Porto has become the belle of the ball when it comes to European cities to visit. A few years ago, Portugal was not on my radar. However, as the years past, Porto, Lisbon and the Portugal coast, in general, was popping up on my Instagram feed. Yup, my friends are fancy.

When we were debating where we should go this year, Nicholas and I decided to go to Portugal. Our trip took us to Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto.

Porto is everything you want in a European city. It’s by the water, there are plenty of street cafes, there is wine, and plenty of breathtaking views. My writer’s soul was rejuvenated in this city.

Before I dive into how Porto ignited by writer self, I must educate you on one thing.

Porto is a hilly city- this is coming from someone who spends plenty of time in San Francisco. The people of Porto must love to work out their calf, and glutes naturally. Nick and I are relatively young and are in somewhat good shape. However, if you find hills, inclines difficult on your joints, I strongly suggest you bring a walking stick. You won’t be alone there. There were plenty of people with walking sticks. But I must say, my legs look killer, and I built up my stamina.

As I mentioned, Porto spoke to my writer self. I was inspired by the scenery, the old buildings, and the dark alleys. Two sites that every writer should see in Porto is the Majestic Café and Livaria Lello.

What every writer needs is an epic café to read and write in; the Majestic Café décor is straight from the 1920s. You will only spend (at most) 1 hour in this café. At the café, I got lost in Truman Capote words and was inspired to write some poetry.

At the Livaria Lello bookstore, I was taken aback by the epically red spiral staircase, which (coincidentally) is one of JK Rowling favorite bookstores in Porto. That’s why it is now a tourist attraction. Yes, it costs to enter. Yes, it is crowded. But the bookstore is gorgeous and has a magical feel to it. Being surrounded by all those words in multiple languages reminds you that words are a lasting power.

Porto is a city for creatives, for artists, for writers. Go with a blank notebook and watch the words flow.