What to do in Porto? If you’re about to visit the city, Secrets from Portugal has reunited all the best tips about this amazing city. Porto is a unique city for so many reasons we can’t even name all of them, but we would love that you get to discover all of them for yourself. It’s a delightful city with endless charms. Porto has a charming environment with graceful people that make it even more beautiful.
Its strong Portuguese architecture spread in the most little corner of the city contrasting with the modern buildings, the small streets that highlight the real essence of Porto, the most luxurious hotels, spas and Michelin-starred restaurants, and the delicious gastronomy that satisfies everyone who tastes it are just some of the elements we can highlight of a city that doesn’t fit in words: it must be seen, heard and felt.
Secrets from Portugal presents you a selection of the places you can’t miss in this glamorous city. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
What to do in Porto? Contemplate the amazing architecture
Architectural design is spread all over Portugal and it’s definitely a secret not to be missed when you visit the country, with the amazing buildings providing you the best of the Portuguese architecture, you will fall in love in every little corner. Let yourself be involved and amazed in this trip through the best Portuguese architecture.
Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões
Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões is a small port complex of initiative of the Douro and Leixões Ports Administration, in Matosinhos, which was designed by the Portuguese architect Luís Pedro Silva. The design honours the Portuguese tiles when being coated with one million three-dimensional ceramic tiles – made in Portugal, of course. Glazed tiles achieve a chromatic variety through the way the sunlight strikes the hexagonal pieces, which changes throughout the day and the seasons.
Casa da Música
Porto, an illuminated city, welcomed, in 2005, Casa da Música. A project full of eccentricity, culture and innovation. The eternal perpetuity of that physical phenomenon which is sound, saw in Oporto a home to live for many years. Designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, master of contemporary architecture and winner of a Pritzker, this creation doesn’t follow conventional patterns and claims itself as a modern artistic landmark. Undoubtedly, a visual soundtrack for the soul.
Piscina das Marés
The project of the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira takes advantage of the natural depressions of the rocky terrain to implant the saltwater pools. The architecture of this project allows the pools to reach the ocean and mix with the natural formations present along the coast of Matosinhos. Siza Vieira forced the contrast between the organic rocks, which invade the pools, and the accentuated geometry of architecture.
São Bento Railway Station
São Bento Railway Station is considered one of the most beautiful (and most photographed) in the world. In its interior, Portugal is deciphered through 20 thousand tiles that coat it, by the hands of the painter Jorge Colaço. The walls of this space tell the story of transport and lead you on a journey through Portuguese life and culture, with illustrated episodes such as the conquest of Ceuta or pilgrimages and processions.
What to do in Porto? See unique museums
Museums in Portugal are excellent reasons to plan a vacation with the ones we love the most, especially in Portugal. In our country, art has always been part of our language and History. The following article is comprised of a unique selection of some of the most prestigious museums in Portugal which you ought to visit, whether you go with family or friends, you cannot miss this opportunity to get to know the country’s culture through a unique and timeless perspective.
Soares dos Reis National Museum
Nestled in Palácio das Carrancas, the Soares dos Reis National Museum is located in Porto and is a museum exclusively dedicated to the beaux arts and decorative arts of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, as well as archaeology. As a whole, the museum possesses more than 13.000 pieces, including 3.000 of drawing and painting. This museum full of history and culture is considered the oldest museum in Portugal.
Serralves Foundation opened its doors in 1989 and now is regarded as one of the most successful cultural institutions in the country, possessing a rich historical and cultural heritage. It is located in the city of Porto and highlights a wide variety of sectors, from contemporary art to architecture, landscape design as well as other themes of public interest. The Serralves Museum was designed by the legendary Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira.
What to do in Porto? Dinner in the best Michelin-starred restaurants
Portugal longs for a 3-star recognition that still wasn’t fulfilled. Portugal is full of exquisite cuisine that longs to be experienced. Secrets from Portugal presents you the full list of all the restaurants awarded with the coveted star in Porto!
