Do you want to enjoy a Portuguese weekend while avoiding the tourist crowds? Discover our 10 top secret addresses in Porto!
Porto, its Douro, its “mercados”, its narrow streets and its habitats made of azulejos … If the “unconquered city” has long remained in the shadow of Lisbon, it is on the rise today. For several years, Porto has been one of the most represented cities in any kind of ranking.
In 2021, therefore, it was voted the best “city for family life”, the second “most entertaining city” in the world and for some the third best “city of the future” in Europe. Inevitably, what was formerly called “Portus” attracts audiences, and travel to Porto is more and more in demand.
But no problem! If you want to organize a trip to Porto away from the crowds, we have the perfect solution for you: a tailor-made trip. Generation Voyage and The Offline, an advanced travel agency specializing in bespoke travel, offer you the ideal alternative to discovering 10 secret addresses in Porto. So you can enjoy the city without having to meet the many tourists. And as a bonus, we offer you a 5% discount on your next booking with the code GENERATIONVOYAGEXTO!
So do not hesitate and discover our selection of the best typical and secret places in Porto for yourself with The Offline!
1. Casa de Serralves and its park
Originally designed as a private home, Casa Serralves is now one of the best places to visit in Porto. The villa, considered the most notable example of Art Deco in Portugal thanks to its pink walls, is classified as a building of public interest. Its very special 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 for a sunny afternoon. Changing games of proportions, geometry and light, the open-air museum is a real distraction for both young and old, while the 200 plant species in the park will give you shelter for a picnic in the shade of the Portuguese sun. In short, this first travel address in Porto will offer you an unusual afternoon for the whole family.
2. The Portuguese Photography Center
Located in Porto’s former prison, the Portuguese Photography Center offers a full collection of 20th-century cameras and cameras. It was created in 1997 and is housed in a historic building from the 18th century. Less than 30 years ago, the walls of the center housed the court and the city jail.
This provides a very special travel experience in Porto, especially when one finds oneself admiring the center’s exhibits in the heart of the old cells and torture chambers. Today, the museum has an annual exhibit and several temporary exhibits. You can visit it all year round without ever getting tired of the works you find there.
3. Cafe Santiago
Café Santiago dates back to the 1060s and is, for those who want to discover new local flavors, the address not to be missed! Known by the locals, he will invite you to discover one of the most delicious Portuguese specialties: francesinha. The latter is actually a sandwich (ranked as one of the top 10 sandwiches in the world), made from ham, Portuguese smoked sausage, fresh sausage, all covered in cheese.
The address is one of Porto’s residents’ classics, and we understand why. Although ultimately unknown to tourists, it remains largely frequented throughout the day. You will therefore need to invoke your patience before tasting this Portuguese wonder.
If Mito stands out from other restaurants in the city, and wants to enhance your trip to Porto, it’s largely because of its extensive menu. The latter are classified into four sections: hot, cold, grilled and sweet. The atmosphere is also warm, friendly, and the service is fast. We especially recommend you to taste the beef croquettes while enjoying a Medronho Sour, a typical cocktail in the region.
The price-performance ratio is particularly interesting here. On the other hand, the amount is less there and you should not expect to leave the Mito with a full stomach. Finally, this travel destination in Porto will be perfect for a lunch with friends before setting off to conquer the rest of the city.
5. Bolhao Confectionery
Opposite the famous Bolhao Market in the heart of Porto, you will find the Confeitaria do Bolhao, an ideal address to quench your hunger while discovering Portuguese culinary specialties. Present since 1896, it will really offer you a wealth of delicacies.
Pastel de Nata, Berlin balls or Salame de chocolate will catch your eye and will be perfect for sweetening a summer trip on the banks of the Douro. But the surprises from this confectionery do not stop there, as you can also benefit from a varied range of groceries, cellars, catering companies or even tea rooms, so the local culinary specialties have no more secrets for you.
Places to sleep
6. Pink and the townhouse
If you are looking for sophisticated accommodation for your trip to Porto, the establishment of Rosa et al townhouse has all the answers to your questions! 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, specially crafted, will also allow you to take walks in peace and shelter from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can also take advantage of the gastronomic meals offered by the establishment, made from organic products grown within the hotel’s garden. Finally, the geographical location is perfect for a trip to Porto as you will be surrounded by art galleries, artist studios and design shops to discover Portuguese handicrafts.
7. Duas Portas
Located about ten minutes from the beach and offering a panoramic view of the sea or the river, Duas Portas is a charming little boutique hotel. Located in the heart of a restored 19th-century house, this establishment will offer you a stay in atypical surroundings, where the decoration is typically Portuguese.
Perfect for a stay as a couple, it will be your base on your next trip to Porto. In the early morning you will enjoy an included breakfast which you can enjoy on the terrace while the sun rises in the background. A culinary and visual treat, for a sense of absolute tranquility.
Addresses for a drink
8. The Royal Cocktail Club
How can you imagine a week’s vacation on a trip to Porto without imagining yourself with your family, on the terrace, sharing a drink at sunset? To do this we offer you our important address to enjoy a cocktail: Royal Cocktail Club. Located not far from the Cathedral of Porto, this bar with a sometimes festive, sometimes cozy atmosphere, offers a wealth of processed cocktails, some of which will delight you with their originality.
In terms of decor, the bar is also atypical, as it is located in the middle of the room. You will therefore be able to observe the bartenders show all their know-how. Finally, know that you can order shared cocktails, which are served in vases of more than a liter!
Taylor’s is our favorite address in this selection of top secret travel destinations in Porto. Located away from the city center in a quiet and natural location, the establishment is both a bar and a factory of the classic Portuguese liqueur: port wine! You can also come and taste this famous wine from the region and enjoy some bottles that go back more than 30 years!
You will also discover an atypical place where the atmosphere is particularly family.
The address to bring back memories
If you want to take a detour to the best shops in Porto so as not to return empty-handed, here is an address you must not miss: Armazem! With its 6 vintage shops spread out in a smart and relaxed space, you will inevitably find what you are looking for. Then travel to a specific universe of antiques and typical artifacts reminiscent of Portugal’s history before strolling through the corridors of the common area.
The latter offers you a wealth of bars and restaurants where you can relax after strolling through the shops for several hours. You can also enjoy exhibitions and cultural events all year round. This cultural place is a real classic for your next trip to Porto.