Where To Stay in Porto [5 BEST Neighborhoods!]

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Porto is a picture of tranquillity resting on the western edge of continental Europe. Old cobblestone streets tumble into a vibrant riverside of charismatic multi-toned buildings as sweet aromas of port drift through the air.

Porto is often overlooked in favor of Portuguese capital. But Porto has just as much to offer as Lisbon!

We think Porto is destined to be the next ‘it’ destination. Knowing where to stay in Porto will help you plan your vacation to suit your needs. Written by our travel experts, we break down Porto by interest to help you plan the best possible vacation, to find the best restaurants and museums in this charming city.

No matter what you’re looking to do in Porto, you’ll be able to find a hotel that’s right for you.

Let’s get started – here are our top picks for where to stay in Porto.

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Porto

Where to stay in Porto the first time – Baixa
Where to stay in Porto on a budget – Boavista
Best area to stay in Porto for nightlife – Ribeira
Coolest place to stay in Porto – Miragaia
Best neighborhood in Porto for families – Vila Nova de Gaia

Where to Stay in Porto

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our top recommendations for places to stay in Porto.

Best Budget Hotel in Porto – Ribeira do Porto Hotel

Ribeira do Porto Hotel

Ribeira do Porto Hotel is the best budget hotel in Porto

This swish gem of a hotel is found on the riverside in Ribeira and gives you all the amenities and facilities you need to enjoy your stay in Porto, plus it’s within moments of the top sights and nightlife. There is a pool and breakfast is included in the rate.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Porto – 1872 River House

1872 River House

1872 River House is the best mid-range hotel in Porto

This 4-star riverside retreat radiates romance, charm and warmth. It features 8 uniquely decorated boutique rooms with exposed brickwork for rustic charm. A copious breakfast is included and the rooms come with river views. Bicycles are available for rent and the exceptionally friendly staff can arrange a babysitting service.

Let’s make this simple. These are the best hotels in Porto!

Best Luxury Hotel in Porto – Infante Sagres Luxury Historic Hotel

Infante Sagres Luxury Historic Hotel

Infante Sagres Luxury Historic Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Porto

Found within Vinho Verde, this luxury, 5-star hotel radiates glamour, decadence and style. Lounge by the pool, soak in the spa or sip a cocktail at their elegant bar. Modern amenities and bathrooms blend seamlessly within this historic setting. The hotel offers babysitting and limousine services and honeymoon suites.

 

Porto Neighborhood Guide

Porto

Porto

Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city and the capital of the north. Clinging to a multitude of hills sat alongside the flowing River Douro, Porto offers a gorgeous perspective from any spot in town.

Porto was founded as a port city under Roman rule and still maintains this sort of ambience as you stroll along the riverbanks. 

Getting around Porto is easy, thanks to its metro system. It also has a decent network of trams for something more scenic. Porto is small enough to explore predominantly on foot or by bicycle. Many hotels provide rental bikes – be sure to ask.

In terms of where to stay in Porto, there’s plenty of options. Downtown Baixa is where you’ll find the majority of the city’s must-see attractions, so we recommend first-time travelers stay around here. Porto is generally not as expensive as other European cities, but the cheapest accommodation in town can be found in the buzzing hub of Boavista.

Scenic, historic Ribeira is as lively by night as it’s pretty by day. Its equally bonnie neighbour, Miragaia, is the coolest place stay in Porto as it blends riverside charm with the flurry of local life.

A short walk over the Luís I Bridge or a hop on the metro brings you to Vila Nova de Gaia, a large district known for its port cellars and beautiful beaches. We think this is the perfect place for families who are trying to decide where the stay in Porto.

Porto’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in:

Here’s our guide to where to stay in Porto, written by our travel experts.

Neighborhood #1 - Baixa

(Where to stay in Porto the first time)

Baixa

Baixa is our pick for where to stay in Porto the first time

Baixa is the downtown neighborhood of Porto where you’ll find most of the major landmarks and tourist attractions, making it a good shout for first-time visitors.

At the core runs the sprawling Avenida dos Aliados. The central promenade is flanked by grandiose buildings and shops and is the place to experience Porto at its busiest.

Baixa’s architecture is a delicious cocktail of imposing Baroque, playful Rococo and elegant Art Nouveau. Be sure to take a closer look at the azulejo tile-work. Among museums, churches and shopping you’ll also find a huge range of cuisine to try!

