Oporto remains a conservative and closeted city, with its very first Pride Week having only taken place for the first time in 2001 and the annual pride march only in 2006. But the march does have the honor to go down the main avenue, Avenida dos Aliados, indicating that the city is slowly opening itself up to gay life.
Unlike Lisbon however, there is no traditionally gay neighborhood. There are a few gay bars, but no gay hotels.
The bars are known to have a typically laid-back and party atmosphere. There are also a few gay-friendly spots such as "Aniki Bobo" where gays discreetly go to see and be seen, and to simply enjoy the night.
Boys 'R' Us
Boys R Us is Oporto's best-known gay club located for over a decade right in the center of the city (it's close to Clerigos Tower). It is open on weekends until 2h30AM but the dancing goes on until 4. Expect plenty of flashing lights, loud music, and dancing queens (and the occasional drag show). Despite the name, girls (read: lesbians) are also often part of the crowd.
Address : Rua Dr. Barbosa de Castro, 63
Tel : +35(0)91 754 9988
Classifying this as a gay-friendly straight bar or as a straight-friendly gay bar depends on who you ask. It's perhaps both, depending on the night. It's both a bar and an art gallery so any given night may be straight, gay, mixed, or whatever.
Address : Rua Nossa Senhora de Fátima, 334
Tel : +35 (0)22 606 3665
Moinho de Vento
This is the gay hot spot of the moment, located in a medieval building. It is especially crowded on weekends (although only past 11PM or midnight), with a bar area and a dancefloor.
Address : Rua de Sá de Noronha, 76-78
Tel : +35(0)22 205 6883
This bar proudly shows the rainbow flag at the door, and inside, gay, lesbian, or curious dance the night away. It is also known for its flamboyant drag shows.
Tel : +35(0)96 493 6791
Address : Rua do Bonjardim, 1121
Porto's cultural Eden
This world-class museum displays cutting-edge international contemporary art in a striking minimalist building by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alvaro Siza Vieira.
Like the Guggenheim, there is no permanent collection, with temporary exhibitions taking up the entire space, as well as that of the separate "Casa de Serralves," a pink Art Deco construction located by the surrounding formal gardens (which are magnificent and worth a visit in their own right).
Porto's architectural marvel
A twelve-storey, irregular-shaped building and designed by world-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas exclusively for musical performances.
It opened in 2005 and for admirers of architectural marvels it justifies a visit to Oporto on its own.