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About ME

Hi there, I'm Donna! A restless wanderer,

a perpetual dreamer. I may be in my 40's now but that doesn't stop me from living the life that i love, the life of travel.

Most Instagrammable Spots in Porto, Portugal


Porto is one of my favorite cities in Europe. It is a World Heritage City vibrating with history and filled with beautiful spots. Porto is claimed to be the most romantic city in Europe and has long served as an inspiration to poets, writers, painters and lately to instagrammers. I, being an instagrammer myself made the list below as some of my favorite IG spots in Porto.


1. San Bento Station (Estacao De Sao Bento)

Praca de Almeida Garrett, 4000 – 069 Porto

24 hours

Free of Charge (unless you take the train of course)

For instagrammers Porto has become synonymous to the Sao Bento Station. And why not?! This train station is easily one of the most (if not the most) beautiful station around the world. The 20,000 tiles that adorn it makes for the perfect IG photo.

With its growing popularity over the years, it has become a top tourist attraction in Porto. And so, not only do you have to contend with the commuters but with the tourists as well.

Tip: Go early. You will still have to deal with the crowd with the arriving passengers but you will have better chance of getting photo any other time of the day. Not an early person, be patient, you will find that window without people it just takes a little longer.


2. Livraria Lello

Rua das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto

9:30 am - 7:00 pm

8.00 Euro (deductible with book purchase)

This is in the running for the most popular tourist attraction in Porto. From reading google reviews, and bloggers/ig influencers experience of having to deal with huge crowd, I was almost afraid to go. So, for the longest time, I was hemming and hawing about going here that we ended up checking it out on the last day of our stay at the last hour. Yes, curiosity won, I needed to see what is said to be the most beautiful library in the world, with or without photo during the visit.


But that is not to say, we didn’t concoct a game plan. Not the most original I'm sure but hey, no harm in trying to beat the crowd right.

My rationale is that going to touristy spots first thing in the morning almost always works for us, but as this library opens late, I reckon that more people would be awake at this time wanting to visit during opening hours. So we went at 630, last time available when you book a ticket online. The plan is to try to stick around until the very last minute, be the last customer out till they start kicking us out and have a quick snap. So did it work?! Partly yes, but the perfectly executed plan wasn’t as perfect at all. We made one mistake, which I hope you will all learn from. That is to bring a fast and reliable lens. Hubs normally, takes several lens when we set out to take photos. But for our visit here, as we were avoiding to take huge bag(as you needed to deposit it outside), he bought just his camera with an extra lens. A fish eye lens with an extender that is not compatible to a camera that he recently upgraded too. As a result, we had beautiful BLURRY photos.

Note too, that we came during winter which is supposedly the lean season, but believe me there were still people queuing to get in. So whatever season you decide to go book your tickets online to avoid the line. Also avoid bringing huge bags because you will be required to leave it another place which will take away from your time.


Other tips:

If you are willing to shell out more money, buy the "ticket voucher gold" online for 15.90 euro. This means that you get priority entry with a book reservation.


If you can’t get away with a crowd. Try doing a composite photo. It's an easier way of removing people from your photo.


Offer to take other people’s photo and give them room to take a picture. Often this act is almost always reciprocated. During our visit I have offered to take photos of others and so when it is our turn to have our photos taken they made sure that we also have our space and moment to do our thing.


3. Chapel of Souls (Capela de Almas)

R. de Santa Catarina 428, 4000- 124 Porto

Free of Charge

Enrobed in the finest azulejo, the Chapel of Souls is a sure standout church. If you are into tiles, then this church is a must visit. The tilework of this church is sure to illicit countless of oohhs and ahhs from you. The front and right side of the church is decorated with tiles to its entirety, sans the windows.

This church is located right by the street, so taking a photo can be really challenging because of its busyness from pedestrians and cars. The earlier you can get here, the better. Less human & car traffic.


4. Igreja do Carmo

Rua do Carmo, 4050-164 Porto

Free of Charge

Another blue/white tile decorated church. The tile décor here is more on the minimalist side in comparison to the Chapel of Souls. Also located by the street, so again a bit tricky finding the spot empty. I did find it less busy during weekends early morning. As it is a non working day, the locals doesn’t set out and about too early in the morning


5. Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

R. de Santo Ildefonso 11, 4000- 542 Porto

Free of Charge

In keeping with the tile theme, here is one more for you. Not as heavily tiled, as the previous two but just as beautiful. The front façade of the church is the most photogenic part of the church. One caveat though, if you go too early the gates are closed and you might not want it for your photo. If this doesn’t bother you, then go for the early shoot. Otherwise go later, however the place gets busy as various sellers have stall in front of the church.


