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Portugal is a very special country, kind of stuck in the past in some places, with great sun&light, excellent food, really nice people. Located in the North of the country, Porto is a wonderful city to visit with children. Pirouette gives you a guided tour…

Porto is the second important city in Portugal. It has a very different aspect and feel from the capital Lisbon, a different light, different colours as well. It is a much smaller town, but it has it own very personal charm.

There are four main interesting areas to visit in Porto: the old city center (Unesco World Heritage Center), Cais de Gaia on the other side of the Douro river (where all the Port wine cellars are), the art galleria district/Boavista and Foz, by the sea.

Where To Stay

Historic centre (also called hysteric center when it’s high tourists season -ahah): – Brand new (2017), well decorated with tiles, elegant colour touches and old architectural details – in the Santa Caterina/Mercato do Bolhão district.


Miss Opo Very artsy with a boutique and bar/restaurant (good food, nice ambiance).

Hotel B&B Very affordable :  €52/night. Well located, clean, good service.

A.S. 1829 Hotel Brand new, ideally located near the river. Elegant design mixing modern and tradition.

Hotel Pestana Excellent location by the river, good service and large rooms.

Apartments to rent : –


In the art galleries/vintage stores district :

Bela Aurora Guest House. Brand new (2018), very nice house and garden, nice details.


Rosa et Al  Charming + stylish  + great brunch

****Pensão a Favorita Nice design, cool garden, good restaurant…this is precious address. Best value in town if you like style and quaint places.

Very nice 3 bedroom apartment on Airbnb, nice views.


Also, not very far (Boavista/Casa da Musica area):

Casa Do Condo Superb architecture, friendly staff, near Casa Da Musica.

NEW (2018) : Torel Avantgarde. Beautiful views, swimming pool – from 95€ to 225€.

The White Box Cool guesthouse

Hotel Da Musica Brand new, I haven’t visited nor heard feedback…

In Foz Velha (old area, near the sea) :

4 Rooms

What To Do

– Visit the old city centre, starting at the church Clerigos which is high and will become your landmark. Don’t miss:

Lello. It’s a bookstore. Adults and kids will love the wooden carved stairs and shelves that looks out of a Harry Potter movie.

A vida Portuguesa. Go to the first floor of that former fabric store. There is a selection of the best Portuguese products, displayed in a delicious way. The sister of the minister is the owner and she is very active in promoting the arts and crafts of her country.

Sao Bento Station, Amazing with its interior covered with decorated tiles (Azulejos).

Mercado Bolhao, A very authentic and typical food market. Best day is Saturday, when it gets really animated.

– Walk on bridge Dom Luis, above the river Douro. Designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel. It goes from Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, by the other side of the river.

– Visit the museums – our favourites are Casa da Musica, a building by Rem Koolhas. Great concerts and children’s activities; check the program – Museu de Serralves Contemporary art and beautiful garden with arts on display. The building is by famous Portuguese architech Álvaro Siza.

Take an old tram to go from Ribeira (famous tourist spot by the river) to Foz. You will travel along the Douro till Foz where the sea starts.

– Visit old Foz and the beach. Get lost in the little streets around Hotel Boavista. Very narrow cobble stones streets, little houses with lots of different azulejos. There is a boardwalk that goes from Foz to Matosinhos, the adjencent town. You will see a gorgeous sunset, and you will also meet old people playing cards and joking. Arrived in Matosinhos you will feel in surf land! Total disconnection… For drinks in front of the sunset, make a stop at Praia da Luz.

Take a walk on Cais de Gaia to see Porto from the opposite side of the Douro river. Especially stunning in summer with the sunset. I highly recommend some Port coktails on the terrace of Porto Cruz, overlooking the whole city and river (best cocktail is the one with rosemary). Visit the Port Wine cellars. If you have time for 1 only, visit Graham’s, or if with kids, Sandeman. 3 to 5 € for the visit + Port wine testing. 10€ pack for a boat tour + visit of 5 cellars.

