Category Archives: Portugal

What to see in Portugal; attractions in Portugal and the best places to visit in Portugal.

Views of Porto from Ponte de Dom Luis I

In my opinion, some of the best views of the Portugese city of Porto are from the top deck of the Ponte de Dom Luis I. This double decker metal arch bridge opened in 1886.

I’m not sure that the current set-up of a pedestrian walkway alongside the Metro tracks, with no barriers would be permitted in the UK.

However it does mean that you can walk over the tracks to see the view from both sides of the Ponte de Dom Luis I.

When the weather is hot, there usually seems to be a cooling breeze along the River Douro, making this a pleasant walk.

The easiest way to access the top deck of Ponte de Dom Luis I is to take the metro to Jardim  do Morro, on the southern side of the bridge.

Visiting the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in Porto

I visited the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in Porto on a Sunday when I thought that it was free to enter. It was rather embarassing as when I sauntered in, a member of staff came after me saying that I had to pay an admission fee. I turned out that free admission is only on the first Sunday of the month.

As I had a Porto Card, I received a 50% discount on the standard adult charge of 5 Euro.

I went out to the museum’s garden upon arrival. There was beautiful blue tiling on the walls and some outdoor seating for cafe customers.

I would’ve liked to sit in the garden for a few minutes, but In the upper part of the garden there was only one bench which was in the sun.

Below is a selection of my favourites at the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis.

The Yellow Skirt by Joaquin Lopes

Boats to Dischare into the River Douro by Joaquin Lopes

D Maria Bridge View of the City of Porto by Eduardo Viana

Old Porto by Dordio Gomes

Mother and Daughter by Sarah Alfonso

Lisbon by Joao Hogan

View of Portalegre by Miguel de Cantaloupe Barrias

Meditation by Manuel D’Assmupcao

Girls by Antonio Quadros

Self Portrait by Jose Tagarro

Baiser by Ernesto Canto Da Maya

Decorative Arts section

View to garden from landing

There were a lot of paintings that were too traditional and dark for my personal taste at Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis. I most enjoyed some of the more contemporary pieces.

Casa Oficina Antonio Carneiro in Porto

On my recent trip to Porto, I focused on visiting museums related to art and which offered free or reduced entry with my Porto Card.

Casa Oficina Antonio Carneiro fitted the bill. It’s located in the house/workshop built in 1920 for the painter Antonio Carneiro. The building was also used by Antonio’s sons, the painter Carlos Cameiro, and the composer Claudio Cameiro.

The house/workshop was purchased by the City of Porto, opening to the public in 1973.

I was a bit annoyed upon arrival as the museum is free to enter. I thought that it was a bit naughty of Porto Tourism to imply that it was only holders of a Porto Card that got in free of charge.

The museum attendant was a really friendly lady who kept apologising about her poor English. As I can’t speak any Portugese, I was grateful that she could speak a little English. There were information cards in English.

Below is a selection of my favourite pieces in Casa Oficina Antonio Carneiro.

The closest Metro station to Casa Oficina Antonio Carniero is Heroismo. It took me around ten minutes to walk to the museum from the Metro station.

You’ll need to plan your visit carefully, as the museum is shut on Saturday and Sunday. On weekdays it is open 10.00 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 17.30.

Serralves Park Porto

Serravles Park is located to the west of the city centre. The Serravles Museum of Contemporary Art is located on the site. Adult admission to the museum and park is 10 Euro. If you only want to visit the park, it costs 5 Euro for an adult entry.

The first sculpture which I encountered in Serralves Park was the giant Plantoir by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.

I loved Dan Graham’s Double Exposure which reflected the surrounding trees.

I was disappointed that Serralves Villa was closed on the day of my visit. It would’ve been great to see the interior of the 1930s Art Deco building.

The villa’s front door was impressive.

The garden is beautiful, with a series of water pools bordered by circular hedges, which lead to a larger pool and fountain at the bottom of the garden

Further down the park is the lake.

For a New City by Maria Nordman is a utilitarian table with four individual seats, with shade offered by the surrounding trees.

I liked Fernado Gomes’ untitled rope installation, reminiscent of a huge spider’s web.

The Draped Bather (The Seine) by Aristide Maillol sits in the Rose Garden.

Close the museum is An Opaque Wind Park in Six Folds by Haegue Yang. It’s like a cross between a sculpture and a garden.

