Porto: Where to see, and buy authentic hand painted Azulejos

You haven’t been to Porto, if you haven’t seen Azulejos. In fact, you can’t miss it ! It is everywhere, on houses, churches, train station etc.

Azulejos, are basically painted tiles, very common in Portugal and Spain. They are usually in blue and white colour, but nowadays you can find many variations, and even some really original and colourful hand painted ones.


Where to see

Capela Das Almas

jermpins porto Capela Das Almas
Capela Das Almas

Literally translated as Chapel of Souls, this is one of the first we saw as we were strolling along the busy shopping street of Rua de Santa Catarina. I love how it almost covers the entire church building !

And if you are impressed by the exterior, you must check out the interior !

Capela Das Almas | Tile work completed 1929 by Eduardo Leite; 15,947 tiles covering area of 360 m2. Location / Rua de Santa Catarina Opening hours / Mon-Sat: 7:30am-1pm / 3:30pm-7pm; Sun: 7:30am-1pm / 6-7pm

Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso

jermpins porto azulejos Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso
Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso

The Parish Church of Santo Ildefonso is probably my favourite of all the Azulejos I have seen in this trip. Although the sides of the church are not tiled, I like that the church is a standalone building, the facade is grander and taller, and that the crowd here is much lesser compared to Capela Das Almas.

Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso | Tile work completed 1931 by Jorge Colaço, however the church dates back to the 18th Century; ~11,000 tiles. Location / Rua de Santa Ildefonso Opening hours / Mon: 3pm-6:30pm; Tue-Sat: 9am-12pm / 3pm-6:30pm; Sun: 9am-1pm / 6pm-8pm

Igreja de Santo António dos Congregados

jermpins porto Santo Antonio dos Congregados
Santo Antonio dos Congregados

Church of Saint Anthony’s Congregation dates back to the 17th Century ! We walked past this while getting to Sao Bento train station. The tile work is of a much smaller area but I like how it is used more like detailing addition around the window frames.

Santo Antonio dos Congregados | Location / R. de Sá da Bandeira

Sao Bento train station

porto azulejos sao bento train station
Sao Bento train station (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This is a rather unique one, cause there is not one Azulejos on the exterior of Sao Bento train station, but the moment you walk in the station, the entire wall inside is covered with Azulejos ! It is really impressive !

Sao Bento train station | Tile work completed 1903 by Jorge Colaço (same who did Santo Idefonso); ~20,000 tiles covering area of 551 m2. Location / Av. Dom Afonso Henriques Opening hours / 24/7

Igreja da Ordem de terço

jermpins porto Igreja da Ordem de terço
Igreja da Ordem de terço

Igreja da Ordem de terço | Tile work completed in the 18th Century by Joao Joaquim Alao. Location / Tv. Cimo de Vila

Adjacent to the Church of the Order of the Rosary is the Hospital da Ordem do Terço (Hospital of the Order of the Rosary), where many pioneering surgery took place here. This facade was a bit rundown, and hopefully it gets some maintenance and restoration. I like the large oval central window, shaped like a monstrance !


How to get there

I have to say Porto’s public transportation is pristine ! That said, I think the best way to check out these Azulejos is by foot ! It is an easy 1.5 km walk, you can take your time, eat at least two Pastel de Natas in between, or every time you pass by a cafe / bakery.

jermpins porto azulejos walking route.png

Other notable Azulejos

Sé do Porto

jermpins porto azulejos se de porto
Se do Porto (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Porto Cathedral is probably the oldest monument in Porto, with construction of the church started back as early as 1110 !

Se do Porto | Tile work completed in early 18th century by Valentim de Almeida; tiles covering area of 19.5 m2. Location / Terreiro da Sé Opening hours / 9am-12:30pm / 2:30pm-6pm

Rua da Ribeira Negra

jermpins porto azulejos julio resende ribeira negra
Rua da Ribeira Negra (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This very modern work can be found at the entrance of the Rua da Ribeira Negra tunnel. The tile work extends along 40 m.

Rua da Ribeira Negra | Tile work completed 1987 by Júlio Resende. Location / Rua da Ribeira Negra

Casa da Música

jermpins porto azulejos casa da musica
Casa da Musica VIP room (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Not sure if you can get into this VIP room, but I thought the designer very smartly integrated the old (Azulejos) and the new (modern architecture) !

Casa da Musica | Location /  Av. da Boavista Opening hours / Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm; Sun: 10am-6pm


Where to buy Azulejos

Now, after seeing all these beautiful Azulejos, you definitely want to bring some back home ! It can be for a decoration piece in your own home, or a souvenir for your friends and family.

