We love to travel, but staying at home can be a lot of fun too. To inspire you to explore your own backyard, we’ve asked a few friends to guide us through a perfect day in their home town. Third in this series is Philip King, who takes us around Porto.
Leaving from our home near the sea in Foz, I walk up along the Avenida do Mar. Gomes da Costa. The homes along this wide sunny avenue seem reminiscent of Beverly Hills: lots of big old houses, some Spanish style, some very Sunset Boulevard.
This route takes me past Serralves, a museum of contemporary art, with its beautiful French-style gardens and pink Art Deco house. At dusk you can pretend you have a starring role in ‘Last Year At Marienbad’.
A slight detour down the back streets and we reach a colourfully painted estate called The Musicians, as the streets are named after Portuguese classical musicians.
On Avenida da Boavista I pass a 1970s optician sign I always covet, all the more so when it’s lit up at night. The optician is still there, on a side street.
Then onwards, past the Rem Koolhaas-designed Casa da Musica where I guested onstage with the group I used to be in, The Jesus And Mary Chain.
On the other side of Avenida da Boavista there are a lot more Art Deco buildings. Also lots of interesting tiles, doors, door knockers etc.
There’s a bookshop I like to go to called Livraria Alfarrabista Varadero, which is towards the top end of the Avenida da Boavista. They sell mainly used Portuguese books and magazines, such as a great ’60s one I picked up called Mundo Moderno, and they also sometimes have old magazines and comics in English for sale.
Rua do Almada has a lot of interesting bric-a-brac shops, the Louie Louie record store, and bars to stop off at and have a Portuguese beer – or two.
Another recommended place to get a drink is Candelabro in Rua da Conceicao, which is housed in a former bookstore. The bookcases are still there, filled with old film cameras, projectors and books and magazines.
A few doors down is a comic and magazine shop called Timtimportimtim, which is always very interesting to browse in.
Along the way we travel under the Ponte da Arrabida bridge – which connects Porto to Gaia. Once I get off the tram in Foz, I am by the outlet from the Douro to the Atlantic Sea. Next stop, New York. Nearby is the Farol de Felgueiras lighthouse and Praia dos Ingleses beach.
Philip King is a musician who has played with The Jesus & Mary Chain, Felt and Lush (among others) and is the picture editor on music magazine Uncut.