Are you looking for the best Porto Instagram spots? You’ve come to the right place! This Northern Portuguese city is full of charming locations just begging to be photographed. From elaborate azulejo tilework to different viewpoints over the Douro River, your camera will have a busy day.
To help you make the most of Porto’s picture-perfect settings, I’ve curated a list of 25 spots where you’re guaranteed to snap memorable shots. And in order to make things really easy for you, I also added the exact location for each and every one of them.
- 01. Igreja do Carmo (Church of Our Lady of Carmo)
- 02. Sao Bento Train Station
- Se do Porto (Porto Cathedral)
- 07. Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls)
- 08. A Perola do Bolhao
- 09. Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
- 10. Largo da Pena Ventosa's colorful houses
- 11. Painel de Azulejos by Joana Vasconcelos (Steak n Shake restaurant)
- Luis I Bridge
- 18. Lello bookstore
- 19. Gardens of the Crystal Palace (Jardins do Palacio de Cristal)
- 20. Porto sign
- 21. Clerigos Church and Tower
- 22. Ribeira district
- 23. Old tram
- Wrap up
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01. Igreja do Carmo (Church of Our Lady of Carmo)
The Igreja de Carmo is likely one of Porto’s most photographed landmarks. While its front facade may not look all that interesting, its side wall is decorated with beautiful blue and white azulejos, perfectly illustrating the Portuguese craftsmanship of tile making.
For photos that will truly showcase the elaborate tilework, I suggest that to the person pressing the shutter to stand across the street from the church. This vantage point will allow them to fit more of amazing azulejo patterns into the shot.
Now, you do have to get up early to take this photo or be patient, because not only it’s a popular touristic spot, but there’s also a crosswalk there.
📍 Location: Igreja do Carmo
02. Sao Bento Train Station
Sao Bento is no ordinary train station and you’ll definitely agree with me as soon as you step into the building. While its exterior is fairly plain, its interior walls are skillfully decorated with tiles depicting rural scenes and ways of transport, making it a great place to take some cute photos.
It’s just that you’ll need to have quite a bit of patience: since it’s an operational train station, it can get pretty crowded.
Now do bear in mind that this an operational train station so naturally it will be crowded. So have lots of patience and be creative with your angles in order to not inconvenience the passengers going about their day.
📍 Location: Sao Bento Train Station
Se do Porto (Porto Cathedral)
03. Se do Porto (exterior)
While the exterior of Se do Porto (Porto Cathedral) is not as beautiful as its interior, you can still capture some really nice photos of it.
In my opinion, the best angles are from the square in front of the cathedral or from Calcada de Dom Pedro Pitoes street. As always, you’ll need to have a bit of patience, since these are busy spots. Or come here early in the morning.
📍 Location: Se do Porto
04. The gothic cloister (Se do Porto)
When it comes to Porto Cathedral, there is more than one photogenic spot that you’ll want to capture. My favorite however was the gothic cloister. When the light hits just right, you can take some wonderful pics here.
To enter the cathedral you’ll need to pay an admission fee of 3 euros.
📍 Location: Se do Porto
05. The azulejo-covered wall inside Se do Porto
After you visit the ground floor of Se do Porto head upstairs where you’ll find an entire wall covered in white and blue azulejo tiles (practically, it’s located above the gothic cloister).
📍 Location: Se do Porto
06. Porto panorama from Se do Porto
Continue with your visit to Porto Cathedral by climbing until you reach the top of the tower. From there you can admire a lovely panorama of the city with its orange roofs and of course, take some pics while you’re at it.
📍 Location: Se do Porto
07. Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls)
Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls) is a small church covered in its entirely with blue and white tiles. However, since it’s located on the corner of a junction it can be a bit tricky to take pictures of it.
In my humble opinion, the best photos are usually taken from across the street, since that way you’re able to capture as much as you can of the chapel’s tiles.
If you go for the ‘crossing the street’ pose, make sure you have your photographer take pics in burst mode and move quickly. The traffic light doesn’t stay green for too long and you don’t want to obstruct incoming traffic.
📍 Location: Capela das Almas
08. A Perola do Bolhao
A Perola do Bolhao is a small grocery store on Rua Formosa, fairly close to the Chapels of Souls. It has a beautiful Art Nouveau tiled facade, that will definitely make you want to take some pictures.
📍 Location: A Perola do Bolhao
09. Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso is yet another blue-and-white tiled church. By the way, is it obvious by now that these beautiful azulejo tiles are one of the top reasons why Porto is worth visiting?
Here you can experiment with different angles, since in my experience it wasn’t as busy as in other locations. My favorite one was from the lateral ledge (1st picture).
📍 Location: Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
10. Largo da Pena Ventosa’s colorful houses
Largo da Pena Ventosa is a small alley, located fairly close to Se do Porto (Porto Cathedral). It is bordered by colorful houses, making it a very instagrammable spot. There’s also a small restaurant with outdoor seating where you can stop to grab something to eat or a coffee.
I will admit, I didn’t really manage to take the best pics here since I felt a bit awkward to linger for too long as people were enjoying their meals and looking at me:)).
