Porto is a great place to start your Portuguese travel adventure or spend a few days enjoying the city on a shorter break. Porto was Europe’s Leading City Destination in 2022, and its popularity has continued to grow. Not only is Porto rich in history, it is also a great destination for culture and nightlife. When choosing where to stay in Porto, there are a few things to lookout for.
Porto’s historic centre is compact, with its neighbourhoods stretching towards the river and suburbs. The historic centre is the most popular place for visitors as it is close to many famous landmarks and attractions. Each neighbourhood in Porto has its own unique charm and appeal, from very local areas filled with traditional restaurants, shops and cafes, to bustling tourist centres, with numerous attractions within walking distance. Here are five of the best neighbourhoods to consider when deciding where to stay in Porto and our hotel recommendations for each area.
- Where To Stay In Porto
- Foz do Douro
- Vila Nova de Gaia
Where To Stay In Porto
Ribeira is one of the oldest areas of Porto and is filled with history and character.
The area was once the medieval harbour for the city and from the banks of the river, the streets were narrow and winding.
It’s medieval history has allowed the neighbourhood to become one of the most desirable destinations in the city, and one that has become a symbol for Porto itself.
Ribeira is a UNESCO World Heritage Neighbourhood and is filled with tall and tightly packed colourful buildings sitting along the rivers edge.
At its heart is Largo do Terreiro, a small square with a chapel and fountain.
Beyond the square is the main restaurant area of Ribeira with tables spilling out onto the streets during warm weather.
Spend some time walking along the riverfront to appreciate the beauty of the area, and its engineering marvels such as the Dom Luis I Bridge.
Teofilo Seyrig designed and built the bridge in 1877, and since then it has become one of the most important landmarks in the city.
Walk across the upper level of the bridge for incredible views along the river and out across Ribeira.
Experience more of Ribeira’s medieval history at Casa do Infante, the former customs house dating from the 1300s.
Where To Stay In Ribeira
Enjoy stunning river views from luxury hotel Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site, which is a five-star hotel on the banks of the Douro River offering beautiful views from its 16th century building.
Each bedroom has double glazed windows to ensure a good nights sleep, spacious bathrooms and well-designed bedrooms with an overall clean design aesthetic, enhanced by local touches such as photograph accent walls and vintage-style furniture.
The hotel has air conditioning throughout, free WiFi, a bar serving refreshing cocktails and an excellent onsite restaurant.
Pet lovers are allowed to bring their furry friends to stay at the hotel, so don’t be surprised to see a few dogs.
Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel offers guest direct access to river cruises that depart right outside of the hotel, as well as historical sites such as Torre dos Clérigos Bell Tower and the cathedral both only a short walk away.
Mid-range: Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto
The stunning 4-star Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto is a great place to stay for easy access to public transportation and some of the best historical attractions in the city.
The hotel reflects some of Portugal’s best and most important discoveries and this theme can be found in its bedrooms through paintings and decorative items.
The whole hotel has a homely vibe and is relaxing and inviting in both shared spaces such as the bar and lounges, as well as in the bedrooms.
Each bedroom has a private bathroom with free toiletries, comfortable beds, TVs and safety deposit boxes to secure your valuables.
A short walk from the hotel is the São Bento train station and metro links, opening up the rest of the city to you.
Within walking distance of the hotel is the Dom Luis I Bridge which offers spectacular views over the river, and the city’s famous Port Wine Cellars for those wanting to learn more about this iconic drink.
Budget: TURIM Oporto Hotel
The TURIM Oporto Hotel offers rooms at a very reasonable price while maintaining a 4-star rating and exquisitely designed bedrooms and communal areas.
The bedrooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms, crisp white bedding on comfortable beds all set inside cosy spaces finished in rich hardwoods with elegant design touches.
The hotel has a trendy bar area which is perfect for a drink while planning your adventures, or to relax and unwind in after a day of exploring.
The hotel is excellently placed for some of Ribeira’s most popular attractions including the Oporto Coliseum, a theatre and concert hall.
