Porto’s Sao Bento railway station

It would have been wonderful to arrive into Porto through the Sao Bento station. Unfortunately the Alfa Pendular express trains seem to prefer Porto’s Campanho station. We took some time to check in to our apartment and have lunch before we could set off on exploring the town. Our first stop was the Sao Bento station. It is a few steps from the Sao Bento Metro station.

The Sao Bento railway station in Porto

The distinguishing feature of the station are the gorgeous panels of azulejo tiles which cover the entrance vestibule. There are supposed to be twenty thousand of these. Together, they illustrate some of the key incidents in the history of Portugal and the history of transport. They are the work of Jose Colaço, a painter who is largely famous for his large tile panels. As you can see from the featured image, the painter’s training in perspective and colour are evident in these panels.

We spent a while gawking at the tiles before we set off on exploring the rest of the town. Over the next few days, this became a familiar spot from which we would start on many walks across Porto.