Sometimes my photographs don’t cut it, and this is one of those instances because this place is only cool if you can hear it.
So the rather bland-looking pics below show the interior of a former three-storey shopping centre in Porto. Built in the '80s, it was a major flop and within five years the place had closed down. Ten years passed before a few musicians decided the empty shops would make good rehearsal studios, and slowly but surely the musos moved in. Nowadays the old shops are rented out to hundreds of musicians, and as you walk through the dark, empty corridors you can hear music pumping from behind closed doors – with every few metres the soundtrack changes. It’s a nifty little community-driven project.
If you’re on the hunt for this building it’s called ‘Stop’ (or CCStop - short for 'Centro Comercial Stop' - where 'centro comercial' is what shopping centres/malls are called in Portugal, and 'Stop' is the name of this particular former shopping centre), and is right near the Heroísmo metro station on Rua do Heroísmo. There's a small, grungy cafe on the ground level where you can grab a cheap beer.
If I stumble upon anything I think is worth checking out in Portugal you'll find it here. I've also included links to articles I've written about Portugal for national and international publications.