Welcome to Porto, a city rich in history and culture. As you explore its charming streets and picturesque riverside, why not immerse yourself in the past by staying at one of the historic hotels in Porto? From grand palaces to elegant manors, Porto offers a range of accommodations that have stood the test of time.
In this article, we will take you on a journey through some of the best historic hotels in Porto. Get ready to step back in time and experience the timeless charm that these establishments have to offer!
The best historic hotels in Porto are:
Nestled on the banks of the Douro River, Pestana Palácio do Freixo is a true gem among Porto’s historic hotels. This magnificent 18th-century palace transports you back to a bygone era with its stunning Baroque architecture, designed by the famous Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni (yes, the same mastermind behind the stunning Torre dos Clérigos).
The rooms, although not as splendid as the common areas, are still spacious, especially the family rooms. Furthermore, the hotel has two huge swimming pools, an infinity pool overlooking the Douro River and a heated indoor pool, 2 bars, spa with Turkish bath, sauna and massage treatments are also provided.
Another interesting thing about Palácio do Freixo is that, precisely because it is not located in the city center, it offers free transport to it.
Hospes Infante Sagres Porto is a true gem among the historic hotels in Porto. Dating back to the 1950s, Hospes Infante Sagres Porto was the first luxury hotel in Porto, and it is considered an example of the transition phase towards modernism in Porto.
This hotel contributes greatly to the recognition of the Portuguese hotel industry as it has hosted personalities such as the Dalai Lama, the Kings of Norway, Bob Dylan, Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich and more recently, in 2010, the band U2.
The rooms are soundproofed and decorated in an impeccable vintage style, and a beautiful stained glass window that surrounds the main staircase, the setting for excellent photos for Instagram. The location is wonderful, right next to Avenida dos Aliados, and from its fabulous rooftop you have an open view of the city.
PortoBay Teatro is a historic gem nestled in the heart of Porto. With its smoked glass façade, this charming hotel looks a bit shady from the outside (I am being super honest here!) but this sensation immediately disappears as soon as you step inside and are transported back in time to an era of opulence and grandeur.
Thing is: PortoBay Teatro was built on top of the ruins of the former Teatro Bacquet (the Baquet Theater), a concert hall built by the Porto tailor António Pereira Baquet. The theater opened in 1859 and was the scene of intense cultural activity until the night of March 20, 1888, when a violent fire broke out during a show, causing the death of 120 people. The story might be tragic but the hotel is not and I am happy that such a beautiful building was built to restore the former glory of Teatro Bacquet.
PortoBay Teatro is one of the best 4-star boutique hotels in Porto. In the past, the rooms were decorated in dramatic tones and dark curtains, like a jazz bar. But after being completely renovated in the first half of 2021, it has since offered a fresher, brighter and completely rejuvenated image. There are 5 categories of rooms, but if you accept my tip, choose the audience or the junior suite as they have a standalone bath tub.
Next to the hotel, but with its own access, the Il Basilico Restaurant (belonging to the hotel) offers homemade Italian food.
M Maison Particulière tells the story of a woman from Porto, named Maria Irene who was once walking in the city centre and fell in love with a discreet façade of a neoclassical building, in an advanced state of degradation. She immediately surrendered to the beauty the ruined building which, despite its marked state of degradation had Italian stucco ceilings and the wood carved “caisson” from the seventeenth century, so genuinely Portuguese, a precious collection of figurative azulejo tiles, a mixture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, covering part of the inner court and extending up to the fourth floor. In sum: a true gem. She decided to renovate the building and, after three meticulous years, M Maison Particulière became one of the best historic hotels in Porto.
The rooms at XXX are beautiful, each individually decorated with exclusive furniture, high ceilings, stucco details and wall paintings. One of the rooms has a wooden sculpture on the ceiling from the 17th century that is stunning.
The hotel has a bar and serves breakfast, but no restaurant – a 5-minute walk away you can find restaurants serving authentic local flavors.
Located in the heart of Porto, Pestana Porto A Brasileira is a historic hotel that offers guests a truly unique and unforgettable experience. After all, it is home to an iconic café called “A Brasileira”.
With a remarkable façade, with a magnificent iron and glass sunshade and a stunning interior, featuring crystal, marble and engraved leather furniture, A Brasileira is one of the most emblematic cafés in the city of Porto.
The establishment was founded by Adriano Soares Teles do Vale in the beginning of the 20th century. At a young age, Adriano emigrated to Brazil, dedicating himself to the coffee business, from which he became rich. Returning to Portugal, in the city of Porto, he set up a roasting business and founded “A Brasileira”, in 1903, to serve coffee. At that time, there was no habit of drinking coffee in public establishments in the city. To promote his product, during the first few years, Adriano Teles offered a cup of coffee in his establishment to anyone who bought a bag of coffee beans. And hence A Brasileira became the most popular spot of Porto!
Grande Hotel do Porto is one of the oldest hotel in Porto, being open since 1880. In fact, since its opening writers, politician, royals, artists and even war refugees have passed through the Grande Hotel do Porto. Just to give you a few examples:
In 1889 the monarchy fell in Brazil and Emperor D. Pedro II and his wife D. Teresa Cristina flew to Portugal, arriving on Christmas night. They occupied the Grande Hotel’s entire first floors, specially adapted to receive the Royal committee. The empress suffered from a severe heart condition and ended up dying a few days late. D. Pedro II, burning in sorrow, bought the room 16, where the empress passed away, so that it would never be used again. Such a beautiful (and tragic) love story, don’t you think?
