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Porto Soares dos Reis Museum

The Soares dos Reis National Museum in Porto

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A few steps from the Crystal Palace gardens, the Soares dos Reis National Museum houses one of the finest collections of Portuguese art in the world! Follow the guide!

💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Porto? Captain Ulysses warmly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!

Brief history of the Soares dos Reis National Museum in Porto

The origins of the Soares dos Reis National Museum

Founded by King Dom Pedro IV in 1833 to accommodate the property of monasteries dissolved following the civil war between Portuguese liberals and conservatives, the Soares dos Reis Museum is Portugal’s oldest public art museum.

At the time of its creation, the museum was housed in the Convent of Santo António, east of Porto, and was named Museu Portuense de Pinturas e Estampas (in English “Portuan Museum of Paintings and Prints”).

A century later, for museum’s centenary, it is renamed “Soares dos Reis Museum”. In 1940, the museum was moved to the Carrancas Palace, in the center of Porto.

Soares dos Reis Museum - portrait of a woman

Why is the museum called Soares dos Reis?

The museum is named after the Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis (born in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the other side of the Douro). You’ll find plenty of his sculptures in the museum.

Visiting the Soares dos Reis Museum in Porto

The Carrancas Palace

The Palace of Carrancas is a neo-classical buidling built the Moraes e Castro family at the end of the 19th century.

The palace was converted into the headquarters of the Napoleonic army during the French occupation of the city, before passing between the hands of the troops of the Duke of Wellington.

Be sure to have a look at the palace’s tree-lined courtyard. On sunny days, Captain Ulysse recommends taking the time to have coffee in the museum’s courtyard, away from the city’s hustle and bustle!

Soares dos Reis National Museum - Carrancas Palace facade

The collections of the Soares dos Reis National Museum

Fine arts

The museum houses vast collections of Portuguese art, dating in particular from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Visitors can discover many sculptures by the artist Soares dos Reis, but also a large number of naturalist works from the School of Porto (Silva Porto, Marques de Oliveira, Artur Loureiro, Henrique Pousão…).

Decorative Art

The museum also exhibits beautiful collections of decorative art (antique furniture, ceramics, earthenware, etc.), musical instruments, goldsmithery, jewelry, etc. The decoration of the old palace has also been recreated: the dining room and the music room are particularly stunning.

Don’t miss the oriental furniture and objects brought back from Portuguese explorations in Asia, notably the Namban screens illustrating the arrival from the Portuguese in Japan.


Getting to the Soares dos Reis Museum

The museum is located west of Porto’s city center, between the Livraria Lello, the Clérigos Tower and the Crystal Palace gardens. The nearest public transports are:

  • Metro: Aliados station (line D)
  • Tram: Viriato or Palácio stops (line 18)
  • Bus: lines 18, 200, 201, 207, 300, 301, 302, 303, 501, 507, 601 and 602

Opening hours of the Soares dos Reis Museum

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is exceptionally closed on December 25, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st and June 24.


Admission tickets are €5 full price and €2.50 for the reduced rate (students and seniors). Access is free for children under 12.

The Porto Card also entitles visitors to a 50 % discount.

Looking for tips to plan your vacation in Porto? You might find these articles of interest:
👉 A Guide to Porto: the best things to do
👉 Day-tours around Porto
👉 Visiting Porto with children
👉 Where to eat in Porto? The Captain’s restaurant recommendations
You can also find all of the Captain’s articles on Porto’s must-see sites and monuments here.

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all the Captain’s suggestions in Porto!

🛏️ Accommodation: to book your accommodation in Porto, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Booking.com. From youth hostels to luxury boutique hotels: there’s plenty to choose from. The Captain particularly recommends:
– youth hostels: The Passenger Hostel and Urban Garden Porto Central Hostel
– budget and mid-range hotels: Decanting Porto House and Porto Charming Hotel
– high-end hotels: NH Porto Jardim and The Yeatman.

🎟️ Activities: museums, monuments, guided tours, boat tours, excursions… there’s plenty to do in Porto! To avoid wasting time in endless queues, especially during high season, the Captain strongly recommends that you opt for skip-the-line tickets and book your activities in advance. You can book all your tickets and tourist activities on GetYourGuide and Civitatis.

Cruises: Porto is undoubtedly synymous with Douro! It’d be a shame to leave the “Capital of the North” without embarking on a Douro river cruise. If you’re only staying in Porto for a long weekend, the Captain recommends the six bridges cruise. If you have more time, then he highly recommends the Douro Valley cruise with wine tasting & lunch.

🎫 Citypass: valid from 1 to 4 days, the Porto Card includes unlimited access to city transport (including to get to/from the airport), free entry to 6 museums and a selection of discounts in museums, attractions, Port wine cellars and shops.

🚐 Transfers: you can take the metro at the airport to get to the city center (1/2 hour). But if you’d rather avoid public transport, you can also book a private transfer at very reasonable prices.

🚌 Local transport: you’ll probably quickly tire of Porto’s steeply sloping streets and might be tempted to take local transport instead of walking. The public transport network is convenient and easy to navigate. You can buy your tickets directly at metro stations and bus stops (be careful, you will need to take 1 Andante card per person).
You should also know that access to public transport is included in the Porto Card. Otherwise, sightseeing bus tours are great options to explore the city. You can also opt for a pass including access to hop-on hop-off buses, the funicular as well as tramways.
When it comes to getting around Porto, you have plenty of other options: bikes, electric bikes, segway, tuk-tuk, train… 

✈️ Flights: to book your flights to Porto, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Skyscanner. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.

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