Tour of Porto's Museums (Self Guided), Porto

One of the best ways to learn about the history and culture of Portugal is to visit the museums in one of its largest cities, Porto. See a variety of exhibits that teach about everything from transportation and history to wine and geology. Take this tour to visit the most interesting museums in Porto.
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Tour of Porto's Museums Map

Guide Name: Tour of Porto's Museums
Guide Location: Portugal » Porto (See other walking tours in Porto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Author: ChristineS
1
Museu de História Natural

1) Museu de História Natural

The Museu de História Natural was built in 1996 and houses a number of separate departments, including botany, geology, zoology and anthropology. The building is divided into three large rooms: Roomof Mineralogy Montenegro de Andrade, Paleontology Room Wenceslau Lima and Sala de arqueologia e Pré-Histórica Mendes Corrêa. Visit this museum to learn more about the storied history of Porto.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm.
2
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis

2) Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis (must see)

Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis is the first Portuguese national museum exhibiting collections of Portuguese art, including a collection by Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis, from which the museum derives its name. Located in the fabulous city of Porto, the institution offers a wide selection of art collections for guests to peruse. The historic range displayed is lengthy, beginning with Neolithic carvings and moving through history all the way to modern times. Designed by architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Sampaio, the construction displays the Neoclassical style of architecture, common to the 19th century. The interior of the facility was embellished by artist Luis Chiari with incredible wall murals.

The museum's vast collection mainly focuses on Portuguese art of the 19th and 20th centuries, including painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork, and ceramics. One whole gallery is devoted to António Soares dos Reis. Born in 1847, he studied at the Portuense Academy of Fine Arts and the Fine Arts Imperial School of Paris. Known for his realistic style of sculpture, his art is considered touchable and approachable.

Why You Should Visit:
Staff is friendly and there is a nice café, a courtyard garden, a gift shop, an auditorium, modern bathrooms, and a space for temporary exhibitions.
The upper floor has some striking artwork housed in beautiful rooms, while the overall sense is of discovery of the richness and depth of this national collection.

Tip:
After your visit, try the museum café – it has nice coffee & food at very good prices. The garden is also worth a visit, weather permitting.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Free admission on Sunday mornings
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Museu Romântico

3) Museu Romântico (must see)

Museu Romântico, also known as the Romantic Museum, was first established in 1921 after the generous donation of its benefactors Benigno de la Vega-Inclán and Flaquer, II Marqués de la Vega-Inclán. Located in Porto, Portugal, the museum is located in a mansion that was once the short-lived home of King Albert of Piedmont and Sardinia, while he was in exile.

Albert took the throne of Sardinia and Piedmont in 1831. During his reign, he eliminated customs barriers within the kingdom. He was known to be a devoted patron of the arts. In 1848, Albert chose to declare war on the country of Austria in which he was subsequently defeated thus causing himself to abdicate the throne and to flee to Portugal. Albert had only lived in Portugal two months before he died. His body was later returned to his homeland of Italy and was laid to rest at the Basilica of Superga in Turin. The museum in Porto holds many belongings of its famous royal inhabitant, including furniture and artwork. The King’s Room is filled with many historic furnishing dating back to the 1800s. The Canvases Room houses a large selection of paintings featuring Romantic themes.

Why You Should Visit:
All rooms, furniture, and artwork are in an amazing state of conservation.
Reasonable entry fee, lots of info in English, and some nice interactive elements.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-5:30pm
Free admission on Sundays
4
Museu do Carro Eléctrico

4) Museu do Carro Eléctrico (must see)

Also known as the Porto Tram Museum, this establishment a celebration of the history of tram transportation. Opened in 1992, the museum traces the history of the moving vehicle all the way back to the 1800s. The actual structure which houses the museum is a former thermoelectric power station next to the River Douro.

Guests to the museum will find many interesting exhibits along with an archival library, gift shop, café and meeting facilities. They will also be able to trace the history and economic impact of the vehicles while exploring items and exhibits which will take them through the timeline of the tram in Portugal. The facility has many cars and vehicle to explore including an original railcar that was used to grind the track and make minor repairs on the road, Dolly No. 66 – used to transport coal, Wagon No. 80 – used to transport fish, Trailer Car No. 18 – used as a passenger car that allowed smoking, and Electric Car 100 which can be hired for social events. There are many more vehicles to explore beyond the ones mentioned.

