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After finding street art all over the world from the UK to Southeast Asia, of course I was excited to see the street art in Porto!
The colourful city of Porto is my favourite in Portugal. Yes, Lisbon is bigger and more cosmopolitan but, in my opinion, Porto is more cosy and liveable. After spending 3 months (and only leaving because of the spawn of satan, BREXIT), I’m basically a superfan.
Sure the big, must-see attractions in Porto are impressive but you’re more likely to find me in a coffee shop or watching sunset beside the water. For me, Porto isn’t about the big names but the memorable moments and colourful corners. The street art is certainly part of this!
About Porto street art
The street art in Lisbon is more famous than the street art of Porto but the same can be said for many things. Despite being a traditional city, Porto has started to become trendy in the last few years. You know what that means?
Well, speciality coffee and vegan food… But also street art!
The first murals you’ll probably see in Porto are scenes from Portuguese history on blue and white azulejos (tiles). But I’m guessing these aren’t the funky graffiti murals you’re hoping for!
Despite the historical feel of the city centre, there are countless street art murals in Porto if you know where to look.
Who are the main Porto street artists?
Hazul Luzah is a self-taught artist with many pieces around Porto displaying colourful abstract patterns.
Mr. Dheo (also a Porto local) is known for his photorealism. His paintings of people are intimate and full of expression.
Costah – known for his art encompassing watercolour and fine lines, Costah has been spraypainting since the 90s. In recent years, he’s turned to tattoos. Getting inked by a famous street artist would be a cool travel story!
Youth One is an Angolan-born artist who started painting Porto’s streets in the ’90s. He’s the founder of graffiti shop, Dedicated Store Porto near Lapa station in Cedofeita.
GODMESS is another Porto street artist I discovered by seeing one of his murals and Googling him. There’s not much about him online but I’m aware he’s a key player in the street art scene of Portugal.
Note from me – UM, where are the women being selected for art projects?? Pull it together, Porto.
Official Porto street art tour
If you’d rather explore with a guide, try a tuk tuk tour! The Porto street art murals are fairly spread out so it would be a long adventure on foot. This tour costs €30 for two people and takes around 2 hours.
Best areas for street art in Porto
Here are the neighbourhoods where you’re most likely to find graffiti in Porto.
Rua Miguel Bombarda
To discover Porto’s alternative side, look no further than Rua Miguel Bombarda, a quirky street choc-a-bloc with small contemporary galleries. The creativity extends to the streets where you’ll find several graffiti murals, a few of which I’ll mention later.
Nearby foodie suggestion – I’m always raving about Rota Do Chá. With a cosy feel and spacious garden, this is a lovely place to relax but the highlight is the sheer volume of teas from all around the world.
Rua das Flores
Translating as Flower Street, this is one of the most atmospheric places in Porto. On a sunny day, live music plays and cafe tables spill out onto the streets. Better yet, you’ll spot Porto street art murals along the side streets.
In the north of Porto, this station is a transport hub connecting up the city. Nearby are a few urban murals including one featuring as the title image of this blog.
Escadas do Codeçal
These steps lead down from Baixa (the city centre) to Ribeira, Porto’s waterfront district. While walking down Escadas do Codeçal, you’ll see several Porto graffiti murals.
For such a popular tourist area, I was surprised at how local and hidden the backstreets (just moments from the waterfront) feel. Head into this maze of alleyways to spot ever-changing Porto street art murals.
This is easily Porto’s coolest neighbourhood full of Asian eateries and cool coffee shops. As a place known for gentrification, of course you can expect to see street art!
Self-guided street art tour of Porto
So, now you know the top Porto street artists and the key areas for finding urban art. Next, I’ll share the most famous and impressive murals to work into your Porto itinerary.
This is 95% an opportunity to show off my photo gallery of Porto to anyone who will look…
Note – all these murals in Porto were present in January 2022. But street art is ever-changing and pieces can be removed or replaced. Let me know any updates in the comments so I can keep this post-up-to-date. Thanks!
