Best art museums in Porto: discovering the city's artistic wonders

Admire religious works at the Clérigos Museum, marvel at contemporary art at Casa São Roque, and step inside paintings at the Immersivus Gallery; be inspired by the 10 best art museums in Porto.

Art lovers rejoice. You'll find plenty of great museums in Porto focused on everything from global exploration to rosé wine, but the city also has a number of great art galleries. Whether you want to see the sacred collection at the Museu da Misericórdia or learn about cork at Planet Cork, or you just want an air-conditioned space to escape the summer heat, the best art museums in Porto are waiting for you. Many of these are ideal for a romantic date with your favorite arty type.

You'll find all kinds of art in Porto. Some art galleries in Porto are dedicated to historic paintings and sculptures, focusing on ornate religious pieces. Others are more modern, with intriguing installations that will make you think. You'll even find remarkably unusual design museums, like the Serralves Foundation. Read on to learn more about the best art galleries in Porto.

Best art museums in Porto

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1. See the sacred collection at the Museu da Misericórdia

Porto's MMIPO gallery is the city's best art museum, with a large collection that focuses on sacred works and paintings from the 15th to 17th centuries. One of its most impressive paintings is the spellbinding Fons Vitae by Flemish artist de Coter, showing Christ on the cross in agonizing detail.

Highlights:

With your MMIPO Admission Ticket, don't forget to check out the architecture of the building, too. It has some of the best azulejo tiles in town.

Address and opening hours:

Rua das Flores 15, 4050-265 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:30 PM.

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2. Admire the saints' statues at the Museum of Sacred Art

The Museum of Sacred Art and Archeology has little in the way of archeology, but it more than makes up for that with its religious collection. Ancient bibles, statues of saints, and intricate jewelry are just some of the impressive pieces you'll see here.

Highlights:

The museum is housed inside one of Porto's most famous churches, known locally as the Cricket Church. Be sure to take a look at the surroundings, which are far simpler than most of the city's religious buildings.

Address and opening hours:

Largo do Colégio, 4050-208 Porto. Open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-4:30 PM. Closed Sundays.

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3. Step inside a painting at the Immersivus Gallery

Ever wondered what it would feel like to be the protagonist of a work by Van Gogh, Monet, or Klimt? You can find out at the Immersivus Gallery, a unique museum that uses technology to transform classic paintings into a 360-degree immersive experience.

Highlights:

Grab an Immersivus Gallery Entry Ticket and let art come to life. This can also encourage kids to take an interest in art.

Address and opening hours:

Furnas da Alfândega do Porto, Rua Nova da Alfândega, 4050-430 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 AM-6:30 PM. Closed Mondays.

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4. See contemporary art in a historic setting at Casa São Roque

From the outside, Casa São Roque looks like nothing more than a classic grand estate. Inside, you may be surprised to discover something far more modern. This traditional Portuguese mansion houses a rotating series of contemporary art exhibits featuring artists from around the world.

Highlights:

You can enjoy whatever exhibition is on while you're in town, but make sure you take the time to admire the house itself, too. Its charming glass winter garden deserves a closer look.

Address and opening hours:

Rua São Roque da Lameira 2092, 4350-307 Porto. Open Wednesday-Monday, 1:30 PM-8:00 PM. Closed Tuesdays.

Best design museums in Porto

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5. Admire the religious works at the Clérigos Museum

The Clérigos Tower is best known for its 225 steps and gorgeous views at the top. However, here you'll also find a fine museum dedicated to religious art and design. Sculptures, paintings, and examples of metalwork make a fascinating exhibition.

Highlights:

Don't miss the beautiful religious robes traditionally worn by the brotherhood on special occasions. With their intricate golden embroidery, they are true works of art.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM, and Sunday, 9:30 PM-10:30 PM.

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6. Learn about a unique natural substance at Planet Cork

Planet Cork is, as the name suggests, dedicated to a single substance. You'll learn about how cork is used for all kinds of design applications, from bottle stoppers to bags and accessories.

Highlights:

Your Planet Cork Museum Entry Ticket entitles you to make your very own, unique cork stopper as a fun, one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Address and opening hours:

Rua do Choupelo 39, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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7. Enjoy cutting-edge landscape design at the Serralves Foundation

The Serralves Foundation is one of the most interesting and forward-thinking design museums in Porto. It focuses on the blending of art and landscape with modern architecture and cinema installations. The surrounding Serralves Park is an eco-friendly location celebrating biodiversity.

Highlights:

Pick up an Entry Ticket to explore the museum and the park. Don't miss the thrilling Treetop Walk, which offers beautiful views across the gardens.

Address and opening hours:

Rua Dom João de Castro 210, 4150-417 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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8. See the city's best photography in a former prison

That's right, the Portuguese Photography Center is set in a renovated prison. The stark surroundings add to the unique atmosphere. As well as photographs, you'll see exhibits of antique cameras and film equipment.

Highlights:

Part of the permanent collection focuses on the history of the prison and the men who were locked up there. Don't miss the story of literary hero Camilo Castelo, who was imprisoned for falling in love with a married woman.

Address and opening hours:

Largo Amor de Perdição, 4050-008 Porto. Open Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM, and Saturday-Sunday, 3:00 PM-7:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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9. Visit the Bank of Materials, where old materials enjoy a new life

The Bank of Materials will appeal to anyone interested in art, architecture, and design. This unusual collection contains pieces of stucco, cast iron, and thousands of traditional Portuguese tiles. They are taken from condemned buildings, restored, and stored here.

Highlights:

The most impressive part of the Bank of Materials is the collection of tiles, many of which are one-of-a-kind. The museum plans to one day return them to the city for use in new building projects.

Address and opening hours:

Praça de Carlos Alberto 71, 4050-159 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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10. Discover a part of the city where the streets are a gallery

In recent years, Porto has become known for its vibrant street art scene. Colorful murals can be seen in many of the city's neighborhoods, transforming drab, run-down streets into an open-air gallery. Put on your walking shoes to discover the freshest art in town.

Highlights:

A guided Half-Day Street Art Tour is the best way to learn about this vibrant movement. Your guide will explain how Porto has become such a hotspot for street artists.

Address and opening hours:

Praça de Carlos Alberto 89, 4050-158 Porto. Start times vary.

FAQs

Are there any free-entry days for art museums in Porto?

Yes. All museums in Porto are free on Sundays until 2:00 PM.

What are some unique and lesser-known art museums worth visiting in Porto?

Try Cork Planet or the Photography Center for unusual, lesser-known museums with fascinating stories.

Which art museums in Porto have works by famous artists?

The Serralves Foundation displays works by many famous artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, including Joan Miró and cinema director Manoel de Oliveira.

Are the art museums in Porto wheelchair accessible?

Yes, most art museums in Porto are accessible. It's always a good idea to call in advance so the staff will be ready for you.

Are there any art museums in Porto that are suitable for children and families?

Planet Cork is fun for children and families. Kids will also enjoy the 3D adventure of the Immersivus Gallery.