Why You Should Visit:
All the exhibits are working trams that have been meticulously restored by volunteers, and the museum itself is very pleasant, too.
One hall has the tram selection, while the other still contains the alternators, rectifiers, and switchgear used to control the electricity.

Tip:
If you have ridden on Porto's trams, keep your ticket(s) as you may get a 30% (for a single ticket) or 50% discount (for 2-day tickets) on entry into the museum.
One of the easiest ways to get to the museum is actually via tram – either route 1 or 18. You can then take the historic tram back to the city or to the beaches.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 2-6pm; Tue, Thu-Fri: 9:30am-6pm; Wed: 10am-6pm; Sat, Sun: 2-7pm
5
Museu dos Transportes e Comunicacoes

5) Museu dos Transportes e Comunicacoes

The Museu dos Transportes e Comunicacoes, known also as the National Museum of Transportation and Communication, is located in the second largest city of Portugal, Porto. The facility is devoted to the history of transportation and includes automobiles, steam powered vehicles and electric cars. Guests can even explore an auto repair facility and the tools used for repair projects. Children will enjoy the interactive displays and the many hands-on exhibits which will hold their attention and intrigue them. The institution is managed by the Association for the Museum of Transportation and Communication since its inception in 1992. The organization is charged with the responsibility of maintaining and fundraising for this facility. Additionally, it is this group’s focus to preserve the history of the items contained within the museum’s walls. The building, which is constructed from stone, iron and wood was first opened in 1869 and built by the renowned engineer C. Colson. Located on the north side of the historic Douro River, the front of the building actually faces the river and is often depicted in photos of the city of Porto. Upon entrance into the exhibit space, visitors will see a large exhibition hall which is flanked by an east and west wing along with a nave which all house separate exhibits.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 1 pm; 2 pm - 6 pm; Saturday - Sunday: 3 pm - 7 pm
6
Museu do Vinho

6) Museu do Vinho

The Museu do Vinho, also known as the Museum of Wine, located in Porto, Portugal, is a celebration to the famous wine popularized in this city, Port Wine. The facility first opened its doors in 2004 on the bank of the historic Douro River. Set in an old Alto Douro wine warehouse which dates back to the 1700s, the museum archives the birth of the port wine industry through modern day along with its impact on the local economy. One highlight of a visit to this institution is the lesson provided on the many types of Port Wines. Guests can even partake in a terrific opportunity to taste the many varieties of this rich and flavorful wine. Along with exploring the exhibits devoted to the Port Wine, the museum has an extensive collection devoted to the actual trade of Port Wine which actually documents the various methods of exportation that includes ship and rail. Guests will leave the facility with a new understanding not only about the wine but its importance in the financial side of the city of Porto.

Operation hours: Tuesday -Sunday: 10 am - 5:30 pm.

Walking Tours in Porto, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Porto

Create Your Own Walk in Porto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Porto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tour of Porto's Places of Worship

Tour of Porto's Places of Worship

Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, and is home to a number of historic worship sites. The Catholic religion has deep roots in this country, which is why you will see many chapels, churches and monasteries. Whatever your religion may be, you will not be disappointed by your visit to some of Porto's most beautiful places of worship.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Tour of Porto's Specialty Shops

Tour of Porto's Specialty Shops

Porto is home to some amazing stores that sell a variety of unique products. You can find everything from books and perfumes to porcelain and traditional handicrafts. Buy a souvenir for yourself or get some memorable gifts for your friends and family back home. Porto is also a great place to find fashionable clothing and accessories. If you are looking for clothes by local designers, you should...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Tour of Porto's Landmarks

Tour of Porto's Landmarks

Porto is home to a wide variety of landmarks, which the city has acquired over a long period of time. Today the city works hard to preserve these landmarks and keep them looking as they did when they were originally built. Take this tour to visit the most famous sites in Porto.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Porto, also known as Oporto, is one of the largest cities in Portugal. Although it has a long history, this city is very modern and highly developed. It is full of quaint streets, historic palaces, ancient cathedrals and architecturally stunning buildings. Take this orientation walk to discover the most popular attractions in Porto.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km