Palacio da Bolsa is a 19th-century building in the center of Porto in northern Portugal. It was built to be the stock exchange of Porto. The Palacio da Bolsa is one of the most important tourist attractions, and here is what you can expect at the Stock Exchange Palace Porto during your trip.
Should you visit the Bolsa Palace: Review of Stock Exchange Palace Porto
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The Palacio da Bolsa was built in Neoclassical style, and it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The interior of the Palacio is just as impressive as the exterior, and it is full of ornate decoration.
The Palacio da Bolsa is open to the public, and it is a great place to learn about the history of Porto. If you are visiting Porto, make sure to add the Bolsa Palace to your list of must-see attractions.
Bolsa Palace Tickets
You can admire the palace’s exterior for free, and even hang out in the garden area of Infante D. Henrique Square, in the roundabout in front of the complex.
But entry to the Bolsa Palace is not free. It is only possible to visit with a guide or a guided tour. Tours are available in various languages including English and Portuguese.
You can book tickets for Palacio da Bolsa here. The tickets are valid for the entire day.
Guided tours last for 30 minutes. When you are at the site, you have to redeem the voucher for a ticket that will state the exact time for the guided tour.
Because there are tours in multiple languages, you have to confirm the exact timing!
Do you need to book in advance to visit Palacio da Bolsa? Yes, it is recommended that you book tickets in advance for visiting the Stock Exchange Palace in Porto.
When is Palacio da Bolsa open?
The Bolsa Palace is open every day from 09:00 am to 06:30 pm.
How to get to the Bolsa Palace?
It is conveniently located in the Ribeira district on the Rua Ferreira Borges to be exact, and is near cafes and other sightseeing attractions in Porto.
Address: R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal
It can be accessed from the São Bento railway station.
- Stop on the D (yellow) metro line.
- And from there, you have to walk a bit (about half a mile) to get there.
You can also ride the bus to get to the Bolsa Palace, via lines/stops 1, 23, 49, 57, and 91.
Why was the Bolsa Palace established?
The Palácio da Bolsa are the headquarters and property of Associaçao Comercial do Porto. It was built in 1842; when the first stone was laid on this site due to the closure of the previous stock exchange office.
The building was built on the ruins of the Saint Francis Convent.
History and architecture of the Bolsa Palace in Porto
The Commercial Association built the Bolsa Palace in Neoclassical style during the 19th century. It is located in Infante D. Henrique Square, a World Heritage Site in Porto’s historic center, and it is part of UNESCO’s list.
It has established itself as the city’s drawing room, with the most illustrious guests, among whom have been kings, presidents, and ministers from nearly every country, having paid a visit here.
Joaquim Costa Lima Junior was the first architect of the Bolsa Palácio (from 1840 until 1860).
Today you can explore the stunning interiors with a guide and admire the glass-domed Patio das Nacoes (Hall of Nations) and the magnificently golden Salao Arabe (Arabian Hall, which was built to imitate the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain), as well as the numerous oil paintings that adorn the walls and ceilings.
Patio das Nacoes (Hall of Nations): This is the first area that you will see at the Palace. It is filled with intricate details, with soft pink hues which makes it super pretty.
Noble Staircase: This stairway takes you to the first floor of the building and it is stunning in granite. It was designed by Gustavo Adolfpho Gonçalves e Sousa. And later on, sculptures were added by artists such as António Soares dos Reis.
The Commercial Court Room: The Court is very beautiful with murals painted on the walls and ceilings. The room also features French renaissance style work, and the furniture was also gorgeous!
The Former Presidents Hall: This is a nice room filled with photos of the previous presidents of the Porto Commercial Association, which began in 1834 and continues today. I loved this room as you can get a nice view of the Ponte Luis I from the window.
The Royal Room: This room is presently still in use by the Board of Directors, which consists of 15 members who represent a variety of sectors. The members are elected and are not compensated for their monthly meetings (volunteer).