If you just want something simple and more budget friendly, you can get hold of them, in the forms of magnets, coasters, trays etc. in the many souvenir shops around Rua da Santa Catarina.

A 2″ X 2″ magnet will cost around 1.50 to 2 EUR. The cheapest we found (1 EUR) is this store next to our favourite Pastel de Nata bakery (Manteigaria).

Tip : You really must try their Pastel da Nata ! We had two each EVERY SINGLE DAY !

If you are looking for something more refined and original, you must check out Prometeu Artesanto !

img_1511
Azulejos at Prometeu Artesanto
img_1512
More Azulejos magnets at Prometeu Artesanto

This is a two storey shop with in house painters selling only hand painted Azulejos, and it comes in all sizes ! You can see the artist painting in action, and we were told you can even commission them to draw whatever you want, although I’m not sure how much it will cost.

A small magnet will cost you around 3 to 4 EUR.

A 5″ X 5″ tile (only) costs about 8 to 10 EUR.

Don’t bother finding elsewhere, and just go to Prometeu Artesanto !

Tip : Alternatively, you can also register yourself in a Azulejos workshop, and make your own in 2 hours. 

36 thoughts on “Porto: Where to see, and buy authentic hand painted Azulejos

  1. I loved Porto when I went! I remember that blue church so well because it is SO stunning!

    You captured some really amazing shots of it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This brought back a lot of memories. I love Porto but havent been there since 2007 and seeing the photos jogged a lot of memories. I remember seeing a lot of azulejos whilst walking around the city but I don’t have a favourite. They are all truly amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so excited right now! I love the Portuguese tile art. And we are in Porto next year! Since I already know what I’ll look at any case.
    Thank you for the wonderful impressions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Porto has been on my list to visit because of Azulejos. They are just so pretty and I’d love to photograph them! Can you imagine how long it would take to paint all those tiles though?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Porto has been on my list to visit because of Azulejos. They’re just so pretty and I’d love to see and photograph them. Can you imagine how long it would take to paint each tile?!

    Like

  6. I loooved seeing those beautiful azulejos tiles in Porto, but I have to admit, i didn’t even think of buying them. I guess I like the idea of paining my own though. I will totally take a peek if/when we go back.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never heard or seen Azulejos before reading your post! They are beautiful works of art, and I love that they are showcased through architecture. In the blue and white palette, they remind me a little bit of the Dutch blue Delft tiles. Thank you for bringing Azulejos to my attention. These hand-painted tiles would be the perfect memento of my trip to Porto–no doubt I’ll be stocking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have never heard or seen Azulejos before reading your post! They are beautiful works of art, and I love that they are showcased through architecture. In the blue and white palette, they remind me a little bit of the Dutch blue Delft tiles. Thank you for bringing Azulejos to my attention. These hand-painted tiles would be the perfect memento of a trip to Porto–no doubt I’ll be stocking up when I go!

    Like

  9. I am aware of Porto but I had no idea what Azulejos is before reading this blog. I remember seeing these in few places in Spain like in Seville, but it is more prominent in Porto. The ones in Chapel of Souls, Parish Church of Santo Ildefonso, Sao Bento train station, Church of Saint Anthony’s Congregation, and Church of the Order of the Rosary are really mind-blowing. I am going to include all of these in my Porto itinerary.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m heading to Porto in the fall and I can’t wait to check out all of the spots to see the best tiles. Also, I didn’t know that there’s a Manteigaria in Porto. They are my absolute favourite for pasteis de nata in Lisbon and I am longing for more. Thanks for the tip!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have always wanted to see the church azulejos in person in Porto so it remains high on the bucket list. But I was stunned at how beautiful the azulejos were inside the train station. That is truly magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I did not know they were called Azulejos but I adore their designs. Those magnets look lovely as well. I’ll definitely enroll myself for Azulejos making workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a cool idea for a post. I remember seeing lots of beautiful tiles in Lisbon, but I don’t remembering seeing such a large number of blue and white ones like the azulejos in Porto. The ones indoors such as in the Casa da Música VIP room and the Sao Bento Train Station really intrigue me, although I’d of course like to see all of them on your list!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I only had about four hours of free time during a business trip to Lisbon to see anything outside of the conference room. But during that time, the gorgeous tiles left their impression on me. Your photos are fantastic! ~ Sage Scott, the Everyday Wanderer

    Liked by 1 person

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