The Cathedral's elevated location on Rua de São João overlooks Porto's famous rooftops and is an intrinsical part of the skyline for miles. The Cathedral is one of Porto's most popular attractions, and rightfully so. Let MADABOUTPORTO.com be your guide to how to get there, what to see and unravel the hidden streets in the surrounding area. Learn the best places to eat and sleep nearby. You can also browse various tour packages for a more in-depth and informative experience.
The Batalha district, where the Cathedral is, was once inside Porto's medieval city walls. It was founded by Dona Teresa, the mother of Afonso Henriques, in the early 12th century. It has a long history of restorations and alterations, resulting in mixed architectural styles. Dom João I married Phillipa of Lancaster here in 1387, but they would have problems recognising the present construction. The only remaining original feature of the main façade is the Romanesque rose window set within a crenellated arch. The crenellations on the Cathedral bears testament to Portugal's turbulent history. The façade is flanked by two square bell towers, each supported with two buttresses and crowned with cupolas. The loggia on the North face is accredited to the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and dates from around 1736.
With this entrance ticket, you can gain entry to Porto Cathedral at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone. Save extra money with the Porto Card. Book with confidence with FREE CANCELLATION until 23h59 on the day before your visit.
Discover the beauty of one of Porto's oldest monuments:
• Discover the amazing Sé do Porto, the Cathedral of Porto, one of the oldest monuments in town
• Climb the tower and enjoy unbeatable panoramic views over the Douro River and Porto's historical centre
• Wander through the cloisters and marvel at the unique azulejo walls representing religious scenes
• Admission to the Cathedral of Porto
• Access to the cloisters and the museum
• Access to the tower with unique views over the city
Key details • Instant ticket delivery
• Smartphone tickets accepted
April - October: Daily 09h00 – 12h30/14h30 - 17h30 | November - March: Daily 09h00 – 12h30/14h30 - 17h00
Adult: €3.00, Child: FREE
Porto Cathedral Exterior
Free to enter, the interior consists of three naves, and a barrel-vaulted ceiling crowns the central nave. The magnificent 17th-century silver retable located in the north transept was first created by Manuel Teixeira and his son-in-law Manuel Guedes whilst additions were commissioned later by Pedro Francisco. During the War of the Oranges and the battle at Amarante, a group of Spanish soldiers briefly took control of the Cathedral before being overcome by the local populace. A marble plaque with a Magnetite backing now hangs up behind the altar as a reminder of those who lost their lives when regaining control of the Cathedral.
Various altarpieces and chapels are dedicated to the Marian cult yet under different guises, such Nossa Senhora do Presépio, Nossa Senhora da Silva, Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Nossa Senhora da Esperança, Nossa Senhora da Expectação, Nossa Senhora da Conceição and Nossa Senhora da Vandoma – with this latter being the most important, as she is the patron of Porto and appears on the municipal coat of arms.
April - October: Daily 09h00 – 12h30/14h30 - 18h00 | November - March: Daily 09h00 – 12h30/14h30 - 17h30
An entrance on the right-hand side (past the information desk) leads to the impressive gothic cloister. The cloister was added during the reign of King João I in the 14th century and is notable for its delightful baroque azulejo tiles added in the 18th century. The tiles depict the life of the Virgin Mary and were created by Valentim de Almeida. A Sacristy offshoots the cloister. It is ornately decorated in the Baroque style and houses pieces of art and fine furniture.
Adjoining the cloisters is the Casa do Cabildo, the home to the Cathedral's treasure. It was built between 1717 and 1722, under the direction of João Pereira dos Santos. Here too is a grand staircase that leads you up to the Chapter House, (Salão do capítulo) with its ornate painted ceiling by Giovani Battista Pachini. The painted panels represent fourteen parables surrounding Saint Michael. Here too is the small Saint Vincent chapel, the final resting place for several Bishops. From this vantage point, you can find impressive views from the upper level of the cloister and Cathedral roof.
