My personal Porto photo journey and a few tips on how to find the best photo spots in Porto – the photographer’s paradise.
Just a couple of hours after I arrived in Porto and ventured into its streets, I realised that Porto is indeed a photographer’s paradise.
Not only the incredible architecture, the colours, the riverbank and its breathtaking sunsets or old streets nooks and crannies but also the incredible, magical mood that this city emanates gives tons of fantastic photo opportunities.
Here is my photo journey and my favourite photo spots in Porto.
A word of advice – when in Porto, always have your camera with you and ready. There wasn’t a day that I ventured into its streets, and I didn’t find fantastic photo opportunities. Not only that. ..
Very quickly, it stopped being a Porto photo opportunity search. I naturally wanted to capture the feel of the city. I became so mesmerised by its atmosphere, the deep colours and this unexplained magical feel that I couldn’t stop snapping photos hoping that at least one will capture the essence of Porto.
I didn’t go everywhere, nor did I find all the best photo spots in Porto. But what I found put Porto in a very special place in my heart.
Once you are in Porto, don’t worry about ticking all the locations off your list. You will come across them naturally. And then some.
To start with …
Get off at the Sao Bento Metro station and take your way down towards the Ribeira district and riverbank.
But take your time. Take Rua des Flores and then head towards Igreja de Santa Clara. Follow the small cobbled winding streets towards Ribeira. You will not be disappointed.
Those streets are full of surprises. Winding stairs and cobbled paths, small quirky restaurants at each corner, colourful facades and somehow, melancholic architecture – this, for me, is the best part of the city.
Eventually, you will find yourself at the bank of the Douro River. Unquestionably the best Porto photo spot.
The vast body of the Douro river, dotted with colourful boats and cruise yachts, is surrounded from both sides by colourful houses and historical buildings spreading to the top of the valley.
Magnificently hanging over the whole river gorge is the Ponte Luís I Bridge – the landmark of Porto riverside and the city.
Both sides of the river are great for photography but make sure you climb up to the upper level of the bridge as this will give you the best Porto photo spot.
At the riverbank, you will find numerous bars and restaurants with buskers entertaining diners and passers-by. And if you will have only one chance to be there – make sure it’s just before the sunset. I am a massive fan of coastal sunsets. But after I experience the Porto Ribeira sunset, I had to pick my jaw right from the pavement.
But there is much more to Porto than just Ribeira and Douro river.
Spend an afternoon wandering around other Porto districts like Baixa/Se, Bolhao (my favourite after Ribeira) or Fontainhas, where you will find a lot of hipsters sitting by the river. Let yourself be surprised by the city. No matter where you will end up – it will be an incredible photo journey and you will find endless Porto photo spots.
You will find landmark monuments and cathedrals, grand plazas like The Praça da Liberdade, cute bookstores, and less touristy parts of the city – nevertheless equally interesting.
If you have a spare day, make your way to Matosinhos and take a walk towards Foz do Douro and all the way to the Douro Lighthouse.
Matosinhos is located a few kilometres from the Porto downtown area so you will have to take the Metro or a taxi. The trip is definitely worth it. Before embarking on your Metro trip – check this website for some explanation.
Matosinhos has one of the best Porto beaches where you can also spend a day. From there, you can follow a beach promenade which then turns into a wooden pathway towards Foz. Stop for a glass of wine at one of many bars and restaurants, but make sure you make it to the lighthouse on time for the sunset.
Although I like spending more time in one place, I have only stayed in Porto for a week. I was gutted, knowing the city is an endless well full of magnificent and exciting photo spots. I guess I will have to return for more 🙂
I will return for more. Once you visited Porto, it will stay in your heart forever, and you will have this never-ending longing for a return.
I hope you enjoyed this quick post about my favourite photo spots in Porto.
If you like this Porto photo journey, be sure to check my Madeira photo journey.
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Heading to Lisbon next? make sure you read my post about the best day trips from Lisbon that are not Sintra!
If you are looking for more than just a day trip, make sure you visit Nazare, the town of the largest waves and of course, you cannot miss the most charming medieval town in Portugal – Obidos.
For more exciting photo opportunities you should take a trip from Porto to Aveiro and Costa Nova.
And lastly, read here about a true hidden gem near Lisbon – Setubal and Troia Penisula!
My favourite Travel Resources
- For most of my accommodation, I use Bookings.com and Hostel World. With both booking platforms, you will often get free cancellations and access to tons of reviews. Read them! You will also get the most extensive selection of all types of accommodation. I hardly ever look elsewhere. If you are travelling in Asia – Agoda is definitely worth checking out!
- Make sure you download Google Maps and, for each new destination, download an offline map of your location and surrounding area. This way, even without the internet or Wi-Fi, you will be able to get to navigate around the town.
Moovit is also an excellent and very underrated travel and journey-planning app. It works great in many countries and will show you all possible routes by public transport, including the timetables.
123Go — Great for tickets for trains, buses, ferries and charters in Southeast Asia! The best way to buy your ticket for the overnight Bangkok train! Rome2rio – Another great journey-planning app. If your way of travel is mainly public transport – you will use this app for sure!
The travel insurance I use is Heymondo, and their plan suits me perfectly. They have clear policies with no deductibles, the price is excellent for what they offer and the price doesn’t go up when you are over 30 years old. They have a dedicated, easy-to-use app and free assistance calls.
I can get a cover for a month or three months and I know I can travel with peace of mind and get the best product for my money. And it also covers COVID-19.
- I carry two debit cards with me. Given I don’t have a permanent country of residence, Revolut and Wise work fantastically. In case one gets frozen, stolen or simply lost, I have a backup. The great thing about both cards is that you can freeze them straight from your phone and transfer money between them in case you need to. You will also get a great exchange rate and create separate foreign currency accounts.
- I booked most of my tours via either Get Your Guide or Viator. You can also book locally, but I advise you to ask around and follow the local recommendations.
For more travel tips and recourses, visit Pati’s Travel Tips page!