Gay Guide • PORTO | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in PORTO?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
WHAT TO SEE in PORTO?
10 THINGS TO SEE in PORTO
Ribeira& Ponte Don Luis I
The Ribeira district is one of the most important areas of the historic center of Porto. On the banks of the river the colorful and richly decorated facades fascinate any visitor. A real labyrinth of streets in which you just have to get lost to appreciate its wonder. Strolling at sunset along the Douro River between the Don Luis I Bridge and the Arrábida Bridge is one of the best experiences to have in this city. The Dom Luis Bridge, recognizable by its imposing iron structure, was built by the engineer Théophile Seyrng in honor of the King of Portugal, a friend of Gustave Eiffel. Along the banks you will find rabelos, traditional Portuguese ships once used to transport barrels full of wine from the vineyard area to the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.Gaia.
Tower of the Clerigos
In full Baroque style, it is one of the most beautiful attractions of Porto and a symbol of the city. Built between 1754 and 1763 to a design by the Italian architect Niccolò Nasoni, the tower is characterized by a spiral staircase with 225 steps. The ascent must be paid.
Cathedral of Sé
In the upper part of the city, in the Batalha district, you can admire one of the oldest buildings to visit in Porto and the most important in terms of religion. This 12th-century church has inside a precious Gothic-style cloister decorated with religious scenes made with 14th-century tiles. From this area it is possible to access the Casa do Cabildo, where religious objects considered "the treasure of the cathedral" are exhibited.
Stock Exchange Building
Headquarters of the Commercial Association of the city and built on the ruins of an old Franciscan convent, it is another of the must-see places in Porto. Declared a national monument, this neoclassical building has a large central courtyard covered by a glass structure that lets in natural light. A granite and marble staircase will lead you to the second floor where you can visit the General Assembly Hall, the Golden Hall, the French Renaissance-style Court Hall and the picturesque Arab Hall, inspired by the Alhambra in Granada.
Lello and Irmão Bookshop
A 1900 neo-Gothic building in the heart of the city that houses one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world and a source of inspiration for writers such as JK Rowling who, after living in Porto for two years, was inspired by it to recreate some scenes from Harry Potter. Due to the large number of tourists, an entrance fee of 5 euros has been set.
Bolhão Market & Rua Santa Catarina
Inaugurated in 1914, the Bolhão Market is the ideal place to find excellent food stalls and buy quality local products. The market is spread over two floors, with a large internal patio. Not far from the market is Rua Santa Catarina, the shopping street par excellence in the center of Porto. Don't miss the Majestic Cafè, a beautiful place that will take you back to the 20s of the last century. During the walk, in addition to restaurants, shops and a shopping center, you can admire some tiled churches (with the famous Azulejos) such as the beautiful Chapel of Souls.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Beyond the Don Luis I metal bridge, you can reach the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. From here you can enjoy a walk along the river with fantastic views of the colorful facades of the Ribeira. Obviously you cannot miss a visit to a wine cellar to learn about the production process and let yourself be seduced by the tasting of an excellent local product. Among the most famous wineries are Cálem, Croft, Graham, Sandeman or Ferreira. Also in Vila Noa de Gaia, we suggest you drop by the Mercado Beira-Rio, a fantastic covered food market, with food stalls and lots of stands where you can drink good local wine.
São Bento Station
Even if you don't have to take a train, it's worth going to the spectacular São Bento station. Built in the early 9th century on the remains of an ancient convent, it features an entrance hall decorated with over 20,000 azulejos.
Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal
If you have time and want to get away from the traffic of the city, you can visit the Palácio de Cristal Gardens, one of the most beautiful and particular places to see in Porto. A Romanesque-style park opened to the public in 1860, perfect for walking in the middle of nature and enjoying incredible views of the Douro River.
Barrio do Barredo
If you want to experience the true essence of the city, we recommend this neighborhood, located between the Cathedral and the banks of the Douro, full of narrow streets, stairways and very picturesque buildings. Its melancholic air, its smells and its colors will take you back in time. The Torre do Barredo and the "Escadas do Barredo" will make you fully grasp the magic of this neighborhood.
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
5 BEST EXCURSIONS from PORTO
Fátima & Coimbra
Braga & Guimarães
Aveiro & Costa Nova
Santiago de Compostela
Click'n'Go - Click on Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Clubs
to find them on the Map or visit their Website
WHERE TO SLEEP in PORTO?
5 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in PORTO
The Yeatman Hotel ***** (Area: Vila Nova de Gaia)
PortoBay Hotel Teatro **** ® Tested by World Mappers
Hotel Ibis Porto Centro ** ® Tested by World Mappers
HERE TO EAT in PORTO?
