At Bombarda, as it is also known, an area really close to downtown, the exhibition spaces for contemporary art come together to open, every two months, their new displays. The Simultaneous openings have already arrived at galleries located near Palácio de Cristal and downtown, next to Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre. The openings are usually on a Saturday from 4pm to 5pm. Entry to the galleries is free.
Arthobler, Serpente, Trindade, Fernando Santos, Presença, Artes Solar Santo António, São Mamede and Dama Aflita are the most dynamic art galleries.
Following this cultural entertainment, many interesting projects started to appear in and around Rua Miguel Bombarda, such as tea parlours, alternative clothing and record shops, biological goods, bars, co-working spaces, studios for new fashion creators and hostels.
Fancy a cup of tea?
Start on the Tea Route, a classic for Bombarda and in Porto. It is a unique space, almost magical, in Porto, created in 2003 by Miguel Ortigão, where there are more than 300 varieties of tea which can be served hot or iced. The decoration is inspired by the Orient.
A few metres from the road of art galleries, you will find Quintal Bioshop, a biological grocer with a coffee shop and terrace in a small back garden. If you want a quick and healthy meal, this is the ideal place. Ask for one of their house sandwiches on cereal bread. To accompany it, choose a honey bush, green ginseng, rooibos or orange tea with spices and coconut.
The Bombarda Shopping Centre (CCB) hides interesting businesses, such as Zarecas Story, a second-hand clothing and accessories shop with originals in good condition and cheap. It is located at the entrance to this shopping centre.
They have hats and French style berets for 5 Euros and even leather jackets which can cost up to 600 Euros, plus shoes, jewellery, wallets and other accessories. The vintage style sunglasses, at 15 Euros, are a hit.
At CCB, you can have lunch or a snack at the Pimenta Rosa coffee shop, which serves food by weight and always has natural fruit juices and three or four cakes of the day to choose from.
Be sure to pop into Piurra, a shop that designs and sells contemporary furniture, of national production and with a signature design.
Alternative fashion shops, tea, organic cosmetics, arts and crafts and urban design and a modern hairdresser are other projects which are worth checking out at CCB.
André Gandra, with a studio shop at number 284 Rua do Rosário, Mariana da Fonseca, who created Punch Couture at number 253 on the same road, and Juliana Cerdeira, from Miau Frou Frou (Rua de Miguel Bombarda, 416) are some of the new creators who put fashion on the map of the arts block. They design limited editions and exclusive pieces, with the possibility of changing colours and sizes, giving value to the individual characteristics of each client.
They are the neighbours of the clothes shops that sell alternative brands, which, in some cases, can be found at Bombarda.
Sleep, eat and have a drink
On the block, there are hostels and modern boarding houses located in century-old buildings, rehabilitated and furnished with all the comforts of the 21st century, and a theme hotel from an international chain, inspired by what distinguishes this part of city - the arts.
Also related to the arts are the spaces, and in some cases the menus, of the restaurants on Bombarda where you can find everything from Japanese to vegetarian to gourmet hamburgers and breweries which serve the famous francesinha.
Among the bars, one of the most interesting projects is Breyner 85, which is an academy of music, a bar and a concert hall. It has a lovely garden-esplanade which, in summer, has open-air cinema shows.
Routes on foot
This very artistic neighbourhood is very close to the Palácio de Cristal gardens. Stroll through the Romantic Paths and discover the hidden streets of the city, where vivid memories of their past and history remain.
There are five routes of cultural and historical interest that extend across the area that goes from Palácio de Cristal to the riverside and give you a unique opportunity to learn about nineteenth century Porto.
The trails are themed and are well-marked with information boards and visitors can choose between the Romantic Porto, The Utilization of Water, Rural and Industrial Archaeology and From Golgotha to Massarelos routes.
How to get there
For Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, from London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly, Vatry and Charles de Gaulle), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Majorca.
On in the summer are there low cost airlines flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.
With regular tariffs, there are flights from London Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Orly.
From The Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport, the best way to get to the centre of the city of Porto is by Metro. The trip will take approximately 30 minutes.