Top things to do in Baixa:

  • Climb the 240 steps of the Torre dos Clérigos, the bell tower of the Baroque Clérigos Church 
  • Admire the São Bento railway station which is one of the most beautiful in the world
  • Explore the small, historic square of Praça da Batalha
  • Wind down in the city’s oldest municipal park, the Jardim de São Lázaro
  • Pick up groceries from the  Art Nouveau fronted A Pérola do Bolhão
  • Find your new favorite author at Livraria Lello Bookshop. One of the most beautiful bookshops in the world!
  • Make your way to Rua Miguel Bombarda and wander the connecting streets which are known as the ‘Arts Block’ 
  • Take a backstage tour of Teatro Nacional São João
  • Enjoy a post sightseeing drink at Baixa Bar. Stay and make a night of it once the DJ rocks up
  • Scoff a pastel de nata (egg custard tart) at the Majestic Café 

Where to Stay in Baixa

Best Budget Hotel in Baixa Castelo Santa Catarina

Castelo Santa Catarina

Castelo Santa Catarina is the best budget hotel in Baixa

This unique hotel tumbles into a beautiful urban garden that guests can relax in. Rooms come with spacious private bathrooms, a flat-screen television and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a bar and restaurant on-site and a daily breakfast is included in the rate. Ask for a garden view!

Portugal is amazing! You can see more of it with these great day trips from Porto!

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Baixa – Malmerendas Boutique Lodging

Malmerendas Boutique Lodging

Malmerendas Boutique Lodging is the best mid-range hotel in Baixa

This 4-star studio and loft suites are real head-turners in the world of interiors! Within a boutique building, these six holiday apartments come with ample spaces to relax inside and in outdoor terraces and balconies. Apartments include basic kitchen facilities and a free continental breakfast is served daily.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Baixa Flores Village Hotel & Spa

Flores Village Hotel & Spa

Flores Village Hotel & Spa is the best luxury hotel in Baixa

In the historic heart of Porto, guests can soak up the sun on the hotel’s terrace, plunge into the indoor pool, pamper themselves in the spa or have a drink at the bar. These ornate rooms prioritize the comfort of guests. Breakfast is included, and the hotel has stunning views.

 

Neighborhood #2 - Boavista

(Where to stay in Porto on a budget)

Boavista

Boavista is our pick for where to stay in Porto on a budget

Boavista is a large neighborhood north of Baixa, comprised of grand boulevards, lofty architecture and swarms of busy Portuguese going about their daily business.

Further back from the riverside, Boavista is where you’ll generally find cheaper accommodation – although in whole Porto isn’t too pricey for lodgings.

The area is well-connected by metro for exploring further afield, but right on your doorstep, you have the architecture to swoon over, peaceful green spaces, an endless supply of shops and restaurants and cafes for as far as the eye can see.

Top things to do in Boavista:

  • Visit the ultra-modern Casa da Música for a day-time tour or dress up and go along to an evening orchestra
  • Eat freshly caught grilled fish at Grelhador da Boavista
  • Explore the Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque of the Rotunda da Boavista
  • See cutting-edge art at Fundação Serralves
  • Eat the traditional francesinha at Cufra – a typical Portuguese dish similar to France’s “croque-monsieur”
  • Find peace and quiet in the beautiful Cemitério de Agramonte
  • Explore the Parque de Cidade – one of Porto’s largest park
  • Take a break from Port at the Arts Bar where you’ll find a huge variety of mind and cocktails
  • Or, go exotic at the Bali-Hai Polynesian Bar
  • Buy a book, order a cappuccino and relax in boho coffee shop Gato Vadio which often hosts political talks and music events
  • Visit the ancient Igreja de São Martinho de Cedofeita
  • Make a night of it at popular Bar Labirintho which stays open until 4am

Where to Stay in Boavista

Best Budget Hotel in Boavista Boavista Guest House

Boavista Guest House

Boavista Guest House is the best budget hotel in Boavista

This quaint guest house has 21 rooms and has been recently refurbished. Rooms are compact, clean and air-conditioned. It boasts a lovely outdoor terrace where guests can unwind or plan their holiday under the sunshine. Breakfast is included in the rate and the property has a bar on-site.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Boavista Boavista Class Inn

Boavista Class Inn

Boavista Class Inn is the best mid-range hotel in Boavista

Behind its charming, turquoise facade is a contemporary hotel with airy rooms, all equipped with a private bathroom with shower, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included in the rate. There is an interior patio and outdoor terrace for guests to relax upon after a day of exploring.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Boavista Hotel da Musica

Hotel da Musica

Hotel da Musica is the best luxury hotel in Boavista

This 4-star property is modern and unique. Stylish rooms are kitted out with all the necessary amenities and furnished with a musical theme; the hotel is moments away from the Casa da Música and its metro station. The hotel has a 24-hour reception, as well as babysitting services.

