Looking for the best places to stay in Porto, Portugal? You just found them!
Porto is one of the most popular destinations in Portugal. With its cute cobbled streets, countless “azulejos” tiles, jaw-dropping views and unique architecture, it’s easy to see why.
Porto is a fairly small city, with most of its attractions all located close to each other. That said, each neighbourhood has its own distinctive vibe, and is best suited for certain type of travellers.
In this article I outlined all the best areas to stay in Porto, explaining who they are best suited for and including Porto accommodation options for every budget. So that you can find the best place to stay in Porto for your travel style!
So without further ado, let’s dive in and discover where to stay in Porto!
- 1 A Little About Porto
- 2 Overview of the best areas to stay in Porto
- 3 Where to Stay in Porto Portugal for First-Timers
- 4 Bonfim – Where to Stay in Porto on a Budget
- 5 Cedofeita – Best Neighbourhood to stay in Porto for Couples
- 6 Ribeira – Best Places to stay in Porto for Solo Travellers
A Little About Porto
Porto is a beautiful city with a history as long as the river that it is built along. It is a town of contrasts with a mix of medieval structures, modern twists, and a young driving force behind it.
This is a city of artists and creatives who love to express themselves and enjoy life to the maximum — through food, art, and more.
When it comes to the best areas to stay in Porto, there are a few to choose from. It depends entirely on what you are looking for on your adventure to Porto.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the different neighbourhoods around Porto while living out your Portugal 2-week itinerary.
Overview of the best areas to stay in Porto
Before we dive into the details and hotel suggestions of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Porto, I wanted to share with you an overview of each area.
Baixa / Sé – The Downtown central area of Porto where all the attractions are, it’s perfect for sight seeing and a great place to stay for first timers.
Aliados and Bolhao – Another very central area perfect for first time visitors, where you can experience the local vibe of Porto.
Bonfim – Located on the outskirts of the centre, cheaper, less crowded and touristy, it’s perfect for budget travellers.
Cedofeita – Home to many museums and art galleries, it’s unofficial trendy “art district” of Porto, perfect for a couples getaway looking for a romantic stay.
Ribeira – Porto’s famous riverfront neighbourhood, with the narrow cobbled streets, colourful houses and easy access to all the attractions, it’s one of the best places to stay in Porto for solo travellers.
Now that we’ve looked at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Porto at a glance, let’s dive into the details of each area and my top hotel suggestions for each.
Where to Stay in Porto Portugal for First-Timers
The entire city is buzzing with possibilities and the choice of where to stay for the first time can be difficult. But for your first trip to Porto, there are two areas that stand out.
Baixa / Sé – Best Area to Stay in Porto for Sightseeing
Baixa, Porto or Sé, is the Downtown area of the city and where you will find most of the attractions Porto has to offer. Interestingly, it is right next to Cedofeita and sits above Riberia, highlighting just how close together everything is.
Unfortunately, you won’t have the same river views as some of the other neighbourhoods in the city. But this is still one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Porto with its own unique views of all the landmarks.
I recommend taking a look at the insanely beautiful metro station, which is not only amazing to take photos of, but also means you can get anywhere in Porto with relative ease. The Rua das Flores is another must-see with its stunning façades.
If you love history and want to find some classic hotels to stay in, Baixa has these in spades. There are even a few historical mansions that have been transformed into hotels.
Don’t get lost, though — these streets are a bit of a labyrinth filled with classic buildings, home to cafes and little boutique stores. Staying in a Porto lodging here really puts you in the middle of everything.
Here’s a breakdown of a range of accommodations for every budget.
Budget: Nations Porto Studios & Suites – Stunning views of the city with a brilliant location. You can get pretty much anywhere from here with a return to a nice and quiet spacious room.
Mid-Range: Eurostars Porto Douro – A 4-star hotel at an affordable price and amazing location. Comfortable and generously spaced rooms with everything you could need.
Luxury: Torel Palace Porto – Probably the most awe-inspiring hotel in the city. It’s like living in a fairytale with the decorations and atmosphere. This, with the service provided, makes this a real VIP treatment.
Aliados and Bolhao – The Best Area to Live Like a Local
This is probably the most beautiful neighbourhood in Porto, with its bold colours and facades.
It also happens to be the travel hub of the city, perfect to use as a starting point for your trip or as base for many amazing Porto day trips. There is a place to stay here for everyone’s budget and taste needs.
This is an immensely busy and popular area, especially Santa Catarina Boulevard which is lined with different restaurants and stores to get lost in and spend some holiday money on.
While here, be sure to check out the ‘Azulejos’. These intricate hand-painted tiles that cover the backstreets are a stark contrast against the landscape with their white and blue colours.
So, make sure that you have a camera with you to snap some holiday images here. This is where the locals also come for their daily errands, picking up food from the local markets and grabbing some lunch.
At night, it transforms into a buzzing area with different lounges, clubs with live performers, and even some bars that are a little like a speakeasy.
Here are some of the best places to stay in this neighbourhood for every budget.
Budget: Hotel do Norte – This is where I stayed in Porto. An amazing budget option that offers small but affordable rooms with a view over the Chapel of Souls. It is also within walking distance of all the main attractions.
Mid-Range: Grande Hotel do Porto – This is perfect for a romantic getaway. This hotel is a restored 19th-century building with stunning views of the city from the rooftop terrace. It is surrounded by different shops and cafes, so you are spoilt for choice every day on what to eat.
