15 Best things to do in São Mamede de Infesta (Portugal)

São Mamede de Infesta is located in the Porto metropolitan area, not far north of this charming UNESCO city. Whether it’s the lively Old Town Square, Baroque churches or photo-worthy monuments like the Clerigos Church or the Dom Luis I Bridge, it couldn’t be easier to get enough sightseeing and cultural activities into Porto city centre.

São Mamede de Infesta is actually part of the harbour city of Matosinhos, just a short walk from the ocean and the best seafood restaurants in the area. The coast will be in your plans, whether you want to hit the beach or just take a leisurely stroll along the Esplanade and watch the Atlantic Ocean roll in.

Let’s explore the best things to do in São Mamede de Infesta:

1. The Porto River

riverside porto

If you need somewhere to start your Porto trip, go to Praça da Ribeira by the Douro River.

It is a sociable and vibrant meeting point, bounded by tall painted houses with arcades and the river to the south.

The wild Sao Joao festivities take place here on June 23, and the rest of the time is a touristy but not-to-be-missed place to stop for a coffee or a cold drink.

The Douro River is an important part of Porto’s charm, with the metal Dom Luís I bridge, designed by the co-founder of the Eiffel company, and Gaia, the historic port wine cellars scattered on the slopes of the left bank of Vila Nova de.

You can also traverse one of the city’s great viewpoints on the terrace of the Setta do Pilar monastery.

2. Porto city center

Liberty Square

Up the hill from the Ribera is Bairro da Sé, a slightly rugged neighborhood set in medieval streets.

Houses, painted or covered with tile, cantilever or naturally bend over the street for most of the day, blocking the sun.

Further up, the street widens as you approach the Liberty Square, built in the 18th century.

In this slice of Porto overflowing from its ancient medieval walls, you’ll find upscale shops and theaters, as well as the Majestic Café, an Art Nouveau masterpiece.

The Clérigos Church and its 75.6-meter tower, designed by Baroque master Nicolau Nasoni, are another enduring icon of the city.

3. Matosinhos

Matosinhos

São Mamede de Infesta, a parish of the city, has its ancient center on the seafront, just a few minutes to the west.

Matosinhos shines for its fish and seafood: both in restaurants and excellent markets, and a delightful historic district with some steep, narrow streets and stairs.

In summer, the undeniable attraction is the beach, the largest in the Porto region, which was recently awarded the Blue Flag.

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If the wind is in the right direction, there will also be surfable waves.

If you’re traveling with kids, the aquarium Sea Life Porto is a place to keep in mind.

4. Slave

Casa de Serralves

There’s a lot to do in this sizable arts and architecture complex nearby.

Serralves has a gorgeous Art Deco villa, Casa de Serralves, next to a contemporary art museum built in 1999, both opening onto landscaped gardens.

Casa de Serralves was built between 1925 and 1944 for the 2nd Count of Vizera, with contributions from some of the Art Deco masters; the wrought iron gates were designed by Edgar Brandt and the skylights by René Lalique.

The museum building was designed by the esteemed Álvaro Siza Vieira, who designed every detail, down to the doorknob.

You can enter just to see the building, but there are as many as five separate exhibits at any given time, so it should be to your taste.

5. Quinta do Covelo

Quinta do Covelo

To recharge the batteries or take the kids to the playground, there is an excellent park a few kilometers from the center of Porto.

The eight hectares of green space covered with oaks and pine trees once belonged to the noble estate that bears its name.

There are fascinating clues to the former purpose; the estate’s old agricultural plantations have been replaced by Porto’s municipal greenhouses.

The lower part of the park is the ruins of the estate’s baroque mansion and chapel, abandoned since it was bombed during the Siege of Porto in 1832 and 1833.

6. Music House

house of music

In 2005, Porto opened this awesome performance venue designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

The 12-story building has many never-before-seen features, such as two walls of glass that flood the 1,300-seat auditorium with light.

Casa da Música is a tourist attraction in itself, so if you are interested in the details of the design, you can visit it during the day.

In addition to that huge auditorium, you’ll visit the VIP and Renaissance halls, both lined with glazed tiles in homage to Portuguese and Dutch traditions.

Come back in the evening and experience high culture at the home of the Porto National Orchestra.

7. Museu da Farmácia

Farm Museum

The museum only officially opened in 2015. Coinciding with the appearance of a true Islamic pharmacy interior, complete with ceramic jars and cabinets, shipped from Damascus and dating back to the 19th century.

This is one of two pharmacies that wholesale to the museum, the other being Farmácia Estácio, established in 1924 in Rua Sá da Bandeira. The exhibition features healthcare-related objects such as ritual statues, vases, jars, bottles and boxes from the Russian Empire to pre-Columbian Americas.

