101 things to do in Porto

Get your camera, your walking shoes and even your bathing suit — we are dissing the 101 things to do in Porto. What are you waiting for? Let's get going
ribeira
© Marco Duarte A proposta vai ser apresentada esta terça-feira 18, em reunião de Executivo
By Time Out Porto editors |
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There's so much to do in Porto that it was really hard for us to chose the top 101 things to do in the city. These are all the mandatory spots. Enjoy the city, the river and even the beachs. One piece of advise? Start your day early because there is so much to see. 

Cafés

Zenith Brunch & Cocktails
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Cafés

Choose between tapioca pancakes or smoothie bowls

icon-location-pin Baixa

There are no set menus: brunch is pretty much what each customer wants to make of it. And there’s no shortage of options: Brazilian-style tapioca pancakes, smoothie bowls, granola, toasted sandwiches for all tastes, various coffee drinks and a cocktails menu that will be hard to say no to.

Restaurants, Cafés

Have brunch whenever you want

icon-location-pin Baixa

Forget the timetable. Holidays are holidays. At Casinha Boutique Café you can order brunch at any hour. It includes a drink, a croissant or scone, soup or Greek yoghurt with raspberries, a sandwich or scrambled eggs with cured ham, and also a slice of cheesecake, apple pie or chocolate cake.

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Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Drink some brewed latin-american coffee

icon-location-pin Clérigos

Healthy options like oatmeal pancakes or quinoa with sautéed mushrooms, brewed coffee from Brazil and Colombia and a beautiful garden in the back to spend the day. That’s what you’ll find at Noshi Coffee, one of the new hot spots at Porto’s Baixa.

The Bird
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Sit for some birdwatching and a slice of chocolate cake

icon-location-pin Foz

You can spend the whole day at this tea house at Foz. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, besides great snacks like the apple pie and an incredible chocolate cake. Group dinners are also organized. It’s located by the sea and with birds everywhere.

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Majestic Café
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Cafés

Enter the Belle Époque and order a cheesecake

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

Located at one of Porto's busiest streets, the Majestic Café, with its Belle Époque decor, is one of the city's ex-libris. Try the cheesecake and, while waiting, take the opportunity to photograph the room decorated with mirrors and crafted ceilings. 

Restaurants

Puro 4050
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Italian

Devour delicious pastas and risottos

icon-location-pin Flores

The city lacked a mozzarella bar and Luís Américo, one of Porto’s best chefs, filled that gap by opening Puro 4050. His mozzarellas from Caserta are the stars of the show. There you’ll have pasta dishes, risottos and, for dessert, Italian classics reinvented – such as tiramisu made with Port wine.

Adega São Nicolau
© Cláudia Paiva
Restaurants, Portuguese

Get to know the local food

icon-location-pin Ribeira

Ribeira is a mandatory part of visiting Porto. But before, you’ll need a proper meal. At the Adega São Nicolau the menu is filled with traditional dishes, such as Braga style codfish, Lagareiro roasted octopus or Arouquesa veal steak. Don’t ignore the homemade desserts or the wine list.

Time Out says
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Cafeína
©DR
Restaurants

Dress up and book a table

icon-location-pin Foz

After years in existence, it’s fair to say that Cafeína has earned a place in the city’s gastronomical pantheon. Try the cod au gratin with aioli sauce, the duck magret with sweet and sour sauce or the beef Wellington. The venue is also famous for its steaks and various egg dishes.

Time Out says
O Paparico - Romã
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

Decide between grilled octopus or Arouquesa veal

icon-location-pin Constituição

This interesting restaurant in the city’s northeastern suburbs has been going for decades. But the new management that came in a few years ago has really spread its fame far and wide. The kitchen now turns out updated versions of traditional dishes: from grilled octopus to a tender Arouquesa veal.

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Pedro Lemos - Horta do Chef
©DR
Restaurants

Go in for a gastromic experience

icon-location-pin Foz

Pedro Lemos, with a Michelin Star, is located in the Foz district, where the eponymous chef leads the kitchen and turns every meal into an experiment. Check it out yourself. Whether you try it à la carte or you go for the set menu, it’s well worth a visit.

Time Out says
La Copa
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Ice-cream parlours

Taste the best ice cream in town

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

Artisanal ice cream daily produced on site, with or without milk. Flavours vary according to the fruit of the season and their special creations include Madeira bananas and white chocolate. It also serves crepes, waffles and pancakes with or without ice cream and hot chocolate on top.

