Best museums in Porto that are worth your time

From exploring Portuguese history at Soares dos Reis, to learning about cork at Planet Cork or discovering how to make wine at the Cálem caves, here are the 15 best museums in Porto.

What are you planning for your trip to Porto? Perhaps you want to see the city's most famous landmarks, such as the Clerigos Tower, or would rather stray off the beaten track to discover hidden gems like the Portuguese Photography Center. Maybe you just want to spend your days indulging in delicious Portuguese cuisine. Whatever the reason for your trip, these famous museums in Porto will add color to your itinerary.

Porto’s museums offer an eclectic mix, with something to suit every traveler. Visit a family-friendly theme park museum to learn about Portuguese history at the World of Discoveries, learn the science behind wine-making at Calem Caves, or immerse yourself in classic art with a 3D touch at the Immersivus Gallery. Choose from this list of the 15 best museums in Porto.

Best history museums in Porto

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1. Discover Portuguese history at Soares dos Reis

History museum

The Soares dos Reis National Museum is the oldest public museum in Portugal. It started as an art collection, housing religious art that had been confiscated from convents, but now it has a diverse collection of Portuguese pieces, including ceramics, furniture, and glassware.

Highlights:

This is a fascinating journey through Portuguese history. The building itself also deserves a close look, as it is the oldest palace in Portugal.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de Dom Manuel II 44, 4050-522 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:30 PM. Closed Mondays.

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2. Admire vintage cars at the Museum of Transport and Communication

History museum

The clue is in the name at the Museum of Transport and Communication. The most impressive part of its collection is its exhibit of classic cars, including a number of vehicles that have been used by Portuguese presidents.

Highlights:

The museum houses 10 presidential cars and 4 carriages that once belonged to the Portuguese royal family. Together they form an interesting insight into how the country transitioned from monarchy to republic.

Address and opening hours:

Rua Nova da Alfândega 59, 4050-387 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and 2:00 PM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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3. Learn about the Age of Exploration at the World of Discoveries

History museum

Part history museum, part theme park, the World of Discoveries is one of the best family-friendly attractions in Porto. It takes you in the footsteps of Portugal's most famous explorers as they circumnavigated the globe in search of new continents.

Highlights:

A World of Discoveries Entry Ticket is ideal for a family day out. You'll learn all about great explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de Miragaia 106, 4050-387 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

Best art museums in Porto

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4. Admire the sacred portraiture at the Museu da Misericórdia

Art museum

When it comes to art museums, the MMIPO is the cream of the crop. The collection here is quite eclectic, but many of the best paintings are religious portraits. De Coter's enormous Fons Vitae, showing the crucifixion, is a definite high point.

Highlights:

While most of the works you'll see with your MMIPO Admission Ticket are from centuries gone by, there are modern works too. Don't miss the dramatic 2015 iron sculpture by Rui Chafes.

Address and opening hours:

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

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5. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the Museum of Sacred Art

Art museum

The Museum of Sacred Art and Archeology is housed in the Cricket Church, one of the most famous churches in Porto. Unlike most other churches, it is extremely simple in design, and as a result, it has a uniquely peaceful, harmonious atmosphere.

Highlights:

The exhibits on display here include a wide range of Catholic art. Perhaps the most impressive are the statues of the saints, but there's also a lovely collection of religious jewelry.

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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6. See where art meets technology at the Immersivus Gallery

Art museum

The Immersivus Gallery is Porto's most modern and unusual art museum. In this magical space, the latest technology is used to transform classic paintings into 3D experiences. You'll feel like you've stepped into a painting.

Highlights:

You can see fresh takes on works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Klimt with your Immersivus Gallery Entry Ticket. This is a great museum for the whole family.

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.

Best design museums in Porto

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7. Discover the juxtaposition of religion and design at the Clérigos Museum

Design museum

Most visitors to Porto will dedicate an hour to climbing the Clérigos Tower and admiring the views. While you're there, stop to visit the Clérigos Museum, a fascinating collection of religious pieces, including furniture, clothes, sculptures, art, and metalwork.

Highlights:

One of the highlights here is the exhibit of goldsmithing. You'll be blown away by the intricate details on display.

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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8. Discover a hidden world of design at Planet Cork

Design museum

Portugal is known for the innovations in its cork industry. Learn all about the unique properties of this remarkable natural substance at Planet Cork. You'll be surprised by just how much you discover at this fascinating museum.

