Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, is known for its rich history, colorful buildings, and mouthwatering food. This charming city was built teetering on the hills overlooking the water and harbor.
Porto is an enchanting city sitting on the banks of the Douro River that feels like it was lost in time. Read our guide or directly go through the photo spots to discover the best places to capture the magic on film in Porto.
photo by Christian Lehrian
photo by Nuno Lela
photo by Stefano Mitta
photo by Birgit Bogen
photo by Stefan Gesele
photo by Edward
photo by Antoni Figueras
photo by Bertrand Devillechaise
photo by Herbert A. Franke
photo by Robert Dettman
photo by Herbert A. Franke
photo by Stephan van der Klei
If it wasn’t for the steep hills, Porto would be a city that visitors would gladly walk around in for hours and hours. Every corner brings you to another row of beautifully tiled buildings. The facades of Porto are world-famous for their hand-painted tiles. The entire historical city center of Porto is a UNESCO heritage site, saving these beautiful tiles from being torn down for a chain store.
Walk the city’s streets to capture the street art. Artists have covered the city’s walls in murals and whimsical paintings that elevate the city’s atmosphere.
Livraria Lello Porto is a beautiful old book shop with ties to Harry Potter. It is teeming with tourists so beware of the long line to enter and the entrance fee. Once inside, the rich red carpets, curving wooden staircase, and stacks, and stacks of books make magical photographs. The Majestic Café is an elegant old cafe that also has Harry Potter ties. Be prepared to wait in line if you want a seat.
Porto's famous train station, Estação de São Bento, is covered with porcelain blue tiles. They depict scenes from Portugal’s history with amazing detail. Igreja de Santo Ildefonso is a beautiful church covered with blue tiles.
The Dom Luís I Bridge is an imposing feat of engineering. It has double decks with a metal arch in between. Cross this beautiful bridge to capture amazing shots of Porto.
On the other side, is the town of Vila Nova de Gaia, where the city’s port wine cellars are located. Take a photo from across the bay at Sandeman’s Corner, which has amazing views of the city.
There’s not a lot of modern architecture in Porto. One of the only examples is the stunning Casa da Música. This white concrete music hall has interesting angles mixed in with glass facades.
Porto has a temperate climate which makes it great to visit year-round. This is a very popular tourist destination so expect crowds any time of the year.
The city center has narrow streets and pedestrians are kings. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get around if you are staying somewhere central. The trams in Porto are iconic and can save you from some of Porto’s killer hills.
Porto is located in Portugal, a country with 866 photo spots that you might want to have a look at as well to find even more beautiful places for your next trip.