Top 10 biggest mistakes when visiting Porto
From our experience of hosting guests we have made a summary with the biggest errors you may do in Porto:
10- Say "Thanks" the wrong way
Unlike other languages, we do not say "thank you" all in the same way. So, if you want to thank in Portuguese, you have to follow this rule: The Woman always says "Obrigada" and the Men always say "Obrigado". You will probably will ear some locals that say the opposite manner but don't worry. They don't know and now you do know how to correctly thank people.
09- Listen to Fado in Porto.
You may like it, but Lisbon is much better in this. We have some good places but they don't work everyday. It is not easy to listen to good (non touristic) Fado in Porto.
08- Book an Hotel or Apartment away from the historical center.
We have lots of good places in the UNESCO historical area. This way you will be able to rest where it matters. Avoid traffic and don't lose time coming to the center. Just stay there.
07- Eat at Macdonalds, Pizza Hut or some Tourist trap restaurants.
We have so many good places to eat (and not expensive) that it is a crime to go for the fast food restaurants. Since Porto became so popular, tourist trap restaurants have arise and now you have to be careful. If you don't want to spend too much money on food, why not try the "Santiago F"'s Francesinhas, Casa Guedes Sandwishes or Conga special Bifanas!
06- Eat Real "Tripas à moda do Porto".
Tripas à moda do Porto is a traditional dish born in the city of Porto, and that, according to a legend, dates back to the Portuguese Discoveries. The dish is made with various types of meat, casings, sausages and white beans. This dish was one of the finalists to the 7 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy.
05- Do a boat cruise with bad weather
Douro cruises are very Popular in Porto. But if the weather is not sunny, you should not do it. It is really a waste of time.
04- Not visiting the fisherman's city of Matosinhos
This city is not far from Porto and it is the perfect place to eat nice fresh fish or sea food from the Portuguese coast.
03- Not visiting other nearby cities
There are some nearby cities that you can visit that are also very beautifull and you can easly access by metro, bus or train, like Guimarães, Braga, Vila do Conde Viana do Castelo, Aveiro and Coimbra.
02- Eat francesinha everywhere
Eating Francesinha is a must in Porto. But is now so popular that all restaurants are doing it. But in our opinion most of them are not good. This dish requires some knowledge to master it. So be careful choosing the place to eat your Francesinha.
01- Rent a car
In our opinion this is the biggest error while visiting Porto. If your goal is to just visit Porto, it is really worthless. You will have extra costs with the renting, fuel, parking, time spent in traffic, etc. We have good public transport option that will take you to the places that matter. If you plan to go to the Douro Valley, the car option may be slightly better but the Boat cruises and the Train may be also very good options. If you plan to visit other nearby cities, the Train or Bus will help you get there. If you plan to go from Porto to Lisboa, just rent the car on the last day in Porto.