Porto, Portugal
Carla, 42
Visual artist on the move
see her Porto city guide

ask Carla about

desserts café food shopping book shop running tracks viewpoints monuments

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am a visual artist. I compulsively travel, collage and turn everything into a creative project. My art making allows me to respond to my curiosity about the world. Its my life map.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

I guess would listen in stages, according to what would illustrate (musically) the sequence of my process. Choque, anger, drama, sadness, let´s-get-this-show-on-the-road. Respectively, GogoPenguin, Peaches, La Traviatta (Callas Lisbon 1953), Goldberge variations (Glen Gloud), Pentatonix (Daft Punk PTX) and you are good to start the cycle again....

What are the best TV shows of all time?

I get extraordinarily bored with tv ... but there were a couple of shows that kept me coming back to the little screen. Shows such as Twin Peaks, Xfiles, Californication, True Blood and Mad Men.

Name some spots in Porto that are good for a Tinder date.

It depends on the depth of your interpretation of Tinder.... For a day date the bar at the Romantic Museum Casa da Macieirinha. It is quiet, unknown, with extraordinary views over the river Douro, great selection of local port wine and inspiring garden corners .... for a night date , the Champanheria da Baixa. It is popular exclusive but allows good conversation over good cocktails ... it's location also allows you to continue in many directions....

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Mostly online and when I travel. In Porto I am a fan of the local designer Luis Buchinho and the occasional urban markets .

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Ribeira...it used to me my teenager hangout but since tourism increased it has become a big no no!!! its plastered with trolleys, useless souvenirs shops and lots of opportunities for food poising and pickpocketers.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Urban Picnics! A blanket, a bottle of chilled white wine and a book or a friend to thread a lazy, random conversation with. Porto has several hidden gardens for this, perfect urban hidden. The municipal Garden of Virtudes (Jardim das Virtudes) is the best and vistually unkown.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Porto and where did you get it?

Easy one! The dish is called "tripas á Moda do Porto" and it literally means guts or tripe á la mode of Porto. It's an extremely heavy stew consisting of veil's intestines and feet, pig's ear, chorico, lard, beans and flour among other less dramatic. ingredients. I had it years over 18 years ago on a public-health-hazard tiny tavern in the river side of the city. Cannot recall the name but I can still recall the taste: heaven made out of hell!

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Porto that you particularly like?

Bar Passos Manuel. Used to be a movie theater but now holds concerts and cult movies along with great dancing nights in the basement (all original eighties deco). Extraordinary Dj menu. Keep tunned.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Porto? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

I have actually never been at a spa in Porto...

What restaurant in Porto looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Casa Guedes. It is micro run down taverna owned by two old brothers called Guedes. They serve (personally) 3 things only: two involve bread and slow roasted meat and the third involves animal blood. They are all amazing, served by the counter... Friday and Saturday night you might find a line going around the block, its worth it!!!

Where can you get the best cocktail in Porto? Which one do you like?

The Royal Cocktail Club and ladies and gents..... it's a Vesper . they also have one of the few professional female bartenders in the city!!!

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

"Tremoços" with beer: it's our version of peanuts. "Torrada em pão de forma", its a toast but a two-level fluffy one drenched in butter (trust me no other country in the world has this), have it for breakfast or afternoon snack. "Camarões da Costa", these are very small rosy packed with flavour shrimps from the Portuguese coast (needs ... hard to find and a bit pricey but worth it. Also a beautiful afternoon snack suggestion is "percebes" or barnacles, have a smal plate with beer, white wine or gin.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Porto?

Guarani caffe. Two much about an old fart atmosphere.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Porto?

Maus Habitos. It´s a restaurante, a bar, a cafe, an art gallery, project and a concert space with an amazing view over the city street. Relaxed contemporary atmosphere and nice creative crowd.

What are the Porto spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Standing in the middle of the bridge (city center bridge) and just looking at the amazing crossroad of river with sea.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Porto. How do you spend it?

At the seaside, on a cafe/bar Praia dos Ingleses (Beach of the English), with a book. Taking in the last moments of the landscape and the fury of the sea.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

If it´s an art and culture vacation I would say Berlin, if its about mental lazyness Kastelorizo, a micro greek island.

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