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I’ve spent all my time in Porto raving about Bonfim. I lived here for two months and fell in love with its sleepy, local feel. Admittedly, none of the main Porto attractions can be found in this area but that’s part of its charm.
Later, I spent time living in the city centre and, while I enjoyed the convenience of getting everywhere quickly on foot, it didn’t have the same liveability.
If you’re keen to stay outside the city centre and enjoy a little peace and quiet, you’ll be happy in Porto’s Bonfim area. Since Porto is a fairly small city, you can still travel around easily.
Why to visit Bonfim?
Bonfim is a quietly confident neighbourhood: it’s not full of must-sees but it’s a sleepy, authentic part of Porto where locals have been living their whole lives. If you want to escape the expensive restaurants of varying quality in busy Baixa, head to Bonfim to eat at neighbourhood cafes and snack bars for a couple of Euros.
These days, Bonfim exhibits only the first signs of gentrification. You’ll soon sniff out speciality coffee and vegan cafes in Bonfim. However, it doesn’t seem overrun with modern influences. Bonfim is the perfect blend of 80% traditional and 20% cool.
Work it into your Porto sightseeing itinerary to see a totally different side to the city.
Getting to Bonfim
On foot: walk from the city centre in 15 minutes. If you’ve arrived into Campanhã railway station, you’re just a few moment’s walk from Bonfim.
By Metro: there are two Metro stations in Bonfim: 24 de Agosto and Heroismo. These make Bonfim a great place to stay in Porto because you can easily hop on a train to places like Matashinos Beach. Simply buy an Andante card for 50c and use the machines to top it up depending on the zone you wish to visit.
By bus: plenty of buses service Bonfim. Use Google Maps to load journey details. Tickets typically cost €1.20 if using an Andante card or €2 in cash.
By train: If you’re arriving from another city, Campanhã station is well located on the edge of Bonfim. This makes Bonfim a great place for Porto day trips since trains to destinations like Aveiro, Braga and Guimarães depart from Campanhã.
Also, Rede Expressos buses to Douro Valley towns like Lamego depart from near 24 de Agosto station. Easy!
Things to do in Bonfim
Personally, my favourite thing to do in Bonfim is eat and drink but this is more to do with who I am as a person 😉
Although it’s not choc-a-bloc with attractions, here are a few worthwhile places to see in Bonfim, Porto…
Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Our Lord of Bonfim Church)
At the heart of the neighbourhood, the Church of The Lord of Bonfim is a 19th-century house of worship built in Neoclassical style. Construction began in 1894, and the facade and south tower were finished 20 years later.
Head to Godim’s Hill from 8am-12pm and 2-7.30pm to visit.
Sunset at Miradouro Fontainhas
This is one of my favourite places to watch sunset in Porto because, unlike places like Jardim do Morro, it’s never too busy.
Fontainhas Viewpoint offers wonderful views of the Douro River and its bridges. Look down over the side to see the community gardens tended by the Bonfim locals. Around the dilapidated waterfront buildings, you can expect to see some Porto street art.
Cemitério Prado do Repouso
A cemetery is a strange thing to recommend as a fun activity (although surprisingly not the first time I have – but that’s a Glasgow story) however this isn’t your average graveyard.
Cemitério Prado do Repouso is more like an open-air museum. The graves are decadent tombs with doors and windows (reminding me of ones I saw in Vietnam). Take a walk through this huge leafy park in the middle of Bonfim.
Casa Sao Roque (10 minute walk from Bonfim)
Technically just east of Bonfim, this attractive property is just a 15-minute walk away. Casa Sao Roque is a modern art gallery within Palacete Ramos Pinto, a bright yellow mansion designed by port merchant, Ramos Pinto.
Pay €7 to explore the sunny mansion and contemporary art exhibits. Sadly, the grounds are closed for renovation in early 2022 but should reopen later in the year. I think it would be a lovely place in summer when you can enjoy coffee or wine in the gardens.
Walk in Jardim das Virtudes – and eat!
Between Bolhão and Bomfim, Jardim das Virtudes is a peaceful green space surrounded by some of Porto’s best restaurants. I love the francesinhas (giant sandwiches simmering in cheesy-beer sauce) at Brasão Coliseu but two of their rivals, Cafe Santiago and Lado B, are also in this area.
