Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and has a growing reputation for being a cool place to be, meaning Porto’s street art scene is always well worth a visit.
Of course, what to see changes regularly, but it’s always worth exploring the city streets to see what’s out there.
Some of the street art in Porto is more on the side of “Big Bubble Letters” and tags with artists just trying to get their names out there, but some show real artistic skills. Stencil art, the style of artists like Banksy, is usually seen in black and often with a subliminal message.
Porto is a university city, but also a historic area so it brings the mix of young life and old architecture with it lots of artistic inspiration.
Where to find street art in Porto
In Vila Nova de Gaia, the neighborhood known for fortified wine, there are great views of the Douro River to inspire further. It is definitely a place to try to find an apartment for your stay in Porto. This is the best way to experience the local life and atmosphere.
Porto’s stucco facades may crumble, but Street performers have a lot of fun with the streets as a canvas, as the graffiti tolerance is very high here and there hardly seem to be any restrictions Graffiti is still illegal. Some artists have complained that it is difficult to get a permit to decorate a large wall in the city center, but the fact that most buildings are surrounded by brick walls, there are plenty of back streets for artists.
Bring your camera and just walk the streets as there is too much street art in Porto to name just one area Lapa Metro Station is a good place to see the latest street art for what it is? Rua Miguel Bombarda where there are also many art galleries with street art.
As you walk, you may spot some of the most popular local Porto street artists, such as Hazulu who makes large-sized two-tone (usually black and white) pieces made up of many drops and geometric shapes with more intricate “bunching patterns” that fill the spaces.
While Hazul’s artwork has soft edges and feels more free to the touch, another local artist, Mr. Dheo, has a much sharper style. He likes color and clean lines and often incorporates a face with real character into his spray paint designs. He uses photorealism to challenge himself to get better every time.
Street art tour in Porto
The city is where you can find some great Porto street art tours. We love this Get Your Guide private city tour with a local guide. This 2-hour tour takes you past the historic and modern architecture as you explore the traditional tiles and new urban street art.
The tour includes a stroll through Rua da Madeira, a street art center with incredible murals, as well as exploring graffiti gems on the back streets of Rua das Flores. You start the tour at the city library and end it with a stroll through the historic and charming district of Ribeira.
Book the tour now.
Photo tips for street art
Whether you bring professional camera gear or just a camera phone, the streets of Porto offer plenty of opportunities for memorable shots. The juxtaposition of crumbling walls and vibrant street art make this a perfect place to practice new styles of photography.
Instead of standing try to lie down on the floor or climb up to get a new perspective. And be patient, so try to wait long enough so that you fit into the scene and see who goes by.
Change to a slower shutter speed to blur the movement of someone walking or riding a bicycle in front of a brightly painted wall. And try and take different shots So don’t try to capture the entire wall, but pull in the vicinity to photograph small sections more precisely.
Check out our guide to street photography for more tips.