10+ Beautiful Places to See Azulejos in Porto

Are you planning a trip to Northern Portugal? You will not want to miss these amazing places to see azulejos in Porto!

Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, is known for its rich cultural heritage, with azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles) being one of the best expressions of its artistic legacy. 

These ceramic tiles, often decorated with intricate patterns and historical scenes, adorn many Porto buildings, churches, and public spaces, but you might want to come prepared.

This is why I have gathered a list of the best azulejos samples in Porto! I will add useful tips for visiting each location and some more curiosities about azulejos at the end of the article.

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Where to see the most beautiful azulejos in Porto?

Capela das Almas

Capela das Almas in Porto

The Capela das Almas, or Chapel of Souls, stands out as one of Porto’s most beautiful landmarks and is known for its beautiful azulejo-covered façade. Located in the Rua de Santa Catarina, this chapel is a perfect sample of the rich tradition of azulejo art. 

The Capela das Almas was originally constructed in the 18th century, replacing an older, smaller chapel. However, the azulejos that now define its exterior were added much later, in 1929, by artist Eduardo Leite. 

The azulejos on the Capela das Almas cover approximately 360 square meters, making it one of the largest places to see azulejos in Porto. I am sure you will want to snap a picture of this iconic wall, so come early before the crowds arrive.

Once you have captured the beauty of azulejos, take a closer look at the wall and discover the scenes from the lives of two significant saints: Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine. 

You will alone notice blue tones dominating Capela das Almas and other azulejos covered attractions in Porto. This color scheme became particularly popular in the 18th century due to its association with Delftware and China’s blue and white porcelain.

Igreja do Carmo

10+ Best Places to See Azulejos in Porto You Have to See
10+ Best Places to See Azulejos in Porto You Have to See

Igreja do Carmo is another wonderful sample of azulejos in Porto. This iconic church, with its breathtaking tile façade and rich history, is a perfect sample of Porto’s cultural and religious traditions.

Construction of the Igreja do Carmo began in 1756 and was completed in 1768. The church was built for the Carmelite Order and is situated next to another significant religious structure, the Igreja dos Carmelitas. 

Interestingly, the two churches are separated by a very narrow house, known as the “Hidden House,” which was built to ensure that the two convents maintained their separation.

Beyond azulejos, the Igreja do Carmo is a prime example of Baroque architecture. The church’s façade is divided into three sections, with the central section featuring a large portal flanked by two columns.

In fact, if you are coming from the Carmo tram stop, you won’t even see any azulejos as the Baroque architecture frontal facade of Igreja do Carmo. All the beautiful azulejos work is located on the side of Igreja do Carmo.

—> If you want to learn more about azulejos, join this 3-Hour Walking Tour: Tiles of Porto

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso in Porto
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso in Porto

This 18th-century church stands out as one of the best azulejos landmarks in Porto. Combining Baroque style with beautiful Portuguese tile art, the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso offers insights into the city’s artistic heritage.

The construction of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso began in 1709 and was completed in 1739. The site originally housed a small chapel, which was replaced by the larger, more ornate structure we see today.

The façade of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso is symmetrical and features two bell towers flanking the main entrance. The blue and white azulejos depict scenes from the life of Saint Ildefonsus as well as various biblical events.

The church opens at 9 am, so I suggest you visit it before opening time. If you have time, make sure you visit inside as well. It is simple but beautiful and there is no entrance fee.

Porto Cathedral

Porto Cathedral

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 the Cathedral for free, but the azulejos are located inside the Cloister.

The cloister, a key feature of many medieval cathedrals, was added in the 14th century during the Gothic period. It served as a space for prayer and reflection.

Azulejos, added in the 18th century, features various religious scenes, including the life of the Virgin Mary and the allegories of virtues. I am sure you will enjoy the walk around the Cloister as you appreciate the beauty of Portuguese tiles.

The entrance fee for the Cloister is 3 euros. It is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm or 6.30 pm depending on the season. I highly recommend arriving a bit before the opening time so you can be one of the first visitors and see it empty.

Want to bring back a unique souvenir from Porto? Join this fun Tile Painting & Cocktails workshop and make your own azulejos.

