Street art in Porto is one of the highlights of visiting Portugal’s second city. In some districts and neighbourhoods, virtually every surface, alleyway, and storefront facade have been transformed into a canvas.
The city of Porto has been through something of a beautification initiative in recent years. The local authorities have commissioned international and local artists to create vibrant, thought-provoking murals throughout the town.
In doing so, they have breathed a new lease of life into Porto’s various neighbourhoods. Much of the street art in Porto has been created by famous graffiti artists like Mr. Dheo and the Galician artist Liqen.
Some pieces are nice to look out for, whereas others exist to convey important messages of social justice or represent aspects of Portuguese heritage and culture.
This article has been written by a British Travel Writer who was formerly based in Porto. It will help you find some of the most iconic pieces of urban art that the city has to offer.
Street Art in Porto
You really don’t have to venture far to stumble across stunning street art in Porto. In fact, you will stumble across a lot of spectacular pieces by accident as you are going about your sightseeing.
In Porto, you are met with bursts of colour and impressive designs that wouldn’t look out of place in a contemporary art gallery at virtually every turn. Most of the most famous pieces are concentrated around Porto city centre.
You will also find some great murals across the Douro river in the city of Villa Nova de Gaia. It is interesting to learn about how street art in Porto has developed over the years too.
Until recently, it was considered an eyesore (!) The previous government went on a rampage removing graffiti all over town in a bid to “clean up” the city. However, when a new Major came into office, the scene changed.
The new Porto city council saw the value of street art in the local community. They understood how vibrant designs and geometric patterns would help give rundown neighbourhoods a new lease of life.
Starting in 2014, local graffiti artists were commissioned by the government. They created some of the magnificent Porto street art pieces that you see today.
If you are interested in street art, you will be impressed by the scene in Porto. While it is still young and developing, there are lots of beautiful murals throughout the city.
Some of the pieces are simply nice to look at, while others are more thought-provoking. In Porto, huge, multi-story pieces cascade down the sides of train stations, parking lots, and shopfronts.
Take a Guided Street Art Tour
Part of the fun of searching for street art in Porto is found in taking the time to get lost in the various cobbled streets and passageways of the historic center. It is great to meander around the city looking for street art with no set plan.
That way, you can stop for coffee or drinks as you go and step inside any stores or art galleries that catch your eye. However, if you are short on time or you don’t like the idea of wandering around the city by yourself looking for famous works, you can also opt to take an organized Porto street art tour.
These tours take a lot of the stress and hassle out of organizing your day. They are also great because when you explore Porto with a local, you will not only obtain more information and context to the various pieces that you see.
You will also discover places that you wouldn’t have found independently.
Better yet? You have a Porto expert on hand to ask for recommendations on where to stay, what Porto foods to try, and the best places to eat and hang out.
Best Porto street art tours
Numerous reputable local tour companies operate in Porto. A selection of the best Porto street art tours is detailed below.
Book your place online in advance to avoid disappointment!
- Porto half-day street art tour
- Historic city center walking tour
- Porto: 2-hour private city tour off the beaten track
Famous Street Artists in Porto
There are a handful of famous Porto street artists whose works can be found around the city.
Hazul Luzah is one example. He paints in bold, abstract designs and his work is often distinguishable by his images of faceless, hooded women.
Mr. Dheo is another well-regarded Portuguese street artist whose works can be found around the streets of Porto and nearby Matosinhos. He has exploded in fame and success as a graffiti artist in recent years.
His pieces can be found everywhere from Johannesburg South Africa to China, Aruba, and the United States. Many campaign for justice or tackle complex global issues.
ARM Collective is a two-man duo created by the Portuguese graffiti artists RAM and MAR. They combine their individual specialties to create joint murals that effortlessly work, despite utilizing very different design techniques. In particular, they are known for their depictions of obscure-looking fictional and fantasy characters.
Pedro Podre is an artist that was born and raised in Porto. His creations can be found all over Portugal – from Lisbon to the Algarve, and to the northern reaches of the country.
He is known for his comic-book-style art creations. His signature “character” is a man with an abnormally bloated head. This character can often be seen in dystopian, alternate realities.
(If you are ever in Lisbon, some of the best pieces there have been created by Podre. Look out for the creepy “Unity’ piece at Casal Dos Machados and “Dialogues” in the city centre.
