Porto, Portugal Travel Guide

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, and it is steeped in 2,000 years of history. This city offers a fascinating blend of architectural altitudes, styles, and eras. Many historic centers here are UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its wealth of treasures.

Douro River

A great way to see Porto is on a leisurely boat cruise. It will give you a great view of the city as its buildings are seemingly stacked in one another. You will also have time to sail beneath Porto’s elegant bridges including Dom Lewis designed by Gustav Eiffel’s assistant. It opened in 1886 and it is one of the longest iron arch bridges in the world. It carries road traffic and metro trains across its double decks.


Ribera is an enchanting old quarter just below the Dom Lewis. It is a hilly warren of pavement cafes, narrow alleyways, and crumbling buildings. Walking through this neighborhood will give you a flavor of local life. The Ribera is a fascinating place to visit.

Stock Exchange Building

The Stock Exchange Building is a stone’s throw from the Ribera. It was built to impress European investors in the 29th century. Moorish decoration inspired by the Alhambra makes the interior dazzling.

Salle Bientôt Train Station

Another must see attraction in Porto is the Salle Bientôt Train Station. Ensure you step inside this iconic train station to gaze at the painted tiles. They are known as Azules and they depict events from Portugal’s history.

Romanesque Cathedral

The Romanesque Cathedral was originally built in the 12th century and it has been extensively rebuilt and renovated over the years. This has resulted in an eclectic mix of styles and the Gothic Rose window is the only remainder from the original building. You can get outstanding views of this city’s terra-cotta rooftops from here.

Bell Tower of Clary

This tower is visible from all part of Porto. It is 245ft high, and it is one of the tallest buildings in Portugal. When you are out and about exploring this beautiful city, the Bell Tower of Clary can be a great navigation tool.

Port Wine

No trip to Porto is complete without tasting some of its favorite port wine. It is produced in the Douro Valley, and it is blended and aged in the Gaia district. You can find out the importance of port wine to this region by taking a tour around the cellars.

Douro Valley

Douro Valley is the heart of port wine in Portugal. It is renowned for its charming little towns, rolling hills, and acres of vineyards.

So whether you want to glide down the Douro River, stroll centuries old streets, or discover the delicious port wine world, Porto is a beautiful and fascinating city waiting to be explored.

Top 3 Solo Travel Tips That Every Traveler Should Know

When it comes to traveling the world alone, it is one of the most unique and special things that any traveler could ever do in their life. People who don’t usually travel alone describe this type of travel as one of the most interesting experiences that they have ever had. There is a lot of different reasons why everyone should try solo travel at least once. You see, when you are traveling with your family or friends, you are constantly worried whether or not they are actually enjoying the trip. But when you are traveling alone, you don’t have to worry about this kind of stuff, and the main reason why you don’t have to be worried about it is because you don’t have to listen to anyone, since there is no one there to tell you what to do and where to go. Simply put, you are your own boss, which basically means that you get to decide where you want to go, what you want to do, and when you want to do it.

Also, one of the biggest benefits that solo travel has to offer is the fact that you can take a break whenever you feel like it. But this also means that every single mistake you make during the trip is your own, which means that you can’t blame anyone other than yourself. Another thing that makes solo travel so good is that you get to set up your own travel schedule. To summarize all of this, when you are traveling alone, you get to do go wherever you want and do whatever you want. That being said, here are three solo travel tips that every traveler should know!

Safety Should Be Your Top Priority
Whether you enjoy traveling with your friends or family, or you enjoy doing it on your own, you should always put your safety at the top of your priorities list. If you think that something’s not right, simply don’t do it. It’s that simple!

Don’t Be Afraid To Eat Alone
Eating alone in a foreign country is actually not that bad. If you would like to add some more privacy to your launch, make sure to go to a restaurant that has booths. Feel free to bring your favorite book with you if that will make you feel more comfortable.

Meet New People
One of the best things about travel in general is that you get to meet new, interesting people. Just don’t forget about your safety okay? What we mean by this is that you shouldn’t trust every single person that you meet along the way, and you definitely shouldn’t ask them to hold your wallet for you.

Best outdoor activities in Norway

If you consider yourself to be an outdoors enthusiast, visiting Norway should be on top of your bucket list. Sure, it’s a modern country with trendy cities and cozy bars, making it the perfect place to snuggle up and stay inside, near a warm fire. Although that sounds fun, the real excitement is in the outdoors and what Norwegian nature can offer. Friends of mine from Edmonton who run a clinic that offers various services such as shockwave therapy, have shared countless outdoor adventure stories from their frequent Norwegian travels. Norway’s diverse, rugged landscape is best known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjords. The high plateaus and mountain peaks, the overwhelming number of lakes and the iced glaciers are heaven-sent for every nature lover. The beauty of the country itself is enough to make you fall in love with it, but if this didn’t caught your interest, here are some of the most interesting outdoor activities to do, in Norway.

Whale Watching
Any lover of the wild life is in love with whales, and what better place to go on a delightful sightseeing than on the Norwegian coast. You could spot a lot of different types, even the famous beluga whales around the Arctic Circle. Even if you don’t spot a whale, the sight of the beautiful blue sea and the patches of drift ice are enough to leave you in awe.

