Spending diaries: a cheap-ish weekend in Porto


In our Spending Diaries series, we break down how our writers spend, save and splurge on weekend city breaks.

Porto spending diary banner with images of food, drink and activitiesWhat to eat, drink, see and do in 48 hours in Porto © Austin Bush/Lonely Planet

I’m a writer and photographer based in Lisbon, Portugal. I love my new home, but in search a brief escape I decided to head north to Porto for the weekend.

I was keen to save a bit of money – but didn’t want a full-on budget trip. So I took the train (more expensive than a bus), stayed in a hotel (rather than a hostel) and treated myself to a couple of small indulgences.

Even with these outlays, Porto is a great value, especially where it concerns food and drink, and I found that the city also offers some great budget and free activity options. Which means it’s super easy to have a great time on a midrange(ish) budget.

Make your travel budget go a little farther with insider tips from our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox. Aerial view of PortoYou can dine well in Porto at reasonable prices © Austin Bush/Lonely Planet

Train tickets: €50.50 for round-trip tickets from Lisbon

Accommodation: €110.46 for two nights at the classic, centrally located Hotel Aliados

Total: €160.96

On the ground


9:30am: I walk (free) to Lisbon’s Santa Apalónia Station for my morning train to Porto. I take a coffee on the train (€0.90) and watch the view from the dining car. 

Wine, coffee, lunch and dessert in Porto(L-R) A glass of wine at Genuíno; a salt cod dish with wine at Casa Expresso; eclair…

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