Design Lover’s Guide to Portugal: Things to Do In Portugal for Architecture, Art & Design Lovers
Portugal is a design lover’s dream! From gorgeous mountain landscapes and stunning ocean views, fabulous shopping and eccentric gastronomic experiences, and informative historical museums, Portugal has it all. Explore this list of Lh’s favorite things to do in Portugal, the perfect guide for lovers of all things beautiful and inspiring!
Fashion Clinic, Lisbon & Porto
Fashion Clinic is the only multi-brand luxury store in Lisbon and Porto offering both men and women pieces. Established in 1990, Fashion Clinic’s stores are located in the most exclusive locations, each one with a unique distinctiveness created by renowned architects. Fashion Clinic thrives in offering the ultimate luxury experience through a special selection of the most renowned designers and the latest fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
Embaixada Concept Store, Lisbon
Located in Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, Embaixada is one of the most iconic buildings in the hip neighborhood of Príncipe Real. The 19th century Arabian Palace was transformed into a state-of-the-art shopping gallery that hosts a series of national brands and artists dedicated to Portuguese design, craftsmanship, fashion, gastronomy and culture.
Pelcor – The Genuine Cork Skin, Lisbon
Cork is the guiding force in Pelcor’s fashion and lifestyle brand, developing chic and inventive products inspired by the material. Pelcor offers everything from bags, shoes, hats, tech accessories, and home accessories, altering the archaic cork look in trendy, modern objects.
Livraria Lello, Porto
Known as one of the most beautiful bookshops around the world, Livraria Lello was established in 1906, celebrated as a house for men of arts, an inspiration for acclaimed authors, a place for social gatherings, performances and a quiet library for avid readers. Today it receives thousands of visitors nationally and internationally who enter its doors to visit this fascinating Neo-Gothic gem.
Rua de Miguel Bombarda, Porto
Miguel Bombarda is known as the arts block located in the center of Porto. Find different exhibition spaces for contemporary artists that come together every two months to showcase their debut works of art.
Covet Lounge Private Club, Porto
Covet House provides a curated selection of design pieces from the world’s top brands, specific materials and tools, and specialized marketing and recognition. Personalized services are provided by a team of highly trained designers throughout more than 100 countries. Covet House in Porto features our favorite luxury brand, KOKET!
LX Factory, Lisbon
LxFactory is a creative island with an emphasis on imagination, vision, and innovation. Find industry professionals that offer diverse showcases related to fashion, publicity, communication, fine arts, architecture, music, and doors to all realms of design. There’s something for everyone in this ingenious space.
Sapataria do Carmo, Lisbon
One of Lisbon’s oldest and most charismatic shoe-stores has built its future, while still considering its roots! Now, Sapataria do Carmo has three more shoe-stores, one in the heart of Lisbon: Rua do Carmo, in the trendy neighborhood of Campo Ourique, and in the center of Praça Colombo.
Luís Onofre, Lisbon & Porto
For three generations Luís Onofre’s family has cultivated shoe manufacturing in the most perfect way. The process, now as it was then, doesn’t start with a machine but with pen, genius, and Luís Onofre’s perseverance pursuing the perfect shoe. Explore Porto’s showroom to see the Mandy Stool by KOKET!
Clerigos In, Porto
Clerigos In specializes in fashionable optical products and accessories. Located in the renovated downtown Porto, the store is perfect for design lovers’ eager to discover the latest international fashion trends before they become a part of the mass market. Clerigos In provides unique and exclusive products you can’t find anywhere else.
A Vida Portuguesa, Lisbon
At A Vida Portuguesa objects tell extraordinary stories relative to Portugal’s culture, history, and society. A Vida Portuguesa was born with the desire to collect the surviving brands of time, the intention to revalue the quality of Portuguese manufactured production and the desire to reveal Portugal in a never before seen way.
Bolhão Market, Porto
Established more than a century ago, the Bolhão Market is famous for its architecture and vendors. The market is divided into a large number of shops, facing the four surrounding roads: Fernandes Tomás, to the North, Alexandre Braga, to the East, Formosa, to the South, and Sá da Bandeira to the West. Dedicated mainly to fresh products, its sellers are divided into different specialized sections: fisherman, butchers, greengrocers, and florists.
