If there’s a must-see cultural attraction in Porto it’s the contemporary art museum and park run by the Fundação Serralves, 4km west of the centre. The Museu de Arte Contemporânea is the work of Porto architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, and is a minimalist triumph of white facades and terraces strikingly set in an overwhelmingly green park. There’s no permanent collection – instead, several changing exhibitions a year draw on the works of Portuguese and international artists, mainly from the 1960s to the present day. Other exhibitions are held in the separate, pink Art Deco Casa de Serralves in the grounds.
You can get an idea of the main building from the outside, and from the terrace café, more formal restaurant and museum shop (all free to enter), which means if the exhibitions aren’t to your taste, you miss nothing by just visiting the park. Indeed, many people prefer this to the museum itself and it’s easy to spend a lazy afternoon here, winding along swept gravel paths and clipped lawns before descending wooded tracks to the herb gardens and farmland beyond, grazed by goats and cattle. There are art installations dotted around and a tea house (open weekends only in winter) in a glade with a vine colonnade. July and August see a sequence of “Jazz no Parque” (Jazz in the Park) concerts held in the gardens.