Hi guys, welcome back to another blog! Today I am going to tell you about one of Porto’s most popular touristic spots: the São Bento station. Due to its beautiful and amazing architecture, the São Bento station is a must see in your visit or stay in Porto. In this blog I will give you the history of the São Bento station, why it has become so popular with tourists, and what you have access to at the station.
Even though the building which encompasses the station began to be built in 1900 (completed in 1916), the São Bento station only started operating in 1986. Located in the city center of Porto, also known as Aliados, the São Bento station is truly a sight to behold. Though it may not appear to be much from the outside, what with its interesting yet also plain exterior, on the inside it truly is a beauty.
When you first enter the São Bento station, you are greeted by the bright colors of yellow, blue, white, and dark shades of green. Upon the walls of this grand entrance is what the São Bento station is so well-known for: its blue and white tiles. Called ‘‘azulejos’’ by the Portuguese locals, these exquisite tiles relate various parts of Portugal’s history.
These tiles were placed there in the years 1905-1916 by the Portuguese painter, Jorge Colaço. The son of a Portuguese diplomat, Colaço is best known for his azulejo work. He studied art in cities such as Lisbon (the capital of Portugal), Madrid, and Paris. Though he has many works in Portugal, Colaço also has works in countries such as England, Switzerland,and Brazil, along with many others.
Upon entering the station, one of the first things to greet you – other than the azulejos – is a large green clock. Placed in a stained glass archway which leads right into the station itself, the clock sits above a sign upon which is placed the times and locations of the trains headed out of the station. Looking as if they’ve been taken right out of a movie, the clock and sign are one of the things to admire in the São Bento station.
Once you are done admiring the beautiful architecture of the grand entrance, if you head straight through the archway you will be greeted by the sight of various railways. While the interior of the station may not be as amazing as its entrance, it is still a work of beautiful architecture. Being partially enclosed, the railway station is a constant bustle of people heading to and fro. Stands selling magazines, newspapers, fruits, and plants are placed within the station to keep you entertained and occupied as you wait to embark on your train. Also placed within the station is a bathroom. Be warned, however, as you need to pay in order to use it.
The São Bento trains will take you to various cities such as Braga, Coimbra, and Aveiro (which is considered to be the Venice of Portugal). The process of buying a ticket is very simple: back at the entrance of the station, where the azulejos are located, is the ticket office. The price of a ticket is around €3.25. At the ticket booths you will have to specify your destination along with the time you want to leave.
You must also validate your ticket before boarding. In the interior of the station you will see yellow ticket scanners placed before the trains where your ticket can be validated. Once you have bought your ticket you are free to wait around until it is time to depart. As was previously mentioned, there are magazine stands besides other charming stands, as well as a cafe for you to pass the time at. The train doors will open around ten minutes or so before departure, so you are free to go and grab your seat.
Besides being just a train station, São Bento also has a metro station! Located right across from the train station is the metro. Having an ‘‘M’’ sign which says ‘‘São Bento’’ right underneath it, this metro station will take you anywhere along Line D - which is also known as the Yellow Line.
Having 16 stops, the Yellow Line will take you to places such as Trindade, where you can switch to any of the other five metro lines. It will also take you to the Gaia side where there are also many interesting places to see. Some of these places include the Jardim do Morro. The Jardim do Morro is popular for its amazing view of the Douro River and Porto city, as well as for being located right next to the famous Dom Luis I Bridge.
The São Bento station is not only a beautiful place to visit, but it also provides you with effective traveling options. It is definitely worth putting on your ‘‘must see’’ list while you are here in Porto! From there, you will have easy access to the city center as it is only a few minutes walk from the station itself.
Thank you for reading this blog! I hope that you found it to be very informative and helpful. Just know that Falesia Consultants is always here to help.
Until next time!