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We were two sisters on a mini break in Porto. Henrique's apartment looked perfect and it was. Nicely and simply furnished, quiet, and off the tourist beaten track but close enough to join in the fun. Henrique was a sympathetic host, met us kindly on arrival even though we were delayed and allowed us to leave our suitcase in the apartment on the final day until our late afternoon departure. This was a blessing as wandering around the hills of Porto with a heavy suitcase can spoil even a city as lovely as Porto. Henrique recommended a couple of restaurants which worked nicely for us. We were able to walk to all the major attractions although the hills added quite a few steps to our progress! We loved Porto and hope to return and would definitely stay in Henrique's apartment if it were available. We only had breakfasts in the apartment as restaurants and markets were too tempting. There is no washing machine but there is a laundrette just across the street for long stay guests. Three minute walk to the Mercado for excellent produce. Cafes within two minutes walk both up and down the street and five minutes to Cafe Majestic if you have the funds for breakfast there!
We chose this apartment mainly because we were travelling to Porto in our own car and wanted a secure carparking space. The apartment is on the second floor, is accessed by a lift which also accesses the underground carpark. It is conveniently situated between Porto city centre and the A20 (IC23) internal ring road, in a residential area. The apartment is modern, very sunny, light and airy but has window screens and blackout curtains to provide shade if required. The full height windows open onto a balcony which overlooks a quiet road and an area of rather old, but picturesque tiled cottages and overgrown gardens which I understand are of historic value and are awaiting restoration.
We had all the equipment required for a self catering holiday. The shower functions well and there was plenty of hot water. The furniture is comfortable and in good condition. There is storage for suitcases etc. We stayed for 5 nights.
During our holiday we walked to Porto centre via the Rua de Serpa Pinto - this takes about 30 minutes. We also took the Metro from Carolina Michaelis to Bilhao (for the city centre) and other stations. It is possible to purchase 3-day multiple use tickets for public transport.
My husband is a transport enthusiast - he enjoyed the trams, the Sao Bento railway station (an art lover can enjoy the spectacular tiled interior), the bridges over the Douro and the Metro. I enjoyed wandering around back streets looking at tiled facades, stone carvings etc, the second hand / antique shops on the Rua de Serpa Pinto (close to our apartment), the historic city centre and banks of the Douro.
We bought a yellow bus 2-day ticket for the hop-on hop-off tourist buses which provide 2 circular tours of the city and nearby coast, plus a visit to a port tasting. We chose Manuel Pocas - a bit of a walk from the bus stop but there is another port cellar nearer the bus route. We visited the House of Henry the Navigator - a famous Portuguese prince with a British connection as his mother was Phillipa of Lancaster, an English princess.
We enjoyed our stay in Manuela's flat. For us it was an ideal combination of a quiet base yet within easy walking or public transport of Porto's main sites and easily accessed by car.