Want to enjoy a Portuguese weekend while avoiding the tourist crowds? Discover some of our preferred addresses in Porto!
Porto, its Douro, its “mercados”, its narrow streets and its houses made of azulejos… If the “unconquered city” remained for a long time in the shadow of Lisbon, it has now the wind in its sails. For several years, Porto has been among the most represented cities in all kinds of rankings.
In 2021, it has been elected as the best “city for family living”, the second “most entertaining city” in the world, and for some the third best “city of the future” in Europe. Of course, the city formerly known as “Portus” attracts crowds, and trips to Porto are increasingly in demand.
So don’t hesitate any longer and discover our selection of the best typical and secret places in Porto by yourself with The Offline!
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The cultural addresses in Porto
Casa de Serralves and its park
Initially designed as a private house, the Casa Serralves is nowadays one of the most important places to visit in Porto. The villa, considered the most outstanding example of Art Deco in Portugal thanks to its pink walls, is classified as a Building of Public Interest. Its unique architecture, designed by the Frenchman Charles Siclis in collaboration with the Portuguese architect José Marques da Silva, still inspires the greatest engineers today.
Thanks to its museum and its large park, it will be able to welcome a family or a group of friends during a sunny afternoon. The open-air museum, which alternates between proportion, geometry and light, is a real distraction for children and adults alike, while the 200 plant species in the park will shelter you for a picnic in the shade of the Portuguese sun. In short, this is the first place to go on a trip to Oporto, offering an unusual afternoon for the whole family.
The Portuguese Photography Center
Located in the old prison of Porto, the Portuguese Photography Center offers a collection loaded with cameras and cameras of the 20th century. Created in 1997, it is housed in a historic building from the 18th century. Less than 30 years ago, the center’s walls housed the city’s court of justice and prison.
This makes for a very special travel experience in Porto, especially when you find yourself admiring the center’s exhibits in the heart of the former cells and torture chambers. Today, the museum has an annual exhibition, and multiple temporary exhibitions. You can visit it throughout the year without ever getting tired of the works you will find there.
Tasty addresses in Porto
Dating back to the 1060s, Café Santiago is, for those who want to discover new local flavors, the address not to be missed! Known by the locals, it will propose you to discover one of the most tasty Portuguese specialities: the francesinha. This last one is in fact a sandwich (classified as one of the 10 best sandwiches in the world), made of ham, Portuguese smoked sausage, fresh sausage, the whole covered with cheese.
The address is one of the classics of Porto’s inhabitants, and it is easy to understand why. Although it is not well known by tourists, it is still very popular throughout the day. So you’ll have to use your patience before tasting this Portuguese wonder.
If Mito stands out from other restaurants in the city, and will enhance your trip to Porto, it is largely due to its extensive menu. The menu is divided into four sections: hot, cold, grilled and sweet. The atmosphere is also warm, friendly and the service is fast. We particularly recommend you to try the beef croquettes, while enjoying a Medronho Sour, a typical cocktail of the region.
The quality-price ratio is particularly interesting. On the other hand, the quantity is less, and you should not expect to leave the Mito with a full stomach. In the end, this is the perfect place to have lunch with friends before heading out to explore the rest of the city.
La Confeitaria do Bolhao
In front of the famous Bolhao market in the heart of Porto, you’ll find the Confeitaria do Bolhao, an ideal address to calm your hunger while discovering the Portuguese culinary specialties. Present since 1896, it will offer you a multitude of delicacies.
Pastel de Nata, Berlin balls, or Salame de chocolate will be perfect to sweeten a summer stroll along the Douro. But the surprises presented by this confectionery do not stop there, since you can also enjoy a varied offer of grocery store, cellar, caterer, or tea room, so that the local culinary specialties have no secret for you.
The addresses for sleeping
Rosa et al townhouse
If you’re looking for high-end accommodation for your trip to Porto, the Rosa et al townhouse has all the answers! This set of spacious suites, located in the city center, will offer you a luxurious stay. Each of them will have a view of the city or the large garden.
The latter, particularly well designed, will offer you the possibility of calm walks away from the bustle of the city. You will also be able to enjoy the gastronomic meals offered by the establishment, prepared from organic products grown in the hotel’s garden. Finally, the location is perfect for a trip to Oporto, as you will be surrounded by art galleries, artists’ studios and design stores to discover Portuguese crafts.
Located just ten minutes from the beach, and offering panoramic views of the sea or the river, Duas Portas is a small and charming boutique hotel. Located in the heart of a restored 19th century house, this establishment will offer you a stay in an atypical setting, where the decoration is typical Portuguese.
Perfect for a couple’s stay, it will become your pied-à-terre during your next trip to Porto. In the morning, you will enjoy a breakfast included, which you will taste on the terrace while the sun rises in the background. A culinary as well as a visual treat, for a feeling of absolute peace.
Addresses for a drink in Porto
The Royal Cocktail Club
How can you imagine a week’s vacation in Porto without imagining yourself with your family, on a terrace, sharing a drink at sunset? To do so, we suggest our must-see address for sipping a cocktail: the Royal Cocktail Club. Located not far from the cathedral of Porto, this bar with a sometimes festive, sometimes hushed atmosphere, offers a multitude of worked cocktails, some of which will delight you by their originality.
As for the decoration, the bar is also atypical, since it is located in the middle of the room. You will be able to observe the barmen displaying all their know-how. Finally, you can order shared cocktails, which will be served in vases of more than a liter!
Taylor’s is our favorite address in this selection of top secret travel spots in Porto. The establishment, located away from the city center in a quiet and natural place, is both a bar and a factory of the classic Portuguese liquor: port! You can also come and taste this famous wine of the region, enjoying some bottles dating back more than 30 years!
You will also discover an atypical place, in which the atmosphere is particularly family.
The address to bring back souvenirs
If you want to visit the best stores in Porto and not go back home empty-handed, here is an address not to be missed: Armazem! With its 6 vintage stores spread out in a chic and chill space, you are bound to find what you are looking for. Travel in a specific universe of antiques and typical objects recalling the History of Portugal, before strolling in the alleys of the common space.
The latter offers a multitude of bars and restaurants to relax after strolling through the stores for several hours. You can also enjoy exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. This cultural place is a real classic for your next trip to Porto.