Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations – Porto, Portugal

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Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations – Porto, Portugal

Million Mile SecretsEmily’s Top International Shopping Destinations – Porto, PortugalMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily:   Hi everyone!  You know how much I like traveling.  Another passion of mine is shopping for locally handmade art and treasures in the places I visit.

To me, art is the absolute best thing to bring back home.  It’s so unique, and there’s soul behind it.  Of course, I also love bringing back small random gifts for family and friends.

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
Shopping for Artisan Chocolate in Porto

Because the holidays are coming up, I’ve created a few posts on some of my favorite shopping destinations and how to get there on miles & points!  And for those who don’t like shopping as much, I’ve also included my other favorite experiences in these cities!

Emily’s Top International Shopping Destinations Index:

Shopping in Porto, Portugal

I love going to Europe for clothes.  Because it’s easy to find unique items at good prices!

Portugal is much cheaper than countries like France and Italy, and you can find similar brands.  The city of Porto has been experiencing a design and food boom.

Rua de Santa Catarina is the main shopping street in Porto.  It’s filled with different shops with great clothes at even better prices!  I was there this past May, and had a great time enjoying the city with my friends.

You can find locally-made trinkets, chocolate, and so much more.  There are even vintage clothing stores, like Mon Père Vintage on Rua da Conceição.

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
Taking a Breather From Independently Funding the Economy of Portugal

Money saving tip:   Save even more money on shopping and earn valuable rewards by using a cash back or points-earning credit card with no foreign transaction fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Discover it® Miles.

Explore Cultural Events in Cities You Visit!

While in Porto, we took a kizomba dance class offered by local dance instructors at Afro-Latin ConnectionI’ve written about kizomba before, and what an amazing, beautiful dance it is!  The class was mostly in Portuguese, but the instructors regularly translated the content into English to help us understand.

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
A Kizomba Dance Class with AfroLatin Connection

Enjoy Port Wine and Explore the Streets at Night

Walking around Porto at night was gorgeous experience.  The lights reflecting off the water gave the city such a warm, romantic vibe.

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
Views of the Rio Douro in Porto, Portugal

Porto is famous for its port wine.  It’s a slightly sweet red dessert wine.  It has a higher alcohol content than other wines.

There are many wine tastings you can try!  The Romans arrived in Porto in the 2nd century BC, grew grape vines and made wine on the banks of the Douro River.  Port wine came into existence in the 17th century.  To me, it’s fascinating to be in a place with so much history!

And, a small bottle of locally-made wine you can’t get in the US would make a thoughtful and special gift.  Just be sure to put it in your checked luggage! 😉

You Can Do It Too!

It can be easy to get to Portugal with American Airlines miles or United Airlines miles.  I spent 30,000 American Airlines miles and $5 in taxes for a one-way ticket to Lisbon, Portugal, from Austin, Texas.  To put that number into perspective, most credit cards offer a 40,000 to 50,000 mile bonus just for signing-up and completing a minimum spending requirement!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is offering a 100,000 point sign-up bonus!  You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines for 100,000 United Airlines miles

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
Flying to Europe on a $5 Bill

Try an Airbnb for a More Local Experience

My friends and I stayed in an Airbnb called City Silhouette in Porto.  The location was perfect, and it was clean, comfortable, and modern.  We wanted to stay a lot longer…

It was $80 per night, split between the 4 of us.  So we only paid $20 per person per night!

Emily's Top International Shopping Destinations Porto Portugal
My Friends Dreading Packing the Night Before We Left

Airbnb is the way to go for families and larger groups, in my opinion.  You’ll get more of an authentic feel of the area you’re visiting and more amenities for the price.  And if you use my Airbnb referral link, you can get $20 off your next rental!

Get There With the Right Card Bonus!

If you don’t have enough miles, consider signing-up for a credit card to help earn the miles:

 One-Way Coach Ticket From Austin to Lisbon, PortugalAirbnb in the Center of Porto
Retail Cost$450 to $600$80 per night
Our Cash Cost$5 in taxes$80 per night, or $20 per person
Miles & Points Used30,000 American Airlines MilesN/A
Source of Miles & Points- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles
- Citi American Airlines Executive
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles
Alternatives- American Airlines
- 22,500 miles one-way between November 1 and December 14, and January 10 and March 14) + ~$5 in taxes
- United Airlines
- 30,000 miles one-way + ~$5 in taxes
- Use Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles to erase $100+ travel purchases, like Airbnb
- Use my Airbnb referral code for $20 off!
Additional Information- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a ratio of 1:1
- You can transfer Starwood points to American Airlines at a ratio of 1:1 (and get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points you transfer)
- Here’s how to choose a good and safe Airbnb
- Here are tips on how to negotiate a better Airbnb price!

Bottom Line

Porto, Portugal, makes a fantastic trip to experience Europe at a cheaper price.  I loved taking a dance class, trying port wine, and shopping for gifts for friends and family back home!

You can use American Airlines miles or United Airlines miles for nearly free flights to Europe!  Try staying at an Airbnb to have a more local experience.  And to get more for your money!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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