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Peebz - Hambúrguer Peebz
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Burgers

In the mood for a burger?

icon-location-pin Foz

Admittedly the usual idea in Porto is to stuff yourself with francesinhas, tripe stew and other traditional dishes. But there are things that you can’t resist, such as the hamburgers at Peebz. The brioche buns are lightly toasted, the meat is super-tasty and the relishes are a dream.

Mondo Deli - Salmão Marinado com Beterraba
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Fusion

Swallow the world in one kitchen

icon-location-pin Baixa

In this restaurant you can taste food with influences from various parts of the world, such as beetroot carpaccio with horseradish yogurt, Vietnamese octopus salad, fish kebabs with tomato sauce and sliced toasted bread, and Thai fish cakes. To go with it, order one of the house cocktails.

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O Buraco
© Marco Duarte
Restaurants, Portuguese

Eat like a local

icon-location-pin Baixa

This traditional and affordable restaurant in the Bolhão area is so popular that it can even afford to close on Saturday evenings. A meal at the Buraco has to start with hake rissoles; then try the veal pie, the breaded sardines with rice and beans, the fried hake or its legendary duck rice.

Time Out says
Casa Nanda
© Cláudia Paiva
Restaurants, Portuguese

Don’t count calories

icon-location-pin Bonfim

Though close to Baixa (downton), Casa Nanda is in a quieter area. It serves a good skinless alheira de caça (traditional game sausage), rancho (a stew with chickpeas, pasta and meat) and mílharas de pescada frita (fried hake eggs). The aletria (a creamy, egg custard with noodles) is good and runny.

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Dishes you have to try

Santiago
© João Saramago
Restaurants

Grab this Francesinha

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

Prepare to wait in the queue for a seat at Santiago. Is it worth it? Yes. When it’s a matter of eating Porto’s best francesinha, with a delicious sauce; mortadela with green pepper; nice and spicy linguiça sausage; a thin steak with little fat; lots of cheese melted over it; and an egg on top.

Snack Bar Gazela
© João Saramago
Restaurants

Fall in love with our hotdogs

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

Imagine the following: a thin toasted bun with a filling of sausage and melted cheese, sprinkled with butter and a spicy sauce and then cut up into little pieces. That’s what you’ll find when you sit at the counter at the Cervejaria Gazela, in the Batalha neighbourhood.

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Leitaria da Quinta do Paço
Cláudia Paiva
Restaurants, Cafés

Heal your sugar cravings

icon-location-pin Baixa

What makes the éclairs here stand out from all others is the filling - homemade sweetened whipped cream rather than industrial custard cream. But the lightness of the pastry and the icings, such as milk chocolate, coffee or lemon also help. You can order them in the normal miniature size.

Restaurants, Portuguese

Delight yourself with this pork-leg sandwich

icon-location-pin Baixa

The queues out the door make clear that something good is happening inside Casa Guedes. That something is a delicious pork-leg sandwich with or without queijo da Serra (a traditional cheese from Serra da Estrela). The pork is swimming in sauce, the cheese is creamy and the bread lightly toasted.

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Restaurants, Bakeries

Consider all the chocolate benefits

icon-location-pin Foz

Even if you’re not really a fan of chocolate cake, you may find it hard to resist the one at Apetites. While the outside is well cooked, the centre is almost a mousse. As well as the regular version there’s another made with chocolate with 70% cocoa.

Parks and gardens

jardim palácio de cristal
©Ana Matos
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Nourish your romantic side

icon-location-pin Massarelos

In the middle of Porto and laid out in the 19th century by the landscape architect Émile David, these gardens are a product of the Romantic era. One of their strong points is the view of the Douro River, but it’s worth checking out their botanical wealth, sculptures, and the Carlos Alberto chapel.

vista jardim das virtudes
© João Saramago
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Lay down on the grass and relax

icon-location-pin Baixa

An unusual garden on a series of terraces on a south-facing slope. More of a place to lounge than to stroll, it draws lots of young people, especially at weekends - sometimes, in the summer, for parties that are held here. The view of the river and the city’s old houses are other strong points.

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passeio alegre
© Laszlo Daroczy
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Admire the decorative arts

icon-location-pin Foz

It may be small, but it has some interesting secrets – starting with the decorative elements from various periods, as well as a mini-golfe and a chalet with a terrace to sip a drink. We also recommend a rather unusual visit: to the loos, for their Art Nouveau tiles and antique British fixtures.

