Photographing Porto

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Activities To Do To Visit

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Livraria Lello

Whether you are a professional or an amateur taking pictures, you can’t deny that Porto is one of the best scenarios. The architecture of the city, the narrow streets, the contrast between the cold grey granite, the buildings covered in tiles and the colourful façades make Porto a favourite for the cameras. Even on grey, rainy days, there is a charm that combines with the city, just waiting to be captured by a keen eye. Right now, the combination of sun and rain reflects a light on the buildings of Porto that must be captured.

Here is a list of places to visit, where, according to the experts (and the not so expert), the best pictures in town can be taken:

– Guindalense: the coffee shop of the Guindalense FC, a team that celebrates 40 years this year, has one of the best terraces in the city, and one of the best views over River Douro and the D. Luis Bridge. If you didn’t have too many beers, you can venture through the tight stairs of Guindais, all the way to the river, between hanging clothes, homes and the locals, trying to get all the possible angles of one of the most notorious bridges in the country.

– Carmelitas Church: the tiles of Carmelitas Church are some of the most sought after by Instagramers to capture the essence of Porto. Nowadays, it’s hard to pass by the church and not see a tourist or two by the façade covered in blue and white tiles of this church from the XVII century. At the Santa Catarina Street there is a heavy contender – the Almas Chapel (or Santa Catarina Chapel) -, although there is a lot more movement there and it’s not as easy to take a picture of just the façade.

– Passeio Alegre and Foz Pier: for the sea and River Douro lovers, these are probably the best places to capture the city bathed by both the river and the sea. The palm trees at Passeio Alegre offer good pictures to share in social networks.

– A famous window: the third floor of the old Relação Jail, today the Centro Português de Fotografia, you can find the São João room, where Camilo Castelo Branco was imprisoned for a year. The building has 103 windows, but this one, so famous and historical, has an overwhelming view.

– Viewpoint of the Nossa Senhora da Vitória Church: from the square next to this church, you can have a wide view of the city, from Sé and Paço Episcopal, to D. Luis I Bridge and Gaia.

– Clérigos: one of the main missions in photographic walks in Porto is to get the best perspective of the Clérigos Tower, one of the icons of Porto. We suggest you photograph it from Sé or from down the Clérigos Street, when the sun is setting to the East.

– The bridges: these aren’t for everyone. If you are afraid of heights, we don’t recommend this view, but if you are comfortable being several metres high, do go to the upper walk of the D-Luis Bridge and take a picture of Arrábida Bridge by sunrise.

– Palácio de Cristal Garden: this spot is a must when visiting Porto, especially to get a variety of good pictures, from the gardens – bucolic in the autumn, colourful and romantic during spring -, with a view over Douro River, with one of the best sunsets in the city, with lakes and grass.

– From Gaia: there are probably many other suggestions to photograph the city of Porto from the side of Vila Nova de Gaia, the rabelo boats floating in Douro River, Ribeira. But we suggest Serra do Pilar Viewpoint, and the terrace of the hotel The Yeatman, at the end of the day. Take your time enjoying a good Port wine while you take pictures of the sunset.

Do you have more suggestions? Share them with us and show us your best pictures of Porto!