Are you looking for some Porto tips and do you love art?
You’ve landed in the right place. Let’s dive into the buzzing art scene, a list of art museums in Porto and the coolest hands-on art workshops Porto has to offer.
What the Art?
Being the subcultraveler that I am there is always something bugging me a little when I read lists like “The ten most important Porto Art Galleries” or “The best Art Guide to Porto”.
I guess I just can’t run around and visit five museums in three days. I’m more the DIY kind of person. So, besides obviously giving you a list anyway (because what lousy article would this be if I didn’t), I also want to include the smaller places and - of course - workshops by subcultours in Porto.
In my opinion, you will only understand Porto art if you take part in it.
Let’s start with Porto art museums and galleries:
• Museu Serralves
This museum for contemporary art is a must see; the museum itself is a piece of art!
• Galeria Fernando Santos
A big player in the art scene that showcases Portuguese and international artists.
• Galeria Presença
In this contemporary art gallery you find the big names being displayed and art that will blow your mind.
• Espaco Mira
This Belle Époque building with azulejos (tiles) panels on the inside and outside is a host to art, films and photography by upcoming Portuguese artists.
• A Certain Lack of Coherence
It is a space run by artist for artists. Their goal is to present and discuss art-related projects.
• Galleria Nuno Centeno
The son of the well known Portuguese artist Sobral Centeno, Nuno, founded the gallery and has established an international program of Contemporary Art. It has become another big player in the industry and showcases some of the best contemporary art in Portugal.
• Gallery Hostel
When you are looking for a place where you can have art around you 24/7 then try this combination of luxury hostel and art gallery.
• Ó Gallery
Located in the trendy Miguel Bombarda block, in Oporto, this gallery is focused on illustration, drawing, books, zines and author pieces, mostly made by Portuguese artists.
Architecture and Tiles
It goes without saying that Porto’s historic architecture is one of a kind.
So, if you’re interested, it’s worth walking around the city because it’s an art museum in itself. Especially around the Old Town you’ll see the traditional Portuguese tiles that adorn the walls of Porto's colorful variety of houses. And here’s my tip:
Visit Francisco who is a young and very talented tile artist. He invites you to his studio for a "Tiles & Tea Workshop". Learn about the history of the famous tiles and try your hand at painting some yourself.
This would be my little Porto architecture guide – including and beyond the tiles:
• Sao Bento Train Station
There you can see around 22 thousand tiles that show some of the most relevant episodes of Portuguese history.
• Dom Luis Bridge
This masterpiece connects you to the port wine district, HELLO!
• Majestic Café
Sip your cappuccino in this beautiful 1920s café and enjoy the ambiance of one of the most stunning cafés in Portugal. Psst, probably a part of Harry Potter was written here!
• Livraria Lello
I heard of you at “Harry Potter”?! Well the staircase of this bookshop is said to be an inspiration for the famous moving staircase in Hogwarts.
• Palacio da Bolsa
What a big neoclassical palace. What’s not to admire?!
Porto street art tour
Street art in Porto is as impressive as the rather conventionally displayed art indoors. Because Porto is such a beauty and you would want to walk around all day anyway, why don’t you plan your route along these four street art spots which will be about an hour if you take your time for pictures:
• Rua de Miguel Bombarda
The street art gallery district – need I say more?! :)
• Rua das Flores
Watch out for the electrical boxes while you conveniently do some shopping or wine tasting.
• Escadas do Codeçal
Visit this staircase with famous street art paintings and striking views.
• Rua da Madeira
A smaller street with some incredible art work on display.
And if looking at it doesn’t do it for you, check out the Urban Art Workshop and City Tour by Filipe, who will give you a little city tour along the way while letting you discover urban art and guiding you to have a go at spraying and large-scale painting.
Loads of love from your favorite subcultraveler