Fundação de Serralves (Serralves Foundation Complex)#12 in Best Things To Do in Porto
The Fundação de Serralves comprises a park, a villa and a contemporary art museum all set on nearly 45 acres of land in western Porto. Billed as a cultural institution, the foundation aims to "raise the general public's awareness concerning contemporary art and the environment." The villa and park were the first to open (in the 1930s); the villa is often touted by architecture experts and historians as the most noteworthy example of an art deco building in Portugal and it was declared a national monument in 2012. Inside, the villa is laid out like a private residence (as it was originally such) and hosts temporary art exhibits throughout the year. Situated on one of the highest points of the complex, the villa overlooks the park, which features lush gardens, exotic plants, winding pathways and even a farm. Permanent sculptures pepper the premises as well. Meanwhile, the Serralves Museum opened in 1999 and boasts 14 exhibition galleries across three floors. Today, the museum features rotating art exhibits, music and dance performances, and educational programs.
Although it's a bit removed from other top attractions around Porto, the Fundação de Serralves is well worth a visit for its beautiful gardens and interesting art, recent travelers say. Also, if you happen to be visiting in late May or early June, you can take part in the museum's annual Serralves em Festa festival, which offers a plethora of free contemporary art and cultural events and performances.
The Fundação de Serralves is situated about 3 miles west of downtown Porto, neighboring the beach area of Foz to the east. You can reach the complex by bus route No. 201 from Avenida dos Aliados or 502 along Avenida do Boavista to the Vodafone Serralves stop, or bus No. 203 from the Marqués metro station to the Serralves stop. From October through March, the museum and villa are open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. From April through September, the museum is open one hour later on weekends, while the villa closes an hour earlier. The park also offers extended weekend hours during the summer months and is open on Mondays (from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) from July to September. Museum and park admission costs €8.50 EUR (about $11.75 USD) and park-only admission is €4 EUR (about $5.50 USD). Discounts are available for children and for adults with the Porto Card. For more information, visit the Serralves Foundation website.
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