I'm Mathieu, a French guy living in Porto since 2010, and I'll introduce you to the charm of this city and the must-see things it has to offer.
Before I start, let me make a little introduction. As a host, my guests often ask me why I choose to live in Portugal. This wasn't my initial plan. In the beginning, I came to Portugal to learn Portuguese, with the idea to go to Brazil afterwards (I knew Brazil after several trips to this amazing country). And why Brazil, will you ask?
Well, I got really, really tired and exhausted from the Parisian live style and its routine, subway, work and sleep ("métro, boulot, dodo" as we say in french). At that time, I was working in a Banking institution. I had a job, co-workers who became friends, in other words, everything to be happy. But I felt deep inside me that I was not happy and not fully satisfied with my job. I needed something else. (Sorry, I will continue to tell my story, but it is really to share what I have discovered. I assure you that I will tell you everything about Porto!)
After a lot of research, I finally discovered a European Union program called the "European Voluntary Service" (today European Solidarity Corps). This program allows youths aged 18 to 30 to participate in a voluntary experience during 12 months maximum in a Non-Governmental Organisation. After sending many resumes and motivation letters, I was finally accepted; One year, volunteering with pocket money, food allowance and paid rent.
That year, I discover the vegan diet, community gardens, Fado Music (traditional Portuguese Music), and a whole new way of living and interacting within an association. (I can only advise this program which definitely changed my life. If you are under 30 and reading this, just go for it). Then I fell in love with Porto, the city itself and its people. I did not see myself leaving this fantastic place, and my initial plan to live in Brazil started fading away.
It must be said that the calm of the "Portuense" lifestyle would appeal to all people who have lived in the Parisian suburbs. And after 10 years in Porto, it is not uncommon to meet people who first came on vacation and see them again after a few months or years, finally settling here.
I also made this choice, settled permanently in Porto and, as the icing on the cake, I met love. Years go by, and I become a permanent member of the association. After many events, I started hosting on Airbnb in 2015 and left the association in 2016, with my daughter's birth. So much for the background.
"Bem-Vindo ao Porto!"
I have been an Airbnb host since 2015. We have 3 flats in Porto's historical centre and an apartment on the other side of the Douro River, in Vila Nova de Gaia. It's a beautiful place to visit on foot. I loved wandering through its small streets to discover the little cafes and bars, the "tascas" as they say here. Not to mention the typical little restaurants in the area. You are literally next to everything, and in less than 5 minutes on foot, you can visit:
- The Ribeira docks and the Luis Bridge
- The quays of Gaia and its Porto cellars
- The Stock Exchange Palace & the Church of Sao Francisco
- Sao Bento station
- Sé cathedral
You can also take public transport and bus Number 500, which will take you directly to Matosinhos beach. There you will find great restaurants for grilled fish. Those who feel more adventurous can try surfing.
We also have a detailed guide in each apartment and a guide on Airbnb that you can access here.
Here I do not tell you more and I hope to meet you one of these days in Porto!
Mathieu, thank you for your great personal bio and the lovely pictures.
They say a picture tell a thousand words and yours have introduced us all to Porto.
Seeing as you have got the ball rolling, I have always thought, why are people coming to my property? I never thought they would, I just host in an old garage that cracks all the time, is a devil to keep clean and is nowhere special, it's just in the back-blocks of nowhere! But then I look at some of the photos of my Adelaide Hills area and I guess I can see why....
Great accommodation option from my humble listing all the way up to the local Thorngrove Manor!
There are dozens of country lanes to drive.....
And great little welcoming towns.......
There are wonderful restaurants, Trip Advisor says we have the best Indian restaurant in the world!!
Our streets are quiet and pleasant with an old world charm.......
There is always something wonderful to wake up to....
And a great sunset to end the day.......
We don't get floods, or snow, tornadoes, earthquakes, we just live in a peaceful part of the world that has a lot to offer!
Thank you for the wonderful photos and is the words beyond beautiful!
“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
Thank you for sharing your journey in Porto and your inspiring experience. Lovely cover photos.
I am bet you also love the Portuguese cuisine and the culture.
Enjoy you adventure guide with your guest!
Ways to go!
This is lovely, @Mathieu6 ! I love the Community Centre [Discover] series!
I travelled to beautiful Lisbon for the first time ever in September. So many people told me I should see Porto, but I was in Lisbon/Sintra for work with no extra days tacked on (because of the pandemic). Once we can travel for fun again, Porto it is!
Hi Mathieu @Mathieu6 Thanks for sharing your story about Porto. I was fortunate to visit Porto a couple of years ago and it remains one of my favourite destinations ... and, always thought 'I could live here'.
I host a suite in Vancouver, BC Canada and am also an artist. I have featured some of my images from Porto in my artwork, which people really like.
Next time I plan to visit Porto, I will be sure to look up your listings. Cheers.