– Take a walk in Parque da Cidade. The trees are wonderful and the eucalyptus smell enchanting. Adjacent to Matosinhos beach.

Where To Eat

In the centre :

Largo Sao Domingo

– Traça

– Mondo Deli

– Cantinho do Avillez

-Da Terra. Buffet vegetarian & vegan. Quality, creativity and variety. They also have restaurants in Passeo Alegre, Bom Successo, Matosinhos and Centro Commercial Arrabida.


By the ocean (Foz/Matosinhos):

– Casa de Pasto Palmeira

-Praia da Luz (right on the beach

-Casa Vasco (creative tapas)


Bar Tolomeo

The Bird


In Vila Nova de Gaia (walking distance from the old centre of Porto) :

– Vinum. Beautiful space in the Graham Wine cellars. Amazing view of Porto. There is a restaurant as well as a tapas bar, all in the same space.

Where to Shop

In the old center : 

A Vida Portuguesa – Rua Galeria de Paris, 20 – (+351) 220 022 105 – Classic Portuguese products packaged in a retro-modern way. Worth a visit for the store itself, a former fabric shop all in wood with very high ceiling and industrial feel.

Lobo Taste Largo de S. Domingos, 20 – (+351) 222 017 102 – Contemporary crafts selected by designer Paulo Lobo.

Casa Almada – Rua do Almada, 544 – (+351) 222 010 089 – Vintage pieces for the home.

Alma Viva. Cute selection of children’s toys and books.

Take Away Porto. Rua Ferreira Borges. Nice selection of typical Porto souvenirs with modern/clean design.

Cats and Hats. Gorgeous store with a selection of ethnico-modern home products.

In the art galleries/vintage stores district :

Rua do Rosario. The whole street is full of nice little stores (clothing&accessories, design, vintage clothing and furniture), and it is perpendicular to the Miguel Bombarda area (art galleries).

Muuda A very beautiful industrial space displaying fashion, design, art, and more. Rua do Rosario 294

Patch Lifestyle Concept Store has a great selection of vintage clothing and local artisan pieces such as ceramics, soaps…

Also visit Centro Commercial Bombarda, a gallery on one floor with all sorts of little shops (including nice ones for children with wooden toys and nice books) as well as restaurants (don’t miss “Sabores dos Acores“, delicious, creative and very affordable).

In Foz

Museu Fondação Serralves. For a selection of products by local designers.

Babyboom. A very sweet baby/children’s boutique in old Foz (they sell Tocoto Vintage, Aden and Anais, Bobochoses, Egmont, Rose Theo…). Rua da Luz.

Piupiuchick. Another cute children’s store selling their own clothing label but also a selection of decor objects by Lapin and Me, Corby Tindersticks and more. Rua de Diu.

Wee Charlotte. Clothes, accessories, decor. brands include Motoreta, Wolf&Rit. Rua Gondarem.

Ashka – Les Parisiennes, Av do Brasil (cool selection of clothes and accessories for women)


VINTAGE/FURNITURE : Casa Almada  Rua do Almada 544 (Baixa), Arquivo Praça da Republica 38, Mercado do Vintage R. dos Vanzeleres 271 (Near Casa da Musica), Mundano Objectos Rua de Santos Pousada, 668.

For Summertime

Leça da Palmeira :

L’Kodac. Nice bar on top of Aterro’s beach, where you can enjoy the best sangria feet in the sand! Avenida Coronel Hélder Ribeiro, Praia do Aterro, Leça.

Piscinas Álvaro Siza Leça. A pool built between the rocks and the sea by architect Álvaro Siza. This pool has been classified has Nacional Monument. Good for a visit on a grey day, as too crowed and not ideal on a beach day! Leça da Palmeira.

Foz :

– Praia da Luz. A quiet little beach to go with family during the day, and between adults for drinks in the evening. Praia da Luz, Foz do Douro.

Matosinhos :

Praia de Matosinhos. Popular and crowded beach ideal for teenagers. Brazilian caipirinhas and samba music groups.

Post about Pirouette living in Porto posted by Nonchalant Mom – here.

Porto with kids