Also, the conditions were not the best: during two out of the three days I spent in Porto there was sand dust in the air brought from Sahara. While it was pretty interesting to see the phenomenon, I wasn’t so happy when I realized that most of my photos were turning either too dark, or they looked a bit orange.
While I discovered how to color correct them, I couldn’t do anything about the actual dust being visible in them.
📍 Location: Largo da Pena Ventosa
11. Painel de Azulejos by Joana Vasconcelos (Steak n Shake restaurant)
The side wall of the Steak’n’Shake restaurant (which seems that it has permanently closed) is covered in a more modern decorative tilework. It was made by Joana Vasconcelos and consists of over 8,000 hand-painted tiles.
📍 Location: Painel de Azulejos – Joana Vasconcelos
Luis I Bridge
12. Miradouro da Serra do Pilar
A double-deck metal arch spanning over the Douro River and connecting Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia, Luis I Bridge is by far the most impressive bridge in the city. You can admire it from several viewpoints, but Miradouro da Serra do Pilar is probably the most known.
It’s located in Vila Nova de Gaia near Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, a former monastery, and it’s a great spot to watch the sunset from.
📍 Location: Miradouro da Serra do Pilar
13. The ledge behind Miradouro do teleférico
While most people ignore it, this spot is a great photo location if Miradouro do teleférico is crowded (and it usually is) because the ledge itself will hide the people below.
You can take as many photos with the Luis I Bridge in the background as you like and in most of them it will seem as if you’re all alone.
📍 Location: The ledge behind Miradouro do teleférico
14. Duque de Loule parking lot
This parking lot is located quite high up so it offers nice views of the Luis I Bridge. You can sit on the cement fence when you have your photo taken, like I did.
📍 Location: Parque de estacionamento Duque de Loule
15. The Luis I Bridge itself (Upper deck)
If you plan to take a photo while walking on the middle of Luis I Bridge’s upper deck, then make sure you are very careful of trams.
📍 Location: Luis I Bridge
16. Passeio das Fontainhas street
You can take a picture with the bridge acting as a background from either the staircase or at street level. During my visit however, the visibility of the bridge was already pretty crappy from the Duque de Loule parking lot due to the sand from the Sahara. Therefore I chose to not go to this spot as well.
📍 Location: Passeio das Fontainhas street
17. Escada Dos Guindais
The way the Luis I Bridge shows up between the houses on either side of this alley reminded me of that iconic frame of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, flanked by two buildings.
📍 Location: Escada Dos Guindais
18. Lello bookstore
Livraria Lello is both one of the most Instagrammable spots in Porto as well as one of the most crowded. Because it was rumored that it was an inspiration for Hogwarts (J.K. Rowling has since denied this), the bookstore tends to attract a lot of tourists.
If you choose to visit it and want to take a pic with the central staircase, then you’ll have to have a lot of patience, but also be quick as silver as soon as there’s no one around. I suggest using the burst mode on your phone to maximize your chances of getting at least a good pic.
Also, don’t forget to look up before you leave! The bookstore has a stunning stained glass ceiling that you would definitely want to see. I’m mentioning this because my fiance actually didn’t know about it and he totally missed it during our visit.
📍 Location: Livraria Lello
19. Gardens of the Crystal Palace (Jardins do Palacio de Cristal)
Crystal Palace Gardens are in fact several small parks, each with a different design. It is said that they were a source of inspiration to J. K. Rowling for the Forbidden Forest in the Harry Potter series. I don’t know if that’s true, but the park is truly wonderful and full of photo-worthy spots.
My favorite instagrammable spot was inside Parque da Quinta da Macieirinha, from where you get a beautiful panorama of the Douro River and Ponte da Arrabida. The best part is that the location is also somewhat secluded, so you can usually have the place all for yourself.
📍 Location: Jardins do Palacio de Cristal
20. Porto sign
If you like big signs with city names as much as I do, you’ll be happy to know that right next to the Pavilhao Rosa Mota – Super Bock Arena, inside the Gardens of Crystal Palace, there’s a big Porto sign.
📍 Location: Jardins do Palacio de Cristal
21. Clerigos Church and Tower
While Clerigos Church is not covered in tiles like most of the other religious sites in Porto, its facade is still quite beautiful. I suggest you take your picture from further down on Rua de Clerigos, with the church in the distant background.
Also, don’t forget to climb the bell tower for the best views of Porto. You can take a nice pic with it too after your visit.
📍 Location: Clerigos Church
22. Ribeira district
Ribeira is one of the most authentic and old districts of Porto. It is also a popular location with tourists and locals alike and there are plenty of spots where you can take some lovely pics.
Make sure you also cross the Luis I bridge to Gaia for some of the best viewing points of the iconic colorful houses in Ribeira.
📍 Location: Ribeira
23. Old tram
The square in front of Igreja de Carmo is a good spot where you can wait for an old tram carriage to pass by. The tram stop you need to keep under observation is called Carmo. Usually, the tram stays here for several minutes, so you can snap some quick photos of it.
📍 Location: Carmo tram stop
I hope you find this guide to the most Instagrammable places in Porto helpful and you’ll snap some amazing photos during your trip. And make sure you check out my other posts as well for more tips about traveling in Portugal.
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