A decade ago, the city’s historic centre was badly rundown. Now, having been carefully restored, it’s filled with culture, cafes and unusual shops
Porto is a good-looking city, its granite buildings packed into a hilly landscape, many of them decorated on the outside with azulejos, the stunning blue and white tiles that are a defining feature of this place. The entrance to the São Bento station is particularly memorable, covered in some 20,000 of these tiles depicting key moments in the history of Portugal.
We wander down the recently pedestrianised Rua das Flores with its pretty balconied houses and azulejo-clad Igreja da Misericordia. In a side alley there’s a striking blue and white mural of a cat on a wall several storeys high. We stop off for a craft beer and a plate of organic cheese and salamis at the Mercearia das Flores.