Vibrant, historical, bubbly, beautiful and utterly infectious – Gay Porto is quickly becoming one of the most popular under-the-radar gay tourist destinations in Europe.
While the UNESCO Listed Old Town and centuries of history are appealing, we love Porto for the sheer amount of entertainment available by night and day, the burgeoning arts scene, all the delicious food, its laid-back lifestyle and yes – the legendary Porto gay nightlife. It’s almost as good as Lisbon. Almost.
LGBT acceptance in Porto is pretty high – even by Western European standards – and Portugal has some of the most progressive gay rights with gay marriage, same-sex adoption, a simplified process of legal gender identification and even a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation enshrined in its Constitution.
All this means you will find plenty of gay couples wandering the streets of Porto, posing for photos next to colorful doorways, getting cozy in any one of delightful cafés and just generally enjoying life.
If you want a bit more than the diverse gay nightlife on offer, Porto’s gay scene also serves up a variety of cultural events. The biggest of these is the annual Porto Pride in July, and there is also the Porto International Queer Film Festival in October. Plenty of smaller events throughout the year you often can only find out about by asking around after you arrive.
Throw into the mix all those gorgeous Portuguese bodies, boutique museums and art galleries, plenty of sunshine and various day-trips to vineyards/beaches and you begin to understand why so many gays are flocking to Porto.
While Porto might still be a little conservative compared to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, and the likes, gay travelers can feel entirely at ease in this liberal society and are unlikely to have any problems whether you visit for a night, a week or to live full-time.
Gay Porto Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Porto Portugal 2019
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Gay Porto
Naturally being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see when traveling and – generally speaking – queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Porto during the day! Porto is a very safe city, but still, all travelers should take caution in crowded areas or at night in bars with valuables.
There is so much to do here – but we found our favorite memories were just sitting, drinking wine in a gorgeous street-side cafe or getting lost only to find beauty in the strangest of places. Still – it helps to have some kind of idea what is going on, so here are our must-see attractions in Porto that you should not miss!
- Enjoy great coffee – Take a break, relax and check out our favorite coffee spots – Cafe Majestic and Brasileira. What’s the hurry right?
- Rafting in Arouca – Ready for a rafting adventure on one of the most beautiful rivers in Portugal? Whats not to love! You will meet a rafting guide at the beautiful Lusorafting location on Espiunca beach. The guide will provide you with all of the equipment, a rundown of what the day will look like, and of course, the required safety measures you will take. You can choose from either a Class III or IV ride, both lasting a duration of about 3 hours. Once you are finished with the wild ride you will return to Espiunca beach at the departure location. Do not miss out on this opportunity to take a wild ride down the Paiva River!
- Surfing – Hire a car or take a tour to surf the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. If you know what your doing there are some great brakes for advanced surf fanatics or there are some sweet spots for beginners. Nothing is hotter than a hunky surfer right?
- Dom Luís I Bridge – The iconic bridge of Porto you couldn’t miss if you tried. Be sure to take a few minutes to admire its arched steel design dating back to 1880.
- Clérigos Church – A symbol of the city, the Clérigos Church is a Baroque masterpiece with a beautiful marble altar and a 75-meter tall bell-tower visible from much of the town.
- Livraria Lello – This historical bookstore housed inside art nouveau building is famed for its beautiful wooden spiral staircase. JK Rowling used to hang out here when she taught English in Porto before moving back to Edinburgh. It is said Livraria Lello was a major inspiration in her Harry Potter series.
- Casa da Música – Sometimes new is better than old, and this is the case with this recently opened landmark concert venue. Even if you don’t get the chance to catch a performance in this 12-floor concert hall, you can still stop by at the penthouse restaurant The Fork – which is one of the best places to eat in Porto.
- Soares dos Reis National Museum – Art in an 18th-century palace? Ticks two boxes in one. Plenty of Flemish and Portuguese artworks and divine sculptures to marvel at.