DINING & WINERIES
Majestic Café, Porto
The Majestic Café serves loyal customers from all over the world. It is more than just a coffee house, it is a Portuguese landmark. The historical icon is a tourist and local attraction, offering up divine coffee and café fair, as well as a large dose of leisure and culture.
Pensão Amor, Lisbon
The Lisbon based bar is renowned for its originality and striking ambiance. The inviting space of Pensão Amor was once a shabby boarding house but is now a space worthy of watching a burlesque show, having one of its signature cocktails or kicking back with good company.
Porto Calem Winery, Porto
If you love wine, you will love Porto Cálem. Explore the vast cellars, taste the finest wines and ports, and indulge in an incredible fado show. Take a tour through the history of Port and the Douro Valley.
Belcanto – José Avillez, Lisbon
Eat and drink at Belcanto and be inspired by traditional yet contemporary Portuguese cuisine. The Michelin Star restaurant demonstrates innovative techniques, concepts, and serving, establishing the creation of a Portuguese haute cuisine where the union of timelessness and creativity elevate your experience.
Alma – Henrique Sá Pessoa, Lisbon
Alma not only serves food, but serves emotion, identity, and knowledge. Traditional Portuguese cuisine is paired harmoniously with world travel, leaving a taste of passion for Asia and life in Lisbon.
Ocean Restaurant, Algarve
Ocean Restaurant offers the perfect blend of inspiring cuisine, flawless service and a sophisticated yet lax atmosphere. The imaginative ambiance is reflective of the peaceful coastal landscape.
Casa de Cha da Boa Nova, Leça da Palmeira
The Boa Nova Tea House is much more than a restaurant, but an experience. Chef Rui Paula puts an emphasis on freshness of fish and seafood, where proximity to the ocean awakens one’s senses.
LAB by Sergi Arola, Lisbon
LAB by Sergi Arola offers a sophisticated cuisine where the quality and freshness of the seasonal ingredients and the inventive touch in each little detail, become a culinary venture that rouses the senses making each taste a delight.
FLOW Restaurant & Bar, Porto
Located in Porto, FLOW Restaurant and Bar is timelessly stylish, creating unforgettable meals with a focus on spices and creativity. The unique restaurant is popular for both locals and tourists visiting the city of Porto wanting to try authentic cuisine with a modern twist.
Mistu serves various gastronomic cultures around the world, with an Asian and South American twist on Portuguese cuisine. Chef Rui Mingatos indulges the palate with a blend of sensations to explore.
Brasileira Café, Lisbon
The Café Brasileira is one of the oldest and most celebrated cafés in Lisbon. Opened over two centuries ago, the café was once a landmark to import and sell delicious Brazilian coffee. Now, over the space is the meeting point for intellectuals, artists, writers and visionaries, blossoming into a popular tourist attraction.
MUDE Museum of Design and Fashion, Lisbon
MUDE collaborates with schools, universities, businesses, museums, and cultural and creative institutions to create a space where artistic expressions and varying realms of thought can interact. Design lovers rejoice: explore MUDE and find a space for discussion about experimental creation and industrial production, the relation between design/art/crafts or today urban, socio-economic, environmental and technological challenges.
MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, Lisbon
The MAAT is a new cultural center in Lisbon that hosts national and international exhibitions with works by contemporary artists, architects and visionaries. A safe space for debate, critical thinking and international dialogue, the MAAT offers diverse programs fit for all audiences and ages.
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto
Located in Porto, Serralves is a renowned cultural institution celebrated as one of the most prominent across the globe. Enhance your knowledge of design and explore the museum’s vast selection of Portuguese and international contemporary design.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum was founded in accord with Calouste Gulbenkian’s last will and testament. Known as one of Europe’s unsung treasures, the incredible museum features collections of magnificent Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian, and European art.
Museu Coleçao Berardo, Lisbon
Museu Coleçao Berardo is Portugal’s most visited museum. Located in Lisbon, the museum showcases the changes occurring in society through breathtaking exhibitions. Equally interesting and beautiful, The Berardo Collection is composed of art that encompasses the whole of the twentieth century to the present day.
