Home rental and home life in Porto
If you are planning to go abroad and like to travel more independently, think about renting an apartment.
We have been doing this a while now and it is the most comfortable way to get a home away from home.
Two years on the road and we have hardly seen a hotel room!
Our apartment rental in Porto
We stayed 13 days and paid 65 Euros a night including airbnb fees (for the three of us – mum was travelling along).
If you are thinking about renting a home, you can get a referral bonus when booking through us, which is 25 $ that can be spend on any apartment of choice on airbnb. Airbnb is the web-portal we mainly use to find homes on our travels. No strings attached.
As usual, location is a key factor when we choose homes.
2 minutes to the metro station.
This time we were located in the historic district of Porto and what that means is that we were right next to Porto’s beautiful Ribiera and main sights in the very old quarters. It also means we were in the centre of beautiful old buildings in dear need of renovation.
Some have been renovated and clearly made a statement to functionality over decorative frill.
Right next to a neglected historic house, with a crumbling façade, window glass shattered, taken over by city doves, is our amazingly wonderful home.
Our street. Porto is hills.
At the end of our street, marking the beginning of the Ribeira, Porto’s famous promenade.
Modern, fresh and bright. Just the way we like it. The best part, we are only the second guests. Things are brand new.
Well, yes and vintage.
Living room turns working space.
Bedroom number one.
Bedroom number two.
Nice peep through solution for a second bedroom in a one-space-property with only one-window-front.
Did some good deal of cooking here.
Preparing breakfast with yummy Portuguese soft cheese.
While mum made delish fruit salad every morning.
A typical breakfast in Porto.
We don’t use sugar but our overuse of honey is legendary.
The owners were interior design pros and we enjoyed this pretty seating arrangement. You can see our welcome present on the table. Portwine from Porto!
Bathroom in functional but nice ikea style.
The only drawback of this flat was that it was not on the sunny side. The sun would briefly pass our balcony in the early morning and was gone by 10 am.
The other side had more luck and always had the laundry out. It was drying so quick that even when it rained, the owners were not bothered to take it in.
Hair drying and sun catching on our balcony. The Douro river and wine-lodged Gaia behind me. Ponte Dom Luis I, the iron art work of a bridge, to the left.
Portugal’s weather conditions and misperceptions
Portugal is not as warm in April as it may seem.
Or as we hoped it would be.
There is no central heating in houses which surprises me, as it really does get cold, especially right after sunset.
Miguel asked us a question, one we do get a lot of times: If we are used to the cold, since we are from freezing Poland?
This is a funny question as it is waaaaay warmer in Poland than in Portugal once it gets cold outside. The evenings rapidly turn breezy and freezy.
That is because we heat the hell out of our apartments. We run around in t-shirts at home. No flannels, scarves, double socks and thick sweaters to stay cosy – pretty much everything I was layering onto my body in Porto.
On top of that, many old buildings are very damp and have a particular basement smell, the walls are thick and cold.
I would really recommend Portugal in the summer, but not much for a holiday in spring and I do not know how Portuguese people survive winters.
Grocery shopping in Porto
Shopping is tricky but pretty. We couldn’t find a supermarket easily and there aren’t many in the historic centre. The alternative small wine-convenience-souvenir shops next to our house were badly stocked and overpriced.
Minipreço is a discount supermarket chain in Portugal which we used (once we found it).
Somehow it was easier to spot pastelarias around every corner. It made me wonder if maybe Portuguese locals actually live off pastry.
Do not expect shops to have big shop signs. We passed the Minipreço due to lack of labelling the first time but despite minor challenges, I like the idea of signs not dominating the area with huge signs.
You gotta look into the windows to find out what kind of shop you are dealing with. Portugal is pleasantly old fashioned that way.
Sadly, some won’t make it into the future.
Loved those old shop signs in Porto.
Opening hours of some shops are a mystery. (Not only in this picture but truthfully pretty much always, The One, all The Gentleman, does carry my fair share of grocery bags. There are times like these where old fashioned role models are just bliss.)
What to do with trash in Porto
There are no trash containers in houses in the historic part of town. You got to get used to the idea to carry your trash around. To the next trash collect station.
Which looks like this.
Dump your trash bags properly or create a feeding station for clever sea gulls!
More of Porto coming up!