It also has easy access to public transport, however if you choose to travel by car onsite parking is also available.
Foz do Douro
Foz do Douro is a relaxed beach neighbourhood that is perfect for those looking to combine history and culture with tranquility and sunshine.
The neighbourhood is where the Douro River flows into the Atlantic Ocean and as a result offers some of the best sunsets in Portugal.
Foz do Douro is well-known as a beach-destination for the Portuguese and Brits, however more and more visitors are flocking to its sandy shores to make the most of the sun and the surf.
If you are arriving in Porto and travelling down to your accommodation in Foz do Douro, do so in style and take the number 1 tram, a beautiful old wooden tram from the 1930s that runs along the edge of the river.
Visit one of two historical forts in Foz do Douro; Fortress Sao Jao Baptista da Foz and Fort of Sao Francisco do Queijo.
Both of these structures date from the 15th and 16th centuries and were designed to safeguard the mouth of the river.
Where To Stay in Foz do Douro
Luxury: Villa Foz
For the ultimate opulent stay, book Vila Foz Hotel & Spa.
The hotel is a former private mansion home with much of the original decor remaining today, adding to the luxurious feeling of the hotel.
This 5-star hotel has spacious rooms with coffee machines, mini bar, flatscreen TVs and spacious bathrooms, with some even having private balconies for the best views out towards the city and the ocean.
Vila Foz has a large garden which is worth taking an evening stroll through, a bar, restaurant set within the former grand dining room, and tasteful interior design touches to compliment the traditional manor-house features.
The spa offers a relaxing menu of treatments including holistic skincare treatments, Turkish baths, sauna, indoor pool and beauticians.
The hotel is close to many beaches including Molhe Beach and Castelo do Queijo Beach.
Mid-range: Casa da Marechal
Another excellent beach hotel is Casa da Marechal which is a mere 300m (984.25ft) away from Molhe Beach.
This 4-star hotel is adults only, providing a luxurious and relaxing stay for those looking to unwind.
The hotel’s large outdoor swimming pool is popular and there are sun loungers for relaxing during the warm summer weather, while the garden is perfect for strolling through before or after dinner.
Bedrooms have air conditioning, desks, coffee machines, terraces to enjoy a drink with a view from, and private bathrooms with his and hers sinks and large showers.
Within the hotel is a bar and a spa and wellness centre with saunas and massage treatments available.
The hotel is in a good location for access to a number of Foz do Douro’s beaches, however is a little further away from the main tourist sites of Porto.
Budget: Hotel Boa
Hotel Boa is set inside a 19th century building and has stunning panoramic views from its outdoor cafe out over the mouth of the Douro River.
This 3-star hotel has spacious bedrooms finished in blues and creams, with tasteful design touches throughout.
The hotel boasts a rooftop pool, sun loungers and gym, and offers guests a hearty and tasty breakfast.
Hotel Boa is a mere 5 minute walk away from Ingress Beach, and has good access to other sites in the area such as Sea Life and local shops.
Baixa is the perfect neighbourhood to stay in Porto if you want access to great nightlife on your doorstep.
The neighbourhood is still relatively central and is a little more local in its atmosphere than Ribeira.
The area is peaceful during the day with many visitors choosing to explore its churches and enjoy a bite at its wide variety of coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants.
On an evening bars and nightclubs open up, and restaurants tend to stay open late.
Baixa is still close to many of the city’s tourist attractions and is known as the grand centre of Porto.
In 2004 the area was named a World Heritage Site and is filled with charming and at times imposing historical buildings.
If you are interested in architecture check out the São Bento Railway station which has an impressive tiled entrance hall, and Church dos Clérigos and its 75m (246.06ft) high tower for breathtaking views over the city.
Where To Stay In Baixa
Luxury: PortoBay Flores
PortoBay Flores is a spectacular 5-star hotel that will truly make you feel at home in this historic part of the city.
Each bedroom has air conditioning, luxurious bedding and elegant yet modern design touches.
