Skip to main content

This experience teaches you how to make Portugal’s most calorific sandwich

francesinha header

Food is life, and we treat extreme foods as seriously as an extreme sport over here at Contiki. That’s everywhere – on trips, at home, and now, through our unique online Airbnb Experiences.

Our online Airbnb Experiences are a new way to get a little piece of Contiki at home. That way, even in between your travels, you can fill your life with some culture and international goodness. Here, Contiki Trip Manager, Marco, will deliver one of the best food experiences Portugal has to offer. And nobody understands the Portuguese food scene better than a local!

Time to meet the francesinha – an iconic Portuguese sandwich you have to taste for yourself to believe.  Let’s find out what it’s all about…




The francesinha is the sandwich to redefine all sandwiches. It’s so good that its photos should have smell-a-vision. So bulky and meaty that it has a lifetime unlimited gym membership. And so delicious that it’s worth every single calorie that’s ingested in the process of taking one down. And the best part? There are no regretful eats here, folks.

Although it might look like a fast-food-fever-dream, it is 100% real.  The francesinha has been tried and tested by the Portuguese for 60+ years. Now, you can make an authentic francesinha for yourself, from the comfort of your kitchen on our Contiki x Airbnb Experiences.

A kitchen counter with a bottle of wine, a bottle of beer, and a plate of bread.

The francesinha is the pride of Porto, Portugal, and is the sandwich all other sandwiches strive to become when they grow up. We don’t want to give away all of its secrets, but it’s a perfect combination of not one, not two, but THREE different kinds of meat. As if that wasn’t enough, add some cheese and sauce in there for good measure, and you have a real Portuguese feast. Locals will tell you that the real magic is in the sauce, but every element of the francesinha combines to make it the ultimate comfort food, and the calorie and flavour king of all sandwiches.

air bnb experiences francesinha
15 times you’re guaranteed to have the ultimate foodie experience in Portugal

15 times you’re guaranteed to have the ultimate foodie experience in Portugal

by Chantal Ford Aug 30, 2019

A francesinha cooking experience is the perfect treat-yo-self solo session, playful date night, friends hangout, or family dinner idea – and a great pre-Portugal trip flavour tease. Through this new Airbnb Experience, you can bring a little piece of Porto right to you, with the guidance of host and Contiki Trip Manager, Marcos. Marcos is a food and history lover who lives in Porto, bringing his kitchen skills, local secrets, and passion for good eats to you online. All it takes is a trip to the grocery store to collect your ingredients, and a webcam to join the Zoom sandwich party.

francesinha 3 air bnb experiences

In about 90 minutes, Marcos will help you make a francesinha. You’ll start the night with a special chef’s drink, master this meat mountain of a sandwich and learn about Porto along the way. Don’t worry, even if you’re not a Gordon Ramsay in the making, this experience is for all cooking levels. Marcos breaks it down step-by-step, so every francesinha ends up as close as you can get to the real thing. Vegetarians: there’s no FOMO needed. Marco has a version of the sandwich for you as well!

Marcos is the perfect host and a self-proclaimed francesinha fiend. He’s sampled his way through a few hundred of his own (we advise moderation when trying one of these bad boys) so we’d trust no other hands to help us craft our own at home. He’ll also teach you how to make his secret sauce that takes this version up a notch; just when you thought the original recipe couldn’t be topped.

francesinha 4 air bnb experiences

Ready for your very own francesinha? Book solo or with your friends through our Contiki x Airbnb Experiences. Then, follow that flavour train and go taste the real thing on one of our delicious Portugal trips. Because calories don’t count on vacation, or in a pandemic. And lastly, after everything that’s happened in the last year-and-change, we deserve some homegrown fun and ALL of the good and delicious things in life.

Happy eating, or as Miss Francesinha would say, MEATING!

francesinha 5 air bnb experiences
29 best foods in the world worth travelling for

29 best foods in the world worth travelling for

Tina Burke
by Tina Burke Jan 21, 2021

Up next

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!