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10 Best museums in Porto

Porto, the city that gave birth to the drink of the same name, has very interesting and diverse museums that you can visit during your stay.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

12 min read

10 Best museums in Porto

Porto | ©Magda Ehlers

One of the best things to do in Porto is to visit its amazing museums, where you can learn about its culture, history and customs.

Some of them are part of **Portugal'**s historical heritage, such as the Casa do Infante Museum, the Romantic Museum, or the Tramway Museum. If you are traveling with children, they will love the Puppet Museum and the Natural History Museum of the University of Porto. And don't miss the Port Wine Museum, to learn about the history of wine in the city.

1. The Port Wine Museum

Port Wine Museum| ©Gabriel D
Port Wine Museum| ©Gabriel D

The wine museum was founded in 2004 and is located in an old 17th century building, which used to be used to store wines of the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro.

It exhibits old wine bottles and the first machines created to make wine. It is perfectly located on the banks of the Ribeira, next to the Douro River, and has a beautiful panoramic view.

The photographs and objects exhibited in this museum tell the history of wine, its commercial evolution and its cultural connection with the city. There you can marvel at the objects that were used to achieve the unique flavor of Portugal's vineyards. This visit can be perfect to complete one of the gastronomic tours in Oporto.

This museum is located near the gardens of the Crystal Palace, the Romantic Museum and the Infante Museum, so you can take the opportunity to visit them when you finish seeing the Wine Museum. In this article you will find more ideas for touring Porto in two days.

Useful information

  • Admission: from 2,5€.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Rua de Monchique, 45-52, Porto
  • How to get there: by Tram, lines 1 and 22. By bus with line 500.

Book your visit to a winery

2. Porto Museum of Photography

Porto Museum of Photography| ©CentroPortu
Porto Museum of Photography| ©CentroPortu

In the Museum of Photography you will find an important collection of photographs related to Portuguese history, considered a heritage of the city.

The building was originally a prison, so it is very interesting to see. The jail was built in 1796 and housed both men and women until 1974.

The museum, founded in 1997, contains a large collection of old and current photographs. It also exhibits images of the old jail that operated there. In addition, one of the floors contains a large number of old cameras from Portugal and other countries.

A good part of the photographic material exhibited in the museum belongs to the last century. But you can also see current photographic exhibitions from Portugal and other places. A recommendation is to book a free guided tour at the museum, if you can book in advance.

Useful information

  • Admission: free
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 3 to 7 pm. Mondays closed.
  • Address: Largo Amor de Perdicao, 4050 - 008
  • How to get there: By Metro to Aliados line D - Trinidad all lines - Bolhao all lines except yellow. By bus with lines 200, 207 and 602. By train from Sao Bento station. By car you must take Avenida dos Aliados until the Ceuta tunnel, then go to the Hospital de Sto Antonio, on the right. Follow Rua da Restauracao and Campo Mártires da Patria.

3. Soares Dos Reis National Museum

Soares Dos Reis National Museum| ©Miguel Caiaus
Soares Dos Reis National Museum| ©Miguel Caiaus

It is one of the oldest museums in Portugal, built in 1795, more than two centuries ago. It was founded in 1833 by King Pedro IV. In 1940 it was moved to the Palacio dos Carrancas, which at that time was a well-known private residence of royalty.

The Soares dos Reis Museum contains a fascinating amount of sculptures and engravings in glass, ceramics, granite and porcelain.

If you like art, you will love the more than 13,000 works inside. One of the most famous sculptures is by sculptor Antonio Soares Dos Reis. Much of the collections are his, which is why the museum is named after him.

In its rooms you will also be able to glimpse decorative art typical of royalty and works of jewelry, as well as the art furniture on display. If you are going to spend a few days in the city, this is one of the most recommended visits and you can not miss its beautiful gardens.

Useful information

  • Admission: from Tuesday to Saturday from 5€ and on Sundays the entrance is free.
  • Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30 to 17:30. Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Rua de Dom. Manuel II 44, 4050-522 Porto, Portugal.
  • How to get there: by bus 3, 6, 20, 35, 36, 37, 41, 44, 50 and 52.

Book a guided tour of Porto

4. Serralves Museum, the Serralves House and its gardens

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art| ©Mark Busse
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art| ©Mark Busse

Visiting the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the best things to do in Porto. It was founded in 1999 and is one of the most important museums in Portugal.

The Serralves Foundation is the headquarters of the museum, which also houses the Serralves House, the Manoel de Oliveira Cinema House and spectacular gardens.

