While staying in Porto, it’s worth taking a trip to Matosinhos, a seaside district about 40 minutes away by metro. Come catch the waves with the surfers or simply relax by the beach, sample delicious seafood and capture the striking contemporary buildings designed by renowned Portuguese architects. The area is also home to one of our favorite canning factories and a traditional food market.
Follow our day trip itinerary to Matosinhos, so you don’t miss a thing while you’re in town. ( here is a Map)
Day trip itinerary to Matosinhos from Porto
Tour a sardine can factory
The century-old factory, Conservas Pinhais, is famous for its delicious canned sardines. Everything here is packaged by hand following traditional methods. Book a tour to follow the entire process, from cutting the fresh fish to wrapping the can.
Make sure to stock up on some sardines at the store before you go, especially the ones in tomato sauce. You can also find them in the US delivered to your door via our online shop! Arriving from Porto, you can either drive or take line A metro towards Matosinhos.
Shop for local wines
Just a few steps from the factory, you’ll find Garage Wines. This well-stocked wine shop focuses on small producers and little-known brands. Occasionally, they host tastings and masterclasses with local winemakers.
Relax by the beach
With the sea so close, it would be a shame not to hit the beach for a few hours. There are a dozen beaches around this district, but the closest one to the center is Praia de Matosinhos. Take a seat by the sand or grab a drink with a view at the Vagas bar.
Spot iconic monuments and architecture
Matosinhos is renowned for its iconic architecture, both old and new. Take a moment to admire the Senhor do Padrão, an 18th-century monument that has a strong tie to the city’s fishing community. Families gather here on the 1st of November to light a candle for the fishermen lost at sea.
Nearby, the Terminal dos Cruzeiros stands out with its bright contemporary features. Portuguese architect Luís Pedro Silva designed this spiral-shaped cruise terminal with walls covered in shimmery white tiles.
Enjoy a seafood lunch
For lunch, we recommend heading to O Valentim, one of the best seafood restaurants in Matosinhos. Grilled fish is the specialty here. The staff cooks it on the coals, so you’ll get that delicious crispy skin.
Explore the local market
Next up on our tour is the municipal market. Open in 1952, the Mercado de Matosinhos combines fresh produce with gourmet food stalls. Don’t miss the organic bread at the Pão da Terra bakery or stop by for a coffee and cake at Mafalda’s.
Visit the church
Finally, you can take a walk to the Igreja do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos. The church dates back to the 16th century, but it’s the granite Baroque facade designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni that stands out today.
It’s worth stepping inside to admire the ornate gilded altar, which holds one of the oldest real-size figures of Christ in the world. After visiting the church, you can catch the metro back to Porto at the stop Senhor de Matosinhos.
Other things to see near Matosinhos:
- Piscina das Marés: Matosinhos is the birthplace of the award-winning Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira. There are many examples of his work in the area, including these saltwater pools inaugurated in the 60s. The pools fit harmoniously with the rocky landscape around the Praia de Leça beach.
- Casa de Chá da Boa Nova: With a privileged seaside location, this Michelin-star restaurant was one of Siza Vieira’s first designs. Beyond its strikin architectural features, it’s worth coming here to sample the cuisine led by chef Rui Paula.
- Mosteiro de Leça do Balio: On the outskirts of Matosinhos, you’ll find this impressive Gothic monastery. It’s included in the Santiago pilgrimage route and is often used as a stage for medieval recreations.