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  • Writer's pictureJoshua S

Where to see Azulejo tiles in Porto

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Looking to find Porto's prettiest Azulejo's tiles? You know the ones, bright blue and white dazzling on buildings across Portuguese cities.

You'll find them on almost every corner on every street in Porto. They are an iconic symbol of the country with controversial beginnings. Some say it stretches as far back as the 12th-century, where families would portray their wealth on their houses.

If you are looking for the best photo opportunities when you visit beautiful Porto, be sure to check out these places!

Estátua da Varanda

A inconspicuous road that disappears into the Tunel da Ribeira, Estàtua da Varanda is often pointed out as it's home to India, a little girl (statue) who sits on the balcony looking up to the sky. The building itself is a bedazzled all over in blue and white tiles and reflects beautifully in the sun. Shame about the tunnel nearby.

Estátua da Varanda azulejo tiles in Porto, Portugal
Estátua da Varanda

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

That Instagram picture you see on Lonely Planet, Culture Trip, and influencers all over the world. Yes, that's the one. They are taken in front of this building, which is in fact a beautifully-mosaicked church from the 18th-century, residing over bustling trams and a local market.

São Bento Station

Arguably Europe's most beautiful train station. It isn't cathedral-like in size like Milan's Centrale or London's King's Cross. But it's walls tell a story of Porto through its tiles. Tour guides regularly bring tourists into here and direct them through the city's history.

Just be aware of commuters around you - this is a small station.

Igreja do Carmo

Another for you Instagrammers out there. Those "candid" pictures of people walking past the sky-to-floor azulejo tiles? This is it.

Igreja do Carmo is one half of a baroque-style twin church. However, these twins are not identical; they're mashed together almost like step-brothers, forced to get on with each other. But that's what makes them, and Porto, undeniably beautiful.

Be respectful to both, as they are operating churches for locals. If you want to re-create candid pictures you've seen online, it's best to go in the early hours of the morning, as this district of Porto gets busy in the day.

Escadas do Codeçal

If you're in Ribeira (Porto's riverfront district) and you want to walk up Dom Luis ! Bridge, avoid the funicular and climb the steps (preferably when it's not hot...).

You'll be rewarded with incredible views of the bridge above you, producing similar vibes to New York's famous DUMBO view. Oh, and the sparkling blue and white houses complete the scene.

Escasdas do Codeçal in Porto, Portugal
Escadas do Codeçal

Rua da Assunção

A notable street you should visit purely for the spectacular facades alone. Come for the Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos, a landmark of the city with a 76m-high bell tower (which you can climb up), and stay for the buildings on Rue da Assunção.

To truly appreciate the buildings for that perfect picture, cross the road and stand by Estátua do Bispa D.António Ferreira Gomes (a statue) and look back. You'll fall in love with the varying shapes, sizes and colours of the buildings that entice you to walk down the street and explore deeper into the city centre.

Two Passports Top Tip:

If you're looking for a pit-stop in the area, head to Base Porto in the heart of Jardim da Oliveiras. It's an open-air bar that lights up magnificently at night and becomes the centre of attention in the area. It's also special at golden hour too, perfect after golden hour.

Capela das Almas

Another for you Instagrammers out there. Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls) is in the famous shopping district of Bolhão and is possibly the most electrifyingly blue of all the options. Its facade is sky-to-floor and will mesmerise you completely. It really is wonderful.

As always though, please be respectful. This is on the corner of very narrow streets and is an operating chapel for locals.

Rua das Flores

One of Porto's landmark streets flowing down from São Bento Station. There's no building in particular with striking azulejo tiles, but they can be found on this street, as well as facades bedecked with flowers and intricate designs.

Two Passports Top Tips:

You will no doubt walk down this road a few times on your stay, so just some suggestions ahead of your visit:

For coffee: Chocolateria das Flores is a cute cafe with homemade sweet treats and excellent coffee and thick hot chocolate. It's cash only (or it was when I visited in 2022) so be aware.

For the adults: Cantina 32 is a fantastic wine bar that becomes a wonderfully-intimate spot in the evenings. Taberna do Largo is a fun wine bar with good food too (make sure you sit outside as the interior is uninspiring).

For pastel de nata: Around the corner of Rua das Flores is Castro. By far the best pastel de nata I tried on my visit - I visited with a Portuguese friend and even he said it's the best he's had in Porto. You can even watch the supremely-skilled pastry chef at work!

For sleeping: Flores 36 by YoursPorto, next door to Cantina 32, is a fantastic place to stay on your trip if you'd like to be in the city centre. It's a good price too.

Don't forget to read our Porto Travel Guide for all the info you need before you travel!

Oh, and we have more blog posts on Porto too:

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