Wondering where are the best photo spots in Porto? You are in the right place! I will help you discover the most beautiful places in Porto and make sure you get some wonderful postcards from your trip.
Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal and it is famous for colorful houses, quirky vibes, and Port wine. It is one of the best European destinations for a quick city break, some beach time, and great food experiences. Among that, Porto is filled with epic photo spots, cute corners, and unique designs. Basically, it is a photographer’s dream.
My guide of the best photo spots in Porto is going to ensure that you don’t miss a single photo opportunity during your visit! I will add the exact location on Google Maps for every location – just click on the link to find it.
Best Photo Spots in Porto
Below you will find only the best photo spots in Porto together with photo inspiration, location on the map, and some additional photography tips. Additional section for the most Instagrammable cafes in Porto included, so keep on reading and discover the most beautiful places in Porto with me.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Ironically, one of the best photo spots in Porto is located outside of Porto. Yes, Vila Nova de Gaia is another city, and the Luís I Bridge connects it with Porto. Cross the lower part of Luís I Bridge and turn to your right. You will find a nice promenade with some of the best views over Porto.
Many tourists come here to enjoy the views, however, sunset is the best time to capture its beauty. Considering that you will be standing right next to the Douro river, you can easily avoid other people in your photo. Also, this is a perfect place to play with your zoom lens.
Location: Ribeira de Gaia
Igreja do Carmo
Igreja do Carmo is probably the most popular photo spot in Porto and you can’t leave Porto without taking your photo with this iconic azulejos wall. For reference, azulejos are the famous Portuguese tiles that you will find all over Portugal.
If you see the entrance of the church, don’t get worried. It is all grey from the front, but all the cool tiles are on the side of the building. You can either stay on the pedestrian next to the church or cross the street and take the picture from the other side. Make sure you stay central and frame your shot as geometry is the key here.
You might need some patience while the cars are passing by, but it is easy to take a good photo any time of the day. Morning is still the best time, but you don’t have to wake up for sunrise.
Location: Igreja do Carmo
Best viewpoint over Luís I Bridge
Looking for the best sunset photo spot in Porto? You will love this place and the views over Luís I Bridge. It might be a bit tricky to find, but I will leave the exact location below. You will see the stairs that lead to an abandoned house and that is the famous spot. If you don’t want to stay on the stairs, you can sit on the concrete railings or head a bit further to find other stairs that are still in use and take your photo from there.
Unlike other viewpoints, you don’t have much space to take a full-body shot, so a zoom lens won’t work. My photo was taken with a 24mm lens and I personally like how it turned out. I tried 50 mm as well, but you won’t be able to see the entire bridge from this angle.
Location: Passeio das Fontainhas 68
Cathedral is an important attraction in Porto and it is one of the oldest monuments in the city. You can see it from the outside and visit Cathedral for free, but the best photo spots and more azulejos are located inside the Cloister. The entrance ticket for the Cloister is 3 euros and it opens at 9 am. I suggest arriving sometime before opening time, so you can be one of the first to enter.
It is going to get busy no matter what, but with a bit of patience, you can get some great photos. Maybe take some test shots before, so you know exactly what you want. I usually test different lenses and poses with people in the back, so I know what to do when I have few minutes of no crowds around.
Location: Porto Cathedral
Largo da Pena Ventosa
Largo da Pena Ventosa is a little square in the heart of Porto surrounded by typical and colorful houses. If you are arriving from Porto Cathedral, you will find a lot of cute streets with plants on every corner with Largo da Pena Ventosa at the end of the street. Just waiting for you to take a photo!
Back in the day, this used to be a hidden gem in Porto, but now you can easily find it on Google Maps and you might meet other photographers around trying to snap a photo. There is also a bar in the square, so I suggest you come here early in the day. Not for sunrise, but anything between 9 am and 10 am would be perfect.
Location: Largo da Pena Ventosa
Bolsa Palace is one of my personal highlights of Porto and I would say it is still a hidden gem in Porto. The building was constructed mid-nineteenth century in a neoclassical style and is situated in the city center. Inside you will find multiple unique rooms, an impressive staircase, and a huge hall with marble and gold details.
This means that you will have a lot of photo opportunities inside here. I recommend you take some photos on the stairs and in the main hall while your photographer is on the second floor on one of the balconies. A wide-angle lens will be the best choice for Bolsa Palace.
The entrance fee is 10 euros and it comes with a guided tour in Portuguese, Spanish, French or English. You will need to join the group to visit Bolsa Palace and the tour takes around 30 minutes. After the tour, you will have some free time to wander around and take pictures. It is open from 9 am to 6.30 pm.
Location: Bolsa Palace
São Bento Station
Yes, you read that right. The next one on the list of best photo spots in Porto is a train station. But it is probably one of the most beautiful train stations that I have ever seen and it has a Portuguese touch that makes it unique. And another good reason to add it to your Porto itinerary.
As you can imagine, the train station is a busy place and people inside the station are in a rush, so they won’t be waiting around for you to take a photo. But from my experience, there is a moment between trains, when you can get it partially empty. So once again, take some test shots and embrace your patience. Avoid the train station from 10 am until early afternoon – that is the time when all the tourists come to visit, so it might be extra challenging.