Fundação Serralves
©Fundação Serralves
Things to do, Cultural centres

Get lost on purpose

icon-location-pin Porto

A world-class garden, showcasing the best of landscape design from the first 20th century. It’s divided into areas laid out along geometric lines, offering captivating landscapes at every turn. Then there’s the rest: the Art Deco house, the Museum of Contemporary Art and a series of sculptures.

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Attractions, Parks and gardens

‘Trespass’ this private property

icon-location-pin Campanhã

A private property that displays the dedication of several generations of keen botanists, with gardens meticulously laid out according to the taste of various different periods. Visits are guided by a member of the family and may include a Port wine tasting.

Jardim Botânico do Porto. Museu História Natural e Ciência UP.
© DR
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Step away from the crowds

icon-location-pin Porto

Four hectares of carefully tended vegetation surround a beautiful late-19th-century house, on different levels. There’s a bit of everything, with formal gardens, rare trees and other plants, greenhouses and two lakes. It’s a great place to get away from crowds and mandatory for plant lovers.

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parque da cidade
© João Saramago
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Bring the kids with you

icon-location-pin Foz

The best place to bring the little ones. On skates, waveboards or bicycles, let them roam around the 83 hectares of the country’s largest city park. You can also take some rackets, a football and a bag of bread crumbs to feed to the ducks. To feed you, there’s Soundwich, a good sandwich kiosk.

Parque Biologico de Gaia
©Joseolgon
Attractions, Theme parks

Visit the animals

icon-location-pin Vila Nova de Gaia

A terrain with 35 hectares and hundreds of species of animals and plants to discover. There is also a small zoo with native animals, a nature reserve with birds, amphibians and mammals – including some protected species –, and an ecomuseum where children can see a watermill, among other cool things.

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jardim do morro
© Diego Delso
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Watch the sunrise from here

icon-location-pin Vila Nova de Gaia

City lifers will tell you that everyone in Porto should watch the sunrise at the Morro garden at least once. We think the garden is great at any time. Its view is, anyway. You can get there by subway but crossing the upper deck of the Luiz I Bridge by foot makes the experience even more gratifying.

Things to do

Sea Life Porto
©José Gonçalves
Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

Say hello to the turtles, sharks and other fish

icon-location-pin Foz

Sea Life Porto is the biggest aquarium in northern Portugal and well worth a visit. It has sharks, turtles, octopuses, sea horses and other fascinating sea creatures. A must-see for the kids, of course.

Fachada da Casa da Música
teste
Music, Music venues

Spend some time at this concert hall

icon-location-pin Boavista

An icon of contemporary architecture, the House of Music was designed by Dutch star Rem Koolhaas and inaugurated in 2005. It hosts an eclectic programme of shows and children’s workshops, and has a top-floor restaurant with a great panoramic view.

Shops

Shopping, Lifestyle

Buy some fancy shoes 

icon-location-pin Taipas

Portuguese footwear is selling well and deserves to. If you don’t believe it drop into The Feeting Room, a shop that stocks various Portuguese brands, and try it for yourself. There are shoes for all feet (that’s to say, for men, women and children) as well as accessories and clothes. 

Almada 13
©João Saramago
Shopping

Refresh your style 

icon-location-pin Galerias

One of the most popular places in Baixa. At Almada 13 you'll find clothing, illustrations, footwear, accessories and much more from three Portuguese brands: Águas Furtadas, Rota do Chá and The Yellow Boat. The team is complemented by Miss Pavlova, that serves the city’s best pavlovas.  

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Coração de Alecrim
©João Saramago
Shopping

Support our planet  

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

Behind one of Porto’s most photographed doors (painted by a design student), there’s one of the city’s prettiest stores — Coração Alecrim. It describes itself as “green, vintage, indie” and you'll understand why. The handmade products stress ecological sustainability and are really worth a look.  

Mercado Loft Store
©João Saramago
Shopping, Home decor

Bring something back home 

icon-location-pin Baixa

Fans of home decor will go crazy at Mercado Loft Store, a homeware and interiors store in Baixa that looks like a magazine photo shoot. Here you can buy pieces for every room in the house – some in classic style, others more daring – from around the world. 

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Patch Porto
©João Saramago
Shopping, Vintage shops

Embrace the vintage trend 

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

Vintage clothing, retro furniture, Portuguese ceramics and original lighting fittings from Artur Mendanha, the mastermind behind the store: that’s just a few examples of what you’ll find at Patch Porto, a concept store in one of the city’s trendiest streets. 

