Where to take photos in Porto: the best viewpoints of Porto

Attractions

August 4, 2019

Asked by Julia, USA

Asked by Julia, USA

I organize private tours in Porto

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Check this page for more information or send an email to sara@portoalities.com.

Porto, with its tiny colourful houses built on hilly terrains and the six bridges over the Douro river, is indeed a city prone to good photos.

There are some spots already rather well-known, whilst some are still unknown… so go grab your camera, put on your best outfit and let’s go for a photoshoot at the best views of Porto! 🙂

Before reading this article: have you already decided where to stay? If not, read my article about the Best neighborhoods to stay in Porto! There I give you plenty of recommendations of great hotels and apartments in Porto.

These are the best viewpoints of Porto, ideal to take perfect photos of Porto:

1. Sé (the cathedral of Porto)

staircase cathedral porto
The cathedral of Porto was its birthplace more than 900 years ago. So besides enjoying one of the best views of Porto, you can also take the opportunity to visit the cathedral (built during the 12th century) and the episcopal palace, where the bishop of Porto lives.

There is a tourism office nearby the cathedral, so it’s a good starting point to discover Porto. If you take the narrow streets you’ll find yourself immersed on ancient neighbourhoods that will lead you all the way to the douro river – an experience I highly recommend, besides enjoying one of the best viewpoints in Porto!

Ideal for: Historical visits, discover the medieval Porto
Address: Terreiro da Sé. 4050-573 Porto
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is 5 min walking distant.

2. Rua das Aldas

viewpoint sao lourenco chruch porto
It is common for people to be dazzled by the monumentality of the cathedral of Porto and forget about the Grilos Church, which has a magnificent view of the Douro river and the city center. It is definitely one of the best viewpoints of Porto and one of my favourite spots to take photos in Porto. To get there just turn your back to Porto Cathedral, and go down Calçada Dom Pedro Pitões.

Ideal for: Historical visits, discover the medieval Porto
Address: Rua das Aldas, 1. 4050-208 Porto
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is 5 min walking distant.

3. Igreja e Colégio de São Lourenço (Igreja dos Grilos)

best viewpoints porto grilos

© Evasões.

After visiting Rua das Aldas viewpoint, go down the stairs on the left side of the belvedere and you will reach Largo do Colégio, where the São Lourenço Church, also known as the Grilos Church, is located. Right next door is the Cricket viewpoint, one of the best viewpoints in Porto for its unique view not only of the Porto wine cellars (on the left) but also on the old Jewish quarter (on the right). It is perfect to take photos in Porto.

Enjoy and visit the Church of the Crickets, which harmoniously combines the baroque and neoclassical styles. On the façade you can find one of Porto’s old fire boxes, a unique system from the 19th century.

Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10am – 1pm + 2.30pm – 5pm. Guided visits on request
Address: Largo do Colégio. 4050-208 Porto
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is 10 min walking distant.

4. Torre dos Clérigos

best viewpoint porto clerigos tower view over cathedral
Clérigos tower needs no introduction as it is the ex-libris of Porto. Almost 76m high, it is the perfect place to have a 360º view of the city, so it is definitely one of the best viewpoints in Porto and a great spot to take photos of Porto – specifically the cathedral, as you can see above.

It is well located, close to the famous Lello bookshop – considered an inspiration for Harry Potter’s books, as well as the nightlife district.

Fill your chest, you will climb 225 narrow steps until you reach the top of one of the best viewpoints in Porto! It takes some patience to climb these steps, because they get narrower and narrower and there are always people going up and down at the same time, so the advance is quite slow. On the other hand, when you get up there you will notice that the balcony is quite high so it is not a child friendly viewpoint because they will not be able to see anything.

Ideal for: Get a 360º view of Porto, feel the king of the world!
Opening hours: Everyday from 9am to 7pm (tickets cost 5€)
Address: Rua de São Filipe Nery. 4050-546 Porto
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is 5 min walking distant.

5. The Douro river!

view from douro river six bridges cruise

It may seem strange to list the Douro River as one of the best viewpoints in Porto but the truth is that one of the best ways to see the city is aboard the 6 Bridges Cruise. On board this boat you have incredible views not only of Ribeira but also of the beautiful bridges of Porto and Afurada. It is fantastic to take photos of Porto that will make your friends book the next flight to our city!

There are three ways to purchase the 6 Bridges Cruise online ticket:

Check the best viewpoints in Porto on our private tours! 🙂

portoalities best private tours porto

If you want to discover the best viewpoints in Porto, why not book a private city tour with us? We know the best places to take photos in Porto, and all the corners that even locals don’t know about. We’ll teach you about the city’s history and tell you secrets and stories you’ve never heard of.

