Situated in a magnificent garden just west of downtown Porto, the Serralves Museum has become a top city highlight and one of the most influential modern art museums in Portugal. Its permanent collection spans from the 1960s to the present day, with large sculptural pieces scattered throughout the grounds.
Inside the museum you’ll find works from both Portuguese and international artists, including South African painter Marlene Dumas, American Dara Birnbaum, and Portugal native Pedro Barateiro. In the outdoor sculpture garden, keep an eye out a giant trowel embedded in the ground and a pair of enormous red pruning shears.
There are several options for visiting. A basic admission ticket grants access to the museum and gardens, and Serralves Park is also featured on most Porto tours and day trips, whether you want to explore the city in a sidecar, by foot, or on a day trip from Lisbon. The Serralves Foundation is also included on many Porto architecture tours, giving visitors the chance to see prominent outdoor installations.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Serralves Museum is a must-see for art lovers and first-time visitors to Porto.
- Bags and large packages must be checked in the museum’s cloakroom.
- Video and photography are permitted within the museum, but remember to turn off your flash.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum and grounds.
- Most of the museum is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The museum is located roughly 10 minutes by road from downtown Porto. The easiest way to get there is by bus from Porto’s city center. Lines 201, 502, and 504 stop near the museum grounds. On-site car parking is also available for a fee.
When to Get There
The Serralves Museum is open daily, with extended hours on weekends and holidays. If you’re visiting Porto during peak season (May through September), plan to arrive just before it opens or later in the afternoon to avoid crowds.
Architecture of Casa Serralves
The Casa Serralves (Serralves House) was commissioned by Count Carlos Alberto Cabral, the second count of Vizela. It is an impressive art deco estate of tall ceilings, expansive parlors, and clean, ornamented lines. This style gives way to modernism when you walk outdoors, as the garden's plan straightens further into stoic, efficient angles.