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8. Parque da Cidade

big city park

Portugal’s largest park is a nine-year project completed in 2002 by landscape architect Sidónio Pardal.

Wander 10 kilometers of trails in this peaceful 80-hectare space with little indication that you are in the center of a densely populated city.

There are ponds, large lawns surrounded by woodland, and many whimsical features that look like ancient ruins.

Pavilhão da Água opened in the north corner of the park during Expo 98 and features an aquarium and interesting interactive exhibits on sustainability and the water cycle.

9. Casa-Museu Abel Salazar

Casa-Museu Abel Salazar

If you’re curious about 20th century Portuguese history and the Estado Novo regime, there’s a remarkable museum near São Mamede de Infesta.

Abel Salazar was a multi-talented scientist, artist and social thinker who was involved in the Neorealist movement, and his ideas led to his expulsion from the University of Porto.

Since then, he has focused on art, and his work has furnished the home in which he has lived for 30 years.

There are paintings, sculptures, illustrations and hammered bronze.

Salazar is a highly regarded doctor, and you can browse his medical equipment on the second floor, where none of the equipment has been touched.

10. Cemitério de Agramonte

Cemitério De Agramonte

It might sound like a gloomy way to spend an hour or two, but this massive 19th-century cemetery is worth a visit for its sculptural and decorative beauty, as well as its cedars, magnolias, and camellias.

Mausoleums and mausoleums were built in the last decades of the 1800s and early 20th century.

The cemetery was established after a cholera epidemic, but was rebuilt in the 1860s and 1870s with the construction of the stunning main church.

This was expanded at the turn of the century by the influential architect José Marquez da Silva, and the fine Neo-Byzantine paintings are the work of Italian artist Silvestro Silvestri in 1925.

11. Kadoorie Synagogue

Kadoorie Synagogue

The largest synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula, just a short walk from the Boavista district, is the backbone of Porto’s small Jewish community.

Tours take place on weekday afternoons, but it may be safe to email ahead.

The synagogue is a lovely Art Deco building, started in 1929 and completed in 1938 (opening the same night as Germany’s Crystal Night). The interior is impressive, with neo-Moorish décor and walls lined with atapete (carpet pattern) glazed tiles.

As you walk around, you’ll learn about a brief history of Portuguese Jews, and there’s also a small museum on the subject.

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12. Foz do Douro

Foz douro Lighthouse

Located where the River Douro reaches the Atlantic Ocean, this upscale community is preceded by a long line of beaches from the mouth of the river to Matosinhos, a few kilometers to the north.

No matter the time of the year, you should take a stroll along the promenade on the seafront, with its palms, laurels and pines, and a pergola inspired by the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

At the southernmost point is the Church of the Lighthouse of San Miguel o Anjo, built in 1527, making it the oldest lighthouse in the country.

It was outdated in 1886 when Farol de Felgueiras was installed at the end of a long breakwater, pounded by Atlantic waves.

13. Igreja do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

Igreja do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

Part of Portugal’s National Heritage, this resplendent church hosts hordes of pilgrims and is the soul of many local religious celebrations.

It was first formed in the second half of the 16th century.

But the current architecture is almost always from the mid-1700s.

This was financed by wealthy local residents who were making money in Brazil, who hired Nicolau Nasoni to create the rich stonework for the façade.

The gilded altar and Dutch-style organ also reflect colonial wealth, which dates back to 1685 and was brought here in the mid-18th century.

14. Maya

Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Ó de Águas Santas

The city of Maia is less than 5 minutes on the N14 and there is also plenty to do.

Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Ó is a Romanesque church older than Portugal itself, with a mysterious carving of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre at its entrance and a sarcophagus in the cemetery.

At Leça do Balio Monastery, which is equally old but redesigned in 14th-century Gothic style by the Knights Hospitaller, turning it into a fortress church.

For kids, the highly rated Maia Zoo has more reptile species than any other attraction in Portugal.

15. Food and drink

Grilled Sardines

The harbour area of ​​Matosinhos is where the people of Porto enjoy fresh fish and seafood from the sea.

This can be grilled sardines, lobster, oysters, clam paella, or a mixed seafood platter of tiger prawns, crab, and goose barnacles.

You can find first-hand information in the market, the selection is wide and tempting.

In Rua Heróis de França, many restaurants grill their fish on the street, and it’s hard to keep going.

As a rule, you should come any day other than a Monday, as the fishermen are still closed on Sundays.

Where to Stay: The best hotels in Sao Mamede de Infesta, Portugal
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