Photos of Porto, Portugal
It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with Porto. I believe it was 2 minutes. If you haven’t visited, we’re pretty confident that these photos of Porto Portugal will prove that it should be on your travel shortlist.
Located in northwest Portugal, this remarkable city is best known for its river, the Douro, and its famous port wine. Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We knew we would enjoy our time in Porto, based on the photos and blog posts we read prior to our visit. However, it exceeded our expectations (so did Lisbon – see photos from Lisbon here). Porto is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s one of the most unique and interesting cities we’ve visited on our travels.
We spent a total of 3 days in Porto, wandering it’s tight and windy stone roads.
It wasn’t enough time.
We could have easily spent a full week in Porto.
It has a unique vibe that’s difficult to describe. It’s a little grimy and beat up in some parts, evidence from years of economic struggle. Yet it’s filled with incredible architecture that dates back to the Middle Ages.
Porto has been continuously inhabited since the 4th Century. Its strategic location on the Atlantic coast, near the Strait of Gibraltar and northwest Africa, made it a target for multiple invasions over the centuries. Each period of rule, from the Romans to the Moors, left its mark on the city.
The result – a fascinating city with many layers of history, culture and tradition.
Views of the Porto’s colourful buildings on the Douro River.
Many of the colours you see are actually azulejo tiles, a ceramic style of tilework that dates back hundreds of years.
This above and below photos were captured on the south side of the River Douro from Vila Nova de Gaia.
The bustling Porto riverfront promenade is a great place to eat, drink and people watch.
Related – Lisbon exceeded our expectations. Here’s what we did.
Sparkling blue hour on the River Douro. We captured this photo from the sundeck of the Viking Osfrid, the ship we were on for our Portugal River Cruise.
Porto was the starting, and finishing, point of our river cruise with Viking River Cruises.
This is Vila Nova de Gaia, located on the southern banks of the Douro. Many of these buildings store hundreds of barrels of port wine. In fact, Vila Nova de Gaia is said to have the highest concentration of alcohol per square meter in the world.
The above photo is one of my favourite photos of Porto Portugal.
We captured this photo from the upper-deck of the Dom Luís I Bridge. The bridge walkway is the best spot in Porto to take photos of its stunning architecture and cityscape. Go here!
Related: Our Portugal River cruise with Viking River Cruises
These vintage trams are still in operation but are mostly used by tourists.
Notice the detailed stone road and sidewalks. There is so much history in Porto.
The above photo was captured while on a sunset cruise up and down the Douro River. This neighborhood is located a few kilometres east of the Dom Luis I Bridge.
Another aerial view from the upper-deck of the Dom Luis I Bridge. If you look to the left of the photo you will see the tracks for the Funicular dos Guindais, which began operations back in 1893.
The above photo illustrates the contrasts of Porto.
Beautiful azulejo tiles on the front of old buildings, yet covered with cheap spray paint. Vintage red phone booth covered in grafitti sitting on an intricate stone sidewalk, commonly known as Portuguese pavement. The doors and window frames have so much character, yet they have been neglected for years.
It’s the classic struggle of old meets new. Or vice versa?
Torre dos Clérigos rises above the sea of red-roofed homes.
This tall bell tower can be seen from most vantage points in Porto. It’s connected to Clérigos Church, one of the first baroque churches in Portugal.
Evening photos of Porto from the banks of the Douro. This is a fun spot to visit in the evening.
The old cathedrals are quite the sight at night. When the church bells ring, the sound vibrates across the river.
These warehouses (above) are home to hundreds, if not thousands, of barrels of aging port wine.
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San Bento Railway Station in Porto.
The beautiful azulejo tile murals inside the São Bento Railway Station, a 20th-century railway station in the historical centre of Porto. It’s said there are approximately 20,000 azulejo tiles in this section of the train station.
Historic centre of Porto
It feels like every street in Porto has an incredible church that dates back hundreds of years.
Above is the backside of the Church of São Francisco. This prominent Gothic church is one of the reasons why the historic centre of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The 17th century Church of Saint Ildefonso. Notice the detailed tile work on the façade of the church.
It’s said there are approximately 11,000 azulejo tiles covering the outside of the church.
The architecture, tile work and street art in old Porto in amazing. We easily took over 500 photos of Porto during a few days exploring the city. The front façade of the church is covered with thousands of blue azulejo tiles.
Views of Vila Nova de Gaia, seen from the Porto side of the River Douro.
The sun begins to set over the historical centre of Porto. We captured this image from the sundeck of our river cruise ship that was docked in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Read about our Portugal river cruise here.
Drinking Port in Porto, Portugal (say that 10 times fast)
This is the real reason you come to Porto – to sample its famous port wine.
Inside the Sandeman cave, home to hundreds of aging barrels of port wine. It smells so good in there.
Famous bridge in Porto, Portual
The double-decker metal arch bridge, Dom Luis I Bridge, was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same man who designed the Eiffel tower in Paris, France. He also designed the neighbouring Dona Maria Pia Bridge.
Did you notice something unusual in the above photo? Look right.
Most photos of Porto Portugal will include at least one of these traditional Portuguese wooden cargo boats. These Rabelo Boats were used for centuries on the Douro River. Nowadays they’re mostly used as the subject for photography and advertisements for local wine companies.
When the sun is shining, there’s no better place to be than on a patio enjoying a glass of traditional port wine and tapas. This is where you will find the most spectacular views of Porto’s architecture.
The Sandeman is watching you!
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Read more travel blogs from Portugal
- 50 Photos of Lisbon, Portugal
- Here’s what we did on our Portugal River Cruise
- VIDEO: 15 Reasons you should visit Portugal’s River of Gold
Did these photos of Porto Portugal convince you to add it to your travel list?
Would you like to visit Porto? Leave us a comment below.