Add: R. dos Mercadores 3 Ribeira, 4050-375 Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 939 809 828
Price: [studio] from €75/night, [apartment] from €120/night
Visited: Jul 2015
When traveling, I prefer renting short-stay apartments for more room, more flexibility, more autonomy, and sometimes at an even lower price than hotels. In Porto, I found PortoSense apartments, conveniently located on Praça da Ribeira, literally a stone-throw away from River Douro. We stayed at its duplex apartment (€120/night) located on the 4th floor, close enough to the hustle and bustle of the Praça da Ribeira but quiet and calm once all the windows are closed. It has a full kitchen, two bathrooms, double bed, sofa bed, and daybed…yes that’s a lot of beds, with enough space to accommodate up to 6 people. Let’s take a tour.
View from the window looks right out to the river. We could hear the market actions even from four floors up and we quite enjoyed this convivial atmosphere. The best part is that whenever we got tired of the noises, all we had the do was shut the windows.
They’ve got Port wine for us. That’s what
Here are a few good places to eat and drink in Porto, starting with Traça, a stylish restaurant serving Iberian-inspired cuisine.
Deer loin carpaccio and foie gras slices with caramelized apples as starters, both extremely delicious.
Two days in Porto and I was charmed by its shabby chic streets.
One of my favorite spots in Porto was Praça Lisboa, a green rooftop with music, drinks, colorful lights, and people lounging at leisure. What a summery scene.
Clothes hanging outside the window is very much a part of Porto’s city look.
Add: Rua da Glória 16, 1250-116 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel: +351 912 769 797
Price: [studio] €109/night, [apartment] €150/night
Visited: Jul 2015
Our base for exploring Lisbon was The Lisbonaire, a stylish studio/apartment complex in the heart of the city. The street itself is quiet, but located just 100m to metro Restauradores, 250m to Rossio Train Station (especially relevant for those going to Sintra), and a short stroll from Bairro Alto and Baixa / Chiado neighborhoods – it doesn’t get much more convenient than this.
The 1960s building was rebuilt in 2011, now containing 19 studios and one-bedroom apartments, each featuring Lisbon-inspired artwork by Portuguese designers. Here are some snapshots of Studio A, about 30 sqm in size and equipped with fridge, microwave, oven, cooker, dish washer, washing machine, toaster, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, safe, free wifi, 32” LCD TV, iPod dock…just about everything you’d need. The one thing I didn’t quite like about this studio was that it doesn’t get much natural light, but we didn’t spend much time here during the day anyway.
Just a few food and drinks recommendations for Lisbon, starting with the stylish “The Decadente” bar & restaurant located in the stylish hostel “The Independente“. The decor had me snapping photos everywhere, and the food and cocktails were quite nice as well. It’s a popular place, reservation highly recommended especially during summer high season.
Some snapshots from beautiful Lisbon, starting with Rossio Square and its wave-patterned floor tiles.
Praça do Comercio.
During our stay in Thessaloniki, our friends took us on some pretty amazing day trips away from the city. The first was a three-hour drive to Meteora, which literally means “suspended in air” or “in the heavens above”. What it is: six monasteries built on natural sandstone rock pillars, and yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. We arrived in the late afternoon and only had the time to quickly look through one of the monasteries, but it was already an fascinating experience. To properly explore this area, it’s better to arrive early during the day and perhaps even stay in the area (which was our original plan before it got thwarted by the referendum…)
I’ve been posting photos of Athens and the islands, but our first stop in Greece was actually Thessaloniki. This city, albeit being the second largest in Greece, is not really hot on the tourist map, but we have some lovely local friends who planned out a nice itinerary for us – we eventually had to change our plans due to the Greek bailout referendum, but we had a wonderful time nonetheless. For one thing, Thessaloniki is famous for its vibrant food scene (apparently much more so than Athens), so let’s start with those…
One of the restaurants our friends took us to was Massalia, and dinner was so good that we went back again the next day by ourselves for lunch. Here are just a few of the delicious dishes we tried during the evening.
One day in Athens, yes it was quite rushed indeed. To see all the archaeological sites, we woke up early to beat the crowd and the heat, and it was definitely worth the effort. To make things easier, we got the combo ticket which covers 7 sites in total including the Acropolis, and started with Temple of Zeus then made our way through the rest of the area…
When planning our Greece trip, it was rather difficult to choose which islands to visit. Going to Santorini was a no-brainer, but I wanted to spend time on one other island, somewhere that’s less touristy than Santorini. After doing some research and browsing through tons of photos, I decided on Paros and its adjacent Antiparos, and what a good decision this was. These islands, located in central Aegean Sea about 3 hours by ferry from Athens, are quaint and quiet even in July. Perfect for a few days of doing nothing, and a very pleasant contrast from the tourist-packed Santorini.