Perspéntico blue cat, Rua das Flores
The Perspéntico blue cat is easily of the coolest street art murals in Porto. Spanish artist, LIQUEN, created it a few years ago for the Verão é no Porto, a summer initiative to help characterise Porto.
Located down a tiny side street off Rua das Flores, it’s purposefully the same shade as the azulejos all over Porto.
If you’re strolling down Rua das Flores from Ribeira to São Bento, you can’t miss it on a side street to your right. If you’re walking in the other direction, you might well miss it so keep an eye out.
Address: Rua Afonso Martins Alho 123-115, Porto.
Keep your eyes peeled on Rua das Flores as there are other murals to be seen.
Bordallo-II Half Rabbit, Vila Nova de Gaia
My favourite street art mural in Porto is the Half rabbit in Gaia. However, the artist Bordalo-II isn’t from Porto so I feel guilty saying it’s the one I prefer!
Most of Bordalo’s murals are in his hometown of Lisbon (I found them all during my recent trip) although there are plenty all around Europe. Like the others, his Porto mural exhibits the theme of nature and human wastefulness.
As you can see, the larger-than-life rabbit is made from colourful pieces of plastic waste.
Address: 42 Rua Guilherme Gomes Fernandes.
Nearby foodie suggestion – Mercado Beira-Rio is a covered food market serving world cuisine as well as Portuguese dishes and fruit & veggies.
Painel de Azulejos Ribeira Negra
This Porto mural can be found on the Ribeira waterfront at the bottom of the Escadas do Codeçal staircase. In typical Porto style, it’s made entirely of painted ceramic tiles.
Painel de Azulejos Ribeira Negra was created in 1978, making it Porto’s oldest mural. Júlio Resende is the artist behind this 54-metre masterpiece.
Address: Rua da Ribeira Negra 4000, 4000-173 Porto.
Rua dos Caldeireiros
This street in the city centre boasts several pieces of street art including abstract patterns which look like the work of local Porto street artist, Hazul.
Here and along nearby Rua das Flores, you’ll spot painted electricity boxes. The Frida Kahlo one above has the tag ‘East’ and the blue cosmic woman reads ‘DVE’ but I couldn’t find anything online about these artists.
In the summer months, you’d be smart to take this backstreet when walking between Praça da Liberdade and the Clérigos Tower. Not only is it a hub for Porto street art, but it’s much quieter than the main road.
Lar de Artur Arcos
Don’t miss the Mira mural on a small square off Rua Nova da Alfândega, the main road running beside the Douro River.
The old lady (who represents Ribeira’s ageing population) looks incredibly lifelike although slightly disapproving… Maybe she’s worried the tourists will turn Porto into the next Lisbon!
The artist is Daniel Eime, a Portuguese painter who uses stencils and spray texture to create lifelike faces in black and white. He has an active Instagram so be sure to give him a follow.
Address: Largo de Artur Arcos.
Look at Porto, Rua Nova da Alfandera
This unusual piece of Porto street art is made from chipped-away white paintwork displaying the original wall beneath. The artist, Vhils from Lisbon, is known for chiselling his murals so the materials become part of the art.
This mural is on the side of Look At Porto, an old cinema which is now closed.
Address: Find it between Armazém and Igreja Paroquial de São Pedro de Miragaia.
Vhils’ style is so distinctive that when I visited Aveiro as a day trip from Porto, I immediately spotted a mural that must have been his.
Nearby attraction – Armazém vintage store, a real treasure trove of furniture, homeware, books and vehicles with a well-stocked bar onsite.
Dom Quixote & Sancho Pança, Rua de Diogo Brandão
On quirky Miguel Bombarda Street, the Dom Quixote & Sancho Pança image became the first non-commissioned (but legal) mural in Porto in 2013.
Artists Mesk, Fedor and Mots came together under the Circus Network to bring to life Don Quixote, a book by Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes.
