Itinerary of the Historic Shops of Porto

Itinerary of the Historic Shops of Porto
Photo:  Município do PortoAll Rights Reserved

Porto is History and Tradition and today we invite you to know some of the most famous places of the city.

Rua de Santa Catarina, one of the main arteries for shopping in the city, is always a great starting point: sit at the luxurious Café Majestic and enjoy a breakfast surrounded by the Art Nouveau style that characterizes this mythical space.

A few meters down, in Rua de Passos Manuel, take the opportunity to visit Armazém dos Linhos. This a hundred-year-old space began as a tailor's shop but, from the 1950's onwards, it began to reproduce fabrics printed with traditional Portuguese designs. Take the chance to buy one of the bags or handbags of their in-house label, will come in handy for this tour through the historic shops of the city!

Down the street and turning to the right, we find the Bazar Paris: established in 1903, has always been dedicated to the sale of traditional toys, but not only, here you can also find products for model-making, carnival and theme parties.

Further up, in Rua do Bonjardim, you can take the opportunity to go to Casa Januário. In this traditional fine grocery shop there is a little bit of everything from coffees, wines, jams, or confectionery and is therefore a good place to use the bag you purchased at the Armazém dos Linhos! But do not fill it too much, in a short walking distance, we come to another of the typical grocery shops of Porto: Favorita do Bolhão.

Continue this discovery towards Rua 31 de Janeiro and take the opportunity to photograph the hundred-year-old façade of Machado Joalheiro and, maybe, go inside and buy a souvenir. By this time the stomach is already rumbling and is the right time to go down to Rua do Bonjardim. The modest façade of A Regaleira does not suggest that the famous Francesinha was said to have been created here. Take the time to sit down and, perhaps, eat the original 1952 Francesinha.

Save some room for a coffee in Guarany, followed by a bonbon (or something more) in Arcádia. With the dessert eaten and with renewed strength, it is time to appreciate the art-deco facade of Farmácia Vitália, before heading to the legendary Livraria Lello. Here, if the façade already is jaw-dropping, the interior compels us to enter and contemplate the staircase leading to the upper floor, one of the city's first reinforced concrete constructions, the neo-Gothic shelves and the large stained-glass window in the ceiling.

A little further up, Café Âncora d'Ouro, better known as Café Piolho, is the meeting point for the students of Porto. Take the time to refresh yourself with a “fino” (glass of lager) while enjoying the history of this charismatic cafe, through the messages posted by the students on the walls.

On the way to the Livraria Académica, where you can find rare and used books, take a break at Farmácia Lemos and loose yourself on the various perfume options you can find there.

With the day already ending, you can choose to visit Ourivesaria Coutinho, Casa Coração de Jesus and Casa Aleixo or leave these historical places for the following day. The first one, in Rua das Flores, is known for being the oldest jeweller in the city (founded in 1859) and well worth visiting. A little further up, you will find Casa Coração de Jesus, a hundred-year-old shop dedicated to the sale of religious items. Continue to go up and take the Metro (subway) at São Bento station, towards Campanhã and Casa Aleixo, famous for its octopus fillets and octopus rice.

The itinerary ends here, but Porto has so many other places to discover and enjoy! Contact us to help you prepare a visit to the city.

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Published 02-08-2017