São Bento Train Station | Timetable CP Website
Bus: 6, 20, 35, 37, 52 and 78 | Timetable STCP Website
Metro: São Bento (Line D) | Timetable Metro do Porto Website
22 Old Tram: Carmo - Batalha | Timetable STCP Website
Terreiro da Se, Porto, 4050-573, Portugal. | 41° 08' 34.1" N | 08° 36' 40.3" W
+351 222 059 028 | Website
Standing in front of the Cathedral is a reconstruction of Porto's Pillory (Pelourinho). It was built after medieval houses were pulled down in the 1940s. Its twisted column is Manueline in style and may be an accurate depiction of the original 15th-century pillory which stood on the Ribeira.
Close by is a Tourist Information Centre which occupies an old medieval tower. It was renovated in 2000 by architect Fernando Távora and is a peculiar blend of new and old. That said, inside you'll find a helpful and friendly team of advisors willing to offer advice, maps, brochures and contacts for your visit and tours.
The mounted statue facing downhill is a representation of Vímara Peres, a ninth-century nobleman from the Kingdom of Asturias who freed the area between the Minho River to the Douro from the Moors and became the first ruler of the County of Portugal.
Behind the Cathedral is the Casa-Museu Guerra Junqueiro museum dedicated to the Portuguese writer and poet. This beautiful 18th-century mansion was his home and inside on display is his collection of Iberian and Islamic art, Seljuk pottery, jewellery, glassware, paintings, sculptures, silverware and ceramic figurines.
Tuesday - Saturday: 10h00 – 12h30/14h00 - 17h30, Sunday: 14h00 - 17h30, Monday: CLOSED
Adults: €2.20, Porto Card: FREE
32 Rua de Dom Hugo, 4050-305 Porto, Portugal | 41° 08' 33" N | 08° 36' 43" W | +351 222 003 689
Back at the front of the Cathedral, down some steps, is the Miradouro da Rua das Aldas which is a viewpoint overlooking the old quarter known as the Bairro da Sé and the river beyond.
The grandiose façade to the south of the cathedral (Sé) is the former residence of Porto's bishops, the Episcopal Palace. What you see today is a construction dating back to 1737 and is attributed to the master architect Nicolau Nasoni. However, fragments of a 13th-century building have been discovered here. The elaborate baroque and rococo-styled frontage is entered through an ornate arch flanked by pilasters and topped with a decorative pediment containing the coat of arms of Bishop D. Rafael de Mendonça. After a long period of closure, the palace is now open to the public and makes a fantastic addition to a visit to the cathedral district.
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Lisbon has the Alfama, Porto has the Bairro da Sé. The area cascading down the hill from the Cathedral to the riverside is the oldest part of Porto. It is a warren of narrow streets, stairways, over-hanging tall medieval houses and old city walls. The district is a hodgepodge of shapes and colour. Buildings appear to lean against their neighbours to stay aloft. There's a shabby chicness to the Bairro da Sé with the buildings in various states of preservation. This area has borne witness Portugal's fortune, both good and bad. There are a few quaint small squares, such as the colourful Largo da Pena Ventosa, where you can find traditional taverns and cafés. Cats look out of open windows, old ladies sit in doorways preparing vegetables, washing hangs overhead and flower pots adorn window ledges – Bairro da Sé is a photographers paradise.
Construction started on this church in the 16th Century and took nearly 200 years to complete. It is colloquially known as the Igreja dos Grilos (Cricket Church). It serves a dual purpose, one as a convent and a church, the other as home to the Sacred Art and Archaeology Museum. The array of exhibits date as far back as the 13th century and includes sculptures, painting, illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, vestments, religious adornments and archaeological items. The church itself is somewhat bland by Porto standards.
Monday - Saturday: 10h00 - 18h00, Sunday: CLOSED
Adults: €3.00, Concessionary: €1.50, Child: FREE. Porto Card: -50%
Largo do Colégio, 4050-208 Porto, Portugal | 41° 08' 32.2" N | 08° 36' 46.6" W
+351 223 395 020 | firstname.lastname@example.org