The Portraits Room: Adorned in Louis XVI style, this room pays tribute to the six previous kings of the Bragança dynasty. The pavement, without a doubt, stands out as having an uncommon optical illusion — illusory depth.
Jurors Room – Medina Museum: This is the chamber where the jurors met to discuss the legal actions taken during the Commercial Court’s bygone period. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Porto Commercial Association, Henrique Medina, an artist, donated a small collection of paintings. And so the Jurors Room now has a small museum.
The Arabian Room: This is the most stunning room in all of the Bolsa Palace. The Alhambra Palace served as the inspiration for this chamber, which was constructed by architect Gustavo Adolfo Gonçalves de Sousa.
Like the rest of the structure, this room has a pavement made of the finest woods including mahogany, jacaranda, Aspidosperma Olivaceum, rosewood, and plane.
Note: There is also a library on-site, but it is not open to the public.
The Bolsa Palace has been transformed into the most visited monument in northern Portugal by welcoming the finest visitors, including monarchs, presidents, and ministers. And no wonder it features regularly as a must visit attraction in Porto!
Tips for visiting the Palacio da Bolsa
Here are some quick tips to help plan your visit to the Bolsa Palace.
The first thing is that you will need to purchase tickets at the entrance or online in advance to enter the palace.
- Entry is just by guided tours only.
- Guided tours are available in several languages, and they last 30 minutes.
- The operating hours of the palace are from 09:00 am to 6:30 pm every day.
Ensure you carry your cameras to capture the beauty of the palace.
The Bolsa Palace is located close to other Porto sightseeing attractions such as the Igreja de São Francisco, and Ribeira, and there are fado shows, cafes, and restaurants located in the vicinity.
Porto Cathedral is about a 9 minute walk away, and the Clérigos church is about 30 minutes walk away.
Tour of the Stock Exchange Palace in Porto (and our experience)
I had heard and read so many things about the Bolsa Palace that I had to visit it. And it didn’t disappoint. (Plus it was pouring rain during my trip to Porto, so a visit just worked out perfectly).
I booked tickets online on the GetYourGuide website, and received them immediately. My e-ticket was valid for a day, and I arrived at the palace just when they opened for visitors at 09:00 am.
Because I booked a tour in English, the representative at the desk said that the guide will be there at 11:00 am. Because you cannot enter the complex without a guide, I had to return at 11:00.
It was a decent group of visitors, and the tour started on time. We entered through the Patio das Nacoes (aka Hall of Nations) and then navigated to the various rooms including the Court Room, and the Former Presidents Hall.
I liked the President’s Hall as it offered views of the iconic bridge – Dom Luis I, and some of the port wine cellars in Gaia (from across the Douro River). Read: Best views in Porto
As we moved from room to room, I stopped to take photos and admire the intricate details on the walls, and ceilings. I have to admit it was slightly difficult to follow along, but I had a great time photographing and pausing to admire the place!
The tour lasted 30 minutes and it ended at the Arab Room. This is where most people were taking a ton of photos and admiring everything inside!
Truly this was the icing on the cake.
Did you know that you can book the Arabian Room for private events or concerts?
After the tour ended, we exited by the souvenir store and washrooms.
There is a gorgeous flight of stairs with chandeliers by that area, I patiently waited to set up my tripod and took a few shots here!
Why should you visit the Palacio da Bolsa? Reviews
If you are visiting Porto, you must add the Palacio da Bolsa to your list of must-see attractions. The Palacio da Bolsa is a beautiful example of Neoclassical architecture, and it is one of the iconic heritage photo spots in Porto.
A tour of 30 minutes is not a lot to ask to enjoy this architectural beauty and appreciate the history of the merchant classes in the city’s prosperity.
Palacio da Bolsa is impressive, and it is not super crowded (unlike some of the other spots in Porto like the Livraria Lello Harry Potter bookshop)!
The Palacio da Bolsa is a great place to learn about the history of Porto, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
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