There are lots of parkings where you can leave your car in the city centre, including some beautiful historical buildings, as old as the first cars in Porto.
In the early years of the 20th century, and with the quick proliferation of fuel powered vehicles, there was a need to create good solutions to accommodate them. In Porto, in the 1930’s, some garage where built, and not only with practical reasons, but also as a symbol of a modern and cultural vibrant city.
One of the first parkings that was built, in 1932, was the Garagem do Comércio do Porto. You can find it close to Aliados, on the corner of Rua Elísio de Melo and Praça Filipa de Lencastre. Its architect, Rogério de Azevedo, gave it a modernist look, with four levels of parking and, on the top floors, offices. On the ground floor, close to the payment booth, you can take a peek at some old pictures depicting the building’s early years. It’s close by to AXA Building and right on the nightlife district’s core, so it’s a good option to park when going for a night out.
Almost at the top of Rua Passos Manuel, just in front of Coliseu, you’ll find Garagem Passos Manuel, which opened in 1939 following a project from architect Mário de Abreu. With a pure Art Déco soul, it has 3 parking levels and, at the front, a beautiful neon map of Portugal. On the ground floor there’s a barber shop, and on the fourth level you can find Maus Hábitos, a mix between a bar, cultural association, artistic residency, a vegetarian restaurant and a very nice panoramic view of the city’s centre.This place hosts multilingual Catavino Story Nights – check it out.
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At the far end of Rua do Bolhão stands Silo Auto, a huge seven floor cylindrical structure, conceived by architects Alberto José Pessoa and João Abel Bessa. The first project included an ice hockey rink and a restaurant at the upper levels that were never built. At the lower entrance you can find one of the few city centre’s fuel station, and a newspaper stand. The middle levels are used every now and then by Flea Market Porto, and whenever it rains for a car boot sale.
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With these cool options who wants to park underground?