6. Porto Cathedral (Se de Porto)

Terreiro de Se, 4050- 573 Porto

9:00 am - 5:30 pm

Porto Cathedral is one of the oldest and most iconic churches in Porto. While the exterior of the church is devoid of azulejos (tiles) that is found in the previously aforementioned churches, the church' interior is another story – there’s a whole lot of IG worthy spots from inside.


Tip: We arrived at the church before its opening hours, took photos outside and as soon as it opened we went in. We had the place to ourselves for a good 15 – 20 minutes. As soon as other guests started coming we moved to the next spot/floor. So we get to take photos without disturbing others.


Go all the way up. I huff and puff going up (im not the fittest person in the world) but the view is totally worth it.


7.Igreja de Santa Clara

Largo Primeiro de Dezembro, 4000-404 Porto

9:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

4.95 Euro

Just like Porto Cathedral, from the exterior of Santa Clara you might surmise that it is an unassuming, undecorated church. But check out the interior and you will be blown away. It is maximalism and opulence at its finest.


8.Capela de Fradelos

R. Guedes de Azevedo 148, 4000-267 Porto

Free of Charge

Possibly one of the most underrated churches in Porto. Here’s the thing about Porto, tiles are a dime a dozen and I guess, people on a short visit tends to visit first the ones with the strongest impact at first sight. So having said this Capela de Fradelos doesn’t get that much recognition as its exterior is not just as fabulous as the others. But go check it out from the inside and you will certainly change your mind. It’s too pretty to pass.


9.Teleferico de Gaia

R. Rocha Leao 236, 4430 – 210 Vila Nova De Gaia

This particular photo spot is free of charge and is open 24 hours. If you are tile fatigued (honestly didn’t happen to me), then switch it up. Porto offers a variety of sights not only tiles. Have a photo of the bridges, the city or capture them all in one frame. I love this spot as it easily captures Porto, the Douro River and the Dom Luis I Bridge from one angle and the Bridge Arrabica from another angle.

Mornings are quieter here, sunset is absolute madness, night is a little less crowded. If you have the luxury of time, check it out at the different times and feel its different vibes at different times.


10. Douro River


The Duoro River is undoubtedly pretty and picturesque. It's a sight that is quintessentially Porto. From whichever angle you capture it, for sure you will have a beautiful image.

Here are some of my favorite spots to take photo of it:


11. Dom Luis I Bridge

Ponte Luis I, Porto


There are six bridges in Porto, the most famous and most photographed of which is the Dom Luis I Bridge. It is truly an iconic landmark of Porto. Photographers and instagrammers will have a field day experimenting with angles,

It can be photographed from up (Batalha), down Duoro river bank, low, left,right, Porto or Gaia side. As for us, below are some of our favorite places to photograph it.

 

12. Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

Largo Aviz, 4430-329, Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto

Free of Charge

 

Looking for a great viewpoint of Porto, then head to one of the city’s miradouro or lookouts and  soothe your soul with stunning vistas of the city and douro river. Taking a photo from here is as good as having a drone shot.

Tip: Wait for the train. Don’t worry you wont have to wait long as it passes frequently. Early morning shots are easier to take, but the night shots are spectacular albeit the crowd.



13. Passeio Das Fontainhas

This is a favorite sunset spot of the locals and some tourists wanting to avoid the craziness in Dom Luis Bridge. You get to watch the Dom Luis I Bridge from a distance and a vantage view of the several bridges.

From this area you will also find the insta famous spot, overlooking the terracotta rooftops and the bridge. But when we passed by it was closed off. You can off course easily jump over, but as I am a pretty boring person, I didn’t want to engage into an adventure that might involve trespassing into a private residence.

 

14. Majestic Café

 R. de Sta. Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto

9:00 am - 11:00 pm (Closed on Sundays)

Majestic Café is a historic café dating back to 1922. Its ornate façade makes it quite instagrammable.  As the name implies, its truly one of the most majestic cafes, that even Harry Potter writer J.K Rowling stated that it's one of the most beautiful café’s she has spent time to write.

 

15. Steak n Shake

Praca Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 67, 4050-159 Porto

Photo spot accessible for 24 hours, no fee required unless dining in.

For tile and color lovers out there, this is definitely hitting two birds with one stone. While most of the iconic tile spots in Porto is in blue and white shade. Steak n' Shake offers more allure because of the color it offers.

 

16. A Perola do Bolhao

R. Formosa 279, 4000 – 252 Porto

This charming store is certainly one of the prettiest in Porto. It's green color is a refreshing break from the blue tiles dominating the city,

 

17.  Machado Joalheiro

Rua de 31 de Janeiro 198/202, 4000-542 Porto


Continuing with the pretty store theme, here is another one. This jewelry shop with sculpted cherubs is sure to tug at your heart. Built in 1880, it is older than most establishment in Porto including the Sao Bento Station.

