3. Port Wine & the Port cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia
Head into any bar, restaurant or café in Porto and you’ll find port wine on the menu. This wine is synonymous with the region and you can enjoy a small glass of white, Ruby (a young red port) or Tawny (barrel-aged ruby port). In the UNESCO- listed Douro Valley, the grapes are harvested before being transported to the port cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. Here, you’ll find the world-famous brands such as Taylor’s, Sandman, Grahams, Calem and Croft.
On a solo adventure in Porto you can head to one (or more) of these cellars where you can learn more about the Port production process and partake in a wine tasting.
Fun Fact: Young white port is very light in colour and gets darker as it ages. A red port starts of dark and gets lighter with age - an aged white port and an aged Tawny port will be almost identical in colour.
4. Stunning sights in the Baxia
As you explore Porto as a single traveller there are some incredible sights to take in – let’s take a look at just some of the highlights of the Baixa area. Here you’ll find the Clerigos Church, which almost acts as a beacon with its bell tower visible from around the city. If you’ve got time, why not climb the two hundred stairs of the 75m tower for unobstructed views of Porto?
Not far from here are Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas. These two churches sit almost side by side but are separated by a 1-meter-wide house - although now vacant, it was inhabited until the 1980’s. You can head inside the two churches to see elegant carvings but it’s the outstanding exterior of the Igreja do Carmo that will take your breath away - it possesses an extravagant tiled façade with scenes showing the founding the Carmelite Order.
If you have spare time on your hands, also in the area is the Centro Portugues de Fotografia, this unique photographic museum is housed in an imposing building – you can explore the museum to take in the thought provoking exhibits, but perhaps it’s real draw is that this building was once the city’s prison. The cells, workshops, courtyards and chambers have all been restored into beautiful exhibition spaces – take a look out of some of the windows for grand views of the Se Cathedral.