- Port Wine Museum – Yes honey, this is our kind of museum. Dedicated to the history of port wine and housed in a historic warehouse, you can learn here all about the influence Port has had on Porto’s social, cultural and financial evolution. And maybe have a bit to drink…
While we love, love, love Porto – you really can’t visit this beautiful part of the world and spend your entire time inside the city limits. You need to hire a car or book an affordable tour but trust us; it is worth it!
Our #1 day trip from Porto has to be to the fabulous Douro Valley where you can sip wine, wander through rolling vineyards, take in all the picturesque views on a river cruise and taste traditional food of the region! After the Douro Valley, if you have extra time, we also loved visiting Guimarães and Braga, the cradle of Portugal with strong medieval vibes and a majestic castle.
Or head to the quaint towns of Aveiro & Coimbra – Aveiro being the ‘Venice of Portugal’ and Coimbra a charming historic university town. There is honestly so much to explore in this area of Portugal … but with such great nightlife and restaurants in Porto, you will find it hard to drag yourself away to do anything else!
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Porto Portugal
As a world leader in LGBT tourism, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Porto can be considered gay-friendly – after all being gay-friendly is not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly service and welcoming guests without prejudice!
However, everybody likes to be surrounded by people with common interests and as such there are a few hotels in Porto favored by the gay jet-set. Most are located around Jardim da Cordoaria – close to all the attractions of Porto by day and night – and offer something unique and unforgettable.
The following gay-friendly hotels in Porto are only the most popular with gay, but there are hundreds of other hotels in Porto if you don’t find quite what you are looking for.
Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Porto has something for everyone!
- Yeatman Hotel☆☆☆☆☆– A luxurious – get this!! – wine spa hotel! What exactly does that mean? Precisely what you’re thinking actually… A world-class spa, delightful bar well stocked with all the best wines and a prime position opposite the old town. Every room in the Yeatman has panoramic views with private terraces to enjoy them from yet this fabulous retreat is only a short drive or walk to anywhere you need to be. Probably the best hotel in Porto, this is one stay you will never forget.
- InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas ☆☆☆☆☆ – The most gay-popular hotel in Porto, and it’s easy to see why. Set in a former 18th-century palace you can truly be the queen you were always meant to be, surrounded by luxurious interiors and extravagant details like marble bathtubs and high ceilings. Oh, and the on-site spa is pretty amazing too. Everything you need is only a short walkway, and you’re more than likely to bump into other gay tourists over breakfast or a cocktail at the bar.
- Hotel Infante Sagres ☆☆☆☆☆ – A historic hotel in the heart of the city. Get transported back in time from the second you walk through the front doors of Hotel Infante Sagres – meet with a glass of port on arrival of course! Recently renovated and kept in immaculate details, if you’re a fan of period design, this is the hotel in Porto for you.
- Hotel Teatro ☆☆☆☆ – A refined and actively gay-friendly hotel – the Teatro Hotel Porto is another gay-popular choice known for it’s modern and funky design, enviable location and cozy rooms, many of which have quaint city views. Completed with strong bohemian vibes, a well-stocked bar, and a beautiful inner courtyard to relax in.
- Palacio Fenizia ☆☆☆ – A gay-popular romantic retreat in Porto housed in a fabulous bourgeois residence dated to the early 1900s. Palacio Fenizia is one guest-house we are completely living for! Expect stellar interior design elements, large suites and a boutique hotel in Porto which is full of heart-and-soul.
- Maison Nos B&B ☆☆☆ – A cute gay-friendly B&B in the historic zone of Porto with absolutely rave reviews, modern yet respectful interior design and a delightful breakfast. An excellent money-for-value option and will have you feeling like a local in no time!
- Gallery Hostel ☆☆ – A hip LGBT friendly hostel in the happening Miguel Bombarda arts quarter. Housed in a 1906 building with whimsical design, artist-inspired private rooms, and popular dorms – all topped offer with regular art exhibitions, library, a rooftop terrace, and bar. If you’re on a budget or want to meet up with other travelers before heading to the bars Gallery Hostel in Porto is your best bet!