São Bento Station

São Bento Station in Porto
São Bento Station in Porto

São Bento Station is an actual train station and you could easily miss it if you are not arriving or leaving by train. The insignificant facade hides one of the best azulejos gems in Porto and the entire Portugal.

The construction of São Bento Station began in 1900 on the site of the former Benedictine Convent of São Bento de Avé-Maria, which had been destroyed by fire in the 18th century. 

The station, designed by architect José Marques da Silva, was inaugurated in 1916. The architectural design reflects a blend of French Beaux-Arts style and traditional Portuguese elements, creating a unique and elegant structure.

The most impressive feature of São Bento Station is its azulejo-covered hall, which features approximately 20,000 tiles. These tiles were created by Jorge Colaço, one of Portugal’s most popular azulejo artists.

One of the central panels illustrates the Battle of Valdevez, a significant event in the early history of Portugal. Another one depicts the Conquest of Ceuta in 1415, which was the beginning of the Portuguese overseas expansion.

As you can imagine, the train station is a busy place, but from my experience, there is a moment in between trains where you can capture the beauty of São Bento Station. Bring your camera, because it is one of the best photo spots in Porto.

Igreja dos Congregados

10+ Best Places to See Azulejos in Porto You Have to See

Just outside the São Bento Station, you will find Igreja dos Congregados which features more of beautiful azulejos work in Porto.

The blue and white tiles complement the Baroque interior with their intricate patterns and narrative compositions. Each panel tells a story, illustrating episodes from the life of Saint Philip Neri and emphasizing his role as a charismatic leader.

I personally think that azulejos at Igreja dos Congregados are a bit underwhelming compared to other beautiful azulejos in Porto, however, it is still worth seeing as you most probably pass by at some point anyway.


azulejos in Ribeira

Once you have seen all the best azulejos spots in Porto, head to the Ribeira area and discover your favorite tilework on the regular buildings of Porto. Just wander around and I am sure you will come across some of the most beautiful azulejos in Porto.

Rua das Flores (Misericórdia Church)

10+ Best Places to See Azulejos in Porto You Have to See

After that, don’t miss Rua das Flores, which is one of the most beautiful streets in Porto and some buildings feature amazing Portuguese tiles. Don’t miss the Interior of Misericórdia Church as you are walking Rua das Flores – yes, more azulejos inside the church.

Other beautiful azulejos in Porto

  • Old Warehouse-Display Factory Ceramics Devesas (photo above)
  • Casa da Musica
  • Interior of Igreja de Santa Clara
  • Igreja Paroquial de São Nicolau
  • National Museum Soares dos Reis

Other things to know about azulejos in Portugal

What are azulejos tiles?

Other things to know about azulejos in Portugal

Azulejos are a form of Portuguese-painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework. These decorative tiles are a defining feature of Iberian architecture and have been widely used in Portugal for centuries. 

The word “azulejo” is derived from the Arabic word “al-zulayj,” meaning “polished stone.” These tiles are not only used for their aesthetic appeal but also for their functionality, such as temperature control and protection of buildings.

So if you were wondering what are the blue tiles in Portugal called, now you say azulejos.

History of Azulejos

Other things to know about azulejos in Portugal
Our guide Peter’s Beetle and Igreja do Carmo

The use of azulejos in Portugal dates back to the 15th century, influenced by the Moors who brought the technique from North Africa. Initially, these tiles featured geometric patterns typical of Islamic art. 

Over time, Portuguese artisans developed their unique style, incorporating complex patterns, religious themes, and later, secular scenes. By the 18th century, azulejos had become an integral part of Portuguese architecture, serving both decorative and educational purposes.

Do you want to see the best of Porto with a fun guide?

Book Peter’s Beetle for your Porto trip! We have done numerous tours with him over the years and he always plans an amazing itinerary for us, so I truly can’t recommend him enough. You can see other available tours here.

Is Porto famous for tiles?

Other things to know about azulejos in Portugal

As you can see from the list above, many landmarks feature azulejos in Porto. Lisbon is also popular, however, I think Porto has even better samples of tilework. So yes, Porto is definitely famous for tiles.

In conclusion…

This is the end of the best places to see azulejos in Porto and I am sure you are impatient to appreciate every little detail of this Portuguese art form.

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.

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10+ Beautiful Places to See Azulejos in Porto
10+ Beautiful Places to See Azulejos in Porto

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