Shopping

Learn the country's history  

icon-location-pin Galerias

Vida Portuguesa opened in Porto in 2009 and has ever since showcased the country’s history through products familiar to generations - such as Paupério biscuits, Viacro pencils, Couto toothpaste, Bordalo Pinheiro's tableware pieces in faiança and Fábrica Coração silver polish.  

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Workshops Pop Up
©João Saramago
Shopping

Sign in for the next workshop 

icon-location-pin Baixa

A former ironware workshop built in the 1930's has given way to a multi-purpose space that serves as a showcase for dozens of brands of clothing and accessories, tableware and plants. At the back of the Workshops Pop Up there’s a kitchen studio that often hosts cooking lessons with great chefs.  

Shopping, Home decor

Drop by even if it's just to see 

icon-location-pin Baixa

When you enter this shop it’s impossible not to notice the stone walls and tree trunks. Look more carefully and you’ll also find hand-painted ceramics, wooden toys, tote bags with screen-printed designs, Danish furniture and bicycles – one of the things that Mercado 48 is famous for.  

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CRU Cowork
©João Saramago
Shopping

Show up, you're welcome 

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

One of the first arrivals in the Quarteirão das Artes – the ‘Arts Block’ as the area is loosely defined. As well as the coworking space that gives it its name (CRU Cowork), it also houses projects in the fields of illustration, accessories, footwear and clothing.  

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Shopping

Take good care of yourself 

icon-location-pin Flores

The Portuguese Claus Porto is one of the most recognized soaps' brands in the world. With 130 years of history, it has recently opened a store at Baixa, which, in addition to selling its products such as soaps, lotions and colognes, also has a barbershop, a small museum and a workshop laboratory. 

Terraces

Letraria - Craft Beer Garden
© Cláudia Paiva
Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Order all the beers you can  

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

A, B, C, D, E, F. For the time being, this is where the beer alphabet from Letra ends, a small national brand that opened a bar in Porto. But there are many others to taste, 50 in total. There are two spaces inside to sit and drink, but it's in the huge garden in the back that everyone wants.  

Bars and pubs, Café bars

Hang out with the locals 

icon-location-pin Baixa

Porto is a small city but has a considerable number of bars where you can have a late afternoon post-work drink. The locals love it. Don’t take our word for it, just go to Aduela and see for yourself. It’s a good place to sample Portuguese wines from several regions at affordable prices.  

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Portarossa
© Filipe Paiva
Restaurants, Italian

Dine alfresco all year round 

icon-location-pin Foz

The Italian restaurant of Vasco Mourão, Foz's biggest gastronomic entrepeneur, has wood-fired pizzas, pastas — try the carbonara —, and one of the best terraces in town. Even during the Winter, thanks to the nice fireplace. Just go there, dear visitor.

Time Out says
Base Porto
© João Saramago
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Chill out during the sunset 

icon-location-pin Clérigos

Base is already better known than lupini beans. But, as incredible as it may seem, it's not as old as that. Whenever the skies are clear in the late afternoon, few are those who resist its wooden terrace, filled with sofas and tables, perfect to sip a drink while chatting with friends. 

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Noémia da Costa Pinto
© João Saramago
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Be thankful for this secret 

icon-location-pin Baixa

No, Noémia da Costa Pinto doesn't own this space. It's a fictional character created by the owners João Pinto and Andreia da Costa, who opened a guesthouse recently and gave the world a new terrace. And if there are still secret terraces around this is undoubtedly one of them. 

Armazém
© João Saramago
Things to do, Cultural centres

Mingle with new people  

icon-location-pin Miragaia

Like no other place in this city, Armazém is a gigantic warehouse (that’s what the name means), with 1500 square meters to be more precise, where antiques are sold, drinks are had, food is shared, art is shown, music is played, workshops are held and people get together.  

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Restaurants, Vegetarian

Veggie lovers, this one is for you 

icon-location-pin Pinheiro Manso

One of the few veggie-friendly spots in Porto, Essência, in Constituição, is a great bet. They also serve non-green dishes as well – two for lunch, four for dinner. The ever-changing menu is always mouthwatering, with delicacies such as asparagus and fennel risotto or the Thai vegetable curry.

