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“Yes, this is something you've been looking for”
These guys are different. They are different from all the "normal" tourist guides by... everything.
They are different from the "unprofessional" free and pseudo-free tours because they are... professional.
Our guide, Pedro, was a professional architect with a passion for his city. Do you think anyone can have a bigger passion and love for their city than architects? Well, maybe poets, but poets' love is transient whereas architect's love is everlasting.
In his bag Pedro had a folder with clipouts of old papers, copies of books and extracts from scholarly research. The folder was shuffled all the time, revealing the history of the city, ideas behind urban planning and current developments. All this expanded our view of Porto.
Pedro brings your attention to the details you would never see otherwise, he shows exciting parts of the city that are not on the map in Lonely Planet. This city of Porto story is spiced by the socioeconomic, political and historic discussion.
This tour has more in common with talking to a tipsy philosophy prof in a bar rather than organised tourist grazing.
The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
A portuguese friend of mine told me about the tour, and when I read the description, I thought it was exactly what I was looking for.
I usually explore cities I’ve never visited by walking around randomly and aimlessly, often stumbling upon random interesting sites. This tour takes you to (seemingly) random places, with the added benefit of actually explaining what you’re seeing, and how it got that way.
The tour had a fairly set route (a mix of several of the tours offered), but was very flexible to change when something else interesting came along. The tour was thorough, in-depth, insightful, and entertaining (even in the rain!) and helped me get a much better understanding of Porto.
I highly recommend taking the best “worst” tour in Porto.
Sven K Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Young architects propose you their own guided tour of the town and reveal the underside of the postcard : hidden treasures, forgoten paths, but also the devastating effect of the economical crisis....
Un unforgettable experiment we wanted to share to support them : we learned so much in one afternoon and we had such a good time, following Gui in her city !
Mariana Toulouse, France
Under the bright lights it is dark enough to look like blood. In French he tells me me it is a port wine very particular. I put on my glasses to read the label, but it is torn off. No, no he says, this is just a bottle and gives me a sly smile. I left France days ago and am in Lisbon now but the room is full of French having fun on a small purse.
Today, before I took the train South to Lisbon, I took a tour of Porto with an architect as guide, so many empty houses, so many possibilities. In our group two British couples, one a lady specializing in architectural tiles. She was in heaven, fell in love with a beautiful monument of a building that once was the retail headquarters of a ceramic tile manufacturer. "How much is that? I'll take it." I fall into the same mode easily.
There was a light rain falling while Pedro, our architect guide, pulled out his portfolio of maps in plastic covers, rain drops obscuring his glasses, but not his enthusiasm. He wants to see a brighter future for his city. He knows the past and feels deeply the lost opportunities. Like a beautiful woman lost, the buildings sit empty, bricked-up, roofs going, home just to cats, pigeons, and the sea gulls that come in from the coast in great circles at six.
on October 8th, my friend and I took an Islands tour with Gui. It was an amazing eye- opening experience! Gui was very knowledgeable, considerate and charming. If you want to experience the real Porto, and not just the touristy spots you must take a worst tour!
Maria Christina, USA