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, Cascais
Located inside the Marechal Carmona Park, the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum is the oldest museum space in the country. This Revivalist-style palace built in 1900 contains exhibits of paintings, ancient artifacts & old books specific to Portugal’s history.
Biscainhos Museum, Braga
The Residence of Biscainhos is a former-seigneurial residence located in Braga, Portugal. The museum has a permanent collection of gorgeous furniture, ceramics, glass, and clocks displayed to recreate the decor of an 18th-century manor house.
Six Senses Spa Douro Valley, Lamego
The elegant Six Senses Spa Douro Valley provides a variety of treatments that include locally inspired therapies while embodying Portuguese traditions and the natural elements of water, stone, and wood. Treat yourself and feel refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
Conrad Spa Algarve, Almancil
Indulge in luxurious treatments at Conrad Algarve Spa. Their fresh approach provides a personalized treatment accustomed to your optimum state of wellbeing. Revitalize your mind and body to a state of balance and peace at Conrad Algarve Spa.
Convento do Espinheiro, Évora
Enjoy lavish treatments inspired by different cultures from all over the world. Convento do Espinheiro will rejuvenate your body, soul, and spirit with its luxurious ambiance, contemporary therapies, and holistic treatments that combine the finest quality ingredients and skincare advances.
The Yeatman Hotel, Porto
The Yeatman’s Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa is in harmony with the hotel’s prominence as a leading wine hotel where the culture and pleasures of the vine can be enjoyed in all their aspects. Its peaceful atmosphere, reminiscent of the elemental spirit of wine, includes ten therapy rooms where guests can lounge and relax with various treatment programs.
Divine Spa at The Vine Hotel, Funchal
Travel to a sanctuary of tranquility and meditation, back to the moment just before creation. Rediscover your inner self with vine therapy and revive your body and mind at Divine Spa at the Vine Hotel.
Banyan Tree Spa at The Palácio Estoril, Estoril
Banyan Tree Spa Estoril offers a haven for the senses with scenic plush gardens and outstanding sea views in close proximity. Relish in a large variety of health, relaxation and beauty selections including spa treatments for both women and men, from high end luxury spa treatments that will make you look and feel your best.
H2Otel Congress & Medical Spa, Unhais da Serra
Physical and spiritual well-being is H2otels sole priority. With stress and fatigue taunting us every day, H2otel Spa provides guests with a relaxing program that aims to resolve your stress and worries.
The Comporta Coastline sits an hour south of Portugal’s capital. The reclusive area is a celebrity hotspot, famed as Portugal’s most chic resort. Relax beachside and take in the gorgeous views of the Alentejo coast.
Porto Moniz is celebrated for its natural swimming pools that were once formed by volcanic lava, and are now naturally filled with crystal-clear, luminous sea water. The charming town of Porto Moniz sits on the north-western tip of Madeira, an area known for its rustic mountains and stunning views overlooking deep blues of the Atlantic Ocean.
Praia da Marinha
Praia de Marinha is absolutely breathtaking. Located near Lagoa, the iconic beach is surrounded by towering cliffs and celebrated as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Be inspired by natural landscapes and stunning views at Praia da Marinha
Algar de Benagil
Located 100 meters from Benagil Beach, Algar de Benagil is a local and tourist hotspot. The secluded cave is the perfect option during a scorching hot day, offering peaceful ambiance, cool shade, and gorgeous natural views.
Paiva Walkways sit on the left bank of the Paiva River near Aveiro, Portugal. The 8-kilometer stretch provides unique, beautiful landscapes along brave downhill waters. Explore shimmering quartz crystals and keep an eye out for endangered European species. Paiva Walkways is perfect for design lovers inspired by nature.
The Schist Villages are hidden between mountain slopes of lush vegetation and are one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets. Tour the villages and encounter friendly locals and hospitable atmospheres. The charming villagers offer delicious food, share amazing tradition, and demonstrate impressive craftsmanship.
