‘After all, Porto, to truly honor its name, is, first of all, this wide lap open to the river, but which can only be seen from the river through narrow mouths closed by walls, the traveler can lean over get outdoors and have the illusion that the whole of Porto is Ribeira.’
The offer is very diverse, depending on the interests of each one. Here we share some suggestions for areas in the city with stores for all tastes. Downtown, more specifically in the Miguel Bombarda street and adjacent streets (Rosário street), you will find a very known area for its concentration of art galleries and where are also located stores dedicated to retro real estate, objects and illustration galleries (Ó Galeria or Oficina Arara), alternative bookstores, record stores, vinyl stores, and second-hand clothing stores, amongst others.
Downtown, you will be able to find the most important record stores in a 5-minute walk distance between each other. It’s famous the store of Matéria Prima, a record store specializing in alternative sounds of different latitudes. Another store that you cannot miss is Louie Louie, where you will be able to find a very diversified catalog of record stores that are new and also others in second hand, of many different musical genres. Don’t forget to stop at Porto Calling, a record store specialized in vinyl and the newborn Tubitek.
In those streets and adjacent ones in the Center of Porto and on the historic center you can find several other stores for clothes and shoes. In that area, it exists a massive concentration of second-hand bookstores that are a delight. Also, in that same zone, you will find the famous Livraria Lello, near Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), and it’s considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
On the weekends, especially on Saturday, you will see several street markets’ in Porto, with a diverse offer of products: crafts, books, posters, clothes, accessories, food and many others. The Vandoma, the historic flea market of Porto, that takes place every Saturday morning in the eastern area of Porto, it’s a place that you cannot miss out, not only for the shopping opportunities but especially for its unique atmosphere.
The Supermarkets in the peripheral areas of the city took over the whole town, but a few smaller grocery shops still exist around Porto. The best examples can be found in the surrounding streets of Mercado do Bolhão. Start with the wonderful Comer e Chorar por Mais, funded in 1912, this little store is full of Portuguese wines and regional foods. Everything there is tasty, from the sardines and Portuguese conserves to the many and different Porto wines. To find spices, medicinal herbs like gingko and chia seeds, the best is to going to Casa Chinesa where you will also find leguminous and teas. Save a little room for the salty codfish, that you will be able to buy in Casa Natal.
Walk freely through town and you will find lots of places that are worthy to visit.
Right in the center of the city, there are several green parks: Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace gardens), located near the Faculty (Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto), where the KISMIF Conference will take place (halfway through the Centre and Ribeira); the Parque da Cidade (City Park), next to the sea, and the beautiful gardens of jardim de Serralves (Serralves Park), where the Museum of Contemporary Art designed by one of the winners’ of the prize Pritzker architecture, the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, is located. Don’t miss this place!
Since 1996, the Historic Centre of Porto is a World Heritage of UNESCO, for that reason, it’s highly recommended to do a tour through the historical medieval neighborhood on the way to Ribeira and along the Douro River. But there are many other points to see in the Downtown area of Porto, it is very pleasant to walk and look at it. Last but not least, take note of the existence of many more museums in the city, most of them located in the center and in the historical center. Please consult all this information on the website Turismo. You will find out more about the Museums, collections, prices and schedules.