Bedrooms are spacious and comfortable, and each private bathroom is pristine and relaxing.
Inside the hotel is an indoor swimming pool with views over the city, hammam, gym and an excellent restaurant.
PortoBay Flores is close to the mesmerising Lello Bookshop, a bookshop perfect for literary fans with its stained glass roof, hardwood bifurcated staircase and shelf after shelf of wonder.
The hotel has excellent access to Porto’s public transport network with the nearest metro station only a four-minute walk away.
Porto Bay Flores is also a short walk away from must-visit landmarks such as Clerigos Tower and Ferreira Borges Market.
Mid-range: The Editory Garden Porto Hotel
This elegant 4-star hotel is the perfect destination to relax and unwind in the city.
The hotel is set inside a sleek white and black modern building, however inside the garden theme of the hotel really brings the communal spaces such as the bar and lounge area to life.
Each bedroom has air conditioning, flatscreen TVs and spacious bathroom with shower and free toiletries.
The garden is a pleasant space to relax in and to enjoy a drink, and is filled with many leafy green plants, seating area and terrace, and a small pond.
The garden theme continues inside the hotel at the bar which is finished with deep green tiles and ivy growing over the wicker canopy.
The hotel is a short walk away from the Oporto Coliseum and has excellent access to the city’s public transport network.
Budget: ICON Duplo Ribeira
Located in the heart of Baixa and close to Ribeira Square and Palacio da Balsa is ICON Duplo.
The 4-star hotel has comfortable bedrooms with air conditioning, free WiFi and, in certain rooms, balconies with views across the city.
The interior of the hotel is bright and open, with deep blue touches in its furniture and decor.
This theme runs into the bedrooms with rich blue walls, patterned rugs and soft blue throws.
The hotel’s breakfast is excellent, with a variety of tasty options, and a relaxing bar to start or end your evening in.
ICON Duplo is only a short walk away from Ferreira Borges Market, an 1880s market building that now houses a restaurant and nightclub.
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Vitoria is in the historic centre of Porto and is the ideal destination to stay in if you want easy and on-foot access to some of the city’s most famous landmarks and historical sites.
Vitoria is the old commercial centre in the city and surrounds the university.
Today expect to find the area bustling with tourists and locals alike creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
On an evening the area becomes a popular nightlife destination with many clubs and bars to dance the night away.
Vitoria is home to the beautiful Jardim da Cordoaria, a small park offering a tranquil escape from the noise of the streets.
Inside the park is a small lake, plenty of trees offering welcome shade during the summer, and a variety of sculptures.
Where To Stay In Vitoria
Luxury: Hospes Infante Sagres Porto
For the ultimate luxury stay in Porto book Hospes Infante Sagres Porto, a 5-star hotel with opulence.
The hotel is set inside a historic building and thanks to a recent renovation is pristine in its design and decor.
The hotel features a range of spaces to unwind in including a terrace, restaurant, bar area and cafe.
To further add to the luxurious atmosphere of the hotel, a sundeck, sun loungers and plunge pool are also offered to guests.
Bedrooms at the hotel are soundproof to ensure guests have the best nights sleep possible, and are fitted with rich classical decor blending seamlessly with modern necessities such as flatscreen TVs and minibars.
As the hotel is located in the UNESCO Heritage City site, there are many attractions only a short walk away from the entrance.
Visit the Infante De Sagres, Rem Koolhaas’s Casa da Mùsica Concert Hall and of course the landmark Dom Luís I Bridge.
Mid-range: Hotel Moon & Sun
The 4-star Hotel Moon & Sun is the perfect destination to relax and unwind in without the high price tag.
The hotel has air conditioned rooms, fresh white linens and comfortable beds.
When booking, be sure to select a room with a city view for spectacular views and even sunset views over the city.
Breakfast is of a high standard at Hotel Moon & Sun, with all dietary requirements catered for.
The area surrounding the hotel is popular with cyclists, and bikes are available for hire allowing you to explore more of the city.
Further views of the city can be found at the hotels excellent rooftop bar.