Highlights:

After seeing the exhibits, you can use your Planet Cork Museum Entry Ticket to make a very special souvenir: your own unique cork stopper.

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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9. See the best landscape design in town at the Serralves Foundation

Design museum

The Serralves Foundation showcases landscape design. Sitting at the heart of a large park, it has a Treetop Walk, a working farm, and impressive, biodiversity-focused gardens. You can also venture inside to see exhibits on design, cinema, and modern art.

Highlights:

Your Entry Ticket gives you access to both the museum and the park. Check the schedule to see what's on, as modern dance shows and concerts often take place here.

Address and opening hours:

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

Best science museums in Porto

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10. Marvel at marine life at SEA LIFE Porto

Science museum

Kids will love SEA LIFE Porto, the city's aquarium. With sharks, seahorses, and rockpools teeming with life, it's a wonderful place for anyone who likes biology.

Highlights:

This aquarium features Portugal's first underwater tunnel. Another highlight is Penguin Island, where you can see the adorable birds waddling about.

Address and opening hours:

Via do Castelo do Quiejo do, 4100-379 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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11. Learn about wine-making at the Cálem caves

Science museum

Cálem is the epicentre of Porto's world-famous wine industry. While most visitors just come for a tasting session, it's also home to an excellent, interactive wine museum. Here you can learn all about the science behind wine and why the Douro region is so fertile.

Highlights:

Check out the schedule at the museum while you're visiting. It often hosts special events, like concerts and chocolate tastings.

Address and opening hours:

Avenida de Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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12. Explore the natural world at the Biodiversity Gallery

Science museum

If you're in town with the kids, the Biodiversity Gallery is a great choice. As soon as you step into the main hall, you'll be stunned by the sight of an enormous blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. This is just the start of one of the city's most fascinating science museums.

Highlights:

The museum is full of unusual, interactive exhibits that explore not just biology but also physics and chemistry. Kids will love the way science comes to life here.

Address and opening hours:

Rua do Campo Alegre 1191, 4150-181 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM and 2:00 PM-6:00 PM.

Alternative museums in Porto

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13. Go soccer-mad at the FC Porto Museum

Alternative museum

The Dragão Stadium is where FC Porto plays their matches, but it's also home to a proud museum telling their story. This is the most successful soccer club in Portugal, and they've got the trophies and memorabilia to impress any sports fan.

Highlights:

There are 27 separate thematic areas to explore in the Museum and Stadium Tour, so soccer fans will be in heaven.

Address and opening hours:

Via Futebol Clube do Porto, 4350-415 Porto. Opening times vary according to match schedules.

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14. Learn all about rosé wine at the Pink Palace

Alternative museum

With its big pink ball pit and Instagram-ready photo ops, you might underestimate the Pink Palace. This is more than just a place to take great pics; it's also a fascinating journey through the history and cultivation of rosé wine.

Highlights:

One of the major perks with a Pink Palace Entry Ticket at WOW is the chance to take part in a rosé tasting session. This kid-friendly museum also has non-alcoholic alternatives.

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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15. Discover the Photography Center's unique blend of art and criminal history

Alternative museum

The Portuguese Photography Center is set in the unique surroundings of a former prison. This is a museum with a difference: yes, you'll see lots of photographs and antique cameras, but there's also a permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of the prison and its prisoners.

Highlights:

Most temporary exhibits are all about photography, but the permanent collection is more historic. You'll learn the stories of men like writer Camilo Castelo, locked up here for the crime of 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.

FAQs

What are the must-visit museums in Porto?

The Soares dos Reis National Museum, MMIPO, and the Serralves Foundation are often considered to be the must-visit museums in Porto.

Are there any free museums in Porto?

All of the national museums are free on a Sunday morning until 2:00 PM. At other times, you will need to pay.

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

Yes. World of Discoveries is specifically aimed at children and families, while Planet Cork, the Biodiversity Gallery, and the Pink Palace are all family-friendly.

For which museums in Porto are guided tours recommended?

You might want to take a guided tour of the art museums. This way, you won't miss any details about the painters and the historical context behind their works.

Are there any museum passes or discount cards available for visiting multiple museums in Porto?

Yes. The PortoCard gives you free or discount entry to many of the city's most popular museums. Cards are valid for 1, 2, 3, or 4 days.