Passos Manuel Street is one of the only streets in Porto that had never change its name!
It is a tribute to Manuel da Silva Passos, who was an important figure during the beginnings of the constitutional monarchy in 1877. He was also the responsible for the creation of the Fine Arts Academy and the Polytechnic Academy.
The first part of Passos Manuel Street went up until to the crossing with Santa Catarina Street in the lands that were donated by D. Antónia Ferreira. Later the street was extended until Praça dos Poveiros. Going up Passos Manuel Street you can find some great buildings full of history, for example:
– Ateneu Comercial do Porto (meaning something like ‘Cultural association of the Tradespeople of Porto’), founded in 1869 and located at No. 44 at Passos Manuel Street since 1885. Back then, the Ateneu hosted various cultural activities to the bourgeois, like balls, soirees, and gatherings. It also has a reading room and a library that, among other rare books, holds one first edition of «The Lusíadas» and a bible dated from 1500!
– The famous Coliseu do Porto, opened in 1941 and is designed by Cassiano Branco. It took 22 years to complete the construction of this building! It first belonged to Garantia Insurance Company, but nowadays is one of the most important concert halls in the country, hosting great spectacles of music, ballet, opera, cinema, circus and so on.
– The old Olympia Cinema, just beside the Coliseu. This building was designed in 1912 by the architect João Queiroz (also responsible for the Café Majestic, just around the corner). The Cinema was founded by Henrique Vieira Alegria and worked vividly until the 60’s and 70’s. In the 80’s it was transformed into a gambling house and today is a nightclub.
Up to today, Passos Manuel Street remains one of the most vivid areas in Porto’s nightlife. From restaurants to bars, including a theater and nightclubs, this lane has it all. Here’s our own itinerary on what to check on this street, walking up all of its 180 meters of hilly fun:
Start on the crossway of Passos Manuel Street with Aliados Avenue: there you can visit Culturgest, a cultural center that hosts contemporary art exhibitions and the entrance is free of charge! Stop at Tostinhas for a quick snack (they serve delicious hot sandwiches) and check what’s on at Rivoli theater – maybe you can get a ticket for a great contemporary dance show.
Go up until you reach the Coliseu and look for Passos Manuel, a cool bar that hosts some great movie festivals. If you’re still feeling hungry you have two options: go to Maus Hábitos for a great pizza or maybe a vegetarian meal (and a few drinks, of course) or go to Café Santiago, known as the best Francesinha in the city (it may have a line outside). If you’re craving some traditional Portuguese food go straight to Escondidinho – a restaurant opened in 1931 that serves the famous lampreys. You can finish your night in one of the many nightclubs in the street (