10 BEST RESTAURANTS in PORTO Quality / Price
€€€ - Art'e da Baixa ® Tested by World Mappers
€€€ - Ora Viva
€€ - Taberna Folias de Baco ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Tapabento S. Bento
€€ - O Buraquinho da Sé ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Petiscaria Santo António ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - Bota & Bira
€ - Casa Guedes (Excellent sandwiches starting from € 3.00) ® Tested by World Mappers
€ - Café Santiago (The best Francesinhas) ® Tested by World Mappers
GAY NIGHTLIFE in PORTO
5 BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in PORTO
Invictus Café Bar (Gay Bar & Club) ® Tested by World Mappers
Fabrik Bar (Gay Bar)
Pride Bar (Gay Bar & Club) ® Tested by World Mappers
Bar Conceição 35 (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
ZOOM Porto (Gay Disco)
TRAVEL TIPS about PORTO by World Mappers
The Most BEAUTIFUL PANORAMIC POINTS of PORTO
Enjoy the city from above from the best Viewpoints of Porto that we recommend:
Porto's most famous viewpoint. With its 80 meters high and central location it offers a 360 degree view of the city. To enjoy it "it will be enough" to climb the two hundred steps that separate you from the top.
One of our favorite walks. It is right from the bridge that you have splendid views of the Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia. We advise you to cross the bridge at sunset to see the city take on wonderful colors before nightfall.
From the square in front of the Porto Cathedral, you can admire the entire historic centre. Thanks to its elevated position, it allows you to contemplate the intricate alleys of the Batalha district.
Following the signs to the Igreja (church) dos Grilos from the Sé cathedral, descending the hill next to the Pedro Pitões tower, you will reach the viewpoint in two minutes. It is worth seeing during any time of day but especially at night, when the view of Porto with its illuminated windows will leave you speechless.
In addition to the visit, these gardens offer a panoramic view of Porto. You can sit on a bench in total relaxation and observe the port area.
At the end of Rua de São Bento da Vitória, near the Portuguese photographic center, you can discover this vantage point to enjoy a postcard image of the city.
The best views of the Ribeira can be had from another of our favorite spots in Porto, near the entrance to the Gaia cable car. You will reach it once you cross the Don Luis I bridge heading towards the cellars.
Hidden between two places full of history, the palace of Alfândega do Porto and the so-called Palace of the Sirens (Palácio das Sereias), where the Jewish quarter was once located. The Banderinha da Saúde (literally "small flag of health") viewpoint offers an amazing perspective of the Douro, the houses and the city of Gaia.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Porto
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Porto" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 10 Things and Places to See in Secret Porto:
Casa do Infante - One of the oldest buildings in the city of Porto, the Casa do Infante was built by royal decree on the site of a Roman villa. It is believed to have been the home of Prince Henry the Navigator, who played an important role in Portuguese maritime discoveries. The building now houses a museum, a library, the city's historical archive and an interpretation centre.
The Lingerie Restaurant - A very special restaurant, combining aphrodisiac cuisine with eroticism. Inside the staff are wearing only undergarments. The menu is divided between preliminaries, de facto and menage a trois. Obviously this place is often chosen for bachelor parties, birthday parties and even divorce parties.
Carmo and Carmelitas Churches - A church that is actually two separate buildings. A hidden and very narrow house, so that it is easy to mistake it for a wall, separates the two structures. The Igreja dos Carmelitas Descalços was conceived to house the Carmelite nuns, while the Igreja do Carmo for the monks. There are many local legends about it and the most common holds that the 'strange house' in the center was erected to prevent nuns and monks from getting too 'close'.
Jardim and Passeio das Virtudes - In the historic center of Porto is the Jardim das Virtudes, a truly extraordinary curious vertical garden, from which to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.
Banco de Materiais (Bank of Materials) - Since the typical Porto Azulejos are threatened by decay and theft, this project is committed to collecting them for conservation purposes and for citizens who want to restore the facades of their buildings. By turning to this "bank" the owners of buildings are in fact helped in finding the most suitable Azulejos for their restoration needs. Today the Bank of Materials has tens of thousands of tiles in its collection.
Faro di Felgueiras - An ancient lighthouse that still retains its charm today. Located at the mouth of the Douro River, it offers a panoramic view of the sea. In our opinion, at sunset it transforms into a truly suggestive place due to the colors of the sky and the waves breaking at its feet.
Capela do Senhor da Pedra - On the rocks of a beach south of Porto (Miramar beach) stands a small chapel that resists the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Truly a unique and unmissable place. The beach is never very crowded but the wind is very strong.
McDonald's Imperial - The spaces once occupied by the Imperial Café of Porto, now house what is called the "most beautiful McDonald's in the world". A very special place even for those who do not like fast food.
