Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Transport - Bus

If you're planning to take a bus and don't which one to get or where to get it...
You can use the STCP's (local council transport system) site.
They have an English versions where not everything is yet translated, but these aren't show stoppers.

Some translations (if needed):
  • Tipo: type (transport)
  • Destino: destination
  • Aguarde por favor: Please wait
  • Duração: total trip time
  • Tempo de espera: waiting time
  • Bilhetes: tickets
  • Passes: season tickets (usually monthly )
  • Recomendados: recommended
  • Tarifário: tariff
  • Custo: cost
  • Percorridas: traveled by (it is used to indicate the different zones the trip will pass through)
  • Transbordos: changes

O Arquinho do Castelo

A very good restaurant mainly dedicated to seafood. The octopus is very good.

It is situated in Matosinhos area. Here you can find many other good restaurants.

Location/Contact of Arquinho (not at walking distance so you should take a taxi or bus).

Adega Presuntaria Transmontana

A restaurant with typical Portuguese food of hams, chouriços, octopus and other (not very cholesterol friendly) tasty dishes. The dishes are mainly "tasting" size and not main dishes. But if you are able try everything you'll probably win some prize.

A good place to go with friends and share the different dishes.

It is on Cais de Gaia (other side of the river). See here for location/contact and NYTimes review.

Praia do Ourigo

Bar Praia do Ourigo is a very beautiful restaurant. The view is to the spectacular Foz do Douro. You can have a meal or just go for a cup of coffee. In either case, you'll enjoy a very peaceful time.

It is located in Esplanada do Castelo, Praia do Ourigo in Foz do Douro (that is to say here).

(review from the NYTimes)

(photo is from traveldo)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Serralves Park and Museum of Contemporary Art

Widely considered to be a pearl of modern architecture, the Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Pritzker prize winner Alvaro Siza Vieira, is located in the magnificent gardens of the Serralves Park (close to the Western side of Avenida da Boavista on the way to the sea).

For more information, click here.

Vegetarian Restaurants in Porto

A few suggestions:

Great link with tips

Check out the suggestions available here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Experience the Portuguese café culture at "A Brasileira"

Not so long ago, coffee shops were, more than to drink a cup of the famous beverage, the place of choice for intellectuals and literati to gather and discuss their ideas. A place to work, study and socialize, the traditional Portuguese café is a must-see for any newcomer to the country.

And what better café to choose than the famous "A Brasileira" in downtown Porto, Rua de Sá da Bandeira. Founded in 1905, "A Brasileira" has a long tradition of quality and flair, taking us back in time to a internet-free world of pen, paper and thought.

Plano B

"Plano B" represents the most brilliant combination of culture, nightlife and architecture in Europe. Built under the most innovative concepts, it holds conferences, talks, art and design galleries, dance and original theatre plays, cinema and concerts from jazz to rock or electronic music. It is also one of the best spots in Porto to taste a wise selection of quality wine, coffee or cheese. A multicultural place, with relaxed environment, located on an historical part of town: here.

For more information on Plano B, you can visit its website or its blog.

Friday, April 25, 2008


A quite interesting and somehow different bar. The "Contagiarte" is the perfect match between nightlife and art.

Here is the location.

Bar - Maus Hábitos

The bar "Maus Hábitos" (which means Bad Habits) is right in front of "Coliseu". It is a really trendy bar, with a modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere. But specially, a really relaxed atmosphere. If there is no free places to seat, people just seat on the ground.

The bar has several different areas and atmospheres. There are always expositions, concerts, parties and activities related with art, because this is meant to be a cultural place. There is also a terrace with table and chairs. Perfect if the weather allows...

A really relaxed place with an amazing atmosphere. A must...

You can find the location here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Foz - Discover the Atlantic

Camões, our national poet, described the Portuguese kingdom as the place "where the earth ends and the sea begins". And what a beautiful coast it is!

You can take the tram ("eléctrico") right by the river Douro close to the Palácio da Bolsa and embark on a scenic ride to Foz, where the river finally joins the sea. Foz is considered to be the wealthiest neighborhood of Porto with beautiful villas and a sea side promenade filled with trendy cafes that almost touch the waters of the Atlantic.