The hotel has a gym (24 hours), a terrace on the top floor that offers panoramic views of the historic center of Porto; the Windsor bar and the D. Pedro II restaurant. The restaurant occupies a restored ballroom that is beautiful. The hotel also offers laundry, babysitting and currency exchange services, airport transfers and a massage room.
The Moov Porto Hotel Centro is located in an emblematic Art Deco building where Café Águia D´Ouro was born in 1839, and where in 1908 the Cinema Águia D´Ouro was opened, one of the best cinemas of the time. It currently houses the Moov Hotel Porto Centro, a renovated, sophisticated and welcoming space, where the spirit of cinema continues to live on. A hotel in Porto where modern meets classic.
With the preservation of the Art Decó façade, which dates back to the 1930s, the Moov Porto Hotel Centro returns to the enchanting city of Porto the soul of the Seventh Art, with the presence of several visual references from the world’s best-known movie stars, which decorate the bedrooms and also the common areas.
Of all the options on this list of the best historic hotels in Porto, Moov Porto Hotel Centro is the most economical option, also having a superb location, right in front of a beautiful baroque church and Cinema Batalha, one of the best independent cinemas in Porto.
Located next to the Douro riverfront, one of the city’s finest locations, the Vincci Porto Hotel is located in a building that was completely renovated from an historic fish market popularly known as Bolsa do Pescado. In addition to having a unique view over the Douro River, the Vincci Porto Hotel is side by side with some of the city’s typical emblems, such as the rabelo boats and the tram.
The Vincci Porto Hotel is a 4-star hotel with 95 modernist rooms, avant-garde architecture and contemporary design maintaining, however, traces of the original structure and several details that take us back to the past of the iconic market.
The terrace, open from April to October and subject to weather conditions, offers a beautiful view of the Douro River and the Arrábida Bridge – it’s worth a visit. On the other hand, it is located a 5-minute walk from the Palácio de Cristal gardens.
The Vincci Porto Hotel has a restaurant (33 Alameda) that provides fantastic breakfasts and perfectly average main meals.
Neya Porto Hotel was born from the recovery of the ruins of one of the few buildings of Manueline architecture in the city of Porto, the Convento Madre Deus de Monchique. The construction kept the original design of the convent and the garden cloister, preserving the history of the building.
From the symbiosis between the historical heritage and the contemporary nature of the project, Neya Porto Hotel was born, creating the perfect harmony between the past and the present, with a philosophy based on sustainability.
The hotel itself is a recent hotel, with a corporate style and simple, modern but very pleasant and beautiful decor. It has a peculiarly beautiful location, right next to the Ribeira neighborhood and right below the Palácio de Cristal Gardens. Both the hotel garden (with the ruins of the convent) and the rooftop (with views of the Douro River) are fantastic.
In the city of Porto, facing the infinite blue of the Atlantic, the Vila Foz Hotel & Spa is a privilege in the city. The walls of the Palatial House, which once belonged to the family of the current mayor of Porto, tell centuries-old stories, beautiful and happy memories of other times. Today, together with the new building built to welcome you, these walls tell other stories of comfort and welcome, always with the sea on the horizon.
This hotel is located right in front of one of the best beaches in Porto, but I remind you that it is far from the city center, so you need to use Uber, bus 500 or rent a car to visit the city’s attractions.
The hotel has two restaurants: Vila Foz (one of the best Michelin star restaurants in Porto) and Flor de Lis, both beautiful and with excellent service. Furthermore, it has a garden, bar, spa, sauna, indoor pool, gym.
The hotel also offers free bicycles, which is great for taking a stroll early in the morning or late in the afternoon on the seafront walkway.
Last but certainly not least, we have the exquisite Intercontinental Porto Palácio das Cardosas. This historic hotel is located in the heart of Porto, right on the iconic Praça da Liberdade.
Intercontinental Porto Palácio das Cardosas is located in an 18th century palace and was also the former Lóios convent, later converted into a palace after the extinction of the respective religious order. The Palace must have belonged to a merchant called Mr. Cardoso, who upon his death left it as an inheritance to his daughters, and the building began to be known as Palácio das Cardosas… and the name stuck!
The hotel’s decor is modern, elegant and luxurious (with neutral colors, providing a relaxing experience), and the rooms are spacious and overlook the city’s main avenue.
The English style bar of Intercontinental Porto Palácio das Cardosas offers a relaxing atmosphere, best enjoyed with a cocktail or a glass of Port wine; it also organizes fado nights and afternoon tea, among other events.
The hotel has a gym and spa: guests can work out in the 24-hour gym with modern equipment and weights. The on-site spa features 3 treatment rooms and a sauna.
This historic hotel in Porto has a great central location, right on the edge of São Bento station and the city’s main tourist attractions – however, it is an area currently under renovation so there is lots of traffic and noise during the day.
The Grande Hotel Paris owns the title of the oldest hotel in Porto, since it has been opened since… 1877. That’s right, it’s super old and hence it deserves to be placed on this list of the historic hotels in Porto! The building was completely renovated and reopened in 2023. The new decor, maintaining a traditional touch, is beautiful and customer feedback is very positive. It also has a great location, right in the historic center of Porto, close to shops, bars, cafes… it is very convenient, although parking is very difficult in this area.