Jardim Botânico do Porto - A small but charming botanical garden containing many exotic plant species.
Catacombe di Igreja de São Francisco - The ancient catacombs are located at the base of the Igreja de São Francisco. The catacombs house tombs of members of the Franciscan order awaiting doomsday.
STREET ART in PORTO
Could we not talk about the Street Art of the city? Of course not! Starting from 2013 with the election of mayor Rui Moreira, street art acquires a whole new meaning and the dream of transforming Porto into a city where anything can happen makes street art become a powerful tool to convey this transformation and to give a new soul to the city.
Here are the Top 10 Most beautiful Street Art Works in Porto:
Don Quixote di Mesk, Fedor & Mots - The first legal mural done in Porto, at the corner of Rua Miguel Bombarda and Rua Diogo Brandao, representing the "windmills" as a symbol of the adversities street art had to face to make its way.
The Blue Cat "Perspéntico" by Liqen - Hidden between two buildings hides a gigantic and wonderful blue cat.
Half Rabbit di Bordalo II - In Vila Nova de Gaia is this giant rabbit created with waste materials collected from the city's garbage. Nets, metal, road signs and pieces of plastic become eyes, paws and ears.
Trindade di Hazul and Mr Dheo - Near the Trinidade Metro station, it is one of the most impressive murals in the city, the result of the collaboration between Hazul Luzah, who works incognito often using the dark of the night to his advantage, and Mr Deo, recognized for his inexhaustible inventiveness. The best is the gentleman holding the miniature of the Tower of the Clerics.
AN.FI.TRI.ÃO by Frederico Draw - Returning from Vila Nova de Gaia and crossing the upper part of the Dom Luis I Bridge, you cannot fail to notice this huge black and white portrait on a red background created by Draw. It represents an ordinary citizen who gives his personal welcome to Porto.
Rua da Madeira - A facade decorated with over 3,000 ceramic tiles, the result of a project where the artists had to answer the question. “Who are you, Porto”.
Rua de Miguel Bombarda - An open air art gallery with works by amazing artists such as Hazul, Costah and Tina Siuda.
Look at Porto by Vhils - Located on a wall in the Miragaia district. In this marvelous work a face transforms into a tree while observing Porto.
Escadas do Codeçal - The stairs leading down to the Douro from the Dom Luis I Bridge, crammed with street art.
MIRA by Daniel Eime - An elderly lady with a melancholic soul in Largo de Artur Arcos along Rua Nova da Alfândega.
If you want more information on LGBT life in the city, we recommend the fantastic Porto Gay Circuit website!
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Porto's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
Porto • Classic Tour
Be ready to get to know the city of Porto and the history of Portugal. Start your LGBT Friendly walking tour from the iconic Clérigos Church with its 75.6 meter tower, and reach the amazing tiles of the renowned São Bento station, passing by the 14th century city walls. Continue towards the famous Library that inspired J. K. Rowling to write the book about adventures of Harry Potter (entrance ticket is included), the Livraria Lello & Irmão. This is a bookshop in the heart of Porto housed in a neo-gothic building from 1906, so exquisitely decorated covered in wood panelling that it will transport you to the nineteenth century. You cannot miss a visit to this unique bookshop, where you’ll feel you’ve just walked into a fairy-tale setting instead of a library. Continue towards the Mercado de Bolhao, Galerías París, the Igrejas Irmãs and finally reach the Avenida dos Aliados. Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee - Livraria Lello & Irmão
Porto • Gay Tour & Wine's Secrets
Enjoy a very sweet LGBT Tour of Porto, in Vila Nova de Gaia area, near the Ribeira neighbourhood, the place where you will have one of the best views of Porto's historic center, considered by UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. You will make a tour to two of the best Port Wine Cellars. In each of the cellars, you will have different and enriching experiences that will turn you into a real connoisseur of the Port Wine history. Along Porto’s historic sites, admire some more modern highlights like the D. Luís I Bridge, a double-decker iron bridge that was engineered by a partner of Gustave Eiffel. Here, near the world famed Douro River, you will enjoy the area of Ribeira, the Port Wine Cellars and the classic Rabelo Boats (a typical boat that crossed this river decades ago), lined up along the quay. Experience the best way of savoring the city and remember, the wine tastings are included ! Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee - Wine Cellars with Wine Tasting (2 Wines)
Porto by Night • Gay Tour
Enjoy an enlightened Porto and an amazing walking tour through Porto's gay & lesbian bars and clubs to live on your skin the magic atmosphere and LGBT scene of the city. Enjoy your included drink (also alcohol free drink available) and own the night ! Included: * Gay or Lesbian Tour Guide for Night Tour (2 hours) * Drink in Gay Bar (1 Drink)
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