Porto, visiting the modern city

Although Porto is a city full of tradition, with its churches and emblematic buildings adorned with azulejos, mosaic frescoes, it is also a modern city, with a number of highly contemporary buildings based on new architecture. It is in the Boavista district that you can visit a Porto with a different atmosphere, a modern Porto, with grand hotels and luxurious boutiques.

You can also see the Casa da Musica, a fascinating building constructed by Dutch urban planner Rem Koolhaas in 2001, with its polyhedral shape; the Serralves Foundation, an Art Deco building that houses Porto's Museum of Contemporary Art; the port of Leixoes and its futuristic terminal; the Casa de Cha da Boa Nova, the first major work by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira... This district is also full of trendy places to have a brunch, lunch, dinner or a drink, much appreciated by Portuans. And if you want to listen to live jazz, blues or folk instead of fado, the Portuguese musical genre, this is the place to be for your night out.

Emblème de la ville moderne de Porto, La Casa de Musica. Portugal

- © Wilkopix / Shutterstock

Modern architecture in Porto

The Casa da Música

Some buildings are well worth a visit if you want to discover Porto's modern architecture. This is particularly true of La Casa da Música, one of the city's architectural icons. Listening to a concert in its dedicated hall with exceptional acoustics is a must in Porto. It was conceived and designed by Rem Koolhas, the famous architect, when Porto was elected European Capital of Culture in 2001. Four years later, in 2005, this house of music opened its doors to visitors. With its resolutely modern architecture, the immense building forms a chaotic polygon set on a slab of golden pink travertine, a veritable playground for skateboarders in Porto.

The House of Music

- © radekchuran / Shutterstock

Its concert hall is the only one in the world lit solely by natural light, giving a unique dimension to the concerts given during the day. Guided tours take place in English from Monday to Friday at 4pm and at weekends at 11am and 4pm for €10.

📍 Address: Avenida da Boavista 604-610

⭐ Where to sleep near La Casa da Música?

YOTEL Porto Porto


4-star hotel
8.7 Superb
£130 / night

The Serralves Foundation

The foundation brings together Porto's Museum of Contemporary Art, an Art Deco villa and an 18-hectare garden. It is located between the districts of Boavista and Foz do Douro. The museum, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, was inaugurated in 1999. It is completely adaptable to the transformations required for exhibitions of contemporary art. Each space is particularly flexible. Álvaro Siza Vieira developed the exhibition space in the shape of a "U" to bring the garden into the museum. As for the Casa de Serralves, it invites you to travel back to the 1930s. A tour of the building will tell you more about its neo-classical style.

👉 Practical information


Adults: €20

Children aged 12 to 17 and seniors over €65: €12

Free for children under 12.

Address: 210, Rua Don Joao de Castro


⭐ Where to sleep near The Serralves Foundation?

BessaHotel Boavista Porto

BessaHotel Boavista

Hotel near Casa da Música
9.1 Fabulous
£143 / night

The Cruzeiros terminal in the port of Leixões

Designed by the architect Luís Pedro Silva, the Port de Leixões cruise terminal is a little-known building that is nevertheless so daring, both inside and out. Structured as a 40-metre-high spiral, it is covered in more than a million white tiles. Guided tour every Sunday from 9.30am to 5pm.

Le terminal de croisière de Port de Leixões

- © Ligeia / Shutterstock

👉 Practical information

👛 Price: €5, free for under-12s, seniors and students.

📍 Address: Avenue de Liberdade, Matosinhos

⭐ Where to sleep near the Port of Leixões?

MyStay Matosinhos Centro Porto

MyStay Matosinhos Centro

Establishment next to the beach and the Matosinhos market
9.3 Fabulous
£73 / night

La Casa de Chá da Boa Nova

Casa de Chá is Portuguese for "tea house", yet it is a Michelin-starred restaurant. It is fully integrated into nature, standing just 2 metres above sea level. Completed in 1963, it is also the work of Álvaro Siza Vieira. It has been listed as a national monument since 2011. To visit the Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, you need to visit Porto's House of Architecture.

👉 Practical information

👛 Price:

Adults: €10

Reduced (students, seniors, schools): €5

Free for children under 12.

Guided tours Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 10am and from 9.30am to 10.30am and from 2pm to 5pm.

Address: Rua da Boa Nova, 4450-705 Leça da Palmeira.

⭐ Where to stay near Casa de Chá da Boa Nova?

TRYP by Wyndham Porto Expo Hotel Porto

TRYP by Wyndham Porto Expo Hotel

Hotel with outdoor swimming pool
8.2 Very good
£110 / night

🍴 Where to eat in the Boavista district?

Urban Circle Café

An original place to have brunch, this is Porto's first "Bike Café", with bicycles hanging from the ceiling. The food is healthy and follows the "slow food" trend.

📍 Address: Praça do Bom Successo 18.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm.


by Editorial Team
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