 

Neighborhood #3 - Ribeira

(Best area to stay in Porto for nightlife)

Ribeira

Ribeira is our pick for the best area to stay in Porto for nightlife

Ribeira is Porto’s exceptionally beautiful riverside district, immediately south of Baixa. The neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its oh-so-pretty colorful buildings are brandished on postcards throughout the souvenir shops of Porto.

Ribeira is charming to explore on foot. You can admire wooden ships that line the river and the pastel-pretty buildings. Having swapped its shipbuilding reputation for riverside bars, Ribeira has the best nightlife in Porto. The riverside bars have a relaxing ambiance, perfect to unwind in after a busy day of sightseeing and there are a couple of late-night options and clubs.

Top things to do in Ribeira:

  • Cross the twin-level metal arched bridge of Luís I Bridge for scenic views back over Porto
  • Take a leisurely walk or bike ride along the side of the river
  • Explore the Gothic vaults and elegant rose windows of the Church of São Francisco
  • Drink sangria at Botequim Nostalgic
  • Go to a port tasting at Portologica
  • Check out the Casa do Infante – free entry at weekends!
  • Visit the Neoclassical old stock exchange of Palácio da Bolsa
  • Eat Portugal’s staple dish of bacalhau (salted cod) at aptly-named Bacalhau!
  • Watch live music at Porto’s top gig venue Hard Club
  • Dance the night away at Vulcão Night Club
  • Take a riverside cruise along the Rio Douro
  • Spend an evening in the Hotfive Blues & Jazz Blues CLub
  • Ride the Elevador da Ribeira up to Barredo
  • Sip cocktails and watch the sunset on the river at Bar Ponte Pensil

Where to Stay in Ribeira

Best Budget Hotel in Ribeira – Arco Apartments

Arco Apartments

Arco Apartments is the best budget hotel in Ribeira

These delightful apartments give holidaymakers the chance to feel like a real local! Apartments are furnished with kitchen facilities so you can cook if you wish, and savior the river views from your own balcony over a glass of port. A peaceful nook located only 300m from Ribeira Square.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Ribeira Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto

Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto

Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto is the best mid-range hotel in Ribeira

This ultra-hip boutique hotel comes with tasteful rooms and spacious, ornate bathrooms. A stone’s throw from the Douro River and the bars of Ribeira, the locals can’t be beaten! The hotel has an airport shuttle, 24-hour reception, a well-stocked on-site library and provides a tasty daily breakfast.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Ribeira Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site

Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site

Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site is the best luxury hotel in Ribeira

This luxury hotel is the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site! Rooms are furnished with a vintage flair and offer terrific views of Ribeiro’s riverfront. Each comes with a bathtub or a walk-in shower. Their bar serves some of the best cocktails in Porto, to start your night!

 

Neighborhood #4 - Miragaia

(Coolest place to stay in Porto)

Miragaia

Miragaia is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Porto

This small, riverside neighbourhood lays west of the city. Miragaia is really an extension of Ribeira. Architecture-wise they could be twins – sharing colorful, quirky houses wrapped around higgledy-piggledy streets.

There are plenty of small guesthouses and boutique hotels in Miragaia found alongside the homes of residents. Miragaia is diverse, with a mix of Portuguese and international residents opting to live here.

There are some fantastic attractions to check out locally, and Miragaia is perfect for eating, drinking and talking walks along the river,

Top things to do in Miragaia:

  • Explore the landscaped gardens, fountains and sculptures in the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
  • Go al fresco with your espresso at Café Mariana
  • Find unique art and design at CRU
  • Sip wine in chapel-turned-bar Cappella Incomum
  • Visit one of Porto’s oldest churches, the medieval Igreja de São Pedro de Miragaia
  • Get acquainted with a showcase of the puppets which have performed at the Teatro Marionetas do Porto by visiting the Museu das Marionetas
  • Eat, drink, do at AlmaAtPorto
  • Check out vintage trams at the Museu do Carro Eléctrico
  • Admire the delicate facade of Igreja das Carmelitas
  • Shop for vintage port and top-quality wine at Garrafeira do Carmo
  • Some say the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis is Port’s best art museum – find out!
  • Browse antiques at Armazém which also has a fabulous cafe attached
  • Tuck into traditional Portuguese dishes at family-run eateries Casa Virtude and O Caraças
  • Catch poetry readings and film screenings at Pinguim Café