Location: São Bento Station
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
This is another beautiful church that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Porto. The church was built in a Baroque style and features a retable by the Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni. It has a little square in front of the church and a facade of 1932 azulejo tile work – everything you need to take a beautiful photo.
The church opens around 10 am, so I suggest you visit it before opening time. Locals go there for ceremonies or praying, so I think it is better to take your photo before it gets busy. If you want to capture the church, anything between a wide angle and a 35 mm lens will look great. I used a 50 mm lens to create a portrait instead.
Location: Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
Ribeira is the most famous neighborhood of Porto, however, Ribeira means riverside in Portuguese and that is where I want you to go. I don’t have a particular spot to recommend here, because the opportunities are endless. You can create unique angles with the bridge, zoom in on the houses of Porto or just take some photos with the Douro itself.
This is why you can bring all your lenses and get creative. But keep in mind that this is a busy area for locals and tourists, so you will have to come early. Either way, it might be very challenging to take a good photo. And golden sunrise light will reward you for waking up early, so you can sacrifice a bit of your sleep, right?
Chapel of Souls
It is another azulejos-covered church, but I have to say that this one looks the most impressive when it comes to photos. On the side of the church, you will find scenes from the lives of saints and deep blue colors. Surprisingly, other churches are more photographed and that is because it is not easy to take a photo here.
Chapel of Souls is located right next to the busy street of Porto. Between cars and people, it can be difficult to take a photo. And you have to be careful because the photographer has to stand on the street, so this means tripod photography is almost impossible. But with a bit of patience, you can do everything! Just don’t forget to bring a wide-angle lens, because it looks the best.
Location: Chapel of Souls
Escadas do Barredo
This area of Porto dates back to the Middle Age and it used to be a red light district. Nowadays, it is a hidden gem or Porto and offers many cool photo opportunities. If you are familiar with Portuguese, you already know from the name that this involves a lot of stairs. This is why I suggest you start from Capela Nossa Senhora das Verdades and head down to Miradouro Barredo e Jano.
You can photograph some typical Portuguese houses, colorful doors, locals hanging around, or some views over the Douro. I suggest playing with a wide-angle lens as the streets are tiny and the space is limited. Once again, get lost and get creative.
Location: Miradouro Barredo e Jano
Jardim do Morro
Jardim do Morro is one of the best sunset spots. Even if you don’t care about photos, you can’t leave Porto without seeing the sunset from Jardim do Morro. It is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, but you have a fantastic view over Porto with the curves of the Douro and the golden sun setting over. Pure magic if you ask me.
You can take the cable car from the promenade on the lower side of Vila Nova de Gaia or take a metro from Porto. If you decide to walk, make sure you are on the upper side of Luís I Bridge to avoid the climbing afterward. And you will get some nice views from the bridge as well.
Update! You might see a lot of guides suggesting climbing the famous rock in Vila Nova de Gaia for some epic views, but currently it is under construction and not accessible.
Location: Jardim do Morro
Livraria Lello is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and it is located in Porto. So you simply have to include it in your list of best photo spots in Porto. Harry Potter fans probably have heard about this place as there are rumors that J. K. Rowling found some inspiration for her books after visiting Livraria Lello.
However, it comes with a price. Everyone visiting Porto wants to see this place, so the lines get crazy. The bookstore is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm and the entrance fee is 5 euros. If you want to avoid the crowds, come here 30 minutes before closing time or during lunchtime. Even better if you are visiting during the low season.
Location: Livraria Lello
More Portuguese houses
If you are looking for more hidden gems in Porto, you will love this location. It is similar to Escadas do Barredo, but it doesn’t require any climbing, so might be an easy solution for some of you.
You won’t see this location all over Instagram, so this is your chance to try something new, yet authentic and cool. This also means that you can easily snap your photo any time of the day. I used a 24 mm lens for my photo as there is not a lot of space to capture the entire house.
Also, take a walk in this area of Porto. You might find more photo spots!
Location: R. dos Pelames 55
Pérgola da Foz
Located further away from central Porto, Pérgola da Foz offers a wonderful terrace right on the ocean. This is another wonderful sunset spot in Porto and shouldn’t be missed during your trip to this Portuguese city.
It is a famous attraction, so you might find it busy, especially during the summer. That’s why sunset is the perfect time to visit – you can play with the lights, create some portraits or just capture the beauty of the golden ocean from the terrace.
Location: Pérgola da Foz
The Most Instagrammable Cafes in Porto
Apart from tourist attractions and hidden gems, Porto has some very unique cafes that are great for taking a photo and not only. Which one you should visit?
Cafe Majestic is my personal favorite and it is one of the most popular attractions in Porto. It is a historical cafe with elegant service and exquisite local food. Vogue Café Porto and Lazy Breakfast Club are modern and hip cafes that are built for picture perfect. It comes with modern cuisine, endless coffee options, and great vegetarian & vegan options.
Tip! Don’t forget to visit McDonald’s in Praça da Liberdade. Yes, you read that right. With all the delicious Portuguese food, I don’t advise you to eat at McDonald’s, but make sure you visit this place and I can guarantee that you will be impressed. Certainly, deserves to be on the list of the most Instagrammable cafes in Porto.
This is the end of the best photo spots in Porto and I’m sure that after reading this article you are impatient to get to Porto and create some unforgettable postcards. I believe that these photography tips will help you take epic photos and find the exact locations of the best photo spots in Porto.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.