 

15.  Case de Vicent

R. de 31 de Janeiro174, 4000-542 Porto


 A few minutes away from Machado Joalheiro is another cute and historic store. Tiled structures often hold top billing in Porto, that other structures get overlooked. Porto (particularly Ru de Janeiro) is loaded with shops that are rococo inspired designed which makes for very good images. The art nouveau architecture of Vicent sure makes for a beautiful and interesting photo.


16.  Reis Filhos

Rue de 31 de Janeiro 247, 4000-542 Porto

Much like the 2 aforementioned stores, Reis Filhos has the defining characteristics of an art nouveu architecture. The cast-iron entrance is definitely attention grabbing.


17.  Farmacia Moreno

Largo Sao Domingos 44, 4050-545 Porto

Founded in 1804, this pharmacy is a delight to photgraph. Austere yet loaded with charm. Not only does it have history in its belt but also aesthethics.

 


18.  Livraria Latina

Rue de Sta.Catarina 2, 4000-442 Porto

Located across Reis Filhos


Hail, library lovers! Livraria lello is not the only library in Porto. So if you missd the chance of having a photo there, here is a chance for a photo is a library that is underrated yet just as pretty.

 

19.  McDonald’s

Praca de Liberdade 126, 4000-322 Porto

10:00 am - 3:30 am

Ok, don’t cringe now! You are probably raising your eyebrows now and saying who would want to go to McDonald's and categorize it as instagrammable. But what have you gotta lose, might as well check out the proclaimed most beautiful Mcdonald's.

 

20.  McDonald’s

Rua du Infante D. Henrique 131, 4050-298 Porto

Now let me push my luck and add another Mcdonalds to this list. This red-tile covered Mcdonald’s sure is pretty and captures beautifully. I personally think it is also very instagrammable and emblematic of Portugal as the façade is covered with red tiles.

 

21.  O Coelho Half Rabit

R. Guilherme Gomes Fernades 42, 4400-266 Porto

24 hours, Free of Charge

One of the most celebrated work of street artist Artur Bordalo or more popularly known as Bordalo II. This Portuguese artist is famous for creating installations from thrash. His work is described as "thrash art". His work is a marriage between art and activism as he showcase the amount of waste and garbage the world is generating.

 

22.  Cat Graffiti

Between Rua das Flores and Rua Mouzinho da Silveira

24 hours, Free of Charge

Are you into cats? Yes?! How about graffitis?! Do you like it. If you do, well then you need to check out this giant cat graffiti and you will love it. This cat mural by Portuguese artist Liquen, is located at the narrowest street of Porto. It’s a bit tricky to photograph as it is painted on wall with a very narrow passage but if you angle yourself well you will definitely manage to snap one.


23.  Porto Tram

A tram is a Portuguese icon. And instagrammers have a sure fondness for trams. Just check out #tram in instagram and Im sure you'll find thousands if not millions. Porto has some of the cutest trams if i may say and Im sure your IG followers will think so too.


 24. Escada dos Guindais

Escada dos Guindais, 43, 4000-477 Porto

24 hours, Free of Charge

Get a view of the iconic Ponte Dom Luis I from this staircase. If you are patient enough, you might even have the train in your photo.

 

25.Largo Da Pena Ventosa

24 hours, Free of Charge


Colourful neighbourhood are definitely delightful to photograph and is certainly a popular IG subjects.

The easiest way to access this is from Porto Cathedral via Rua da Pena ventosa

 

26. Ribeira Square/Ribeira Neighborhood

Praca de Ribeira, 4050-513 Porto

24 hours, Free of Charge

Colourful neighborhoods sure makes for a good IG photo. Check out the Ribeira square/neighborhood and you will find yourself surrounded with colors.

 

27. Farolim de Felgueiras

Jardim do Passeio Alegre

24 hours , Free Of Charge

If you google this lighthouse, it will say its open 24 hours. Except of course on the day that we decided to visit. It's probably information that is irrelevant to you, but it is actually a reminder that not everything (indluding info written here) is guaranteed. There will be times when places we go have deviated from its normal schedule due to unforseen circumstances.

Great sunset spot and if you love photographing the waves.

 

28. Foz do Douro

Rua do Passeio Allegre, 4150-571 Porto


Possibly the one time we took a transportation in Porto, but its all worth it. Take bus 500, strive to take the first seat on the upper level of the bus, and its like going on a beautiful tour around Porto.

Other spots that we missed, but definitely IG worthy,Palacio De Cristal, Palacio De Bolsa, Casa De Musica, Porto Winery.


I love Porto. It is not only worth visting but it is worth revisiting over and over again. Its a city that you can see a lot on a day or a weekend visit (Spots 1-26 are actually all within walking distance of each other). But as for me who loves to take my time and savor the moment in every place Porto deserves a longer time.


Pin for Later, Loves!







 

 

 

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