After spending time with us, you’ll bring memories of the best views and a camera full of photos with you! What could be better than all this?

Read the reviews about our tours on TripAdvisor and then you can simply email us at sara@portoalities.com and tell us when you want to visit Porto and how many people will travel with you. It will be a pleasure to guide you in Porto!

6. Serra do Pilar

best viewpoints porto serra pilar

Photo by Nuno Cruz Street

In Porto we say that “the only good thing in Vila Nova de Gaia is the view towards Porto”and I was almost eaten alive when I wrote about it 😛 Whoever said this was probably thinking about the view from Serra do Pilar, which is absolutely breathtaking.

When you walk through the superior deck of D. Luis bridge (you can also take the yellow subway line and leave at the station JARDIM DO MORRO), you’ll see a steep street on your left hand side all the way up to Serra do Pilar. On the top there is an ancient monastery from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the river and of Porto.

There is not much to do there other than enjoying one of the best viewpoints in Porto and taking photos of Porto and Gaia, so I suggest you to take a bottle of red wine from the Douro Valley, two glasses and good company 😉

Ideal for: Enjoy a romantic sunset
Address: Serra do Pilar. 4430-999 Vila Nova de Gaia
How to get there: the subway station Jardim do Morro is 5 min walking distant.

7. Vitória

viewpoint porto vitoria jewish neihborhood
Right in the middle of the Old Jewish neighbourhood lies a hidden gem with one of the best views of Porto from Porto. From there you can see some of the main sights of Porto (the cathedral, the Stock Exchange Palace, etc), but also the douro river and the Port wine cellars. When you leave this viewpoint in Porto and turn right and right again, you will see a large staircase on your left hand side. It is an amazing staircase leading you to Mercado Ferreira Borges, the Stock Exchange Palace and St Francis church in Ribeira neighborhood. On the way you can take great photos of Porto that will capture the medieval nature of our city.

Ideal for: Sneak pick both Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, discover the Old Jewish neighbourhood
Address: At the end of Rua de São Bento Vitória. 4050 Porto
How to get there: the subway station São Bento is 10 min walking distant.

8. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

best viewpoints porto crystal palace gardens
Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, or the Crystal Palace gardens, owe its name to the Crystal Palace that was constructed in the 19th century to host the International Exhibition of Porto.

Even though the Palace itself was demolished, it is still possible to enjoy these romantic gardens in the centre of Porto, that hold a magnificent view to Ponte da Arrábida (Arrábida bridge). It is not only one of the best viewpoints of Porto, but definitely the most romantic one as well 🙂

Ideal for: Picnics with a view, romantic walks
Opening hours: 1st Apr – 30th Sep 8m-9pm 1st Oct – 31st Mar 8am – 7pm
Address: Rua de D. Manuel II. 4050-346 Porto
How to get there: the subway station Lapa is 15 min walking distant.

9. Miradouro das Virtudes

best viewpoints porto virtudes gardens
Probably the most popular spot among the locals as, due to the wind coming from the river and the shadows of the trees from the nearby garden, this is one of the coolest places during Summer days. We go there to grab a beer (there are some nice restaurants nearby), read a book or simply chill out with friends. The only thing I don’t like about this viewpoint in Porto in that it is usually crowded with people smoking weed, which I particularly dislike. Nonetheless, from here you can take photos of Porto, more particularly of the Arrabida bridge.

And, out of curiosity, Virtudes means virtues in Portuguese: this viewpoint in Porto was given that name because when you look down below through the iron bars you’ll see a fountain which water was believed to cure all the diseases!

Ideal for: Chill out on Summer days, enjoy sunset views
Opening hours: All day long
Address: Passeio das Virtudes. 4050-629 Porto

10. Fontainhas

viewpoint porto barao nova sintra gardens
Although little known by the tourists, Fontaínhas is one of the best viewpoints in Porto for the magnificent view that allows over four bridges of Porto: the famous Luiz I bridge, Infante bridge, São João bridge and Freixo bridge. It is also one of the privileged areas for watching the fireworks on St. John’s night, as well as eating some beautifully roasted sardines in the weeks leading up to the party.

Ideal for: Relaxing on the hottest summer days, watching the fireworks on St. John’s night
Address: Alameda das Fontaínhas
How to get there: 24 Agosto metro station is 15 minutes’ walk away.

If you would like to make it extra fun during your party weekend in Porto, why don’t you join a tour with me? I’ll give you a glimpse of Downtwon Porto, tell you a lot of stories that not even the locals know about, and give many suggestions for restaurants and bars. I am sure we’ll have a great time together! 🙂

Check here for more information on my tours in Porto, or simply send me an email to sara@portoalities.com 🙂


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2019-08-04T21:34:09+00:00August 4th, 2019|Attractions|2 Comments
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