Costah is a Porto-based street artist that has completed some collaborations with Mr. Dheo. He has also opened a tattoo parlor in the city if you ever fancy getting inked by a famous graffiti artist.
Embarking on a Porto Street Art Tour
A lot of the most notable Porto street art pieces are situated in the city’s historic centre. An alternative way to explore the city is to map out a route that takes you from one street art piece to another.
Along the way, you will pass some of Porto’s most notable sights. You will enjoy scenic views of the River Douro, pass by the Sé Cathedral, cross the Pont Luis I bridge, etc.
A self-guided walking tour of some of the most awe-inspiring street art in Porto is provided below. If you don’t want to dedicate an entire day to a graffiti treasure hunt, you could also simply mark the coordinates on your map. This way, you can simply stop by the various pieces when you are in the nearby area.
Finding the Best Street Art in Porto:
A Suggested Walking Tour
A guide to some of the best street art pieces in Porto is provided below. The pieces are discussed in a logical order so that you can easily walk from one to another.
Take in the city sights and sounds as you go. Then, consider stopping for traditional Porto delicacies and drinks to get a feel for each of the Porto districts this tour leads you through.
Street Address: Rua de Camōes, Rua do Paraíso
We start our walking tour of the Porto street art scene at the Ribeira mural. This piece sits a couple of blocks north of Trindade, just out of the city’s historic centre.
The piece was painted by the collective RUA (Frederico Draw, Oker, Fedor, and Rodrigo Alma) and BreakOne for a Porto street art festival held in 2014 (Push Porto).
Street Address: Rua do Bonjardim/Rua Alferes Malheiro
The Trindade mural is one of the most iconic street art pieces in Porto. The piece was commissioned by the local government in 2014 and is a collaborative effort between Mr. Dheo and Hazul.
It cascades down the wall of a parking garage close to Trindade metro station. The two artists behind Trindade have dramatically different styles, yet somehow this piece just works.
Trindade is a combination of bold, colourful, geometric patterns created by Hazul, paired with an image of a man holding a miniature figure of the Clerigos tower. Mr Dheo supposedly created the man in the image of his father.
Stroll the promendades of Rua da Cedofeita
A short stroll from Trindade brings you to Rua da Cedofeita. This is one of the best spots in town to see the works of amateur graffiti artists.
The vibrant pieces and tags that decorate this street have been painted on energy boxes on the streets. Some of them have been sprayed onto the metal boxes on storefronts that can only be seen when the stores are closed.
If you happen to be passing by the area early in the morning or in the evenings when the stores are closed, look out for “Okersland”. This is an eccentric-looking male face that has been painted on the shutters of Optics, New Vision.
Aguadeiras by GODMESS
Street address: Campo 24 de Agosto 58, 4300 Porto
Local graffiti artist GODMESS has created several amazing street art pieces in Porto and Lisbon. Close to the 24 de Agosto metro station in the city centre, you will see his piece “Aguadeiras”.
The stunning piece covers an entire facade of a building. It pays homage to a group of volunteers that helped the needy in Porto several centuries ago.
Centuries ago, the plaza at Campo 24 de Agosto went by the name of Campo de Mijavelhas. There was a large water tank here, built in the 16th century, that contained water that people could drink or bathe in.
These volunteers, known as “Aguadeiras” carried clean drinking water all over the city of Porto to people that didn’t have their own tanks. In his piece, GODMESS uses geometric shapes and different shades of blue and turquoise to portray the Aguadeiras transporting vases of water and balancing them on their heads.
D. Quixote de la Mancha
Street Address: Rua de Miguel Bombarda/Rua de Diogo Brandão
Porto’s D. Quixote sits on the corner of Rua Miguel Bombarda, and Rua de Diogo Brandão in the city’s historic centre. The piece’s location places it in one of Porto’s most artistic neighbourhoods.
The sides of Rua de Miguel Bombarda are lined with dozens of independent art galleries that showcase the works of independent artists. Many of the pieces have a contemporary focus. Even if you are not intending to buy, it is free to enter the various galleries and admire the art within.
Location aside, the painting itself is spectacular. The piece was a collaboration by the Porto Artists Fedor, Mots, and Mesk.
