Decent beach, run-down city
The old centre looks nice but even there there are run-down and abandoned buildings. Everywhere else is basically abandoned or has seen better days (maybe 200 years ago). The equipment at surf shops are the same. The food is low quality. The beaches are decent - you'll still have a lot of fun surfing. The Metro is great and convenient. The people are incredibly friendly. It's a budget surfing vacation destination. Don't expect a lot and you'll have a blast.
Insider Tip:Don't eat the Francesinha or, if you do, don't expect much. It was an "okay sandwich" would be a generous description. It's not spicy like they say. In fact, it barely tastes like anything. It's made of the kind of low quality meat that is fit only for McDonald's.