5 Best Photo Spots in Porto, Portugal

Walk along Luis I Bridge


The view from the Luis I Bridges gives you the best views over both sides of Porto and down the Duoro River.  Walking along it gives you a variety of viewpoints as well as a good view of Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, a convert from the 1500s. While sunrise and sunset are obviously great times to come, my favorite time was at twilight right once the lights came on. The city lights come on around 30 minutes after the official sunset time, so be patient if you're looking to capture the blue of twilight and orange glow of the city.


Waterfront at Bairro da Ribeira


Here you will be able to photograph along the Duoro river while looking up at the Luis I Bridge. In addition, there are many colorful photogenic houses and restaurants lining the river. Once you're done photographing, I suggest ordering some bacalhau at Terra Nova and enjoying the view. There are usually some musicians playing live music as well!


iconic blue tiles at Igreja do Carmo and Capela Das Almas


While there are quite a few buildings with these intricate blue tiles, these were the two that I liked the most. While similar, I feel both are worth a visit due to their small differences and unique character. There are plenty of well dressed old Portugese locals who make for a great stride by subject. For Capela Das Almas, I felt I needed to go early to get a photo without too many people in it because it is in a busier area. I shot both of these buildings using my 24mm.


street photography along R. de 31 de Janeiro

Photo Jun 01, 9 47 04 AM.jpg

This street was my favorite to photograph the trolleys and capture some of the street life. I enjoyed that both sides of the street had a church at the end making for a nice subject, and the hills helped create interesting leading lines.


Book shopping at Livraria Lello


I am hesitant to put this last one on here. I won't argue that this is one of the world's most beautiful bookstores, it features a grand twisting staircase, intricate wood carvings, a colorful stained glass ceiling and a collection of rare and first edition books. The design is rumored to have even inspired J.K. Rowling while writing Harry Potter. 

However, recently due to social media, the bookstore has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Porto and now requires a ticket to enter, attracting a queue well before it even opens. So be warned, even though it is an incredible shop, the hoards of tourists make it difficult to actually enjoy the space and impossible to get a photo unless planned out in advance.

Photo Jun 01, 9 47 01 AM.jpg

So how did I get a photo with no people in it? 

The best way to do it is to buy a ticket the day before and be the first person in line the next morning. Tickets are purchased two doors down from the actual bookstore for 5 euros. I lined up 45 minutes before it opened and was luckily the first person in line, however people showed up minutes after I did. I then had around 30 seconds to photograph the staircase and upstairs before too many people came in behind me. 

Bookstore: R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal

Ticket Store: R. das Carmelitas 166, 4050-024 Porto, Portugal

Hours: 10:00am - 7:30 pm