Name of attraction
Museu de Portimão
What is it?
The museum offers visitors of all ages the chance to learn about the canning industry of the Algarve and other important historical elements of Portimão and the local area. The museum also has temporary exhibition rooms where different historic, photographic and art displays can be found throughout the year.
What makes it special?
The museum has won and been nominated for a raft of awards, including the 2010 Council of Europe Museum Prize, mainly for its creative presentation of an important part of social history in the Algarve. Although it is not the biggest museum, it manages to present the past in inventive and easy-to-understand formats suitable for everyone from young children to adults regardless of whether you are local and are familiar the Portimão, or a holidaymaker with no prior knowledge.
What to see
Take a tour around the world of the canning industry from the fish coming in from the harbour right into the heads-off hall and on to the all-important tins. Enough of the original La Rose factory has been maintained to get a feel for how it was, while some additional exhibits, including a boat building section, add to the interest.
Why do you like it?
The open-plan layout makes this an easy place to walk around and get up close to the exhibits, with the short films and sound effects adding to the atmosphere. A trip down the stairs in the main body of the museum leads to an underground tunnel which used to be the cistern of the old factory, where you can learn about the Ocean Revival project: four former ships from the Portuguese navy that were sunk just off the coast of Portimão to enhance underwater fauna and flora and to promote diving tourism.
When to go
If the weather takes a turn for the worse then this is a great choice on a rainy day in the Algarve. Alternatively why not include a visit to the museum with a walk along the riverside and do a spot of people-watching as you go.
What could be improved?
The staff are really helpful and there is some free literature to help you navigate the museum, but there is a lack of information in English or other languages, and unless your Portuguese is up to scratch then the significance of some of the exhibits will be lost due to a lack of translation.
If you go to the museum on a Saturday between 10am and 2pm, entry is free. This is also a good time to go and see the temporary exhibitions, without paying again, if you have already seen the main body of the museum on a previous visit.
1 SEPTEMBER to 31 JULY:
Tuesday from 14.30 to 18.00
Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00
1 to 31 AUGUST (summer opening times)
Tuesday from 19.30 to 23.00
Wednesday to Sunday from 15.00 to 23.00
Closed: Mondays and on National Public Holidays
Rua D. Carlos I - Riverside Zone. The entrance to the museum is on the riverside and the museum cannot be accessed from the road side. Head for the Clube Naval and walk along in the direction of Praia da Rocha to find the main entrance hall.
Adults €3, 16-25 year olds €1.50, over 65s €1.50, children under 16 free