André Silva’s tips and suggestions:
On this list you’ll find places that I love going to as a local. Due to my background I’m chosing to put my focus on music and arts, but also alternative places that maybe you’d never stumble upon on a tourist guide.
Music and culture:
- Ermo do Caos – This is my association. Indepent and experimental music and arts. Events are held mostly on an every other week basis. Follow our Instagram to keep up with what’s going on.
- Sonoscopia – Mainly experimental and improvised music venue that is inside of this nice couple’s house. They offer dinner + concert and usually have amazing international musicians playing.
- Porta-Jazz – Porto’s own jazz association is now a powerhouse of the musical tissue of the city. They have concerts every week on Saturdays and a great festival in February.
- Casa da Música – You can go for the architecture but stay for the concerts. A luxurious curation of what’s best in terms of classical and contemporary music.
- Serralves – Porto’s own contemporary art museum is definitely worth a visit and one of my favorite places to show foreigners. Go for the museum but please don’t skip the gardens as they are amazing on their own!
- Batalha Centro de Cinema – The legendary center of cinema in the city of Porto reopened its doors in December 2022. This is the place to go to celebrate the joy and the history of cinema.
- Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis – Porto’s national museum with collections consisting mainly of painting and sculpture from the XIXth and XXth centuries.
- Rua de Miguel Bombarda – Porto’s art district is worth a visit. Very close to the city center, you can go to the art galleries during the afternoon, have dinner in the area and then go for a drink in Rua de Cedofeita.
Bars and clubs
- Aduela – Trendy and busy bar with a big outside area in the middle of the street. Good to see and be seen.
- Pipa velha – Also busy but more secluded. More of a speak-easy vibe.
- Candelabro – A mix of both of the above. Usually preferred by expats and tourists.
- Maus Hábitos – Maus Hábitos is an all in one. A bar/restaurant/concert venue. Best place for a fun evening in Porto.
- Plano B – Porto’s main club right in the center of the night area.
- Passos Manuel – The old cinema is now a quirky concert venue/club on the weekends. It’s smaller than the other options but that’s not always bad. It’s a small door next to the big doors from Coliseu do Porto.
- Rendez-Vous Bar – Porto’s rock club. If dance and electronic music isn’t your thing, this is where you’ll find your vibe. Dancing and singing all night long is mandatory.
- Galerias Paris – All kinds of bars, clubs and cafés can be found in Porto’s main night area.
- Catraio – The best brewery with the best craft beer in Porto. They have jazz concerts sometimes.
- Casa agrícola – A bit away from the center means that you don’t get so much of a bustling vibe here, but this place is an institution. Ideal for a relaxing drink and chat after dinner.
- Barril – In a higher end area of the city, Barril still offers a traditional service that used to be so much a part of Porto’s identity. I’m sure many deals were sealed in this place in older times.
- Embaixada – This one is the most fun. They have thematic music nights every night and people just dance in an environment that isn’t as heavy and serious as a “real” club.
- Casa Expresso – A real “tasca” with modern quality standards. Everything is heavy, meaty and traditional here.
- Francesinha Al Forno – A real Francesinha cooked on wood stove right in the city center. It’s a big place and not always on the guides so it might be easier to have a table on a busy night. Also amazing vegetarian Francesinhas.
- Zenith – Best brunch in town in the city center.
- Pedra Nova – This one is a personal favorite but might not be for everyone. A fun lively old couple runs this place that art students have chosen as their homebase. You can smoke inside and they usually stay open until late. The place can be a bit crazy, but I kid you not, they have the best vegetarian Francesinhas in town for me!
- Lage São Padrão – Next to Porto and heading to the seaside you have Matosinhos. That’s where you want to go for best fresh fish that you’ll probably ever taste. Laje do Padrão is a personal favorite, but you can’t go wrong with most of the restaurants in the area.
- Casa de Chá da Boa Nova – Are you looking to propose? This is the place to go. Don’t expect to pay less than 120€/person.
- Casa Guedes – Pork sandwich with “Serra” cheese and a light wine called Espadal. This place is an institution of international proportions, and if you go there you’ll understand why. The line can be crazy though.
- Meidin – Sometimes all you want is pizza dinner. This is where you should go.
- Nova era – Great food, diverse portuguese menu, cheap prices. You can’t go wrong here.
- Terrárea – Vegetarian and healthy with a plant store inside. In Matosinhos.
- Fava tonka – Vegetarian fusion and experimental with a seasonal menu. In Leça da Palmeira.
- Apuro – Amazing vegan right next to the art district.
Where to, next?
- Foz, Matosinhos, Leça – Porto isn’t exactly known for its beaches but that doesn’t mean we don’t have them. The beaches are great and well maintained with nice support equipment. Unfortunately the water is a bit chilly and the weather isn’t exactly like in the south of Portugal.
- Gerês – I’ve travelled far and wide but I think this is my favorite place in the world. Gerês is Portugal’s national park and it’s just 1 hour and a half away from Porto. Rent a car and plan a 2/3 day escape. You won’t regret it!
- Vale do douro – Great wine, great scenery and typical portuguese villages. I mean… Book a night in the town of Peso da Régua and go from there.
- Arouca – A typical portuguese village 1 hour away from Porto. You can have amazing food (carne Arouquesa), pastry and go for beautiful walks in nature – there is even a huge waterfall and an abandoned wolfram mining complex.
- Aveiro – Portuguese Venice. Aveiro is beautiful a city built on river canals with doll-like colorful houses. It’s roughly an hour away from Porto.
- Braga and Guimarães – Two of Portugal’s major towns are only 30 minutes apart and 45 minutes away from Porto. Braga is a lively college town and Guimarães is a nice city filled with history.
Finally, if you want to know more about me and/or my music check out my: website
Thank you and have an amazing stay!