Luxury: The Toel Avantgarde – Has everything that you would come to expect from a 5-star hotel. The views of the city alone make this hotel worth every cent, but it’s also centrally located and within walking distance of most major attractions.
Bonfim – Where to Stay in Porto on a Budget
If you are wanting to be less touristy and want to stay in a place that is quieter, Bonfim is one of the best places to stay in Porto, Portugal.
This is a nice place for those looking for middle-of-the-road accommodation and who want to experience more of the Porto lifestyle.
This area is a little bit on the outskirts away from the centre of the city, but that is what makes this neighbourhood appealing. It is orientated to the locals and makes for a brilliant way to immerse yourself in daily life.
The difference, though, is that this is the ‘hipster’ area of the city, with enticing coffee shops and even quite a few different pubs that serve craft beer.
This isn’t necessarily a hot spot for just any tourists that visit because it doesn’t have any major attractions. But, it does offer great-looking and affordable accommodation that is still pretty close to all the big-ticket spots, without being near all the noise.
Porto is a very safe city as it is, but Bonfim, since it is more of a residential area, is even more safe and is one of the safest places in the city.
To book a quiet stay, here are some of my recommendations.
Budget: Seculo Hotel – Perfect for the duo travelling through Porto. This hotel offers large comfortable rooms and lovely staff, plus it’s within walking distance of the centre.
Mid-Range: Acta The Avenue – This hotel rivals more expensive accommodation with its amenities such as air-conditioning, WiFi, and a restaurant. You’ll find large rooms and a prime location close to the metro.
Luxury: Vila Gale Porto Centro – Splurge at this 4-star hotel with spacious rooms and stay centrally located making travel easy. The on-site spa is a must-try as well.
Cedofeita – Best Neighbourhood to stay in Porto for Couples
Cedofeita is home to most of the museums and galleries in the city, giving this trendy area the unofficial name of being the “art district of the city.”
This is a pretty central neighbourhood within walking distance of top tourist locations and Baixa Sé. Cedofeita is ideal for the couple that wants a romantic escape to a vibey area which offers plenty to do.
I recommend taking your partner for a romantic outing in the 150-year-old Crystal Palace Gardens, a firm favourite amongst tourists and couples alike that should be on your Porto itinerary.
This exciting location is also where you will find some top Porto accommodations, away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Porto.
From boutique hotels to amazing guesthouses and hotels, there really is something for everyone and every budget for accommodation in Porto.
Below are the top three places to stay in Cedofeita that I’d suggest looking at first.
Budget: Boavista Guest House – Located in the historic centre with lovely staff and a delicious breakfast, Boavista is surrounded by restaurants and stores as well, for any snack runs.
Mid-Range: Exe Essenzia Porto – This is a new modern hotel with an amazing breakfast and informative staff. The average-sized rooms are nice and quiet so there’s no noise to keep you awake.
Luxury: Canto De Luz Luxury Maison – Blending luxury with technology, this is an exquisite boutique hotel with superb service. There’s also a Whatsapp function to contact the front desk for assistance with some units even having their own kitchen.
Ribeira – Best Places to stay in Porto for Solo Travellers
Found on the river banks of the city, Riberia is a beautiful little neighbourhood with cobbled streets and tiny alleyways that transport you back in time.
This is the heart of tourism in the city of Porto, with its stunning vistas and opportunities to relax at one of the many cafes for a coffee. Believe it or not, this area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The thing that makes Ribeira stand out the most, however, is the Ponte Dom Luis I Bridge. This triumphant structure might remind you of another iconic steel structure in Paris, since it was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel.
If you are a fan of people-watching then this is also a spectacular place to sit back and watch as life happens along the riverbanks.
Delve deeper into the old neighbourhood and you will find the centre of the nightlife to the city in the Praça da Ribeira. Pick your club or bar of choice and dance the night away before returning to your accommodation.
Just keep in mind that you will have a steep walk up the Rua das Flores to get to Downtown Porto.
Here are some lovely places to stay in Ribeira, Porto, for every budget.
Budget: Pimms Home Ribeira – Pimms Home offers a lovely budget bed and breakfast with large rooms, a central location and a cosy bed.
Mid-Range: Descobertas Boutique Hotel Porto – Pick this modern hotel in the heart of Ribeira in the main plaza next to the river. The rooms are small but extremely comfortable with all the amenities you could ask for.
Luxury: Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira – Live in the lap of luxury in this 4-star hotel with glorious vistas of the Douro River. The location is stunning with friendly staff and large rooms.
Final Thoughts on the Best Area to Stay in Porto Portugal
There you have it, the ultimate guide to where to stay in Porto! Have you been to Porto before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
My Portugal itinerary was more focused around Lisbon and the Algarve, discovering the castles and medieval towns on day trips from Lisbon or the unique caves and beaches of the Algarve. However, I wish I had spent longer in Porto.
This beautiful city is home to many unique sights, as well as its stunning surroundings like the Douro Valley. It’s definitely worth staying in Porto for a while, discovering everything it has to offer.
The best place to stay in Porto will ultimately depend on you, your budget and travel style. In this guide I wanted to include all the details on each neighbourhood, so that you can find the right place for you.
I hope you will find this guide useful in planning where to stay in Porto! If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below.