Situated next to the city of Oporto, Matosinhos is a western beachfront city in northern Portugal. Unlike southern Portugal, it is a quieter and more relaxing seaside town with four civil parishes and mostly Portuguese tourists. Like most of Portugal, this city enjoys pleasant and sunny weather; even in winter, the temperature rarely dips below 15 degrees Celsius. Many hostels in Matosinhos organize beach activities during the summer.
Birthplace to Alvaro Siza Viera, Matosinhos houses a large number of his past and present projects. The most notable of these is the famous Casa de Cha da Boa Nova (Boa Nova Tea House), now converted into a swanky restaurant. The detailed restoration was carried out by the architect himself some 50 years after it was originally opened and includes some of the original furniture designed by the master himself.
Also worth visiting are the Piscinas de Marés (Swimming Pools of the Sea), a swimming pool facility completed in 1973 and one of Alvaro's earliest works that garnered international attention. A pair of two swimming pools built into the rocks on the beaches of Leça da Palmeira (North Matosinhos) and filled with fresh sea water, they are a unique structure designed to blend into the surrounding landscape of Matasinhos. The pools are only open in the summer months and very popular, although you can contact the council to arrange for a viewing outside of their normal opening times.
South of Matosinhos, at the mouth of the Douro river, is the Fort of São Francisco do Queijo, a 15th century military fort whose name is frequently shortened to Castle of the Cheese (Castelo do Queijo). You can catch the old number 1 tram back into Porto from here.
Like many accommodations in northern Portugal, Matosinhos’ hostels are of really good quality and value for your money. Hostel stays in Matosinhos often come with breakfast included.
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