Address: the corner of Rua de Diogo Brandão and Rua de Miguel Bombarda.
Further along Miguel Bombarda (if heading towards Rota Do Chá from Don Quixote) is a mural by Tina Suida depicting a world map. Highlighted are Portugal and places such as Brazil, Mozambique, Macau and Malacca that were once Portuguese colonies.
Although the mural is beautiful, to me it seemed to celebrate colonial history which I found uncomfortable. But I guess it’s no worse than sweeping it under the rug.
Address: Rua de Miguel Bombarda 360.
Created by artist Frederico Draw in 2015, this image of a friendly old man reminded me of the Mira mural. Anfitrião means ‘host’ and suggests that the man is welcoming travellers to Porto.
You’ll see it when walking across Luis | Bridge hopefully after watching a lovely Porto sunset at Jardim do Morro.
Address: Av. Vimara Peres 23, 4000-098 Porto.
Escadas de São Francisco de Borja
The Ribeira backstreets are a unique part of the city full of historic houses. I believe this tightly-packed area was once a rundown and dangerous place to be, but not anymore.
This stencil was one piece I spotted in this area. Head for a wander around this point to spot graffiti murals and hidden gems.
Youth One, Cedofeita
As I mentioned earlier, Cedofeita neighbourhood is a great place to see street art in Porto. One piece I especially liked was this cool girl mural by Youth One on the corner of Rua de Cedofeita and Rua de Álvares Cabral.
Nearby foodie suggestion – I saw this mural while walking to Lapamaki, a sushi restaurant with platters from €7. You can eat in at lunchtime or visit for takeaway during the evenings.
Steak n Shake wall
This crazy mural by Portuguese artist, Joana Vasconcelos, is a strange one because it wasn’t commissioned by the city of Porto but Steak n Shake, an American-style burger and milkshake restaurant.
Although it’s not technically Porto street art (or at least not the spraypaint style I’m used to), this is one of the most colourful murals in the city made from 8,000 hand-painted tiles.
Address: Praça de Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 67.
Nearby foodie suggestion – Leitaria da Quinta do Paço, an old-school Porto bakery serving éclairs in every flavour imaginable.
Nobre e Leal, Trindade
Another of the most famous murals in Porto is this collaboration by Porto locals, Mr. Dheo and Hazul. The realistic style is typical of Mr. Dheo, while the patterns to the left (not pictured) are classic works from Hazul.
This 250m mural was commissioned by Porto City Hall in 2014 aiming to brighten the city with artwork. It shows the father of Mr Dheo spraypainting the Clérigos Tower, a metaphor for Porto getting a fresh lick of paint.
Address: 124, Rua do Alferes Malheiro 121, Porto.
Rua de Fernandes Tomás
This mural on Rua de Fernandes Tomás (seconds from the Nobre e Leal mural) is by Tamara Alves, a Portuguese visual artist and illustrator.
Address: Rua de Fernandes Tomás 936, 4000-220 Porto, Portugal.
Muralmålning Godmess, Bonfim
Nearby foodie suggestion – many of the best vegan restaurants in Porto such as Vegana by Tentugal (vegan junk food) and Odete (a vegan bakery).
Thanks for reading my Porto street art guide
Check out my other Porto blogs:
- The ultimate 3 day Porto itinerary
- Everything to see and do in Porto
- How to visit the Douro Valley from Porto
- 16 best day trips from Porto
- What to eat in Porto – 25 typical dishes
- Finding the best pastel de nata in Porto
- The best cafes & coffee shops in Porto
- Where to eat vegan in Porto
- Area guide to Bonfim, Porto
- The best cocktail bars in Porto
- The best places for sunset in Porto
- ‘Taste Porto’ food tour review
More Portugal posts:
- 50 best attractions in Madeira, Portugal
- 3 day Lisbon itinerary
- Solo travel guide to Lisbon
- Less touristic places to visit in Lisbon
- Lisbon food tour review
- The best things to do in Aveiro, Portugal
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