It’s summertime, probably you’ve already planned your holidays but maybe you haven’t decided yet? Here I am with some travel tips from another place I’ve loved last year, during my tour in Portugal.
I’m talking about Porto, maybe the biggest surprise of our travel.
Everybody told me about Porto as a really fascinating place but I must say we went there less prepared than in Lisbon, maybe because this Northern city was actually the last stop of a wider tour of Portugal you can find here . Also, I had some difficulties in finding guides with design tips and interesting places to go other than usual touristic ones.
That’s why I thought writing this post, a Porto design guide with cool places to be and see with a design twist.
THIS CITY OF PORTUGAL IS ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT FROM LISBON (FIND LISBON DESIGN GUIDE HERE). AND THIS WAS THE VERY FIRST SURPRISE FOR ME.
Porto has its unique mood that I would describe as a Parisian athmosphere with a decadent side that made me think also of some hip sides of London, maybe Berlin. But with really an identity that is entirely on its own and probably just by visiting it you can understand what I mean, I guess.
Also, recently many creatives decided to more here thans to lower rents and really there are several interesting design shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, that deserve a visit. Here my list, feel free to add your favourites as well on comments below!
Siamo in piena estate, probabilmente avete già pianificato le vostre vacanze, o magari siete ancora indecisi? Oggi condivido un altro post con suggerimenti di viaggio dal mio tour in Portogallo dell’estate scorsa, da una città di cui non vi avevo ancora parlato.
Oggi torniamo a Porto, che direi essere stata la sorpresa più grande di tutto il viaggio.
In realtà tutti me ne avevano parlato di Porto come di una città davvero affascinante, io devo dire che ci sono arrivata meno preparata che a Lisbona, un po’ forse perché era l’ultima tappa del nostro tour del Portogallo , un po’ perché di questa città non si trova molto in rete e tra le guide. Pochissimo poi se parliamo di locali e luoghi interessanti dal punto di vista del design.
Da qui l’idea di scrivere una design guide anche di Porto oltre che di Lisbona (che trovate qui).
C’è da dire che innanzitutto mi ha sorpreso come questa città sia completamente diversa da Lisbona.
Sarà il clima diverso, ma Porto ha un’atmosfera che la avvicina di più per certi versi a Parigi ma in alcuni tratti ricorda anche città come Londra e Berlino. Ma la verità è che ha davvero un’identità unica e probabilmente capirete quel che vi sto dicendo solo visitandola!
Tra l’altro, di recente Porto è diventata sede di molti studi creativi che hanno deciso di stabilirsi qui visti gli affitti bassi, e si sono sviluppati una serie di locali, ristoranti, negozi, gallerie d’arte con uno stile ricercato e molto interessante. Qui la mia lista, ma se avete altri suggerimenti mi raccomando inseriteli nei commenti qui sotto!
PORTO DESIGN GUIDE | museums & architecture
THE AZULEJOS | Everywhere
Azulejos are just everywhere, I would say in every wall of the city? But there are some places where really azulejos are specials. These are:
- the São Bento Station , really covered with gorgeous blue-and-white tile mosaics ;
- the Igreja do Carmo, with its side wall completely covered with azulejos;
- the Igreja de Santo Idelfonso, with its facade covered in nearly 11,000 azulejo tiles
CENTRO PORTOGUES DE FOTOGRAFIA | Campo Mártires da Pátria
Have a peek at this beautiful free museum located just in front of Jardim do Cordoaria. The building once was a prison and it’s very evocative, beyond the photographical exhibits that take place here.
FUNDACAO DE SERRALVES | Rua Dom João de Castro 210
It’s one of the most important architectures by Alvaro Siza and it hosts one of the leading contemporary art museums of Portugal. Do not miss the marvellous 18-hectare Parque de Serralves!
Tip: This museum is quite outside the city center, to get here we took the tram which leaves from Ribeira and go along the river, it’s tram nr.1
CASA DA MUSICA | Rotunda da Boavista
This white architecture resembling an oversized piece of crystal was designed by Rem Koolhas in 2005 to host the city concert hall.
PORTO DESIGN GUIDE | shopping
RUA DE BOMBARDA
This is the art district of Porto and in this road you can find several different art galleries but also alternative clothing and record shops, biological goods, bars, and many other interesting spaces, as well as colourful street art.
Tip: do not miss Rota do Cha, a beautiful tea house
LIBRERIA LELLO E IRMAO | R. das Carmelitas 144
This library fonded in 1869 is considered one of the most beautiful of the world. For sure this is in part due to its amazing red staircase you can find in the middle of the shop!
PORTO DESIGN GUIDE | restaurants & cafè
CANTINA DO AVILLEZ | R. de Mouzinho da Silveira 166
This cozy restaurant is located just a few steps from Porto Riberia and you can taste good food by chef Jose Avillez in a beautiful interior space (find more about this restaurant here)
MISS OPO | Rua dos Caldeireiros 100
Loved the interior of this restaurant (that it’s also a guesthous) with its concrete walls and raw style but it’s very cozy thanks to its vintage furniture and decor.
CASA SANTO ANTONIO | Rua da Assunção 40
This is a cozy petiscaria, that’s to say a place where you can enjoy dinner with the different petiscos typical of Portoguese kitchen. The space feels like a small tavern with a contemporary twist.
GALERIA DE PARIS | Galeria de Paris 56
In this street and the next ones (rua Candido dos Reis and rua Conte de Vizela) you can find many interesting bars and cafés where enjoying a drink after dinner. Galeria de Paris it’s probably the most original with its furniture in bistrot style and its wall cabinets completely filled with toys and vintage stuff (yes, there’s also a car hanged on the wall..!)
XICO QUEIJO | Galeria de Paris 79
Another nice place where to go after dinner, with an industrial style decadent style
PORTO DESIGN GUIDE | where to stay
HOTEL TEATRO | R. de Sá da Bandeira 84
A design hotel located in the old city theatre! Find more here
INPATIO | Pátio de São Salvador 22
A typical patio house hosts a cozy guesthouse in Ribeira, find more here
READ MORE ABOUT MY PORTUGAL TOUR HERE
FIND THE LISBON DESIGN GUIDE HERE