Sé do Porto

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I have such a beautiful memory from this major destination in Porto. Originally built in the 12th century, Porto Cathedral (or Sé do Porto) still has the original merlons and twin towers, although the towers are now topped by 18th century additions. It has undergone various alterations over the centuries, the most important additions being the Gothic rose window, the cloisters, the 18th century altar and the rococo doorway. But you don’t notice details like this when in a crowd of tourist. Really, by co-incidence, we had a chance to visit the Cathedral all by ourselves: we came a few minutes before the closing, but the lovely cashier let us go in. Walking around the cloisters as if it was your summer mansion, ahh, what a feeling! You can look at the tiled walls with no haste and see every single tiny fragment (and believe me, the Portuguese loved tile story-telling). And all that in total silence.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Mistu

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If you’re coming to Porto (see my guide around the city’s loveliest spots here), make Mistu your must-go restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I’ve been to in entire Portugal – it’s heaven. After recovering a neo-Arab building and transforming it into the Flow Restaurant & Bar, the restaurateurs’ desire to develop new experiences at the table took them to a former locksmith’s shop behind the Stock Exchange Palace. Black, white, brass, straw and green are the tones that predominate here, creating a chic, groovy atmosphere. But what’s most appealing about Mistu is that several gastronomic cultures of the orld with references of Asia and South America arrive at the table with an Portuguese accent. Chef Rui Mingatos is a magician! Try the tuna ceviche for starter, Uruguayan picanha for the main course. An ecstatic experience! Oh, and you better book a table in advance.

Rua do Comércio do Porto 161 / Porto

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

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!

Rua do Infante D. Henrique 117

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.

Rua do Rosário 193

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.