How to Avoid tourists in downtown Porto
Half day tour in Porto
Let’s face it: it’s getting impossible to breathe in downtown Porto due to the amount of tourists that visit the city every year.
Fortunately, I know just the way to avoid tourists in downtown Porto: simply don’t stick to the city centre! I prepared this guide about what to do in Campanhã, a non touristic neighbourhood in Porto, especially for adventurous travellers. Enjoy it!
The only way to avoid tourists in Porto is to leave the city centre.
Therefore, I wrote this article about Campanhã, an oriental neighbourhood in Porto.
What to do in Campanhã
Quinta de Bonjóia
Rua de Bonjóia, 185 | Porto
The property of Quinta de Boinjóia dates from centuries ago, even though the palace itself was only built in 1759.
Its layout is attributed to Nicolau Nasoni, the famous Italian architect responsible for the Clérigos Tower, but there are no certainties about it. In front of the palace you’ll find beautiful gardens, perfect for a walk.
How to get there: Take the subway to the station Campanhã. From there, Quinta de Bonjóia is a 7 minutes walking distance.
Quinta Villar d’Allen
Rua do Freixo, 194 | Porto
Quinta Villar d’Allen is one of the rare examples of typical eighteenth and nineteenth centuries recreational estates in Porto. The property, owned by one of Porto’s oldest families, has lakes, exotic plants and the city’s largest private collection of camellias.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Quinta Villar d’Allen (it’s necessary to make an appointment), and to discover why Porto is the city of camellias! It’s the perfect way to avoid tourists in downtown Porto 😉
How to get there: The most practical way to get to Quinta Villar d’Allen is to get a Taxi/Uber/Cabify.
Via Futebol Clube do Porto
I must confess I don’t like football, nor sports in general. Not even 5 years working part time job at Dragão stadium changed my profound indifference towards the sport that moves millions of people around the world!
Nonetheless, I recognise that the FC Porto Museum was an excellent bet, which brings a lot of people to Campanhã. It is possible to visit the FC Porto Museum and Dragão Stadium separately, but it’s best to take a tour that combines both visits.
As it is a very popular activity in Porto, I recommend you to buy the online ticket for the FC Porto Stadium & Museum.
How to get there: Take the subway to the station Estádio do Dragão.
Estrada Nacional 108, 206 | Porto
It’s a tradition of mine to go to the Press Museum every year to see the World Press Cartoon exhibition. In addition, the Press Museum organizes several workshops, such as book binding, modern calligraphy, etc.
I advise you to call to make a booking (the contact is under the title). The tickets to the Press Museum are very cheap (2€ / adult and 1.5€ / student), and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and avoid tourists in downtown Porto.
Afterwards, you can have a coffee at Marina do Freixo, right next door. It’s a small harbour with a simple esplanade. The esplanade itself is no big deal, but the view is fantastic! 😉
How to get there: The most practical way to get to the Press Museum is to get a taxi / Uber / Cabify.
Vandoma’s flea market
Avenida 25 de Abril | Every saturday, from 8h to 13h
Vandoma’s flea market is part of the identity of Porto. Its new location in Campanhã doesn’t appeal to everyone: the lack of parking slots, the distance to the city centre are the most common complaints from sellers and buyers.
But I work in tourism every day, and I try to get tourists to know more than just downtown Porto. And 15 minutes on foot, walking from the subway station of Campanhã, don’t discourage anyone who’s looking for real bargains. Trust me, Vandoma’s flea market is really worth it 🙂
How to get there: take the subway to the station Campanhã. From there, Vandoma’s flea market is a 15 minutes walking distance.
Where to eat in Campanhã
Rua da Estação, 82 | Porto
On my morning walks in Campanhã I stumbled upon a beautiful space called Moment’Um. What called my attention were the as notoriously low-fat croissants, and other healthier-versions of Portuguese treats displayed at the entrance.
Moment’Um serves lunch menus for €6.5 with soup, main dish, drink, coffee or dessert. For main dish, you can pick one of traditional dishes such as roasted loin or duck rice, made in a wood-fired oven, or one of the several vegetarian options. This restaurant is a real hole on the wall in Campanhã!
Where to Stay in Campanhã
Even though Campanhã is not a “noble” area of the city, it has one of the best hotels in Porto (Palácio do Freixo) and other pleasant choices. Take a look at this list of hotels for a quite stay in Porto, away from the touristy areas: