• Words and Photos by John Domine

On the Road: Porto, Portugal

Porto is a charming city which sits perched alongside the Douro River in the northern part of Portugal. The second-largest city after Lisbon, it was recently named the "Best European Destination". It is known for its namesake wine and its cosmopolitan flair. Together with its Mediterranean climate, it is an ideal spot to spend a few days or longer, eating and drinking to your heart's content, while watching the world go by.

But it also has another story to tell, and that is where I spent much of my time, wandering its labyrinthine alleys in search of all things urban art.


There are some great murals here in this World Heritage city, but unlike Lisbon (see On the Road: Lisbon), Porto's street art scene is largely, and most interestingly, on the smaller scale of wheatpastes and low profile walls. Artists such as Costah, Hazul, Berri Blue, GODMESS and Mesk85 have a big showing in these smaller footprints, while at the same time hitting the walls pretty hard. You can't go down any road without seeing a pasteup or small piece by these guys.


And it's not to say there aren't some large walls in this riverside UNESCO-named city. There definitely are, and the ones they have are pretty awe-inspiring, with works by Pastel, Mr. Dheo, Bordalo and Vhils, among others. Once again, I used the app "Urban Art Portugal" to spot some of these, but happened upon others just exploring the cobble-stoned streets. It's best to do a combo as some walls no longer exist. Such is life in the world of street art.


So, if you find yourself in Portugal, enjoying the bounty of food and drink on offer, do yourself a favor and explore the beauty of its streets. You will definitely need to walk off some of those calories anyway, so why not make the most of it end enjoy some eye candy, calorie-free.You most certainly will not be disappointed.

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