The extraordinary panorama of the Douro River and the Historic Center of Porto guarantees a unique setting, coupled with the attribution of two Michelin stars in the 2017 Guide. Providing a unique wine and gastronomic experience, The Yeatman introduces you to a kitchen of imagination, in which the flavours of the Portuguese traditional cuisine are reinterpreted and presented in a contemporary style. It presents the enormous variety of fish and fresh ingredients, as well as the diversity of regional gastronomic specialities.
Dating back to the 19th century, with all the inaccuracies that time has brought, Quinta da Macieirinha is now in a new configuration thanks to Antiqvvm. A space where you can not only count on the monumental beauty of the building and the gardens surrounding it, but also with a privileged and unique landscape in the Invicta city. To all this, add a masterful kitchen – by the excellent hand of Chef Vitor Matos – and a wine list not less enviable.
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova
The Casa de Chá da Boa Nova goes beyond a mere restaurant. As we enter the space, we realize the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean, which almost transports us to the time of the Discoveries. Chef Rui Paula has an unorthodox way of surprising his clients, taking them to another level of gastronomic experiences, in a symbiotic vision where he really wants to make himself known. The result of the architectural genius of the great Álvaro Siza Vieira, the property is one of the most emblematic works of the renowned architect.
Opening its doors in 2009, Pedro Lemos is seen as one of the best restaurants in the city. After five years of activity, the restaurant became the first establishment in Porto to be awarded a Michelin star. It is located in a beautiful house classified as architectural heritage, in Foz do Douro. Pedro Lemos honours nature, products and seasonality. A visit to this restaurant would not be completed without experiencing its extraordinary wines.
What to do in Porto? Enjoy the Best Design Hotels
The best design hotels in the world have a great emphasis on art and design concepts. So if you’re a design and also a travel lover, those are the best places to enjoy. On the best design hotels of the world, you’ll find charm, glamour and luxury in every little detail, with differentiated architectonical projects or installed in a historic building, you’ll certainly lack no reasons to fall in love with these unique places. It’s here that you can find the difference and the individuality.
Casa do Conto
Located in the heart of Porto, Casa do Conto (House of Tales) is a very charming building and a once in a lifetime experience. It is an innovative project that results of a restoration of a 19th-century Victorian home in order to provide the most demanding and discerning guests with a unique collision of poetry, raw concrete, and vintage Scandinavian pieces. If you are a poetry lover, you must look at the ceilings. That’s their most wonderful secret!
Le Monumental Palace
The design of the whole space was the responsibility of Oitoemponto, who pledged not to let the French style and the chic ambience, which reigned at the inauguration party, slip away. The whole building was in keeping with the belle époque, a period marked by the end of World War I, and in which, therefore, the cosmopolitan spirit of fun took over Europe. Each corner of Le Monumental Palace is a declaration of love to the 20s, which mixes French and Portuguese design in a single space never seen before.
Le Monumental Palace, which pretends to be your luxury residence in the heart of Porto, is composed of 63 rooms complemented by 13 suites with unique luxury and refinement. In addition, there is also a dedicated space for guests’ wellness with a 24-hour gym, and a spa and sauna open to all who want to experience new sensations. In the various rooms that design the hotel, the fireplace is the centre of attention, to reserve moments of pure pleasure that you can share with family, friends or even for business.
It is in the elegance of detail that you find the biggest surprises with an immediate sense of comfort offered by the selection of materials and articles in the Superior Rooms. Graphic patterns, pastel fabrics, lacquered woods and noble furniture: custom made. Elegant and bright, Le Monumental Palace‘s suites are spread over the five floors of the Hotel with varied standards and nobility in materials: pastel fabrics, furniture with harmonious lines and lacquered woods. Art de Vivre in the old bourgeois homes has been designed in exceptional suites to make you feel at home while enjoying the luxury services they provide.
Enjoy all the little tips about what to do in Porto and the amazing secrets that the Undefeated city has to show you!
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