If you have just arrived and are about to start your Erasmus Porto, you have a whole new city to explore, friends to meet, a culture to understand, a language to learn, classes to attend, parties to crash and so much more. It might feel a little overwhelming. So we decided to help you out by writing a checklist with all the things you really really have to do during your Erasmus Porto experience. You can just tick them off one by one and in the last week panic and go check out the five ones that you left for “the next weekend!”
1. Clérigos Tower
See the city from above by climbing the iconic Clérigos Tower. It’s 240 steps in a tight spiral which some people claim to be the perfect hangover cure. The tower is one of Porto’s first and main landmarks.
2 Saint John’s Day
Stick around until the 24th of June: It’s the city’s main celebration, festival de São João. The day involves a lot of Portuguese folk-music, grilled sardines, chinese balloons (or sky lanters) all over the sky. Everybody hits the streets with annoying plastic hammers and whack passersby on the head. It’s hard to explain, but impossible to forget. You have to try it!
If you’ve done any research about Porto, you’ll have come across a photograph of one of these for sure. Francesinhas are a sandwich involving about 10,000 types of meat, covered in melted cheese and a spicy sauce. (Note: even if they’re a sandwich, francesinhas are impossible to eat without cutlery!)
4 Ribeira on a Monday night
The medieval riverside alleys are cool to explore during the day, but positively fantastic at night. Nearly every Erasmus student in town congregates at Ribeira on Mondays, where the tiny bars there serve 1L cocktails for 2€. We all know this is the only reason there’s ever been to look forward to a Monday.
5 Beers at the Lion Square
On any other night, students meet up around Piolho. In any of the bars at Praça dos Leões (Lion Square), you’ll find lively conversations, crazy people being crazy people, plenty of beers in plastic glasses and a little confusion. Piolho (or Café Douro) is the mosty typical of these bars, but many Erasmus prefer the nearby Adega Leonor (famous for Erasmus Porto discounts!)
6 Queima das fitas
In May, Portuguese students celebrate the end of the academic year with a weeklong festival involving parades through the day, serenades, concerts at night and – well, yes, you probably guessed it: drinking. It’s such a fun week for students that most universities
The Portuguese are crazy about football, and the country’s northern capital is no exception. If you can afford tickets to one of the big games, don’t miss this chance to dress in the city’s colour (Blue) and watch a game. The Stadium itself is incredibly cool and if you’re there on the night of a big win you won’t forget it!