Reitoria - Cachaço de Porco Preto
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Italian or beef? 

icon-location-pin Baixa

It’s a two-for-one restaurant. Downstairs, they serve the city's best focaccia, made from homemade bread in a relaxed setting with high tables and an Italian style outdoors area. Upstairs there is a steakhouse with some of the best beef cuts in the city, many of them cooked in a Josper oven-grill.

Time Out says
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BB Gourmet Bolhão
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Fusion

Secure your spot

icon-location-pin Baixa

The Bolhão BB Gourmet (there are six of these around the city) is a great choice any time of the day. At the start of the day you can go there for breakfast and bring a take-away meal for lunch. You can have a hot bun (baked in the premises) in the afternoon and then return for a dinner of, let's say, veal with risotto alla parmigiana.

Time Out says
Restaurants, Portuguese

Sit back and enjoy the view

icon-location-pin Baixa

A sunny terrace with alternative electronic music and an amazing view of the Virtudes Garden. Ideal for a memorable sunset, accompanied with a glass of wine. The restaurant serves good traditional Portuguese food and the ambience is clean and relaxed. 

Bars

Catraio Craft Beer Shop
© João Saramago
Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Stumble on new craft beers

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

If there’s anywhere in town where they really know their stuff it’s Catraio, one of the city’s pioneers in terms of craft beer. Every month they have new tipples to try and they never repeat a barrel, precisely to foster a spirit of discovery.

Sandhouse
©João Saramago
Bars and pubs

Sense the booze and the breeze

icon-location-pin Foz

There are few things in life that feel as good as the sea breeze caressing your face in Matosinhos. But hot summer days demand more than a bit of fresh air; they call for Caipirinhas and Mojitos at Sandhouse. To go with it, order some samosas or chicken thighs as an aperitif.

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L'Kodac
© João Saramago
Bars and pubs, Café bars

Drown yourself in cocktails

icon-location-pin Leça da Palmeira

Sea, sun and nice cold cocktails being turned out at a frenetic pace by the barmen on duty is the perfect combination for any late afternoon. Head out to L’Kodac, a bar/restaurant in Leça da Palmeira, right on the beach, and order a Margarita, a Gin fizz or perhaps a house Mojito.

Guindalense
© Cláudia Paiva
Bars and pubs

Stir up envy across social media

icon-location-pin Baixa

Here you’ll have the ideal frame to start planning your weekend, as you sit back gazing at the city and stirring up envy on Instagram. Ask for a cold fino (as draft beer is called in Porto) along with a hot dog, a francesinha or just a simple ham-and-cheese.

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Miradouro Ignez
© Marco Duarte
Bars and pubs

Pratice some photosynthesis

The Miradouro Ignez started last year and quickly became part of the routine of many locals, thanks to the view of the river and the old town. The terrace overlooking the city is good for photosynthesis and for lazy early evenings gazing at the boats sliding by down on the Douro river.

Rádio Bar
©João Saramago
Bars and pubs

Dip on the dancefloor

icon-location-pin Baixa

We promise you’ll have plenty of fun here as well as history in this magnificent old building – above all on the ground floor, where the proper club is found, powered by indie rock and electronic music. For some fresh air, head out to the beautiful garden at the back.

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Café Au Lait
© João Saramago
Bars and pubs

Show your moves

icon-location-pin Galerias

The Rua Galeria de Paris has lots of bars. Café au Lait, one of them, has usually nice music selected by good DJs - some of them talented local producers. You might stumble upon an electronic festival or one featuring hip hop or funk. You could very well start and end your night here.

Plano B
© Plano B
Nightlife, Late-night bars

Take a walk on the wild side

icon-location-pin Galerias

On another key street in Porto’s nightlife scene, Rua Cândido dos Reis, there’s a city institution – as well as a club great for Instagram snaps. It has three proper rooms and various intermediate ones, each with its own decoration. There’s even a statue with a fountain on the ground floor.

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Maus Hábitos
©João Saramago
Art, Contemporary art

Acquire some bad habits (maus hábitos, in Portuguese)

icon-location-pin Santa Catarina

Maus hábitos is one of the city’s best bars, in a very special building. It has monthly programme featuring various parties that come highly recommended (Hard AssSessions, GrooveBall, Arena, CandyWaves), concerts, film screenings, tango nights and exhibitions by independent local artists.