Considered a skiing paradise by many, Norway has a number of great slopes with some of the best snowing conditions. One of the main reasons is that it offers something for everybody, young and old, couples or family. It is full of ski schools and staff who are happy to teach any beginners, while having probably the best tracks for advanced skiers. If you wish to enjoy the fantastic scenery that this country has to offer, visit the north parts of Norway where you can witness some breathtaking landscapes or maybe even take on the challenge which they present to you.

Hike on a Glacier
The stunning beauty, experienced up-close is a fairytale-like feeling when you are roaming the glaciers. The enchanting light mixed with the sounds of the ice make it unique and fun for anyone, even the youngest. The Jostedalen Glacier Guides organize hikes across the blue ice of the Nigardsbreen Glacier in western Norway. The least demanding one of the all and most suitable for children is the Family Walk, which takes an hour or so to complete.

If you want to get really intimate with nature, I recommend going kayaking deep in the Norwegian fjords. The narrow fjords, surrounded by towering mountains and small islands offer a calm and soothing feeling. Northwest of Norway, the Helgeland coast is regarded as the country’s best kayaking spot. With a kayak, you can weave your way through the shallow waters, between islands and explore the area as it’s unreachable by any other way. Setting camp in the Norwegian forest can be equally thrilling as there is no better way to embrace the beauty of the Norwegian wilderness, you can also try some ice fishing while you’re add it.

Europe: Getting Around on Land

Flying is not always the cheapest option when getting from country to country, and depending on travel dates can be expensive and inconvenient with airports being far outside cities. Europe is very well connected, and the European Union makes travelling on land often a more convenient and cost efficient way to travel. Oftentimes during the bank and summer holidays, airlines will hike up prices cutting into the budgets of long term travellers and the weekend getaways. Many bus companies all over Europe are now opening up routes and running low cost, frequent trips from small and large cities all over the continent. This is also a great way to enjoy the view when travelling through countries such as Switzerland, Italy or the Netherlands. Plus, most bus companies now have WiFi on board and offer more legroom and comfort than an Easyjet flight. Here are the top three coach companies with easy to use websites and booking platforms:

Megabus: Operating in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and most of Europe, Megabus is a great alternative to trains or other public transport. Running routes multiple times a day with Wifi and bathrooms on board, this is a fan favourite for the traveller on a budget.

National Express: Operating on the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Poland National Express is another great and reliable coach service to use getting to and from cities and town within Europe. Often the cheaper alternative to getting to the airport in the United Kingdom, tickets can be up to 50% less than trains to and from London airports. National express also stops at most small towns in the United Kingdom that are often hard to reach by train. This service is the penny-pinching student’s ticket home for the weekend!

Flixbus: Flixbus is a relatively new service, operating out of Germany and reaching over two thousand destinations across Europe. Tickets can be as low at five euros and Flixbus is the most luxurious of all the bus companies offering high-speed wifi, reclining seats and footrests. And because they run so many times a day they are rarely full, so if you are lucky you might get a whole seat to yourself. Flix bus stops at many destinations that other bus companies do not, allowing to you explore new places off the beaten path, often being the same price as public transportation.

Although bus travel is a cheaper and more scenic way to travel, tickets are still subject to change due to demand. So if you know when you wish to travel book the ticket as soon as possible! Coach companies are much more lenient on cancellations or booking alterations, often only charging 10% of the ticket price to cancel compared to 100% when it comes to budget airlines. For airport buses, always give yourself extra time in case there is traffic, its always better safe than sorry!

Coming to Kyoto

Once the capital of Japan, and now the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is stereotypical Japan in a nutshell. The city sprawls 828 km² and can all be explored on train, bike and foot. Kyoto is known for its hundred of Buddist temples and Shinto Shrines, which seem to be on every corner. You could spend a year visiting every temple, and another eating in different restaurants serving tasty tempura, ramen, izakaya, takoyaki and other Japanese favourites. Kyoto is also known for its Cherry Blossom season, starting around the 20th March and lasting about two weeks. The cherry blossoms start to bud and then quickly blossom, falling from the trees after a short time. Millions of tourists flood in between March and April to catch a glimpse of these beautiful blossoms. Kyoto is home to many geishas, and if you want to get a glimpse of them in full dress head to the Gion area, where you are sure to see dozens trotting around in their wooden sandals. Kyoto is famous for its tofu and other vegetarian cuisines. Many monks and religious Japanese live in Kyoto and do not consume meat, so if you are a vegan or vegetarian Kyoto is the best place to get some good eats.

If you are staying in Kyoto for an extended period of time, it is cost effective to buy a bicycle. It will cost you around $80-$120 but is a much nicer way to see the city and everything is within an hour bicycle ride away. There are no rules when it comes to cycling in Japan, residents will switch between sidewalk and road and drive on both sides. When in doubt, use your bell to alert others you are behind, beside or in front. Japan is a very safe country so many Japanese will leave their bikes unattended outside shops, and they will never be stolen! Kyoto will stimulate all your senses with all its colours and tastes. Make sure to check out the monthly flea market selling all sorts of quirky goods on the 21st of each month. The most popular places to stay are Downtown and Kyoto Station areas where you can find a selection of hundreds of guesthouses, hotels and hostels. For the full experience opt for a Japanese Ryokan where you will sleep on tatami mats and eat traditional Japanese breakfast prepared for you in your room. Both of these areas are close to the most popular tourist destinations and can be reached by foot. There is a JR station on almost every corner so you are sure to get around easy. Relax, enjoy and take in the beauty of Kyoto