Travel to the Azores and explore endless possibilities! If you love the outdoors and appreciate natural beauty, Azores will not disappoint. Hop from island to island, free dive into refreshing ocean waters, go whale watching, and hike glorious volcanoes. Explore historical fishing towns, gorgeous manors, and ancient churches.
Dom Luís Bridge, Porto
For design lovers inspired by extraordinary architecture, visit the Dom Luís Bridge and experience the historical icon for yourself. Enjoy the awe-inspiring ironwork frameworks and take in incredible views of Porto.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Lisbon
The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is one of Lisbon’s most famous attractions. The majestic religious building is one of the most decorative churches in all of Portugal. Standing 32 meters tall with fine stone detail, The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos earns a spot on Love Happens Design Lovers Guide.
Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Sintra
The Palacio Nacional de Sintra, otherwise known as The Town Palace, is a design lover’s dream. The Palacio Nacional de Sintra’s history dates back thousands of years during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. It later became property of the Portuguese crown in 1147. Indulge in the glorious design and precise arrangements that adapt seamlessly to the nature of its terrain. Glazed tiles and intricate patterns will take your breath away.
Torre de Belém, Lisbon
Straight out of a fairy tale, the Torre de Belém sits on the northern bank of Tagus and served as part of the Tagus estuary defense system. This architectural gem combines history and beauty in the most elegant way, and is even classified by UNESCO as “Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”
Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga
Located in Tenões, Bom Jesus do Monte is the most photographed church in all of Portugal. In order to see the extraordinary architecture and design, visitors must brave the 580 steps to the top of the hill. Don’t worry, As the stairs ascend the mount there are a number of landings featuring beautiful sculpture and views.
Palacio Nacional de Mafra, Mafra
The Palacio Nacional de Mafra is gorgeous in its roots and purpose. Quite the sightseeing experience, the Palacio Nacional de Mafra was built in 1717 under the order of King João V to honor the king’s first son, King José I. Tour the lavish palace and soak in the Baroque extravagance that is conveyed through the layout and design of the palace. Indulge your desire for royalty at the Palacio Nacional de Mafra.
Palácio da Bolsa, Porto
This neoclassical monument honors the city of Porto for its past and present-day money merchants. Palácio da Bolsa, or the stock exchange palace, is one of the most interesting sights in Porto. Explore the Pátio das Nações (Courtyard of the Nations) enclosed by a luminous glass dome, the Golden Room covered in enchanting gold-leaf, and last but certainly not least, tour the Arab Room – a 300-meter sized room, designed in Moorish style and inspired by Spain’s Alhambra.
São Bento Railway Station, Porto
This spectacular train station does more than just transport, it is also a beautiful sightseeing experience located in the heart of Porto. The French Beaux-Arts building holds 20,000 magnificent azulejo tin-glazed ceramic tiles representing Portugal’s history – its royalty, its wars, and its transportation past.
Casa da Musica, Porto
Casa da Música attracts people from all over the world for not only the beautiful music played here but also for its modern and fresh architecture. The legendary concert hall demonstrates innovative architectural techniques, from its asymmetrical structure to its large plane glass windows. If you love music and design, explore Casa da Música and indulge in breathtaking aesthetics.
Braga Municipal Stadium, Braga
Renowned as Eduardo Souto de Moura’s most famous work, The Braga Municipal Stadium sits hillside, carved into the face of the adjacent Monte Castro quarry overlooking breathtaking views of the city of Braga, Portugal. The Braga Municipal Stadium won the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award for best new global design in 2006, making it a hotspot for visitors and locals alike.
The Fátima Sanctuary, Fátima
The Fátima Sanctuary serves as a place of pilgrimage, built almost a century ago in honor of the Lady of the Rosary. The quaint chapel is rich in its history and style, making the attraction both educational and beautiful.
Santa Justa Lift, Lisbon
The Santa Justa Lift is a 19th-century lift that carries passengers up the steep hill from the Baixa district to the Largo do Carmo and the ruins of the Carmo church. The lift is a work of art, decorated with stunning neo-gothic arches and geometric patterns. Inside of the lift, two lavish wood carriages stylishly transport passengers.