Azulejos in Porto, or the famous ceramic blue tiles, are an iconic sight in Porto. They’re so beautiful and absolutely not to be missed! Definitely add them to your bucket list.
Azulejos tiles can be found in cities all over Portugal, not just Porto (like Lisbon!). Since I recently visited Porto and explored the city, finding all the best photo spots of Porto Azulejos, I put together this guide for you so you can easily find them too!
A little history on these Portuguese tiles…
These beautiful azulejo tiles date as far back as the 13th century but became more widespread in Portugal and Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. Originally they were simple, neutral tones, but when Portugal’s King Manuel I took a trip to Seville, he brought back with him to Portugal this style of artwork.
These blue and white tiles were used to cover up large, blank walls inside buildings during the Gothic period. You can now find them covering churches, of course, but also random walls, restaurants, schools, and train stations.
While some Azulejos in Porto are purely decorative with floral or geometric designs, others are extremely detailed and portray important aspects of Portuguese history and culture.
Where to find Azulejos in Porto
I’ve created this custom map for you so you can get a quick visual snapshot of the best places to see blue tiles in Porto.
Save this post for later so you can pull it up while you’re in Porto exploring and looking for those blue tiles!
I’m also detailing each of these locations below with a photo (so you can get some inspiration for the kind of pic you might want to take there!), address, and a link to the location on Google Maps.
Pssst, heading to Porto? Don’t miss these travel guides to help you plan your trip!
Azulejos in Porto
Sao Bento Train Station
São Bento Train Station is one of the most famous spots in Porto to find incredible azulejo tiles.
This train station is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site—that’s how special it is! It was constructed in 1904 and the ceramic blue tiles here share the story of Portugal’s history and culture.
You can easily view the azulejo tiles here by stepping into the train station platform without having to purchase a train ticket. There were several walking tours stopping by when we were there to take a look at the beautiful scene and learn about the artist, Jorge Colaço.
It took 11 years and 20, 000 azulejo tiles to complete this amazing work of art at São Bento station.
It’s centrally located in Porto, so it’s definitely worth popping in when you pass it to admire this work of art.
While it’s pretty much impossible to capture all of the blue tiles here in one photo, since they wrap around the walls of the station, there are plenty of great shots you can get.
The train station will likely be busy, but it’s possible to get a shot without other people in it if you position yourself right.
To get my shot, I stood facing a corner that I thought was really pretty and helped show some scale of how grand these blue tile walls are. I had my friend get as low as possible to the ground with my camera, using a wide-angle lens so we could get as much of the blue tiles and the archways in the shot as possible.
We had to be patient but eventually had a few seconds with no one walking by and we were able to get the Sao Bento Station shot I was envisioning!
Location: Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
The Porto Cathedral is beautiful, but I personally didn’t make it there during my trip! I wish I had this post to help me, lol.
Had I known how stunning the architecture and azulejos here are, I definitely would have made the time to come.
But thanks to Instagram, we can get some inspiration from some other travel bloggers and their gorgeous shots here.
This is a really popular photo to take here, for obvious reasons—it’s stunning! Head to the cloisters for this shot.
I also love the framing of this shot, with the three arches and blue tiles in the background. The combination of architecture and tile work is just stunning!
Location: Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Capela das Almas
Capela das Almas, or Chapel of the Souls, is another iconic spot for azulejos in Porto.
The super ornate blue and white ceramic tiles here show the lives of different saints, as well as the death of St. Francis.
The artist, Eduardo Leite, painted these tiles in a classic 18th century style, even though he painted them in the early 20th century.
We took a couple of different photos here. The first (and maybe best) shot was along the side of the chapel, to really show the scale of the building and tile work, and just how grand it is.
The second shot was kitty-corner from the chapel, and it’s more of a street scene shot, but I love how pretty the front of the building is.
Location: Rua de Santa Catarina 428, Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Igreja do Carmo
Igreja do Carmo is another picturesque example of aulejos in Porto. This church is covered in blue tiles and was built in the 1800’s, while the tile work was finished in 1910.
The art work in these tiles pays homage to Nossa Senhora, the Virgin Mary.
Location: R. do Carmo, 4050-164 Porto Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
Another super pretty church! Igreja de Santo Ildefonso (Church of Saint Ildefonso) is so striking, we didn’t know it by name at the time but couldn’t pass it without taking pictures there.
Turns out, this church is part of the buildings that make up the Porto historical center that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Sao Bento Station is part of this group of UNSECO buildings too, and wouldn’t ya know it, it’s the same artist. Jorge Colaco used 11,000 tiles to cover the entire church, and the tile work is so elaborate that it wasn’t completed until 1932.
This church was very easy to get a picture in front of with no one else in it, as it’s sort of tucked awayon it’s own little median/island in between two streets, so you don’t get a ton of foot traffic in front of it.
Location: R. de Santo Ildefonso 11, 4000-542 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Casa da Música
Casa da Musica is a more modern building in Porto, completed in 2005. The building is entirely dedicated to music, for artists and performances.
In the VIP Hall, you’ll find a beautiful wall and ceiling covered in azulejos.
It’s absolutely stunning, and I loved that the ceiling was also covered in blue tiles. The slanted ceiling of this contemporary building covered in azulejos makes for a fun and unique contrast.
Location: Av. da Boavista 604-610, 4149-071 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Igreja dos Congregados
Igreja dos Congregados (Church of St. Anthony’s Congregation) is yet another beautiful church with azulejo tiles. This one’s an older one, completed in 1680.
This building has been used as a hospital, for storing military equipment during a siege in the 1800’s, and finally as a church.
The facade of this church is so beautiful and definitely stands out on the square.
Location: R. de Sá da Bandeira 11, 4000-433 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Banco de Materiais
The Banco de Materiais (Bank of Materials) is a unique public works project that aims to conserve and restore azulejo tiles.
Sadly, many of these historic tiles have been destroyed due to destruction, decay, developers, and thieves.
The Banco de Materiais looks almost like a museum when you enter—you’ll see plenty of azulejos and hand-painted tiles.
But it’s called a bank because of its unique function—the tiles here can be deposited as well as withdrawn.
There are tens of thousands of tiles at the Bank, and building owners are able to take them free of charge to restore a facade. If the Bank doesn’t have a matching original piece, they’ll help suggest an alternative or reproduction.
How cool is that? I love the mission here of preserving this beautiful art and tradition that makes Porto, and Portugal, so special.
The Bank is free to enter and worth a perusing (even if you’re not a building owner in Porto looking to restore a facade).
Location: Praça de Carlos Alberto 71, 4050-159 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Now that you’ve seen all of these incredible blue and white azulejo tiles, you might want to hit up Bramica, a pottery workshop where you can make your own azulejos!
They will guide you through designing your own tiles and supply the materials you’ll need. Such a fun/unique idea for a souvenir to take home!
Location: R. de Santo Isidro 181, 4000-474 Porto, Portugal (linked on Google Maps here)
Those are all the best spots to find azulejos in Porto! Don’t forget to save this post for when you’re in Porot and use my custom Google map that I made of all these spots to make it super easy for you to find them!
Planning a trip to Porto? Check out all my Porto guides here!
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.