Where to Stay in Miragaia

Best Budget Hotel in Miragaia – Porta Azul

Porta Azul

Porta Azul is the best budget hotel in Miragaia

The rooms at this restored 19th-century guesthouse all feature unique décor, contemporary artwork and come with a modern bathroom. The friendly hotel has a patio with garden access and provides a free daily continental breakfast (which may be enjoyed in your room) and they also provide bicycles for free.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Miragaia Vila Gale Porto Ribeira

Vila Gale Porto Ribeira

Vila Gale Porto Ribeira is the best mid-range hotel in Miragaia

In the core of Miragaia, this hotel provides luxurious, comfortable lodgings from where you can explore the city on foot or by bicycle. Guests rate the breakfast for its quantity and quality, and the views of the river are unparalleled. Helpful staff will help you find your way around Porto!

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Miragaia  Torel Avantgarde

Torel Avantgarde

Torel Avantgarde is the best luxury hotel in Miragaia

This luxury 5-star hotel features a sundeck and outdoor swimming pool which boasts terrific views of the city. The super-chic rooms are each eclectically designed with quirky art pieces. There is a gym and on-site restaurant where guests can dine and have their breakfast. Top-notch quality!

 

Neighborhood #5 - Vila Nova de Gaia

(Best neighborhood in Porto for families)

Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia is our pick for the best neighborhood in Porto for families

Cross over the Luís I Bridge and hey presto, you’re in Vila Nova de Gaia – the region of Porto’s most famous export, port! Technically a separate city in its own right, this extension of Porto’s center is so well connected by public transport that you won’t notice the distance.

Port’s south bank district is oozing with port cellars, green spaces and beautiful wonders to explore. There’s also sandy white beaches and dazzling riverside walks. The area is calm, chilled and abundant with spacious (and affordable) vacation apartments making it perfect for a family trip.

Choose to stay near the bridge for easy access to Port’s historic center, or head further west for ocean views.

Top things to do in Vila Nova de Gaia:

  • Drink port and tour the local cellars! Real Companhia Velha, Caves Sandeman and Taylor’s Port make for excellent starting points
  • Admire views of Porto across the river
  • Ride the cable-car from Cais de Gaia to the Serra do Pilar Hill viewpoint
  • Meet the lions at Zoo Santo Inacio
  • Pack a picnic and head to the Jardim do Morro or Parque da Lavandeira
  • Indulge in a beach day at Praia da Madalena
  • Catch a concert at Armazém 22
  • Share a family supper at DeCastro Gaia with views of the river
  • Tour the pretty baroque churches including Igreja de Santa Marinha
  • Explore the bars and restaurants that line Avenida de Ramos Pinto
  • Cycle the fishing village of Afurada and feast on fresh fish and fresh market produce

Where to Stay in Vila Nova de Gaia

Best Budget Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia – Groove-Wood Loft

Groove-Wood Loft

Groove-Wood Loft is the best budget hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia

Featuring a terrace and free Wi-Fi, these modern self-catered holiday apartments are big enough for a family a four, cribs can be provided. The Jardim do Morro Metro Station is 15 minutes’ walk away. They have a fully-equipped kitchen and fresh breakfast supplies are delivered every morning.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia Oh! Porto Apartments

Oh! Porto Apartments

Oh! Porto Apartments is the best mid-range hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia

These apartments are right by the bridge, for easy access to Ribeira and Baixa. Some units feature a terrace and/or balcony with river views. Breakfast is provided in a basket every morning. There is also a kitchenette, fitted with a microwave and refrigerator. Perfect spot for the family vacation!

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia The Yeatman

The Yeatman

The Yeatman is the best luxury hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia

In the heart of the port district, this 5-star luxury hotel comes with a gym, Turkish steam bath, rooftop terrace and an outdoor pool. There is a kids club and supervised childcare/activities. It’s even pet-friendly! Rooms are air-conditioned and spacious. You’ll want to stay forever!

 

Final thoughts on where to stay in Porto

Porto is a city full of twists and turns – literally and figuratively! The energetic hum of its center, its delectable port, its world-class museums and churches. The sprawling length of Avenida da Boavista, the cascade of riverside Ribeira and Miragaia. You’ll lap up this town and that city-break will swiftly become a fortnight summer holiday!

To recap our travel guide, Ribeira is our top choice for where to stay in Porto.

This bohemian neighborhood is one of the coolest in the city with its riverside eateries, its laid-back nightlife and its ancient buildings.

Our top pick for the best hotel in Porto is the 1872 River House thanks to its great riverside location, friendly vibes and impossibly chic décor. You seriously won’t find a better place to stay in Porto!

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.