The “Wild West” style people that are displayed in the mural are the three main characters of the Spanish novel “D. Quixote de la Mancha”. This piece was created in 2014, and it was the very first legal mural to be commissioned in Porto.
Stop for a Tea Break at Rota do Cha
Where: Rua de Miguel Bombarda 457
Be sure to stop by Rota do Cha while you are in the area. The menu in this adorable tea room boasts more than 200 different blends of tea from across the globe.
A variety of handmade cakes and Portuguese sweet treats are prepared daily. The garden at the rear of the premises is filled with leafy green trees, bamboo plants, and Buddhist sculptures.
Where: Rua de Miguel Bombarda, 360
Before moving on from Rua de Miguel Bombarda, walk a couple of blocks down until you reach “O Mapa”. This piece is a stunning old-fashioned world map that has been carved into the walls.
It was created by Illustrator Tina Siuda. This is one of the lesser-known, and often bypassed Porto street art pieces.
Jardim das Virtudes
Where: Passeio das Virtudes 53-3
Porto’s Jardim das Virtudes is not only a breathtaking viewpoint, but it also contains a beautiful mural created by Hazul. The mural extends along the length of one of the outbuildings in the park in Hazul’s signature style.
It consists of contemporary, geometric designs with swirls of colour, faceless madonnas, Taoist symbols, and ancient symbolic imagery. The mural makes a wonderful photo backdrop.
Where: Largo de Artur Arcos
If you stroll along the riverfront on the Porto side of the Douro, you will eventually stumble across Miragua Square. Here, you will find a famous Porto street art piece created by the stencil artist Daniel Eime.
The mural, like most of Eime’s creations in Portugal, depicts an old Portuguese lady. It is a simple expression of local life in Porto.
The mural is close to the Igreja de São Francisco and Alfândega. The catacombs and church interiors of the former are two of the best things to do in Porto.
Look at Porto
Where: Rua. da Atafona 6
A short walk from the Mira mural brings you to OPorto’s Miragaia district. Here, on the wall of a movie theatre you will find a creation by Alexandre Farto.
This piece, named “Look at Porto” but affectionately referred to as “Vhils” was commissioned by the local council in 2016.
Vhils displays a pair of peering eyes looking out across the city. Alexandre Farto is a Lisbon-based street artist that is one of the most well-regarded in the country.
The method of creating this piece is very unusual. Farto removed the white plaster of the building which he painted on, and used the dull, exposed sections in place of paint.
Street Address: Rua Nova da Alfańdega
From Mira, we will start to walk towards Gaia and the Pont Luis 1 bridge. Look out for a creation by Spanish Artist Sam 3 on Rua Nova da Alfańdega.
The image depicts an almost eerie, silhouetted figure of a man stretching his mouth open with his fingers.
This is Sam3’s signature street art style; he creates paintings in the form of silhouettes and shadows. This piece was created in 2011 when Sam3 was in Oporto for the Manobras No Porto Festival.
Perspentico Blue Cat
Street Address: Rua das Flores/Rua Afonso Martins Alho
In 2018, more than 60 street artists participated in an initiative labeled “Verão é no Porto” (Summer is in Porto). They were tasked with beautifying the city and creating paintings that depicted traditional and modern life in Northern Portugal.
Among those 60 artists was the Spanish Artist Liquen.
Liquen’s blue cat mural (named “Perspentico”) has quickly become one of the city’s most famous sights. The mural is hidden away from view on a narrow side street that veers off from Rua das Flores.
The cat towers above the city over several stories in a shade of vibrant blue. It is said to pay homage to the blue azulejo tiles that decorate the structures and interiors of buildings across Portugal.
Street Address: Av. Vimara Peres 23
Draw’s AN.FI.TRI.ÃO depicts an old, kind-faced man holding out his hand and welcoming visitors into the city. There is speculation that the man in the picture is said to represent the artist’s grandfather.
The image has been painted on the side of a crumbling, derelict building that sides beside the Pont Luis bridge. AN.FI.TRI.ÃO is best seen from the top of the bridge as you walk from Vila Nova de Gaia to old town Porto.
Time and weather have worn down this piece, making the painting slightly faded and peely. If anything, this just adds to its certain je ne sais quoi.
