Porto Guide

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I never thought that Porto, one of Portugal’s most historically rich cities, is filled with so many gorgeous places to check out (after you’ve visited all the local churches and cathedrals, of course!). Some of the places have that vintage-y, age-old magic, others are more into contemporary stuff – but all of them feel truly authentic. Porto is a city where every art form flourishes and which takes care of its creative spirits. Whether you’re in the delightful old city centre or in the slowly, but gradually booming art district, Porto has idiosyncratic spots you must delve into!

I’ve already written about Claus Porto here, when I visited Lisbon for the first time. The soap and cologne heaven has a beautiful boutique on the ground floor, and the brand’s museum on the first floor. That’s not your average store with cosmetics, that’s for sure.

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If you still haven’t found your perfect basket, then make Hats & C.A.T.S. the first place you visit in Porto. It’s also a place for straw hats lovers (and amateurs that are into Jacquemus lately). Paradise!

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Since 1906, Livraria Lello has been the house for people of arts and letters, an inspiration for acclaimed authors, a place for social gatherings, performances and a quiet library for many of book moths (until the age of consumption hit it…). Although today is receives thousands of visitor, who everyday enter its doors to visit this Neo-Gothic gem, the place still sells some of the most incredible book editions and printed rarities (held in a separate room). Also, it’s called the most ‘beautiful bookshop in the world’, so…

 R. das Carmelitas 144

Patch is a vintage treasure chest. From military bombers to Balenciaga mules, old kimonos and ceramic objects, who knows what you can discover here.

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Cirurgias Urbanas is, as far as I understood, a gallery space and a jewellery studio. The owner, whose outfit was so good that I had to photograph it in every detail, does some of the most unusual earrings, rings and brooches out there.

Rua do Rosário 147

I guess Early Made is Porto’s spot that has the status similar to Berlin’s Voo Store. With an impressive number of Portuguese labels (as well as internationally recognized Maison Kitsune or YMC) this spacious concept store changes its display seasonally, with the help of local artists. You will a wide selection of niche magazines and curated objects in the back of the store.

Panamar is a wonderland. From Portuguese brands that do their clothes on couture level to tiny labels from the most remote destinations, Panamar is one of the most refined boutiques in Porto. Upstairs, you will find a number of antique furnitures, one of a kind jewellery, fur coats and other very, very expensive goodies…

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Hope this short guide of my favourite places in Porto might be useful while planning your trip to this city. A few more posts are coming, so stay in tune.

 

Cape St. Vincent

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To be honest, my visit to Cape St. Vincent (or Cabo de São Vicente) is one of the most beautiful experiences in my life, and a must-see when staying in Portugal’s Algarve region. Once believed to be the ‘end of the world’, today Cape St. Vincent is a tourist attraction that many tourists don’t even know about actually. The area (where you can as well find the obsolete Franciscan monastery and a renovated light-house) is largely protected as a National Park. You will surely observe countless wildflowers (including Algarve orchids) and migrant birds. But, oh my, those views! THAT AIR! The sunsets are spectacular, but that’s quite clear. And the woollen sweaters you can buy at the entrance during the day are also worth the drive.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Algarve’s Pottery

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While travelling the Algarve region in Portugal, we came across a number of pottery  ateliers where the true magic happens. Algarve is known for its incredible ceramic pottery heritage, quite possibly due to the natural presence of clay here. But I guess it’s also thanks to the local people, who make this craftmanship so alive these days. In the small, but charming town of Silves, Luis and Teresa of Al-tannur Ceramica create some of the most fantastic tiles, jewellery and plates using the ancient Arab dry-rope technique. The couple doesn’t fall into well-known clichés of sunny fields; rather, they choose to depict such motifs as sharks, dogs, people’s affairs and historical scenes (most likely kept in bold colours). Meanwhile in Monchique, we’ve entered Leonel Telo‘s studio by accident. The artist creates moulds containing herbs and flowers, but as well does incredible kitchen-ware and vases. Plus, the artisan’s garden filled with lemon trees just outside his studio-slash-boutique is a beautiful addition to his works.

Al-Tannur Ceramica / Rua da Sé / Silves

Leonel Telo Ceramicas / Rua Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco / Monchique

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Algarve

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 The Southern region of Portugal, Algarve, is dubbed as the ‘European California’ by Vogue. Well, I think there’s more to it. Not that I’m judging Cali – which I haven’t been to yet – but the raw, sun-drenched, yet immensely beautiful Algarve is truly one of a kind and can’t be compared to anything else. From Alvor‘s Praia da Rocha (that holds countless caves) to the wild beaches near Cape of St. Vincent (a seperate post is coming up!), you can laze around literally everywhere in here. Nearly every city in Algarve has something that will surely amaze you. Caldas de Monchique and its healing waters; Lagos and its slightly obsolete, yet charming churches; Silves and its pottery tradition. Not forgetting about the fish market in Portimão, which you can see more of here. If you chose one of the less busy cities near the coast-line, it’s guaranteed that you won’t have to fight with a bunch of tourists to get a seat on the beach (a tip: beware of Albufeira, which  awfully contrasts with the idylic character of other places in Algarve). Also, in order to discover Algarve to the fullest, it’s really worth renting a car. So, who’s coming this summer?

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

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