Tanned bodies, the surfers’ athletic figures and cute girls set the tone here, at the seaside.
Its roots firmly planted in the beach and the sea, this area is THE spot for outdoor lovers and the new, bold generations.
The best thing about it is that these features blend perfectly into the most conservative area of Porto, made up of those who live in the poshest, most luxurious part of town, and have done so for a long, long time. Local businesses are everywhere, but there are also new concepts of services and products on offer. If you start your walk in Foz Velha, there’s a ‘small fishermen village’ vibe, and at Avenida Brasil the feel is more’ by the sea resort’. On the way, there is no escaping the famed Passeio Alegre, where the menu du jour includes watching a game of cards among the locals, observing patient fishermen trying their luck with the fish in the river or even ‘going native’ and mimicking the elderly locals napping in their cars.
Further ahead the vibe is a lot more dynamic, and Avenida Brasil and its palace-like houses invite you to get physical - the locals favour it when walking their dogs or going on their daily run.
Halfway through it you find a lovely, a leafy garden, but for those who really know the Avenida, Passeio Atlântico is where you want to be. Hidden out of sight and only a few steps away, the footbridge stretches out over the sea, and its end is a passageway to the green, lush Parque da Cidade, home to one of the most beautiful city music festivals in Europe - Primavera Sound.
And we’re not finished. Still to highlight there’s Edíficio Transparente, with its bars, shops and restaurants overlooking the sea, a meeting point for water sports lovers, sun worhippers, skaters or anyone who wants to sit out in the sun in an capital-rich urban area.
Matosinhos Sul is famed as (and looks like) a seaside resort. Its grid-like geography hides its history in the canning industry. Here, at the beachfront, both on the promenade and the beach, laidback, die-hard water sports lovers mingle with those who know what joie de vivre truly means. Tanned skin and beachy, salty hair are a must if you want to fit in.
Matosinhos Norte could not be any more different.
With the recently revamped Mercado Municipal as its epicentre, the area has come to life. Its streets invite you to go about your day on a bike, as suggested by Velo Culture, a local bicycle shop. You can cycle to the local market to buy local, fresh produce and nothing is ever too far, which is why life is on slow mode here, and we recommend it.
Sunny days are difficult. Spoilt by choice, deciding for one of the many terrace cafés and restaurants one can find on our way to Leça da Palmeira and going past Foz Velha and the centre of Matosinhos can be a problem. This is, if somewhere along the way you don’t lose yourself in one of the high fashion boutiques to be found…
One thing is for sure: staying in is not an option.
Surfing, going to the beach or simply hanging out at the cafés and bars is mandatory when planning a day in the Foz-Leça district.