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Porto
Porto is fast becoming one of the most popular gay travel destinations in Europe, in no small part due to the vibrant gay nightlife scene in Porto and plethora of intriguing LGBT-friendly venues! Anyone who knows anything about the Portuguese knows they love a good festa, and while Porto might be laid back and chilled by day, it’s nightlife is anything but!
New gay bars and club events are popping up consistently, so it pays to ask around when you arrive, but at the moment these are the most popular nightlife spots, gay bars, and gay clubs in Porto. Things will get crazy – but just go with it!
- Invictus – The place for splendid drag in Porto, a night at Invictus never fails to disappoint with sweet cocktails, a slightly more mature crowd, and fun shows. Decor could probably do with a bit of an update but still a very welcoming atmosphere. An institution of the gay scene in Porto.
- Pride Coffee – A gay cafe by day and a chilled social hangout by night – Pride Coffee is perfect for meeting other queer travelers. With regularly scheduled events and guest DJs late into the evening, Pride Coffee Porto is always an excellent choice, and gay life here would not be the same without it!
- Bar Conceiçâo 35 – Almost too cool for us, this is *the* place to be for gay-hipster realness. Scrumptious food during the day, but it’s at their Happy Hour that things really get going. On the weekends they pull out the tables for a vibing dance floor where sexy things shake their moneymakers til dawn. Plenty of great parties in Porto are regularly held here, so check out the Bar Conceiçâo 35 Facebook page in advance.
- Café Lusitano – Gay favorite cafe with plenty of sophisticated cocktails and wine complemented by the gorgeous 1950’s Parisian interior. Things can get wild in the weekend with international Dj’s and plenty of dancing.
- Fabrik – Industrial-chic with delicious cocktails, beautiful bartenders, and epic themed parties. Gay-popular, so if cool and trendy is your style you’re going to just love it at Fabrik Bar.
- Bar Labirintho – A uber-cool space attracting a mixed crowd, the focus here is being a ‘cultural’ bar where anyone can enjoy music, art, classical music, live jazz and more. Different events are held weekly and draw in very diverse crowds. Unique and welcoming, even if a show is not on, the back garden is perfect for a relaxing cocktail!
- Pride Bar NightClub – Oh halleloo!! Hot Portuguese go-go shows (both men and women), plenty of cheap drinks and a celebration of queerness every weekend. What’s not to love! Expect a medley of gay anthems, themed parties, drag show attended by gays and lesbians – and all those who support them. If all else fails, Pride Bar Porto is the place to be!
- Zoom – Along with Pride Bar, Zoom is the other main gay club in Porto you need to visit. Found in a very cool rundown warehouse, expect all night gay dance euphoria with electronic dance music and an eclectic bunch of people. Zoom is a lot of things, but never boring!
The famous Porto gay bar Spartakus has now closed permanently sadly.
Gay Saunas in Porto
Had enough of gay cruising in Porto – either in the bars or elsewhere? If you desire a bit more guaranteed action, the gay saunas in Porto will not disappoint you (unlikely all those faceless Grinder accounts…).
In such a foreign-friendly city you should have no issues visiting any Porto gay sauna
, though a few words in Portuguese never hurt. But you could always check out our first time gay sauna guide
for some easy hints and tips.
- Sauna Thermas 205 – The most popular gay sauna in Porto. A variety of different guys are drawn to this surprisingly big space with dark rooms, glory holes, private cabins, and a cinema. Theme nights at Sauna Thermas 205 Porto are a big hit and probably the best time to go – but you’re unlikely ever to find their Turkish bath or sauna dull!
- Sauna Camoes – The oldest gay sauna in Porto which has been running for over 20 years (formerly know as Tipo Sauna Porto). Kitted out with modern facilities, a sauna, shower and both small and large private cabins for when you want some privacy. A good mix of young foreign guys and older locals plus a sociable living rooms with adult movies always on.
- 1906 Club – Gay Sex Parties in Porto holding 2-3 different events monthly. Members only so make sure to register in advance for the event on their website. Various themes and locations. Discretion is vital, but tourists are always happily welcomed.
Sauna Spartakus in Porto is now permanently closed.
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...