Museums are a fantastic way for a newcomer to grasp more information about the heritage of the city they are visiting. It provides valuable information that contextualizes the streets the person shall walk on, aiding on understanding and authentically knowing the city. These are the museums we feel that are the best in the city of Porto to visit. You can find museums in Porto for all tastes, including history lovers, sports’ fanatics, art enthusiasts and active kids. Below you can find the best Porto museums chosen by us, locals!
1.Soares dos Reis Museum
Emblematic museum located near the Palácio de Cristal’ Gardens, here you can find some of the most important pieces of art of the city and even the country, especially from the XIX and XX centuries. Absolutely recommended for fans of painting, sculpturing, historic furniture and so on. The building itself is a XVIII century palace, including a beautiful inner garden on which you can rest your soul. Free on Sundays for the permanent exhibition. Make sure to taste some food from the bar as well.
2. Serralves Museum
One of the Porto’s jewels of the crown. This museum is located in the Boavista Avenue and houses one of the most unique green spaces in the city. The Museum itself focus on Contemporary Art, with few pieces placed in the surrounding gardens. Right now it’s possible to catch the Miro exhibition, which shall remain for some months more in the Museum. It is possible to admire sculptures from Richard Serra or Camille Maillol as well. Take a full afternoon or even a day to spend there, solo or with the family, especially on a sunny day!
3. MMIPO – Museu da Misericórdia do Porto
Probably the least known museum of them all, but also in our opinion the most underrated. This museum is located on the trendy Rua das Flores. The great thing about this museum is that it tells the story not only of the Church where it is located but also Porto’s History since the XVI century. This is a must see if you want to know more about the history of the city, which is amazing and will let you fit in all the pieces of the puzzle while walking through the old streets of the downtown.
4. Casa do Infante
Considered one of the oldest buildings in the city, the House of Infant dates back to the XIII century. However, it is built above ancient roman vestiges, which can be clearly seen today if you visit the museum. This building served as a residence for the Crown in the city of Porto, later becoming the Customs’ Center of the city. You will leave this museum knowing more about the times when Portugal was one of the World Powerhouses in terms of Geopolitical power. Free for 65+ aged citizens and for some youngsters as well!
5. Museum of Transportation and Telecommunications
Located near the river, this museum displays the advancements in terms of technology concerning transports and telecommunications. On the three floors of the museum, you can grasp to see more on the development of cars, from the very first models to more recent ones, phones, stamps, Internet and many others. The entrance fee for this museum is very, very cheap, which makes up yet another reason to visit this neat museum.
6. Museum of the Marionettes
Located on the trendy Rua das Flores, here you can find more about Marionettes. It offers a really interesting insight into the process of crafting Marionettes and how to make them look like they possess a life of their own. The entrance costs 2€ per person, so be sure to visit when you are taking your walk in the Flores Street!
7. Museum of FC Porto
This museum is recommended to all of those football fans out there and is considered one of the best in Europe. Football is a very important component of the Portuguese culture nowadays. Here you can visit some of the most emblematic moments of the history of this historic European football team, which gave great players to the world such as Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Falcao, Jardel, Pepe and even the might José Mourinho. FC Porto is the club which won more trophies in Europe in the XXI century, and you can find them all here, including the 2 Champions’ League trophies. Maybe you can catch up Casillas walking around as well!
8. Portuguese Center of Photography
Located near the Clérigos Tower, on a building which formerly was a prison, this is must-see for tourists and as a bonus for photography lovers. There are exhibitions of all kinds of cameras and photographic material, but also and more importantly, exhibitions that let you know how the city was on the peak of its ancient glory. It’s a trademark building to know the history of Porto. You can visit the old facilities of the prison as well, including the cells. Oh, and for the record, it’s free!
9. World of Discoveries
Dedicated to the Discoveries’ Era on which the Portuguese performed a crucial role on History, this museum is perfect to know more about the Age of Navigators. We the Portuguese are extremely proud of our heritage regarding this historical period, and you can find why in this museum. Extremely interactive and with really great designs, this museum is great for kids between 6-12, but adults will find themselves learning a lot as well!