Tendinha dos Clérigos
©DR
Nightlife, Late-night bars

Stay up until dawn

icon-location-pin Galerias

Tendinha is one of Porto’s legendary clubs – and the one where a lot of people end up when they want the night to last until dawn (so don’t be surprised if you come across a few drunks on the way). The main driving force here is the danceable rock. 

Hotels

Pestana Palácio do Freixo
©Pedro Sampayo Ribeiro
Hotels

Make yourself at home

icon-location-pin Campanhã

Overlooking Douro River in Porto, the 5-star Palácio Do Freixo is set in a restored 18th-century Baroque building. Classified as a National Building, it offers aristocratic public areas with stately architecture, combined with modern rooms with a flat-screen TV.

The Yeatman Hotel
© The Yeatman
Hotels, Luxury hotels

Throw a tantrum at check out

icon-location-pin Vila Nova de Gaia

If you’re a wine aficionado with five-star taste, The Yeatman is your place. This incredible hotel stretches across the hillside of Vila Nova de Gaia, directly across the Douro River from Porto, meaning the views from all 83 rooms are spectacular. You’ll never want to leave.

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Flores Village Hotel
©Pedro Lopes
Hotels, Spa hotels

Check in even if it’s just for a spa treatment

icon-location-pin Flores

Those who pass through the blue-tiled façade on Flores Street can hardly imagine what exists inside door number 139. This 18th century house still has many of the original features, such as the ceilings painted by Luigi Chiari, and it’s one of the best hotels in town.

Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel
©DR
Hotels, Boutique hotels

Sleep tangled up in blue

icon-location-pin Flores

One of the most beautiful hotels in the city had to stay in one of the best streets in Porto. The Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel is located in Largo de Santo Domingo and it’s impossible to ignore the façade decorated with traditional tiles. Blue ones, of course.

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Hotels, Boutique hotels

Wake up by the river

icon-location-pin Ribeira

The building of this guesthouse was constructed in 1872 and by that time this wasn’t a proper touristic accommodation. What gives name to this River House is the footbridge of iron and colorful stained glass that gives access to this beautiful house of the century XIX.

Urban art

Fundação José Rodrigues
©Fundação José Rodrigues
Museums, Art and design

Buy some modern art

icon-location-pin Baixa

You have to enter this former factory and seek out the artists’ interventions, but the effort is well worth your while to find a gallery lined with works by Portuguese ‘writers’ HBSR, Hium, Klit, Mars, Vhils, Youth One, Caos, Oker and Mr. Dheo and, over from London, Best&Ever.

Miguel Bombarda
© João Saramago

Look up to the walls

There are plenty of works by Hazul around town, as well as from many others that have disappeared. One of the most iconic pieces is right in Rua Miguel Bombarda, with many art galleries. Take also a look at the mural by Tina Siuda on the Hotel Mercador and, further along, the D. Quixote.

Rua Miguel Bombarda

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Vhils - Look at Porto

Admire the giant face

Vhils is Portugal’s best known exponent of urban art, and already well known internationally. This is one of just two works of his in Porto and it is easily found. It features his signature style, with a giant face sculpted out of a building’s façade.

Rua da Atafona/ Rua da Ancira, 6-8 (Miragaia)

Camera

Feed your Instagram with the old man on the wall

Frederico Draw, a famous Portuguese artist, chose this wall for strategic reasons: it is next to Ponte Dom Luís I (Dom Luís I bridge), so that the figure he painted welcomes all those who arrive in Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia. Wasn’t it a great idea?

Avenida de Vimara Peres

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Who Are You, Porto?
©DR

Find the answer to the question “Who are you, Porto?”

This work is made up of 3,000 ceramic tiles contributed by dozens of participants, each of whom had four tiles to answer the question “Who are you, Porto?”. The idea came from ±maismenos±, one of Portugal’s most socially and political active artists.

Rua da Madeira

Museums

Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis
© DR
Museums, History

Pop into to the country’s first public museum

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

For those who don’t know, Soares dos Reis Museum was the country’s first public museum. Founded in 1833 (back then it had another name and address) it was one of liberalism’s biggest conquests. It has a varied and vast collection of Portuguese artists (especially those from Porto).

serralves
©DR
Museums, Art and design

Stop here, it’s mandatory

icon-location-pin Porto

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is always worth a visit. Designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, its collection has around 4000 works, mostly from the late 20th and 21st centuries. Many of them belong to the Serralves Foundation itself. There are always temporary exhibitions.

