Soooo. You’ve already booked your flight to Porto, and maybe even a couple of really cool activities BUT you are still missing the accommodation part – and this is where I come in, with this article about the best neighbourhoods to stay in Porto.
In 2022 a lot of construction work started around the city which made life more difficult in some neighborhoods (lots of noise and traffic jams!), so keep on reading to find where to stay in Porto in 2023!
Where to Stay in Porto: the best neighborhoods
I used this map where the neighborhoods in Porto are marked. I am going to write about seven neighborhoods in Porto: Ribeira (light blue), Baixa (orange), Cedofeita (yellow), Bonfim (green), Foz (pink, on the lower left corner), Marquês (pale pink, top corner) and Boavista (red).
I also decided to also include Cais de Gaia – technically it is not in Porto, but it is just across the river (so, 5 minutes walking distance) and it also a great location.
Unfortunately, a lot of other bloggers decided to copy the structure & content of this article – people that have never even lived in Porto! But this one is the real deal, so keep on reading 🙂
Whether you are on a romantic getaway in Porto or on a party weekend with friends, on this guide you can find useful info about the best neighborhoods in Porto!
How to use this article
This article is the Holy Bible of Where to Stay in Porto (I wanted to give you as much useful information as possible, as deciding where to stay in Porto is probably the most important decision of your trip).
It is reeeeeally long, so if I were you, I would use it like this:
- Read all the “Why Stay at (…)?” and “What is the catch?” of all the neighborhoods first. This way, you will quickly learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of staying at each neighborhood of Porto, and decide which one is best for you. To do this, use the table of contents to navigate to those sections (I know it looks like titles, but actually each title has an hyperlink to the correspondent section!).
- Once you have decided on the best neighborhood in Porto for you, check the hotels and apartments that I recommend for that neighborhood in particular.
#1 Best neighborhood in Porto: Cedofeita
Why stay in Cedofeita?
Cedofeita is the trendiest neighborhood in Porto as it has an art district at Rua Miguel Bombarda, full of interesting art galleries and concept stores (particularly at Rua do Rosário). For me it is the most romantic neighborhood to stay in Porto.
Besides the art district, Cedofeita has some lovely brunch cafes like Early and Rosa et Al. It also has a cute shopping mall, with concept stores and an organic market on Saturdays, called Centro Comercial Bombarda.
Cedofeita is particularly interesting because it is right next to Baixa, where most monuments are located (as well as great bars and restaurants), but “far away enough” for a quiet time in Porto.
At this neighborhood in Porto you can go for a romantic walk at the Crystal Palace Gardens, located in front of Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, one of the best museums in Porto. If you want to experience the Portuguese culture, you can enjoy a Fado show at Casa da Guitarra.
Cedofeita is the best neighborhood in Porto for family with kids, travellers who want to be close to the main city attractions but on a quieter location and for couples on a romantic getaway in Porto.
What is the catch?
There is none, to be honest! It is a great neighborhood with an amazing vibe. I usually avoid it on Fridays and Saturdays night because some of its streets, like Travessa de Cedofeita, get impossibly loud. But that is an exception, not the general situation in this area.
The best hotels to stay in Porto – Cedofeita
Cedofeita is the best neighborhood in Porto for a romantic getaway as it has superb hotels for couples, so let me suggest you my favourite ones.
One place I recently fell in love with is Canto de Luz – a fantastic boutique hotel with a clever use of skylights and wide indoors windows, with spacious rooms full of natural light. Some units have a fully equipped kitchen and dining area and a seating area with a flat-screen TV with Netflix.
But what I really LOVE about Canto de Luz is the breakfast – it is one of the best ones I ever had, with creamy omelets, amazing waffles and fresh fruits… I don’t remember the last time I had such a great breakfast in a hotel!
I think that my current favorite place to stay in Porto – Cedofeita is definitely the Rosário Luxury Suites. I love that they are not afraid of using color in their stylish decoration. I love that the rooms are very spacious, unlike most hotels in Porto (even the very good ones). And I LOVE it’s luxurious garden on the back!