The building has several floors and rooms, and is a warm home for modern art, especially avant-garde. It hosts exhibitions of renowned Portuguese and foreign artists. It has 14 rooms where you can see temporary exhibitions, a library and an auditorium.

It has a beautiful view of the gardens from its viewpoint, which you can enter during your visit. It also has a bar and a restaurant, overlooking the gardens.

The Serralves House was the former residence of the Count of Vizela, and is one of the great exponents of the art deco style. It was founded in 1940 and is currently of public interest.

Serralves Gardens

You cannot miss a visit to the Serralves Gardens, which surround the Serralves House and Museum, and are huge, over 18 hectares. There you can see waterfalls, paths, caves, forests, sculptures and admire its incredible design.

The museum, the house and the gardens are characterized by their art deco style, a popular design movement that emerged in 1920 and was reflected in architecture, design and visual arts.

Useful information

  • Entrance fee: about 5€. Includes a visit to the gardens. Admission is free on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 8 pm in summer and in winter until 7 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Rua de Serralves 210, 4150 Porto.
  • How to get there: By bus lines 3, 19, 21, 30, 35 and 78.

5. Tramway Museum

Tramway Museum| ©Geral H
Tramway Museum| ©Geral H

The Museo do Carro Eléctrico, also known as the Tramway Museum, houses many electric cars and streetcars of all times. You can even see a streetcar that ran on animal traction, built in 1872. The museum is located in a former thermoelectric plant, next to the Douro River in Massarelos and was founded in 1992.

In addition, in this museum you can see photographic exhibitions that tell the history of the streetcars, their drivers and the evolution of public transport. Many reconstructions and repairs of Portuguese trolleys have been made for display and are part of Portugal' s historical heritage.

The museum also offers educational programs, information about the collections and the possibility of consulting its documentation center.

Oporto has historically been characterized by its original streetcars. Today there are only a few in circulation, for tourist purposes. The city has 3 elegant streetcars to reach the museum, which offer a discount on the entrance fee.

In addition, with your ticket you can travel by public transport up to 4 hours later for free. If you are looking for what to do in Porto at Christmas, walking the illuminated streets like this is a great idea.

Useful information

  • Ticket price: around 4€.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 2 pm to 6 pm.
  • Location: Alameda de Basílio Teles 51, 4050-127 Porto, Portugal
  • How to get there: you can get there by subway, bus or car, but it is best to take one of the streetcars that go to the museum and offer discounts on tickets.

6. Romantic Museum of Porto

Romantic Museum of Porto| ©Cigala
Romantic Museum of Porto| ©Cigala

It is an old residence of the nineteenth century where King Charles Albert of Sardinia died in 1843. Later, in 1972, it became a museum. The rooms were repaired and the whole house was rebuilt so that it is possible to visit it. It is located inside the Crystal Palace Gardens.

The interesting thing about this museum is to see the amount of period objects and furniture, and imagine how a royal family lived in the last century. Some of the most amazing rooms are the main hall, the room where the king died, the ballroom and the chapel. You will be able to enter all the rooms.

There is also a billiard room and a children's room with antique dolls and toys. The museum is surrounded by the romantic Crystal Palace Garden, which has a beautiful view of the Douro River, the Atlantic and the city.

Useful information about the museum

  • Entrance fee: from 2,5€. Saturdays and Sundays free
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 17:30. Sundays from 10 to 12:30. Closed on Sundays.
  • Address: Rua de Entre Quintas 220, 4050- 240, Porto, Portugal
  • How to get there: by bus lines 3, 20, 35, 37, 52 and 78, but you can also use one of Porto's tourist buses.

Reserve a seat on the tourist bus

7. Museum of Transport and Communications

Museum of Transport and Communications| ©Gusty
Museum of Transport and Communications| ©Gusty

If you have to choose among the best things to do in Porto in the summer, one of them will be to visit the Museum of Automobiles and Communications that you can walk along the waterfront, enjoying at the same time the beautiful views.

It is located in a historic building of the Customs House next to the Douro, and was founded in 1992. Because of its location, it is quite possible that you will see it if you decide to take a river cruise in Porto.

One of its main attractions is the exhibition called Cars in History, which shows automobiles of Porto from its origins to the present day. Another is The Engine of the Republic: The Cars of the Presidents, where you can see everything from carriages that belonged to the monarchy to a Mercedes that was last used in 2013.

