Porto, Portugal
Frederica, 23
Architecture student who loves fashion and rock music
see her Porto city guide

ask Frederica about

café art galleries viewpoints nightclubs museums underground churches

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm studying architecture at FAUP (if you're into architecture you should totally check the building, it was designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira!). I guess I started studying architecture because I tried to conjugate geometry, maths and art, so architecture was it! But the less logical explanation is because it gives you a sensibility to look at a city that only a few people have, and it's worth it! I also have a blog (www.theorchid.me) , because I'm more into the fashion industry than architecture. I hope one day I can work at Vogue - dreaming big, hun?

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Hmm, there are two types of heartbreak songs on my Spotify: the cool ones and the really corny ones ahah! Maybe it's between 'Feels like we only go backwards' by Tame Impala (I know, it can also be a really happy song, but if you're brokenhearted you can really feel the lyrics), 'The love you're given' by Jack Garratt, 'Skinny love' by Bon Iver (that's a classic), 'A 1000 times' by Hamilton Leithauser, 'Dancing on my own' by Robyn, 'I'm in here' by Sia OR 'Stay with me' by Sam Smith, 'Hate that I love you' by Rihanna, 'Brokenhearted girl' by Beyoncé, 'The heart wants what it wants' by Selena Gomez, etc. ahahah!

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Girly: Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars; Comedy (and also relatable): F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and How I Met Your Mother; Thrillers: How To Get Away With Murder and Black Mirror - these are the top 6 for me!

Name some spots in Porto that are good for a Tinder date.

I have never been on Tinder nor a Tinder date, but maybe Casa d'Oro, which has an amazing view, because of its location by the river and good Italian food or Traça, which is downtown and has this lovely table by a lovely window where you can see the Ribeira! (yes, I've said 'lovely' twice but the place is really lovely ahaha)

Who’s your hero and where in Porto would you take them out for a serious hang?

Now that you've asked, I realized I don't have a hero. Well, at least I have never thought about a person that way.. Sure there are people I admire, but it's so hard to choose one person when there are so many incredible ones! I'll tell you this, if I had a hero, I would take him/her to the top of 'Ponte Luís I' at night in the middle of the week and just stare at this city from above. Or then go to this café called 'Miradouro Ignez' at sunset and sit on the top floor and just eat French fries with ketchup and drink something cool - that's one of my favorite things.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Oh stop it, I don't know if they're fabulous *embarrassed emoji face*, but I'm kind of a ZARA addict, so most of my clothes are from there.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Here in Porto are two neighborhoods you shouldn't go to for your own good, and those are called "Bairro da Pasteleira" and "Bairro do Aleixo".

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love to go for a run/walk by the sea. There are some really cool paths right by the beach and through the rocks. Unfortunately, my university demands a lot from us students, therefore I'm usually really lazy on the weekends to compensate for the hard work! But if you're into walking with the smell of the ocean, you should definitely do this!! The paths are very easy to find!

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Porto and where did you get it?

The most extreme dish I've had in Porto, which is also a very tradicional dish, is "tripas à moda do Porto" - you can have this dish at Cozinha da Amélia!

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Porto that you particularly like?

There is this secret bar called 'Era uma vez no Porto..', which translated means "Once upon a time in Porto.." - romantic, hun? The bar is right next to Livaria Lello, the library that inspired parts of the Harry Potter books. The entrance is inside a building, whose ground-floor seems to consist of tourist shops, but if you walk through a thin corridor and climb the stairs at the end of it, you'll find yourself at a mysterious place, surrounded by good vibes and good music. It has a poetic view to the Clérigos Tower and the surrounding shimmery lights and it is a great place to have a drink with friends at night.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Porto? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

The most expensive, but amazing, restaurants I've ever been to in Porto are Cantinho do Avillez, whose average price is 70€ for 2 people for dinner; Ishiban, which is a Japanese restaurant but I've had there the best sushi of my life and the average price for lunch is 38€ for 2 people, but for dinner it's 60€ for 2 people, also; Terra and Cafeína. The most expensive spa I've been to is at The Yeatman Hotel and I've got a massage there for one of my birthdays, therefore I have no idea how much it was because I was given it as a gift. The best Hotel, in my opinion, is Vincci Porto mainly because of its quality and architecture.

What restaurant in Porto looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Cozinha da Amélia! The food is too good, there are many tradicional Portuguese dishes. You have to try the 'feijoada à transmontana' or the chef's 'arroz de grelos' - both dishes are amazing!

Where can you get the best cocktail in Porto? Which one do you like?

Cantinho do Avillez has my favorite cocktail, and it is called "Primo Basílico"!

Where would you take your partner in Porto if you wanted to really pamper them?

Hmmm, first I'd take him to Jardim do Morro in Gaia at sunset to look at the Porto side of the Douro river with its colorful little houses climbing up the hill, then for dinner at Traça, and later for a drink at Era Uma Vez No Porto.. I guess this would pamper him just enough :)

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

First of all, you have to try the 'Francesinha'! It's a typical snack in Porto and delicious! Second of all, you have to try a 'pastel de Belém' (or 'pastel de nata' as we call it here in Porto) with coffee! And then maybe 'suspiros' or 'ovos moles'!

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Porto?

The thin streets at Miragaia are very underrated. If you start your walk at Passeio das Virtudes, you should keep going down and you'll find yourself in the middle of a very sweet part of Porto, surrounded by colorful, little houses and peace. The sun hits only one side of the street and the contrast of light and shadow is beautiful. If you keep going, you'll reach the "arcos de Miragaia" and in front of you will be Alfândega.

What are the Porto spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

You can't definitely miss climbing all the way up at the Clérigos Tower, the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar, which is across the river in Gaia, and wandering around the galleries at Miguel Bombarda if you're into art! The Contemporary Art Museum of Serralves is also a really good idea - take a walk through the gardens. You have to go to Leça and visit the Piscinas de Leça and Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, which were designed by Álvaro Siza too. Behind the Casa de Chá, you'll get to a viewpoint by passing a small and rustic church and going up the rocky stairs on its right. The view will help you achieve a zen state of mind - super cool spot!

Tomorrow’s your last day in Porto. How do you spend it?

I would get my friends and grab some beers or wine and sit at Passeio das Virtudes at sunset and just hang while looking at my beautiful Porto. That would be a great way to spend my last day here, although I think I will never leave Porto for good. Porto doesn't let you go forever. Once you live here, there is no place that will ever compare to Porto. I'm so lucky :)

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Although I usually look for deserted beaches to rest on vacation, New York is always a good idea. Wether you go there for summer or winter, the city that never sleeps is always beautiful and electric.

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