Street Address: R. Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 42, Vila Nova de Gaia
Shortly after crossing the Pont Luis bridge that connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia, you are met with one of the most thought-provoking street art pieces in town: The Half Rabbit.
This piece was created by Portuguese Artist Bordallo II. It is made up of recycled materials and scrap metal pieces collected from around the city.
Half of the pieces have been painted, whereas half exist in their raw form. The piece is a critique of the wastefulness of modern society.
Cascata de Jaune
Street address: R. Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 123, 4400-174
Cascata de Jaune is a super fun piece created by the Belgian street artist Jaune. It portrays a group of five binmen in various stages of drunkenness as they hang out at the side of the road and drink port wine.
The mural is tucked away down a side street near the port tasting rooms or Gaia. Nothing could be more fitting for this area.
Unless you specifically knew that the mural was here, you could easily miss it. It is worth taking a quick detour to get to it en route to the infamous half rabbit.
The Steak n Shake restaurant mural
Street address: Praça Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 67, 4050-159 Porto
Heading back across the bridge to cental Porto, set “Steak n Shake” as your next destination on Google Maps.
The steak n shake restaurant chain is an American casual dining/hamburger chain that can be found around the world. But while the eatery itself is nothing to write home about (well, depending on who you ask!)
What makes the Porto branch of the restaurant special is the giant psychedelic mural by Joana Vasconcelos that sprawls along the side of it. The piece is about 20 meters long and it was commissioned by Steak n Shake. (Not a bad marketing technique in a city that is known for its love of street art, eh?)
This large mural has actually been created with thousands of colourful little tiles, rather than paint. Vasconcelos took her inspiration from embroidery designs from Viana do Castelo.
Caution: Wet Floor
Street address: R. de 5 de Outubro 16, 4050 Porto, Portugal
Caution Wet Floor is a black and white stencil art piece by the French artist STRA. The simple brush strokes and the monotone shades make the piece almost resemble works by the British artist Banksy.
The piece shows a man passionately mopping a floor. Beside him is a bright yellow mop bucket.
Other Notable Street Art Pieces
While most of the above pieces of street art in Porto can be reached on foot as part of a self-guided walking tour, there are others worth adding to your radar too. New pieces are popping up constantly.
There are also several interesting murals in the nearby seaside town of Matosinhos and in neighborhoods on the outskirts of town like Adouços, Lomba, and Bonfim. They are a bit too far to walk to.
But if you are going to be in Porto for a few days, you can make a mental note of where these pieces are and come back to search for them later.
Work by ARM Collective Matosinhos
Street address: Bairro da Biquinha, 4450-127 Matosinhos
An eerie piece known as “work” by ARM collective can be found at Bairro da Biquinha in Matosinhos. The piece, painted on the side of an apartment building depicts a tall, slim, and spooky figure that is crouching down in shallow water.
He has a mask for a face (that kind of makes him resemble no name from Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away!) and in place of his heart is a paper boat. The piece was created as part of a street art event known as “Up There”.
Calories by Mr Dheo
Street address: Avenida da República, Matosinhos
Calories by Mr Dheo celebrated its 7th birthday in early 2023. The piece adorns the side of a Matosinhos hotel and shows a tattooed man leaning on a sign for a Burger King drive-through while opting to eat a fish, rather than a hamburger.
The huge painting is 32 meters tall and was created for 2016 Up There festival.
Street address: Rua da Restauração 133, 4050-394 Porto
Oak Tree, by local illustrator Tiago de Carvalho shows a deity that is half human, half oak tree, as it prepares to run in a race. This simplistic image uses yellows, blues and greens to portray a gorgeous woodland setting.
Tiago de Carvalho has created several murals around Porto, Gaia Quay, and Matosinhos. Oak Tree was a piece that was commissioned by the Porto government.
In 2022, he was also commissioned to create a piece called “Harvest” at the Symington Family Estate winery in Gaia. The piece has an area of 98m2 and shows the history of winemaking in Douro and Gaia over the centuries.
Final thoughts on Porto street art
Have any further questions about street art in Porto or things to do in Porto, Braga, and Northern Portugal in general? I spent two months based here in 2020 and got to know the city pretty well during that time.
Safe travels! Obrigada! Melissa xo