The exhibitions are divided by theme, one of them being, for example, the history of customs in the city. One of its most interesting permanent exhibitions is the Comunicar, which occupies about 2000 square meters, where you can marvel at the exhibits on radio and television.

Useful information

  • Entrance fee: around 3€.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Rua Nova da Alfândega 59, 4050-387 Porto, Portugal.
  • How to get there: by bus lines 3, 20, 35, 37 and 78.

Book a cruise on the Douro River

8. Museum of Natural History of the University of Porto

Museum of Natural History of the University of Porto| ©Ana Reis
Museum of Natural History of the University of Porto| ©Ana Reis

The Natural History Museum of the University of Porto is one of the most interesting museums in the city.

It is a huge and modern museum located inside the Faculty of Science of the University. Its main rooms are Mineralogy, Paleontology and Archaeology and Prehistory.

Visiting this museum is one of the top 10 things to do with children in Porto, as it is both educational and a lot of fun for them. The little ones will love learning about animals and touring its prehistory, zoology and archeology rooms are great for a stroll. In addition, the museum offers family group discounts.

The beauty of the building can be appreciated from the entrance, where there are stairs decorated with large white granite sculptures. The building is also constructed with white granite and the interior features semicircular columns.

Useful information

  • Admission: from 2€.
  • Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Campo dos Mártires da Pátria 81, 4050-368 Porto, Portugal
  • How to get there: by bus with lines 3, 19, 21, 30, 35, 37 and 78. You can also get there by subway or car.

9. Porto Puppet Museum

Porto Puppet Museum| ©RuiF7
Porto Puppet Museum| ©RuiF7

The Marionettes Museum of Porto is also ideal to visit with children, as they will be able to see dolls, marionettes and puppets that were part of the last 25 years of the Marionetas do Porto theater company.

They will also be able to see screenings of plays and documentaries that they will love.

In addition, the whole family can enjoy the different scenographies for plays. It is fabulous for children to see the puppets and photo exhibitions that give free rein to their imagination.

Moreover, there are also puppet and marionette workshops that will allow you to learn more about this particular art.

Useful information

  • Admission fee: around 2,5€ for children and 3,5€ for adults
  • Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Location: R. de Belomonte 61, 4050-097 Porto, Portugal
  • How to get there: by bus 3, 6, 20, 35, 35, 36, 37, 37, 41, 44, 50 and 52 or by car.

10. Casa Infante Museum

Casa Infante Museum| ©Buffon8
Casa Infante Museum| ©Buffon8

This museum is located in a very old building, which was built in 1325. It was the birthplace of the navigator Infante Henry, son of kings and Duke of Viseu in Portugal, to whom it owes its name. In its beginnings, this house was the customs house of the city and a place where important royal visits were hosted.

Among the relevant works in the Casa do Infante Museum are a Roman mosaic and the remains of a Roman palace.

Archaeological excavations were carried out when the site was rebuilt, and incredible models were also found, such as the famous model of the city of Porto.

The museum is located next to the Municipal Archives of Porto, which you can also visit. Here you can learn all about their currency, the way they weighed the merchandise and much more.

Useful information

  • Admission fee: Around 15€ for adults and 9€ for children from 4 to 12 years old. Children under 3 years old are free.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Location: Rua da Alfândega 10, 4050-029 Porto, Portugal
  • How to get there: using the Metro: from Sao Bento station, line D. By

by bus with lines 500, 900, 901, 906, ZM and ZR.

11. World of Discoveries Museum and Theme Park

At the World of Discoveries| ©Greysimer
At the World of Discoveries| ©Greysimer

The World of Discoveries museum and theme park recreates the history of famous Portuguese navigators such as Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Bartolomeu Diaz, among others, who in ancient times reached various parts of the world in their ships.

There you will find interactive exhibits, very creative simulations and rooms dedicated to the evolution of ancient vessels, from rowboats to caravels. You will also see recreations of what life was like on those ships and ancient navigational instruments.

It is a museum that children love, especially for the boat ride at the end that recreates some of the ocean voyages of these sailors.

In addition, it is located on the banks of the Douro River, in the Miragaia district, a place worth visiting. Given its popularity, I recommend that you buy tickets to the World of Discoveries in advance.

Useful information about the World of Discoveries

  • Ticket price: from 2,5€ from Tuesday to Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays the entrance is free.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 7 pm. Mondays closed.
  • Location: Rua de Miragaia 106, 4050-387 Porto, Portugal.
  • How to get there: You can go by bus on lines 500, 403, 601, 901 and 906, or by metro on line D.