porto. There are so many spots to hunt for street art though you should start the trail with heavy hitters like Vhil’s tribute to healthcare workers boasting his carving style at the Hospital São João and the massive mural ‘Mira’ by Daniel Eime on the Largo de Artur Arcos.
Taste the popular wine
You might already know that Port wine is the creation of Porto and is the city’s most popular export. The Douro Valley region is renowned as the only true Port producer across the world. One of the best things to do during your Erasmus+ in Porto is to pay a visit to one of the many wine cellars most of which are located within a walking distance from Ribeira.
You can either take a guided tour for wine tasting that takes you through some of the oldest Port houses or explore some of the wine houses along the banks of the river by yourself to learn about Porto’s culture and Port wine. You can even choose to relax at one of the cozy wine bars located around and discover the tasty wine to its best.
Experience the local food
Portugal is the origin of one of the most delicious sweet dishes which is the Portuguese tart (Pastel de Nata). These are crispy puff pastry tarts with a creamy filling of egg custard. When in Porto for your Erasmus+, it is worth visiting the Confeitaria do Bolhao, a beautiful patisserie serving the best Portuguese tarts, croissants, and other sweet treats.
Another dish you must try in Porto is the famous Francesinha. There are many cafes and restaurants serving the authentic version of this dish though you can always find a lot of vegetarian and vegan options for this delicacy throughout the city.
Take a relaxing walk on the bridge
Walking on the Dom Luis I Bridge is a one-of-a-kind of Porto experience you could enjoy during your Erasmus+. It is a double-deck iron bridge connecting the city to Vila Nova de Gaia. The beautiful bridge was built in 1886 spanning the River Douro and is considered to be an architectural masterpiece. At the time of its construction, it was the longest bridge of its kind.
The bridge gets filled with locals and tourists during evening hours eagerly waiting to take the mesmerizing views of Porto. This is one of the best things to do during your stay in the city.
Go tile hunting: one of the best free things to do in Porto
One of the most fun activities to indulge in when in Porto is going tile hunting. There is nothing better than the amazing Sao Bento Train Station to do this. Constructed in the 20th century, the station’s entryway is a real show stopper with 20,000 tiles painted by hand, showcasing the scenes from Portugal’s history. You can visit the station on a weekend during your study programme in Porto.
Are these the best 10 things to do in Porto during your Erasmus+?
These are some exciting and fun things you can do in Porto during your Erasmus+. This city is so rich in art, culture, and heritage that there is always something interesting to do here. Whatever your taste, Porto has so much to make your stay a memorable one! These are a few things you can do to enjoy your Erasmus+ experience in the beautiful city of Porto.