The Rua de Santa Catarina and the Bolhão market are 2 of the most typical areas in downtown Porto. It’s also here that you can start hunting for the best francesinha in town. Do you dare?
What to visit
Rua Sta. Catarina
This street is mostly commercial and most of it is pedestrian. Most of the buildings retain its charming antique façades. The iconic café Majestic and the Almas chapel are definite points of reference here.
Mercado do Bolhão
The most traditional market of the city, this is where you’ll hear how true Porto people sound. There are plans to renovate the building until 2019 in an effort to improve the shop owner’s work as well as the buyer’s experience.
São João National Theatre
At the end of the Santa Catarina street, in the Batalha square, you’ll find the São João National Theatre. One of the 2 national theatres in the country, it was considered a national monument in 2013.
Coliseu do Porto
In Rua Passos Manuel, which is perpendicular to the Santa Catarina street, a splendid Art Déco building rises above most, the Coliseu. This is one of the main concert houses in the city.
The Rivoli municipal theatre is located just a few steps away from Santa Catarina, in the D. João I square. This is the stage to many plays, dance performances and the renowned film festival Fantasporto.
Where to eat
Looking for the best francesinha… The francesinha enthusiasts will find the answer to their prayers in this part of town. Try the francesinha at café Santiago or at Lado B, in Passos Manuel street. For fans of spicy, try the hottest sauce at Bufete Fase (Rua de Santa Catarina, 1147).
A charming Art Nouveau building hosts the iconic café Majestic, in Santa Catarina street. Considered to be one of the most beautiful cafés in the world, this is where former cultural elites joined to discuss the social, political and cultural panorama at the time.
Rua do Ateneu Comercial do Porto, 22. Open in 1930, Abadia is one of the oldest and most typical restaurants in the Invicta. The specialty of the house is Tripas à Moda do Porto (Porto tripes). $$
Rua Passos Manuel, 165. Coffee house, juice bar and a meeting point to all travellers. Traveller’s serves breakfast menus and healthy lunches. $$
Leitaria da Baixa
Rua Passos Manuel, 55. A cozy and pleasant space to have your breakfast or enjoy a snack with bread, homemade cakes, scones, muffins and tea. $
Rua de Sta. Catarina (local commerce), Via Catarina Shopping Centre (Rua de Sta. Catarina, 312), La Vie Porto (Rua Fernandes Tomás 506), Pingo Doce (Rua Passos Manuel, 211.)
Metro Linhas A,B,C,E,F. Estação Bolhão.
Bus (STCP) 200, 300, 301, 302, 305, 401, 502, 700, 800, 801, 900, 901, 904, 905, 905.