Porto was never on my list of places I wanted to go visit.
However, Ryanair convinced me otherwise with one of those super flash sales (no willpower, whatsoever) so I packed my bags and off I went on the next flight to Portugal for a week.
One of the best things about this hidden gem is that the weather is amazing at almost any time of year. Better still, the beaches are gorgeous stretches of white sand that will make you want to sunbathe by the ocean all day long.
You'll find the resort towns to the north of Porto coastlines but if you're looking to get off the beaten track, head south for the cozy little beach towns lining this side of the coast.
Transport is always a key consideration when taking a trip around Europe and luckily, Porto has a great option in its €3 tram ride.
The historical tram system is a tourist attraction in itself and is very popular with the locals as well. It'll take you all over the city in no time and you'll be at the closest beach in about 20 minutes - perfect!
The cobblestone streets are loaded with quirky cafes and restaurants, with all of them offering a friendly atmosphere and minimalist decor.
Every place I stepped foot into seemed to serve up a diverse menu of delicious tapas for a steal (€2 - €4 euro each!). It was so cheap that I left most places wondering if they had accidentally left something off the bill!
How can it get any better, I hear you ask? Well, how about some cheap booze?
We sat and drank wine for hours, every night, for an absolute song. At €2 for a glass of wine and €1 beers, you can't go wrong.
When it comes to things to do, you won't be short of options either. Historical sites, tours, river cruises and shopping are just some of the activities that will keep you busy and the laid-back vibe of this beautiful city will make you feel like you just stepped back in time.
Plan to see some of the many ancient churches and world heritage sites, but make sure that you don't miss the Livreria Lello (Lello Bookshop), a neo-gothic library built in 1906 that is said to have been the inspiration for JK Rowling when creating the library in the Harry Potter series. You'll see why when you step inside!
If you're a bookworm like myself (or a Harry Potter geek) then that should be enough to get you to book your next flight!