Make your trip to Portugal a special time to remember by planning a photo shoot in the city of Porto. You’ll find everything you need from historic landmarks to beautiful natural scenery to truly capture the charm of Portugal.
7 Top Photo Spots in Porto
The Arrábida Bridge is an impressive work of architecture, stretching across the wide River Douro. Its huge archways give it a unique appearance, though it is lesser known than some of the other bridges in Porto, making it a nice option if you’re looking to get photographs with a unique touch while visiting Portugal. You also have the option of climbing one of the arches while participating in a guided tour, complete with harness and safety line for a fantastic panoramic view of the city and river. It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, though not for the faint of heart or those afraid of heights; if you’re up for an adventure, the Arrábida Bridge makes a truly memorable addition to your photo shoot.
Igreja de São Francisco
A church decorated in gold, any picture taken at the Igreja de São Francisco will have a majestic and royal quality to it. This Baroque church dating back to the 18th century is one of the best photo sites in Prado, and truly captures the elegance and splendor of Portuguese architecture. Get some great shots of the outside of the church with its beautiful stained-glass windows and stone masonry exterior, and then marvel at the wonders held within.
When you tour the church, you can also view the underground catacombs, which can make for a more somber but nonetheless memorable place for photographs. You’ll have plenty of good photo opportunities using the magnificent design of the Igreja de São Francisco as well as the artifacts kept in the adjacent museum.
Torre dos Clérigos
The most notable feature of the Porto skyline, the Torre dos Clérigos is 75 meters in height, and was designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni. There are several options for how you can include this iconic landmark during your photo shoot in Prado. Since it clearly stands out in height and design from the other surrounding buildings, it’s perfect for a scenic background shot that captures the essence of Prado. Another possibility is to climb to the top of the Torre dos Clérgos for the panoramic view of the city from the observation deck. You’ll need to be ready for a bit of a workout, since there are only stairs leading to the top and it’s a steep climb. If you’re up for it though, you’ll have spectacular photographs proving your physical accomplishment.
Ponte Dom Luís I
Crossing the River Douro to connect Porto and the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia, Ponte Dom Luís I is one of the best known bridges in the country of Portugal. It is still used on a daily basis by commuters traveling from one side of the river to the other for work or family business. Ponte Dom Luís I is also a pedestrian friendly bridge, making it one of the top sites for a photo shoot in Porto; you can take a leisurely walk across the mighty structure, taking photos all the way of the splendid design and breathtaking surroundings. For an extra special touch to your photographs, visit the bridge at sunset when the light is truly magical.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Just across the river from Porto is the smaller city of Vila Nova de Gaia, a pleasant place to visit for a day and easy to access by crossing the Ponte Dom Luís I. There are several options of how to use the quieter charm of Vila Nova in your photo shoot. You can always explore the cobbled streets and waterfront cafés on foot, or you can opt for a river view and take one of the tour boats leaving the port for a cruise on the River Douro.
There is also a cable car ride that runs along the waterfront of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is perfect for a panoramic perspective of the city and river. However you choose to spend your time, feel free to let the afternoon linger to really enjoy this top photo site in Porto.
Cais da Ribeira
By far the most colorful section of the city, the Cais da Ribeira district of Porto is located right next to the River Douro. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for the important history of the area and its artistic charm. Any photographer in Porto is practically obligated to visit the Cais da Riveira during their photo shoot. You’ll discover there are several layers to the Cais da Ribeira, from Roman foundations, to medieval monuments, to the bright, vibrant colors and quaint local shops seen today. Make it a full day and enjoy a traditional meal at one of the restaurants located right on the banks of the river.
A fortress-like cathedral, this main church of Porto is an important historic site and a majestic work of architecture. It’s well known, and any photograph you take here will have an iconic element unique to Porto. The interior is decorated in a lavish Baroque design, and there are many areas covered with the famous azulejo tiles of Portugal. Explore the main body of the church, the Treasury still filled with gold and other valuables, and the smaller chapels which houses other artwork.