We stayed in Porto in September 2020 for four weeks and here is how we score Porto.
Please refer below "Destination Score Criteria Explained".
1. Green Space - 2
Although there are several small gardens dotted in different areas around town, one medium sized garden being the Crystal Palace Garden and some tree lined streets, we are disappointed at the lacking in green spaces in Porto and couldn't find any green space to have a peaceful long walk or run. The City Park itself is very large, but it's located several kilometers outside town center between Foz and Matosinhos.
2. Air Quality - 2
We often see pollution in the horizon. With so much construction being carried out and busy traffic, the air around town often smells like dust and exhaust fumes. We only feel like taking a deep breath after a heavy rain or walking along the sea side.
3. Walkable - 4
You can get to all the attractions in Porto on foot. Although it's hilly and footpaths sometimes can be narrow and occupied by parked vehicles, it has never been a problem for us to walk around. We've only caught the metro twice - once is coming from the airport and the other time was back from Matosinhos.
4. Transport - 5
Porto has an excellent network of transport including metro lines, urban and intercity trains and buses. It also has a large airport servicing domestic and international traffic.
5. Internet - 5
Excellent internet speed with fast download 111Mbps and upload 56 Mbps! It feels like a dream has come true compared to our internet experience in Croatia.
6. Cost of Living - 3
One cup of Espresso coffee costs €0.7 - 1. One single metro ticket from the Airport to Downtown costs €1.6. The average Airbnb costs USD$38 per night.
Eating out is inexpensive in Porto: a big set menu lunch costs €5-10, a decent bottle of wine from supermarkets costs €2, a main dish in a restaurant costs €10-15 for dinner. On the other hand, petrol price is very expensive - €1.38 per liter.
7. Street Art and Street Performance - 2
There are some great street murals and sculptures. We often see street performers, especially at weekends, some of whom were simply amazing! However the letdown here is ubiquitous graffiti.
8. Natural Beauty - 3
The Douro River runs through Porto, but it is not that beautiful to be honest. Nor are there any mountains around in the close proximity of Porto. The saving grace not be scored 1 is the river area as it nears Foz and then the coastline and beaches from Foz through Matosinhos. The Peneda-Gerês National Park is about one hour 20 minutes away and Douro Valley about one hour 10 minutes away. Without a car, the above two places would take much longer to reach.
9. Architecture - 3
Porto boasts a lot of centuries old buildings in Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Looking at Porto across Luís I Bridge, you will see rows of pastel coloured houses with rectangular white windows displayed like toy houses. However, Porto has a large percentage of abandoned buildings that give the whole city a rundown and tired look.
10. Fresh Produce - 3
Fresh seafood can be inexpensive, e.g., fresh salmon and fresh sea bass at €3.99 per kilo! But fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive compared to Spain and Croatia. The variety and quality of fresh fruits and vegetables are often also less desirable.
11. People - 5
We find most Portuguese people friendly and helpful. In Porto majority people younger than 50 speak some level of English, which makes our life much easier.
12. Jolly Hobo's Pleasure Level - 2
We enjoyed tasty sweet treats, seafood, wine and amazing architecture in Porto, but didn't like being assaulted by constant construction noise and dust when out and about. We think Porto would make an excellent destination for a short stay, but is not ideal for a long stay.
Porto has received a total score of 39, making it a Jolly place to visit.
Destination Score Criteria Explained
We score each destination that we stayed, living like a local. The length of stay is normally longer than two weeks. We picked 12 categories that matter the most to us as follows, not in any particular order. In any given category, the lowest score is 0 and highest score is 5. We then add the scores together to come up with a total score and a level of "Jolly":
0-20: Really Bad
21-30: Not So Jolly
41-50: Super Jolly
51-60: Supremely Jolly
1. Green Space
How many small and large green spaces for exercises, picnic, reading etc. It also includes the amount of tree lined streets providing adequate shade.
2. Air Quality
In general what is the air quality like? Is smog visible? If so, how often?
How walkable is the place? Are there good quality walk ways / foot paths? How are the pedestrian crossings and traffic light lights? Do cars give way at pedestrian crossings?
Public transport / connections, ease of use, cost
Uber etc availability
Quality of internet. We do a Ookla speed test at each location. Download speed is important of course, but considering we load up photos & videos, upload speed is important too.
6. Cost of Living
Use the following benchmark items:
A cup of standard coffee in a cafe
Local transport cost
Average AirBNB nightly cost for a one bedroom apartment with Wifi, kitchen and washing machine and a rating of 4.85+
7. Street Art and Street Performance
How lively is it on the streets from an art and entertainment perspective?
Is there quality street art or is there just graffiti?
8. Natural Beauty
What is the natural environment like? Is it attractive? Does it have any particular appeal such as mountains, sea etc?
What is architecture like? Attractive place, new, old, ugly?
10. Fresh Produce
Availability, quality, price of fresh food and grocery shopping
Are local people friendly? Are they processional at service oriented venues such as supermarkets, shops, cafes and restaurants?
12. Jolly Hobo's Pleasure Level
Overall how much did we enjoy the time in this place.