Porto, Portugal, is a beautiful city with history, culture, and incredible architecture. As a result, Porto offers a wealth of opportunities for Instagram-worthy photos, from the colorful azulejos tiles that adorn many buildings to the intricate Baroque and Gothic details on churches and other structures.
If you plan a trip to Porto and want to capture fantastic shots for your Instagram feed, here are the best spots:
São Bento Train
In the heart of Porto, the São Bento Train Station is a must-visit spot for anyone interested in architecture and history. The station’s grand entrance hall is adorned with stunning azulejos tiles that depict important events from Portugal’s history. The best time to visit is early morning before the crowds arrive. Try to avoid train stations from 10 am until early afternoon.
Known as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores, Livraria Lello is a stunning Art Nouveau masterpiece. Its grand staircase and stained-glass skylight are sure to impress, and the shop’s iconic red staircase is a popular spot for Instagram photos. The best time to visit is early morning or late evening, 30 minutes before they close, to avoid the crowds.
- Hours: every day from 9 am – 19:00
Admission: 5 euros
For stunning panoramic views of Porto, head to the top of the Clérigos Tower. The tower is part of the Clérigos Church complex, built in the Baroque style. The tower’s narrow staircase can be a challenge to climb, but the views from the top are worth it. The best time to visit is early morning before the crowds arrive.
- Hours: 9:00 – 19:00
- Admission: 5 euros
Porto Cathedral is a stunning Gothic structure that dates back to the 12th century. Its ornate façade, and intricate details make it a popular spot for Instagram photos. However, the best photo spots are located inside the Cloister. The best time to visit is early morning or late evening when the light is soft, and the crowds are smaller.
- Hours: opens at 9:00 am
- Admission: 3 euros
The Ribeira de Gaia is one of the most picturesque spots in Porto, with its colorful buildings and charming boats bobbing in the water. However, the best time to visit is in the evening, when the lights come on, and the atmosphere becomes magical.
Palácio da Bolsa
Palácio da Bolsa is a stunning Neoclassical building that was once the stock exchange for Porto. Its interior is filled with ornate details, including a spectacular stained-glass dome. Inside are some amazing photo opportunities. Check out the stairs and the main hall while photographing the second floor. The best time to visit is early morning or late evening to avoid the crowds.
- Hours: 9:00 – 18:30
- Admission: 10 euros (it is a guided tour). Following the tour, you will have free time to wander around and capture pictures.
Chapel of Souls
The church is covered with azulejos tiles. On the side of the church, you will find scenes from the lives of saints and deep blue colors. Located next to the busy street of Proto, it can be challenging to snap a photo of cars and people passing.
Avenida dos Aliados
Avenida dos Aliados is the main boulevard in Porto, lined with impressive buildings and plenty of photo opportunities. Check out the City Hall and the majestic buildings with ornate sculptures protruding from their facades. The best time to visit is early morning, when the light is soft, and the crowds are smaller.
Largo da Pena Ventosa
Largo da Pena Ventosa is a little square surrounded by colorful Portuguese houses. Nearby you will find a lot of cute streets with plants on every corner. Arrive between 9 am and 10 am to get the perfect shot.
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso is one of several of the most beautiful churches, built in a Baroque style, featuring an altar piece by the Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni. The façade is of 1932 azulejo tile work. Make sure to arrive when the church opens to avoid ceremonies or prayer.
- Hours: opens at 10 am
Casa da Música
Casa da Música is a modern concert hall designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. Its striking design, and unique shape make it a popular spot for Instagram photos. Visit the rooftop for a fantastic photo-op! The best time to visit is in the afternoon when the light is best.
Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
The Jardins do Palácio de Cristal are beautiful gardens on a hill overlooking the Douro River. The gardens offer stunning views of Porto and plenty of photo opportunities. The best time to visit is in the morning or late afternoon when the light is soft.
- Hours: 8:00 – 21:00
Igreja do Carmo
Igreja do Carmo is a stunning Baroque church with an ornate façade and intricate details. From the entrance, the church is grey, but as you walk to the side is the iconic azulejos tile wall. Morning is the best time of the day to get the best shot!
Porto is a city filled with colorful tiles, breathtaking architecture, and iconic Baroque and Gothic churches, great for any back-drop to a photo. Porto offers plenty of opportunities to capture that perfect Instagram shot. Grab your camera and explore the best spots in Porto.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.