Spotting azulejos

Spotting azulejos, Porto

Planning to spot azulejos? Check out our information below!


Azulejos are beautiful painted wall tiles that you find all over Porto. The Portuguese word ‘azulejo’ derives from the Arabic al-zulayj, meaning “small smooth stone”. Used by Arabs in the Middle Ages, these so-called Azulejos tiles were brought by the Moors in the 13th century. The Portuguese embraced the beautiful tiles and to this day they can really be seen everywhere. From the 18th century, azulejos also appeared on palaces, houses, gardens, fountains and staircases.

The most beautiful buildings to spot Azulejos in Porto are: Igreja do Carmo, Capela das Almas, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and the hall in São Bento station.

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Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto

Planning to visit Livraria Lello? Check out our information below!


Livraria Lello in Porto is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. This is partly because of its stairwell that inspired writer J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series for her stories.

Livraria Lello dates from the early 20th century and is wildly popular due to its fine details. The exterior has a neo-Gothic architectural style and the interior is a mixture of Art Nouveau and Art Deco with beautiful carvings. The first floor is made entirely of wood and the second floor consists of beautiful plasterwork that has been painted. The ceiling is almost entirely stained glass and, as a showpiece, there is a very special fairy red staircase in the middle of the bookshop. This magnificent staircase and towering bookshelves make this shop an absolute gem. Consequently, there is almost always a gigantic queue at the entrance.

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São Bento Station

São Bento Station, Porto

Planning to visit São Bento Station? Check out our information below!


Right in Porto’s city centre is São Bento train station. Besides being the place to get on the train, this train station is also a special attraction and a fine example of Portuguese architecture. If you just can’t get enough of Portuguese azulejos, be sure to visit the Sao Bento train station. This train station attracts hundreds of tourists every day, making it 100% one of Portugal’s most important train stations.

Before a railway station was built here in the 19th century, a monastery stood on the same spot. The train station named: São Bento was named after that monastery. The building was covered with no fewer than 20,000 ceramic tiles by Jorge Colaço between 1905 and 1916, depicting the history of Portugal, the royal families, the wars and, of course, the transport facilities over the centuries. In the train station, not only the blue and white tiles are beautiful to see, but also Jorge Colaço’s coloured artworks. Be sure to take your time here, as you will be amazed.

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Luís I Bridge

Luís I Bridge, Porto

Planning to visit the Luís I bridge? Check out our information below!


Porto has a total of six bridges, but the Ponte de Dom Luis I is by far the most famous and is one of the most iconic sights in Porto. The Ponte de Dom Luis I is the great twin bridge over the Douro River. The bridge is 400 metres long and was designed/built between 1881 and 1886 by a student of Gustav Eiffel (the designer of the Eiffel Tower, from Paris). The bridge connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. The Ponte de Dom Luis I is a double bridge. On the lower part, cars drive and there is space for pedestrians, and on the upper part, trams drive and there is also a footpath.

The best view of Porto is from the Luis I Bridge. You look over the historic centre and over the wide Douro River; walk across the bridge especially during sunset, when the view is fantastic. Not only are the beautiful houses then coloured in endless hues, the sky also changes by the minute. We definitely recommend coming here again during the day and in the early evening!  

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