(This picture is by gifted photograph and MIT student, Pedro Pinto)

Bridge D. Luís / Cais de Gaia

One of the best ways to enjoy a magnificent view of Porto and Ribeira, and to get in touch with part of the history of the city, is to walk across bridge D. Luís. On the right of it, if you're facing Gaia, you can see the remains of Ponte Pênsil, an old bridge that was to replace the one that collapsed in an event of the Napoleonic invasion (it was made out of wooden "barcas", which are small boats). There is a panel on the other side of the street that still has candles burning to mark the event. Oh, by the way, Napoleon couldn't conquer us :-)

When you arrive at the Gaia side, you can enjoy an amazing view of Ribeira, have some Port wine, and there are some restaurants with that fabulous view as well, in the "Cais de Gaia". It's impossible not to spot it!

Wikipedia has a nice summary on the history of Porto.

Cais de gaia has a website with a list of restaurants and activities.

"Café Âncora d'Ouro", a.k.a. "O Piolho"

"O Piolho" is one of the favorite meeting places of Portuguese Students (usually after 10pm). Of course you can also eat a good "francesinha" there!

Location here

The Cube

The Cube is a very known spot in Praça da Ribeira. It is, as you expect, a cube. Its location and (lets say) uniqueness make it a good rally point for getting together (which sometimes leads to several people rounding about with inquisitive looks).

One can find it following one of the suggested walks here, in point nr 4 Praça da Ribeira.

That area has several bars and pubs, and is usually very alive at night time.

Yet one more site for information on Porto

This site is from the County Hall with useful information on how to circulate, walks to take, gastronomy, etc.

Have a look at Visiting Porto from Camara Municipal do Porto (County Hall).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For Music Lovers

The city of Porto is very proud of its brand new Philarmonic Hall,
Casa da Música, designed by star architect Rem Koolhaas.

It is possible to take a guided tour of the building, which is located
in Rotunda da Boavista and accessible by metro or bus.

Alternatively you can attend a concert. On Tuesday, May 6, 2008
at 19:30, the famous pianist Ivo Pogorelich will play the
following program:

Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonatas op.78 e op.111 Johannes
Brahms: Intermezzo op.118 n.º 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata para piano n.º 2

For more information, please call +351 220 120 220.

Best restaurant for "Bacalhau com natas"

The best place in Porto for a very traditional (and delicious!) Bacalhau dish, which is "Bacalhau com natas" is the

Restaurante o Lavrador
Rua Brito Capelo, 14 - 16

Capa Negra 2

A fine (and afordable) restaurant for some of the best Francesinhas and Rissóis in town:

Capa Negra 2

Localization here.

In case this is full (it happens) there is another very good restaurant right up the street: Shakesbeer. Localization is available here.

Program for "Queima das Fitas 2008"

The "Queima das Fitas" is a traditional party by Portuguese Students:

Excellent opportunity for meeting new people, going to concerts and ... trying new things :-)

Queima das Fitas

The "Queima das Fitas" is a Portuguese student's tradition in which students celebrate their final year in the University.

Some bars and cafés in Foz

The best Caipirinha in Porto and great brazilian music are in Foz in:

Avenida do Brasil, nr 217

But for nice refreshments during the afternoon, there is the café at the "Praia Homem do Leme".

For the afternoon and the evening, the "Praia da Luz" is a nice place as well.

Bar - Black Coffee

A very cool bar in Aliados, very near the conference Venue, is:

Black Coffee

It's on the right side of the Porto City Hall, if you're facing the direction of the river.

Excellent Sangria :-)

Restaurants - Zé Bota and Papagaio

After the more expensive restaurant, here go the affordable places.

Traditional portuguese food in affordable restaurants in the center of Porto (by Leões):

Restaurant Zé Bota
Travessa do Carmo 16/20, Porto

Restaurant Papagaio
is right by Zé Bota.

Restaurant - Portucale

One of the best restaurants in Porto, with an amazing view over the city:

It can be a bit "heavy" on the wallet, depending on what you order, so beware :-) Worth every penny though.

Restaurant and Bar in Ribeira

My favourite places in Ribeira:


Rua da Lada, 76-78

Welcome to the ITW 2008 Blog!

Dear Conference Attendees of the
IEEE Information Theory Workshop 2008 in Porto, Portugal:

This is YOUR blog!

Its goal is to provide quick dissemination of information and tips about our conference and about the city of Porto, including the best places to eat, sightseeing favourites, hidden treasures, funny stories, local secrets, nightlife opportunities, and everything you can think of.

The first entries will be provided by the local PhD students of the
Networking and Information Processing Group
of the Instituto de Telecommunicações and the Department of Computer Science of the University of Porto.

We will then send out a general login so that attendees can post entries themselves.

Enjoy the city of Porto and ITW 2008!

Best wishes,

João Barros