Budget: Selina Porto
For a budget stay that feels trendy and quirky in equal measure, book your stay at Selina Porto.
The hotel has a spectacular open bar and seating area with canopies, comfortable seats and plenty of greenery.
This hotel has a range of accommodation options including private double and twin bedrooms, or for those on a tighter budget or working their way across Europe on a backpacking tour, spacious and comfortable dormitory rooms.
Selina Porto has an excellent on-site restaurant and is close to a range of popular local restaurants if you would prefer to eat out.
The hotel is ideally placed for must-visit sites such as Lello Bookshop, Clérigos Church, Soares dos Reis National Museum and the city market which are all only a short walk away.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova Gaia is the perfect destination to stay in Porto for impressive views, access to many must-visit landmarks and is well-connected to the rest of the city through its public transport network.
From Vila Nova de Gaia are some of the best views out across the historic centre of the city.
Its location close to the famous Dom Luis I Bridge and the river allows for even more spectacular viewpoints.
Lined up along the banks of the river here are many historic rabelos which are boats once used to transport port wine.
Take the time to stroll along the delicately lit riverbank on an evening and see the bridge lit up.
As the neighbourhood is on a hill, the views are spectacular, particularly if you get up early to watch the sun rise and set.
If you are interested in sampling some authentic port during your stay, visit WOW, Porto’s World of Wine experience.
This relatively new tourist attraction is located inside former port warehouses and walks visitors through the port making process and more in its seven museums.
There’s also a range of restaurants serving delicious local dishes and outdoor plazas to unwind and enjoy a glass of port in.
Vila Nova de Gaia is a great destination for those looking for delicious meals and fine dining opportunities.
Enjoy an exquisite meal at 2-Michelin starred The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant for a range of dishes including many carefully designed and beautifully presented seafood dishes.
Where To Stay In Vila Nova Gaia
Luxury: Vincci Ponte de Ferro
Vincci Ponte de Ferro is a spectacularly and luxuriously designed hotel close to the Douro River.
The hotel’s outdoor swimming pool is open in summer and there’s an indoor fitness centre open year-round.
The garden terrace overlooking the river is ia lovely spot to sit and relax.
Each bedroom is thoughtfully furnished and decorated with bold red accent walls, a light and airy feel to the space, and natural wooden touches through fixtures and furniture.
The hotel’s bar is the epitome of riviera design and is a light and open space to enjoy a drink in.
Some rooms offer spectacular views over the Dom Luis I Bridge and the river.
The hotel’s in-house restaurant specialises in Mediterranean and Portuguese dishes on an evening, and serves a delicious and varied breakfast each morning.
Mid-range: Caléway Hotel
The 4-Star Caléway Hotel is the perfect base for your time in Porto.
The hotel is set inside a historical building that has been developed with tasteful modern architectural touches and is set within a secluded garden adding to the peace and tranquility of the accommodation.
Each bedroom in the hotel has air conditioning, free WiFi, tea and coffee machines and a mini bar.
Bedrooms are modern, bright and airy, many of which have beautiful views over the gardens or out towards the river.
The hotel is close to the Port Wine Caves and the historic centre of the neighbourhood.
Caléway Hotel has a rooftop terrace with excellent views over the Dom Luis I Bridge and the Douro River, and of course out across towards Porto’s main centre.
For a simple and relaxing base in Vila Nova de Gaia, look no further than ClipHotel.
The hotel is modern in design and is the perfect accommodation to book for those looking to spend more time exploring than at the hotel.
While it is limited in amenities, the hotel does have well-equipped bedrooms including free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, air conditioning and private bathrooms.
Family rooms are also available for those traveling with children.
The hotel’s friendly reception staff are available 24-hours a day and can help you find the best restaurants in the area, recommend places to visit, and can arrange bicycle or car hire to make your stay even more enjoyable.
ClipHotel is ideally located for El Corte Inglés, a large shopping centre, and has good access to public transport for venturing across the river and into the historical heart of Porto.
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