En hoe is het in Porto?

And how is life in Porto?

13 July 2017

Porto, the city of Port wine, that has been the inspiration for the Harry Potter series, that has a bridge of Gustav Eiffel (Ponte Luis I) and where you can find small bakeries with ‘Pastel de Nata’ in every street. No wonder Porto has been elected as the ‘Best destination of Europe’ for the third time in the last five years.

It is an old city, in which old (touristic) trams are driving through in the old streets, and that possesses many nice views on the river Douro and the six bridges Porto has. When walking through the city, one can clearly see that Portugal has been hit badly by the economic crisis. The houses are old and not too well maintained, but also the prices of food, drinks and living are fairly low. For only €3.50 you can find a proper meal in the city centre which you can accompany with a glass of wine for only 75 cents. And if that isn’t good enough for you: as an Erasmus student you can go to the Adega bar, where you can get a beer for fifty cents. Even after five months, you will not get used to these incredibly low prices.

Yet, it are not only the prices and the city that makes you want to live in Porto, but also the Portuguese people themselves make sure you feel at ease quickly. Within a month, I was already having dinner with other international students at a Portuguese family. Grandma was cooking and she only took a plate herself when she was reassured that everyone was enjoying themselves and that there would be enough food. As the finishing touch, the dinner ended with an old bottle of home-made Port wine, that was saved for special occasions. You would love the taste!

However, as in every South European country, everything is a bit slower and more relaxed. You shouldn’t be surprised if your professor only shows up thirty minutes after the starting time of the lecture, or that there are twelve more people in the line in front of you in the supermarket. So, you really don’t have to worry about getting late or being stressed out.

Additionally, they have a lot of holidays and free days in Portugal, which allow you to see more from the beautiful nature and city Portugal possesses: from the Algarve and Lisbon, to the islands from the Acores and Madeira.  However, a small note, don’t underestimate the study level, you do need to study here as well.

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