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Núcleo Museológico da Santa Casa da Misericórdia
©DR
Museums

Grasp our history

icon-location-pin Baixa

The history of Porto’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia – a royal-backed Catholic foundation to help the needy – is told here, at the museum created for this purpose. It harbours the precious Fons Vitae, painted in the 16th century by a Flemish master and contemporary work by sculptor Rui Chaves.

Casa Museu Teixeira Lopes - Quadro
©Marco Duarte
Museums

Drop in this house museum

icon-location-pin Vila Nova de Gaia

Renovated in 2012, it now has a cafeteria, a bookshop, a museum and a garden full of sculptures and, most importantly, a great modern art collection, which has works of art from artists such as Amadeo Souza-Cardoso, Almada Negreiros, Sarah Afonso and, of course, from Teixeira Lopes himself

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Museu Romântico
© DR
Museums, History

Feel the bourgeois era

icon-location-pin Massarelos

It recreates 19th century life, linking it with the romantic movement and Porto. It has a billiards room, a ballroom and a dining hall. This late 18th century building is located in the Quinta de Sacramento or Macieiras, and aims to preserve the feel of a bourgeois house of this era.

Relicário - Museu FCP
©Afonso Nunes/Museu FC Porto
Museums, Sport

Jokes about losses are not allowed here

icon-location-pin Campanhã

It’s hard to understand Porto without knowing something about its biggest football club. This museum at its Dragon Stadium tells the complete story of Futebol Clube do Porto step by step, using high-tech displays, rare objects and unique testimony.

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Museu de Imprensa
©DR
Museums, History

Know how print media began

icon-location-pin Campanhã

The National Press Museum takes visitors to get to know the history of the print media from various aspects, including machinery and documents. There are some rare specimens here, such as an 18th-century printing press and a manual guillotine from 1900.

Museu dos Transportes e Comunicações
©DR
Museums, Transport

Discover the vehicles of Portugal’s presidents

icon-location-pin Miragaia

The Museum of Transport and Communications comprises several exhibitions, from the history of the building itself – once a busy customs house – to the theme of communication, to a display of official vehicles of Portugal’s presidents from the declaration of the Republic into the present day.

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Museu de Farmácia do Porto
©João Saramago
Museums, History

Suss out the evolution of pharmacology

icon-location-pin Pinheiro Manso

Pharmacies seen from a historical perspective, with valuable pieces from years of history. Among the many surprises there are two old pharmacies that were literally transported to this space: Porto’s own Farmácia Estácio and na Islamic pharmacy from a palace in Damascus.

 

Beaches

praia da aguda
©Marco Duarte

Snack with a view

Aguda Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia (17km away)

By car: 20 min // By bus: 32 min

Spot traditional fishermen along the way, with their colourful boats and nets. On your way back, take advantage of the wooden boardwalk over the dunes and stop at Chez Maurice to enjoy a panini with an ocean view.

 

Praia de São Pedro da Maceda
© Marco Duarte

Catch a wave

São Pedro da Maceda Beach (35km away)

By car: 32 min // By bus: 46 min

If you've got wheels and want a leisurely day out, head for the Praia de São Pedro da Maceda, in Ovar. It’s good for surfing and windsurfing, and there are stretches used by nudists. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

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Praia Canide Sul
©Artur Moreira

Pull out your body surfing skills

Canide Sul Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia (8km away)

By car: 16 min // By bus: 58 min

Vila Nova de Gaia’s beaches are considered to be Northern Portugal’s best, and Canide Sul beach is a perfect example. It’s easy to get to, there’s loads of space and it has lifeguards. Watch out for watersports fans: in the summer it’s stiff with ’em.

 

Praia de Moreiró
© João Saramago

Work on your tan

Moreiró Beach, Vila do Conde (19km away)

By car: 30 min // By bus: 1h 15 min

Probably the quietest beach on this list – it doesn’t even feature any massive building sites! Moreiró Beach is a typical family destination, for people after a fuss-free sunny day out. If you’re some kind of unreconstructed sophisticate, there’s a bar here too.

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Praia de Leça
©Luis Ferraz

Hit the sand for some people watching

Leça Beach, Matosinhos (13km away)

By car: 16 min// By bus: 15 min

The Leça da Palmeira beach is Matosinhos’s most crowded – and the easiest to find, thanks to its iconic giant advertising sign, giving it the popular nickname ‘Nivea Ball Beach’: snappy! It’s a hangout place for a younger crowd, but don’t worry – there’s plenty of room for everybody.

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