Friday, April 05, 2013

Rua de Santa Catarina: Shopping, Majestic Cafe and Capela das Almas

So what to do on a nice Saturday morning in Porto? Just before I treat myself to a typically Portuguese fastfood lunch and explore the rest of this amazing city.

Here is the answer:

Shopping in Rua de Santa Catarina

In this Porto trip I was able to score a few items at ‘Rua de Santa Catarina’ and its side alleys. The street and the surrouding alleys are the most famous shopping street and area in Porto. I managed to snag 3 items at Adolfo Dominguez, 2 items at a local clothes store and some shoes at another local shoe store as well.

I wanted to check out the local designer scene as well and even managed to write down the names of the local Portuguese designers but I never came around to checking them out. I am sure there is another time. But in reality I controlled myself because I only have 1 bag, a small carry-on luggage that I do not want to check in and it is already bulging.

Shops are usually open starting at 9AM or 10AM.

Coffee break time at Majestic Café

Then I visited the most touristy and popular café in Porto—‘Majestic Café’ for my needed caffeine fix. I also needed to relax my feet from walking for 2 hours!

I managed to take a peek inside this stunning café and able to appreciate the ostentatious art nouveau interior design, but then decided that it’s better to sit outside for some fresh air and people watching while sipping my frothy capuccino.

The café opened its doors in 1921 and was then called ‘Elite’. It was later renamed to ‘Majestic Café’. The cafe has been lauded by independent travel and tourism organisations as one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.

Majestic cafe is closed during Sundays.

Because the Majestic Cafe is a tourist attraction, tour groups usually stop by here in front to talk about its history and importance, and take pictures as well.

Azulejos tile church appreciation

Further down Rua de Santa Catarina is the beautiful tiled church—‘Capela das Almas Chapel’ decorated with azulejos tiles on the outside which is typically Portuguese.

It’s a church that still serves the community, frequented by many locals, as well as tourists who are enamoured of its blue tiles, and even beggars who seem to know their place outside the main entrance door.

So what more can you ask for in a street? Shopping, cafe and culture (church) =)

Travel Period: March 2013
Destination: Porto (Grande Porto), Portugal

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