Try Oficina dos Rissóis for moreish rissóis (Portuguese snacks similar to empanadas), Casa Guedes for their famous pork sandwiches, Yeah! Bistro for Italian food and Duas de Letra for brunch in Porto and casual daytime eats.
To finish a day in Bonfim, visit the rooftop terrace at Casa Guedes for sunset drinks.
Shop for vintage items
If you’d prefer to buy second hand than new, Bonfim has a bunch of vintage stores selling clothes and homeware. Do Arco da Belha is a vintage furniture and wine bar where you can sip Portuguese beverages while browsing the items.
Just around the corner, Retro City Porto has a huge range of clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. Rummage to your heart’s content!
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
From Bonfim, take a short walk to Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, one of the most famous sights in Porto. The facade of this church was designed by Nicolau Nasoni, the architect responsible for half the city. It features 11,000 painted azulejos (tiles) and is free to go inside.
Next, where to eat in Bonfim, Porto…
Cafes and coffee shops in Bonfim
Bonfim is quickly becoming one of the best Porto neighbourhoods for speciality coffee. See what I mean about the traditional and modern blending together!
Read next: 16 best coffee shops in Porto
Combi Coffee Roasters
Combi Coffee Roasters is a chilled cafe in Bonfim with all the staples of a hipster coffee shop: a minimal aesthetic, brewing equipment for purchase, and perfectly-poured coffees with patterns drizzled on top.
They serve a wide variety of coffees as well as acai bowls and baked goods.
Dona Mira is a cosy neighbourhood cafe with a hidden garden and funky artwork. Sit outside while enjoying speciality coffee, cake and brunch/lunch dishes. In the evening, it’s a good place for tapas and cocktails.
After from Combi, I’d say Mesa 365 is the best place for coffee snobs in Bonfim. Since it’s usually quiet and the Wi-Fi is strong, it’s ideal for remote workers (unless they get distracted playing with the cafe dog – I’ve been there!).
Although the coffee is decent, I didn’t love the brunch here: as you can see from the photo, the avocado bagel had the thinnest spread of avocado possible! It was only €3.50 but even so.
If you love kombucha, you’re in for a treat. Most Porto cafes that serve it will likely be purchasing it from Aquela in Bonfim. To save money and get it straight from the source, head here between 3 and 7pm on weekdays.
It’s not a cafe but a store. Pay €2.50 for a reusable glass bottle (1.5L) and fill it up with kombucha for €6. Flavours include passion fruit, mint and coffee. If you can’t decide, the staff will let you do some kombucha-tasting before you buy.
Vegan food in Bonfim
Why Bonfiim has become the vegan hub of Porto remains a mystery but I’m not complaining. If you’re a vegan traveller, Bonfim is the perfect base because you’re literally surrounded by plant-based food options.
Read next: my complete guide to vegan food in Porto
These are my favourite vegan restaurants in Bonfim…
If we’re talking vegan buffets in Porto, I prefer daTerra but I can’t deny Suribachi fills a spot when in Bonfim.
At Suribachi, you can choose a small or medium plate and load it with fake meats, grains, pulses, veggies and salad. There’s always a soup of the day, as well as fresh juices and vegan desserts. For a healthy, filling meal in casual surroundings, it’s a gem.
It used to be super affordable but in late 2021, they bumped up the prices considerably so I haven’t visited as much since.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will fall in love with Odete Bakery thanks to their cakes, fruit tarts, croissants and other baked goods. It’s fairly pricey but you can’t deny the quality is phenomenal.
It’s also one of the best places in Porto to stock up on quality sourdough bread. The sourdough pizza is divine, best washed down with their organic wine.
O Porto dos Gatos
Possibly the best thing to do in Bonfim is curl up with a cat at this heavenly cafe. They seem happy and well cared for (something I’m always conscious of at animal cafes), plus this vegan cafe serves a range of Portuguese and non-Portuguese dishes, all with cat-themed names.
O Porto dos Gatos has an inside eating area, a lovely outdoor terrace, and a ‘cat room’ where you can befriend the cats. Order one of the francesinhas with fake meats or try the topped toast dishes; the one with courgette, ‘feta’ and balsamic is delicious.
