James Fanzone Guide to Porto – Super Bock Arena 21 April 2022

The Venue

The gig is held in a domed venue in the centre of Porto, not near to any Metro stations but fairly walkable from anywhere in the centre. The closest Metro is Casa da Musica, which is about a mile from the venue, a 20-25 minute walk but the area is served by buses and taxis too. (See further down for transport guide)

The Super Bock Arena is set in a beautiful English-styled garden, Palacio da Cristal, modelled on the Crystal Palace in London and if the weather is good, a lovely place to wander around prior to the show, with various different gardens and views over the River Douro. The entrance is via the Rua de Dom Manuel II.

Both venues in Porto and Lisbon have Food Courts within the arenas, serving fast food, traditional Portuguese dishes and also a vegetarian place, Green Chef (Portuguese cuisine is very meat and fish heavy, so veggies will find this place good, so as not to worry about what they’re eating!). There are also lots of little cafes and restaurants close by.

Portuguese culture for concerts is very different to ours. They tend to start their shows later, and go out for a meal prior to the show, rather than our “get tanked up by 8pm and fight your way to the front” that we are all too familiar with! You will see very few drinks within the arena and there’s not the emphasis on going to and from the bar all night, and very little jostling or people trying to edge into the barrier, if you are able to get near the front.

The times for the VIP have not been released yet, but are likely to be a little later than those in the UK – check back here as we may be able to add more info closer to the show.

Language Tips

Assuming most people are not fluent in Portuguese, I have found an Amazon owned App called “Say Hi” to be really useful and better translator than Google – you can speak or type into it and also take photos of text for translation.

Getting around Porto

Assuming most people reading this will be arriving into the airport to the north of the City, this is a guide for how to use the Porto Metro system. Despite there not being a station near to the venue, the Porto Metro is very good, cheap and fairly simple, especially if you’ve used contactless on the London Underground, as you need to validate your card as you go into the station on the yellow freestanding ticket machines by tapping on them – you don’t need to tap on the way out tho but you do need to tap again if you change lines.

Depending on when you arrive into Porto, there are a few options for what ticket is best to buy, as if you want to use public transport in the city, you will only need a cheaper Zone 2 card, so it makes sense to buy a single ticket from the Zone 4 airport and then buy a 24 hour Zone 2 card. The exception to this is if you are arriving early in the day, when you should buy an all Zones Tourist card, which will last 24 hours but cover from the airport as well for only a little more than the Zone 2 card.

To use the Metro and Buses, you will need to buy an Andante Card for €0.60 – the easiest way is from the ticket machines at the stations. The machines have an English language button, and you choose the Buy and not the Reload button, and then choose what journeys you need.

A single from the airport will cost €2 and then a 24 hour Zone 2 card €4,15 (prices may have risen slightly but these are the latest I can find) whereas a 1 day Tourist card for all Zones is €7. The tickets are valid for 24 hours from when you first validate them, so if you arrive late at night, it may be better to get the single from the airport and then Reload your card next day with the 24 hour ticket. There is also a 3 day Tourist Card for €15 if you are staying a little longer and will then cover your trips around the city and to and from the airport.

Getting to Lisbon from Porto

If you are planning on getting the train down to Lisbon, it’s best to book in advance – download the CP App, which enables you to book online, choose a seat without having to go to the ticket office at the station.

Links to the Metro tickets and maps are here – the site has some great guides and maps to the City too.

Andante Card Guide – https://www.introducingporto.com/andante-card

Metro Guide – https://www.introducingporto.com/metro

Remember to make a note of the final destination on the line you are on, because, like London, the trains display the end destination and it’s easy to find yourself on the wrong side – like the cars, the trains go on the opposite side to what we are used to.

Google Maps is a very good way for finding your way around – if you put your destination in and ask for Directions, it will give you both a walking route and the best bus and train options too.

Uber is also operational in both Porto and Lisbon, and often the easiest way to get somewhere if your Portuguese isn’t very good! The Uber app works just like at home, and will charge you automatically too. Bolt, Cabify and Kapten are also operational in the city.

If you have some time in Porto, the Tourist Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Buses are also a really good way to get around, and may be an alternative to getting the Metro Card. The Andante tickets work for Metro and Buses but not the Funicular or trams, or the private tour buses, but the tour buses are great to get your bearings, get to all the sights easily and as a bonus, stop close to the venue! They won’t be operational after the gig though.

The Hop On Hop Off Buses – https://www.introducingporto.com/porto-hop-on-hop-off-bus

Do try to visit the stunning Sao Bento station whilst you are there – the band played that famous free gig there back in 2014 and it’s a stunning setting.

Covid Restrictions

Below is an article from the iNews at the end of March 2022 along with the Government website, regarding the latest restrictions in Portugal. Note that masks are mandatory in most indoor settings and take enough to last you. They may also be mandatory in the venue, so be prepared.

If you are fully vaccinated, you will only need to complete a passenger locator form to enter the country. You can also provide proof of recent infection (within 180 days) or if you are not vaccinated, you will have to provide a LFT or PCR result, done by a professional body NOT a self-administered one.

You will need to show your vaccination status or proof that you are not Covid positive. In your NHS App, if you click on the NHS Covid Pass tab, you will see a Travel section, where you can download all your vaccination records to a pdf, or Google Pay or Apple Wallet to show at the airport or anywhere needed.

iNews article – https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/portugal-entry-requirements-latest-travel-rules-vaccines-tests-1542868

Government website – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal/entry-requirements

Passenger locator form – https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card

Link to a downloadable, Zoomable map of Porto – https://www.mapsland.com/maps/europe/portugal/porto/large-detailed-tourist-map-of-porto-city.jpg

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