From NYC to Porto, Portugal

The previous entry was all about how spent a over 8 hours in New York City, how we made it NY from Newark Liberty International Airport and back.

We went back to Terminal C to catch our evening flight to Porto. Maddie and I hung around in a quiet area near our gate. She was able to do some homework for her summer school while I did some blogging. Our flight left around 10:45pm. We opted to sit in the very back of the plane. The plan was not to watch any in-flight movies, but to catch as much sleep as we could for this six hour flight.

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We each took Melatonin to help us with getting some much needed rest. I have to tell you that this was the most comfortable economy flight I had taken in awhile. I felt like I must’ve slept for most of the six hour flight. I only woke up when the flight attendant handed over our breakfast before landing in Porto.

Porto Airport

Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport or simply Porto Airport is an international airport near Porto, Portugal. Arriving in new airports brings a little bit of excitement. I love airports, especially the ones that are easy to maneuver, and Porto Airport is one of them. It was clean, modern, and not so crowded when we landed just past 10:30am. We headed towards their immigration, we were asked a very simple question about the length of our stay, and we were off. Again, we had no checked luggage so we bypassed baggage claim. Easy!

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Tourism office

Once we got out to the main lobby, I made a quick pit stop at the tourism office. This was where I picked up our Metro ticket.

Outside the Tourism Office at Arrivals Hall - Porto

Why here? I read that I could buy the Andante Tour card, a Metro card that would allow us to use the Metro, the bus for up to 3 days – unlimited rides. It’s perfect. It’s the amount of days we planned on staying at Porto. We had to pay cash only.

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Vodafone, how I will stay in touch in Europe

After our SIM card purchase in Peru, where we only paid $10 for a SIM card during our stay, I wanted to make sure that we did the same for our visit to Porto. The Vodafone office was next to the tourism office. How convenient. The rep advised me to get this plan for our stay

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For under 10 Euros – 3 GB of data + 500 min/SMS + Free chats with WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype, Viber, FaceTime, Message, and a few other apps that I could decipher! LOL. The 10 Euro plan was also good for use for 30 days. Great! Here’s the best part. He asked where else we were going. I mentioned Italy and the UK. No need for us to change plans. The service is extended there and we get 5 GB of data. Perfect. Sold! We only bought 1 SIM card. Maddie and I can just use hotspot in case we needed to share data.

From the airport to our hotel

We had to take the elevator one level down to get to the station. There was a train waiting for us and our goal was to get off of Estadio do Dragao.

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Follow the signs

We took out the Andante Tour card and tapped it on one of the Yellow machines for the card to be validated. This had to be done whenever you embark on a new journey.

You gotta tap on (validate) before boarding the Metro

It took just over 30 minutes to get from the airport to that station. The metro was clean, not crowded at all. It had a/c yet the heat still penetrated through the clear windows.

Once we got to the station, it took nearly 10 minutes to get to our hotel. It was a slight inclined walk. Our hotel was located near Alameda Mall. I wasn’t quite sure how to get to our hotel so we went through the mall to get to our hotel.

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Our free hotel stay at AC Hotel Porto by Marriott

We finally made it to our hotel, AC Hotel Porto by Marriott. First impression, very modern. It was not a busy hotel. It was clean, smelled really good, and the front desk rep was quite attentive. To my friends who are in the hotel points game, this was a Category 4 hotel, therefore, I was able to use my Marriott Anniversary free night award in this hotel. I booked a standard queen room for 20,000 points/night. For our 3 nights here, it was all FREE – thanks to our Marriott Rewards Card.

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 7.44.33 AMImage courtesy of MarriottBut since I was a Gold Elite member, during check in I was upgraded to a Superior King room with two twins (as requested), a desk, sofa, and master bath. I was happy so say the least.

Image courtesy of Marriott
Image courtesy of Marriott

We were taken to the 11th floor, the top floor, and was very satisfied with our first hotel in Europe. I earned these points with Marriotts Rewards Visa Card, which gave me bonus points during sign up and a free night award every account anniversary. I’ve used my free nights at the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, and now, here we are in Porto with another free night.

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Alright! That’s it for now. That was our journey from NYC to Porto. Next entry will be our first few hours exploring Porto, Portugal.

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