With buildings as colourful as its character, Oporto, which has long been considered Lisbon’s little sister, is creeping into the spotlight. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city, which was originally a Roman outpost, gave birth to the names of both the country and its famous Port wine. Well established as a site of pilgrimage for wine connoisseurs, there is now another group of enthusiasts, fast filling the city’s higgledy-piggledy, narrow lanes. Housing some of the finest national and international artworks and both established and emerging artists, Porto is rapidly becoming a mecca for art-lovers. Follow our guide to the galleries around this quirky city that will uncover Europe’s lesser-known, arguably better-looking, arty sibling.
This museum has been home to some of the most cutting-edge worldwide contemporary art. With landscaped gardens as beautiful as the building’s angular architecture, Serralves museum is a mandatory stop for anyone visiting Porto.
Established in 1993, Galeria Fernando Santos has acted as a gateway for Portuguese collectors to meet international artists, while maintaining support for national favourites. Perfect examples of this mission are Bosco Sodi and Pedro Cabrita Reis.
Múrias Centeno opened its Porto doors in 2007 and after huge success has more recently cropped up in Lisbon. Exhibiting artists such as Max Ruf and Secundino Henández, its one of the more international galleries in Portugal for good reason.
Representing both established and emerging artists, national and international talent, there is only one mission at Kubik Gallery: to exhibit originality.
Since its opening in 1995, Galeria Presença has gained some heavyweight names amongst its roster. Excuse the name-dropping but with artists like Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, Pedro Calapez and Vasco Araújo, it’s worth mentioning. Not surprising if you recognise it from its occasional presence at art fairs like Arco Madrid and Est Art Fair.
Originally founded with the name Galeria Roma e Pavia, this gallery has never failed to present at Arco Madrid. Likewise, you shouldn’t fail to visit it when ambling Porto’s historic quarter.
An art collector during the 1960s Manuel Ulisses practically gave birth to this gallery, which was one of the first exhibition spaces in the city. Representing the growing interest for international modern art, the gallery has pieces by, and indeed for, both older and younger generations.
Wrong Weather is a high-end fashion boutique with a second space devoted to the visual arts. Its gallery has already showcased international artists like Bruce LaBruce and Patrick Church. Come rain or shine, it’s a must-see, whatever the weather.
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