Where to get a pilgrim passport in Porto? 2023 Guide




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Camino Portuguese has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Neither too short nor too long, neither too difficult nor to easy (for a true pilgrim experience), it is steadily climbing up the ranks of most popular pilgrimages. In 2019 for example (the last year before the pandemics), Porto was the 3rd most popular starting point of pilgrims headed to Santiago, trailing only Sarria and Saint Jean Pied de Port (both of them are on Camino Frances, the most popular way of all).

Almost 30,000 pilgrims started their pilgrimage from Porto in 2019, and now the pandemics is over, the numbers will start growing again. If you plan to join their ranks, walking roughly 260 kilometers, and enjoying either the beauty of Atlantic coast (following the coastal road), or the lush forests and historical heritage of inland Portugal (following the traditional route) you may wonder where you can get your pilgrim passport in Porto, a simple document that will allow you to sleep in albergues (hostels for pilgrims), and entitle you to some discounts in restaurants and other services along the way. Let’s have a look at the options you have.

* May also interest you: Ultralight packing list for Camino de Santiago, 2023 edition.


You can get the credential in Cathedral de Se in Porto

Most pilgrims arriving to Porto without a credential get one in the cathedral. The place is worth a visit regardless of whether you are a pilgrim or not, and at the end of the day Camino de Santiago is a catholic pilgrimage, so in my view it is just fitting to get your credential (and start your walk) from a Catholic place like the Cathedral de Se.

The place is officially open for visitors (including pilgrims) every day of the week, from 9am to 5:30 pm, and you can see the location on Google maps here: (just click the link to go there).  As you go in (through the main entrance) there is a desk on the right, where they sell pilgrim credentials (the price was 1.50 euro where I was there, which is rather symbolic) and a few other things.

If there aren’t many people inside they may help you filling out the fields in the credential, but if the place is busy they will just give you the stamp and wish you a nice camino and you are off to go. A great thing is that you will see the yellow arrows right in front of the cathedral, so you can basically start walking right upon picking up your credential. It is one of the reasons why most pilgrims get their passport from the Cathedral, instead of opting for other options.

– Cathedral in Porto on a nice sunny day. You can get your credential there every day from 9:30 to 5pm, at the desk on the right of the main entrance (inside).

You can also get the pilgrim passport in some of the pilgrim hostels in Porto

It may happen that you arrive to Porto late in the evening, once the Cathedral (or at least the desk selling credentials) is already closed. Yet you want to start the very next day, and simply cannot make it to the Cathedral during the opening hours. In such a case you may try to get your pilgrim passport in one of the pilgrim hostels (or places for pilgrims) in the city.

* Do not forget to check also: Best time to walk Camino Portuguese.

If you find any information on this page incorrect or outdated, or have a suggestion how to improve it for fellow pilgrims, please let us know. Thank you for helping the pilgrim community, and buen Camino 🙂

In my experience, the most popular pilgrim place in town, the Albergue de Peregrinos Porto, does typically have a few spare credentials to sell (or even donate), exactly for the cases I described. It is undoubtedly a great place to stay in Porto for a night as a pilgrim, but I strongly recommend you to reserve your bed in advance, since it gets full easily in the main season. It is also one of the places that allows you to stay more than one night (which isn’t typical for a pilgrim place), so if you plan to spend couple of days in Porto it is a great choice.

Most importantly, the reception desk is open until 11pm, so you can get a credential there long after the Cathedral has closed its doors for the visitors… I’ve heard pilgrims got their credential in other places around town as well, such as the Albergue de peregrinos Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Vilar, or one of the primarily city-travelers hostels in town, but I cannot confirm this from experience. At the end of the day though, each good accommodation place tries to do the most for their guests, and since many pilgrims stay in Porto, it makes sense that these places will stack a few credentials for sale, just in case.


Getting your credential in advance from one of the Camino associations or from a private store

I do not buy any souvenirs on my Caminos or other travels, but there is one souvenir I cherish from every pilgrimage–my credential with all the stamps from all the wonderful places where I stayed along the way to Santiago (of course not each place is wonderful, but a bad place makes for an interesting memory as well :)). If you prefer to come to Porto with everything, or simply want to avoid any unnecessary stress on the way, you can order your pilgrim passport in advance, from one of the Camino Associations, or even from an online store that focuses on pilgrims.

This way has some advantages but also some drawbacks. Let me point out both of them:

  • + You can choose the design of your credential. At the end of the day, pilgrim passport isn’t an elaborate product that’s hard to make. On the contrary. Hence many online shops and websites specializing in content or merchandise for pilgrims sell one, or more versions of the credential. You can spend hours checking various designs and eventually purchase the one you like the most. On the contrary, in the cathedral or in one of the pilgrim hostels you simply have to buy the one they currently sell.
  • + You can support some organization related to the Camino, or even some worthy cause. Some Camino-related websites donate part of the profit from credentials’ sales to charities and NGOs, and some organizations are simply worth supporting, for example because they publish great and helpful content for pilgrims. At the end of the day, we all have bills to pay, and buying a credential from a website which you find helpful for pilgrims allows them to continue operating the website.
  • The price. Credentials you can get online are always more pricey than those you can get directly in Spain or Portugal. Sometimes it is due to material costs, and sometimes not :). It’s not unheard of paying 15 euro for a credential, plus shipping costs. If you go for a long Camino, or like to get more stamps along the way, and hence want two or three credentials, costs can quickly add up…
  • – Delivery time. If you order your pilgrim passport from abroad, you can never be 100% sure when it arrives. Sure, if you still have two months until you depart from Porto, you are safe. But if you leave in two weeks, it may easily happen your credential lands in your mailbox while you will already walk in Portugal.


Final thoughts

Porto is a common starting point for many pilgrims, trailing only Sarria and Saint Jean in popularity (at least numbers suggest so). Supply always follows the demand, hence it isn’t particularly difficult getting your pilgrim passport in Porto. You can get it either in the Cathedral (during the opening hours), or you can try your chances in one of the pilgrim places in town. Another alternative is ordering the pilgrim passport online, and arriving to Porto with credential in your pocket. I hope this post helped you to decide for one of these alternatives, and I wish you a wonderful Camino!


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