Oporto Transport Museum
21 June 2015
Part of "The Car in Space and Time" permanent exhibition.
The Oporto Transport Museum is installed in the impressive former Customs House (Alfândega) on the Rua Nova de Alfândega on the banks of the River Douro, just to the west of the city centre. It lies handily on the route of tram service 1 from Infante to Massarelos and on bus service 500 from central Oporto. The first permanent exhibition in the building was inaugurated in the museum on 14 December 2000. This was on the theme of "The car in space and time" and it occupies the second floor of the building. The ground floor is occupied by a smaller changing exhibition room, a pleasantly transport-themed café, toilets and a substantial number of still-functioning offices. The first floor has interactive displays. The permanent exhibition space comprises 2,000 sq. metres and has been set up with the assistance of the Clube Português dos Automóveis Antigos and the Automóvel Clube de Portugal, as well as with finance from the European Regional Development Fund. The exhibition covers the history and technical evolution of the car, as well as the influence of the car on society and the economy. The displays are brightly presented and include a mock-up motor repair workshop.
In 2015 a semi-temporary exhibition of the Portuguese President's cars through the ages provided an additional attraction. However, at that time, a part of the building seemed to have been ceded to a "dinosaur attraction"!
Entry is free to the museum building itself, including the ground floor exhibition. However, the permanent exhibition space does have a modest entry charge. For opening times see the Museum's website. There is still plenty of scope for development of the facilities which also are now aiming to cover the history of the customs facilities in the port area of Oporto.There is a small but pleasant cafe which is decorated with transport artefacts.