Finally, there are coffees, cold drinks and cakes. This is one of the highlights of Porto’s Bonfim neighbourhood for sure!
Vegana by Tentugal
Vegana by Tentugal is a vegan restaurant in Bonfim serving typical Porto dishes minus the meat. Try francesinhas and cachorros (hot dogs in francesinha sauce) as well as general vegan dishes like burgers and sandwiches.
Honest opinion – I’ve had better francesinha sauce so I would recommend ordering the burgers or sandwiches here instead. For francesinhas, read my vegan Porto guide.
It’s not healthy fare but vegan junk food. We all need some junk food from time to time, right? They also make the best vegan pastel de nata in Porto, in my opinion.
Craft beer / cocktail bars in Bonfim
Don’t come to Bonfim for a crazy night out: there are better parts of Porto for example Galerias de Paris Street in the city centre. Bonfim is better for cocktail bars and brewpubs than mainstream clubs.
Here are a few bars to check out…
The cocktails at TerraPlana Café are ridiculous. Overwhelmed with options, I ordered the Amazon cocktail with Sagatiba Cachaça Pura, lime, lemon, guarana, oleo-saccharum (a type of sugar syrup I believe) guava and cashew foam. Just wow!
There are a huge array of choices you’ll have never heard of as well as the classics. I haven’t tried the pizza here yet but apparently it’s good. On weeknights, you can get the pizza of the week with a wine or beer for €10.
Read next: a complete guide to Porto nightlife
With a large garden not visible from the outside, this is one of Porto’s hidden gems and, like many of them, it’s in Bonfim (well, almost: it’s on the crossover of Bolhão and Bonfim).
Letraria Porto stocks over 100 types of craft beer as well as tapas and pub grub. The staff are very knowledgeable so if you’re not a beer connoisseur, just ask what they recommend.
Armazém da Cerveja
It must be tough selling beer around the corner from Letraria but Armazém da Cerveja does a fantastic job. This craft beer bar and shop is a funky, colourful place where you can sample beers from Portugal and the world, then purchase some to take home.
Where to stay in Bonfim, Porto
If you’re thinking of basing yourself in Bonfim during your Porto trip, I don’t blame you. It’s such a pleasant, charming part of the city with great food and drink options. It’s also much more affordable than the city centre.
Here are a few of the best places to stay in Bonfim…
Dukes Corner Guest House – this is a friendly guesthouse inside a period property with a terrace and garden views. Stay in a single or double room and enjoy a hearty breakfast each morning. Check availability from €65 a night.
The Gallery Studios – conveniently near 24 de Agosto Metro station, these stylish apartments have patios, TV, private bathrooms and kitchens. Choose from garden and terrace rooms for the perfect summer stay. Check availability from €75 a night.
Oporto City View – São Lázaro – these spacious apartments are beside Jardim das Virtudes meaning you can access both Bonfim and the city centre easily on foot. Check availability from €55 a night.
Thanks for reading my guide to Bonfim Porto!
Read more Porto blogs:
- 80 amazing things to do in Porto
- How to spend 3 days in Porto
- 16 best day trips from Porto
- Why Porto is worth visiting
- Where to watch sunset in Porto
- The perfect Porto to Douro Valley day trip
- What to eat in Porto – 26 traditional dishes
- 15 best brunches in Porto
- The best cafes & coffee shops in Porto
- Finding the best pasteis de nata in Porto
- Porto vegan & vegetarian restaurants
- Where to find street art in Porto
More Portugal posts you might like
- 50 things to do in Madeira, Portugal
- The best Madeira foods to try
- The ultimate 3 day Lisbon itinerary
- Hidden places in Lisbon to escape the crowds
- Solo travel guide to Lisbon
- Lisbon food tour review
- 20 things to do in Aveiro, Northern Portugal
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TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR VISITING PORTUGAL
Getting there by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.
Driving in Europe – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).
For trains, I use Omio. The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website. This is also a handy tool to compare trains and buses in one search.
For buses, I use FlixBus. Find journeys between European countries from €1!
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.com.
Browse tours and activities on GetYourGuide and Viator.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s some of the most affordable insurance out there but still covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.
For other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!