I really enjoyed walking around Serralves Park,

A Trip to the Seaside at Espinho near Porto

When I was in Porto in mid June it was far hotter than I’d anticipated, well over 30 degrees Celsius almost every day. I thought that it’d be a good idea to head for the Atlantic coast and hopefully a  cooling breeze. As my Porto Card included rail travel as far south as Espinho, I chose it as my destination.

It looked like a good destination for surfers, due to the large waves.

I certainly wasn’t tempted to swim in the sea. However there is a beautiful 1940s outdoor swimming pool on the prom.

There were lots of colourful small tents on the beach. I wasn’t sure of their use. Maybe as wind and sun shelter?

I had a walk along the prom to admire the long golden beach. But even with the breeze, it was soon too hot for me to be in the sun.

I recommend Esphino for a day trip from Porto. The train journey from the city centre took around 30 minutes. I believe it costs around 2 Euro each way if you don’t have a Porto Card. There’s a good selection of cafes and fish restaurants.

Photography Exhibition About the Huni Kuin People at Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis Porto

When I visited the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in Porto this morning, I enjoyed the Photography Exhibition About Huni Kuni People. The poster at the musuem foyer said that the exhibition ran from 13 – 16 June 2017, but it was still there on 18 June 2017.

Below is a selection of my favourite photos.

I looked online and The huni Kuni are an indigenous people of Peru and Brazil.

10 Things to See in Porto, Portugal

Beautiful Porto, one of Europe’s oldest cities, is the second largest city in Portugal. Below are our travel tips for what to do in Porto.

Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto)

Porto Cathedral is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture and although it went through a lot of changes throughout its history, it managed to remain mainly Romanesque, though its exterior also features elements of Gothic style. Porto Cathedral is the oldest surviving structure of the city (whose history goes back to the 12th century), and one of the most significant structures of the historical center of Porto. It is also the largest church of city. It’s famous for being the place where Prince Henry the Navigator, who is famous for his contributions to Portuguese exploration and maritime trade, was baptized. My favorite part of the cathedral is the rose window, which looks great from both inside and outside of the building. However the chapterhouse and its art collection are also recommended. It is located on Terreiro da Sé, and it can be reached after a short walk from the São Bento Station, the most central train station of Porto.

what to do Porto

Photo by gilus_pl

The Majestic Café

There’s nothing like a good café to give you the true feel of the city, and The Majestic Café is just the right one to do that . The great thing about this café is that it will also tell you a lot about the city’s history-a history filled with writers and artists, design and architecture as well. Opened in 1921and designed by architect Joao Queiros, you can easily spot The Majestic Café on Santa Catarina street, right in the city center. The café has been a favorite of many writers, including J.K.Rowling, the bestselling author of the Harry Potter series while she lived in Porto. You might even find yourself at a table where a Harry Potter book was coming to life. The café is open seven days of the week from 9.30 to midnight.

what to do Porto

Photo by  iphil

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Estrela Park in Lisbon

On my last morning in Lisbon I decided to take advantage of the fact that breakfast was served until noon at my hotel (Janelas Verdes) and get out before it became too hot (although it was late March it had reached 28 degrees Celsius on both previous days). I had a look at my map and Esterla Park looked like the most attractive and cool option, within easy walking distance of my hotel. You can reach the Park on the no 28 Antique Tram. I thought that the cafe by the pond looked like a lovely spot to sip a coffee.

Estrela Park

Cafe in Estrela Park

Estrela Park

Sculpture by pond in Estrela Park

Estrela Park

Sculpture prepared for Palm Sunday in Estrela Park

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Exploring Faro in the Algarve, Portugal

I enjoyed Faro, in the Portuguese Algarve, a lot more than I thought I would. I think I expected it be more of a resort than a proper town. When planning my trip to Portugal I decided to stay in Faro for two reasons; I wanted to be able to get around the Algarve without needing a hire car and be able to get a direct bus to the airport on the morning of my departure.

I took the train from Lisbon to Faro, arriving in the early evening. The first thing I observed when the train pulled into Faro was all the street art across from the station.

FRecreational and Cultural Association of Musicians

I decided to walk to my hotel as I needed to stretch my legs after the three and a half hour train journey from Lisbon. I was very taken by the Bank of Portugal building by the Manuel Bivar gardens.

Faro Algarve

Ceiling at entrance to the Bank of Portugal in Faro

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