If you’re a breakfast person (like me), you NEED to stay in Rosa et Al Townhouse, one of the best boutique hotels, that has been around for years. Besides being a fantastic place to stay, it has by very far one of the best brunches in town. It is truly a unique experience to stay in Porto there!
Another option is a sophisticated hotel, which is a landmark of contemporary architecture in Porto, is Casa de Conto & Tipografia. Its sober rooms of exposed concrete with poems carved on the ceiling are already famous in international design magazines. It is spectacular and so is Hotel Tipografia, which belongs to the same owner AND that has a really nice nice bar on the ground floor. Moreover, Hotel Tipografia has a lovely, sophisticated pool on the garden on the back – quite a secret, my friends!
The best guesthouses to stay in Porto – Cedofeita
One thing that is unique to Cedofeita is the abundance of incredible guesthouses in this part of town, which is why I decided to include a section just dedicated to them.
There are two recent guest houses in Cedofeita that completely stole my heart, and one of them is Jardins do Porto Boutique Guest house. I love its classy decoration, and the common areas are gorgeous (particularly the glass ceiling restaurant). Another thing that I love about Jardins do Porto Boutique Guest house. it’s the breakfast, with plenty of healthy choices (quite rare in hotels’ breakfast, right?).
The other place I love is the Gallery group, which used to be a hostel, but now it has new owners and oh boy, look at what they did with the space!
I particularly like the Gallery Townhouse, which has incredible charming bedrooms (all with with decor), a lovely terrace on the back (which you can see on the photo) and an incredible restaurant & bar, which is opened to the public, and where I regularly go for its cocktails. It really is a unique place to stay in Porto!
If it’s full you can also try the Gallery Guest house, but I don’t think that it is as pretty.
Another great place is Casa Antiga. It is a lovely guesthouse that has been decorated with vintage furniture from one of the best antique stores in Porto. The rooms have lots of natural light, something that I love, and many overlook the private garden, where you can take your breakfast. It really is a special place in Porto!
The best apartments to stay in Porto – Cedofeita
There are currently SO MANY incredible apartments to stay in Porto – Cedofeita that the difficult part is to choose. This is precisely why I did a shortlist of my favourite ones – to make your life easier!
A great suggestion of apartments in Cedofeita is bnapartments Carregal, a hole on the wall! These 16 apartments on a seventeenth century building have a perfect vintage decor and access to a large swimming pool. Bnapartments Carregal are superbly located on a tiny alley close to the nightlife district, but it is very quiet.
Another suggestion is Oporto Serviced Apartments 1858. The apartments are very large and can easily accommodate families with kids, or two couples. Below the apartments there is a restaurant with a terrace facing the street, where you can enjoy a drink after a day walking in Porto.
If you are looking for a large, sophisticated apartment in Cedofeita with a sober decor, the best place is definitely the Almada Domus. It is very convenient not only because it is fully equipped (it even has washing and drying machines), but also because it is located next to Rua da Picaria, which has DOZENS of nice restaurants.
In terms of aesthetics, I really love Janika’s Patio, with its magnificent living room (with a HUGE sofa) that gives access to an outdoor patio where you can have your meals in complete privacy.
Other fantastic options are Predicados do Douro Palace (the ceilings, made of decorated plaster, give a vintage touch to the rooms that I personally love.
If you want to stay in a trendy place, then choose Selina. It is not only one of the best hostels in Porto (with private rooms, of course) but it also has a huge garden / lounge where it organizes music concerts, yoga classes, etc. It is bond to be noise at times, so if this is something that bothers you, you might want to choose another place to stay.
#2 Best neighborhood in Porto: Ribeira
Why stay in Ribeira?
Ribeira is probably the most famous neighborhood in Porto, due to its picturesque houses painted in colourful tones. It is located by the riverside, right next to the beautiful iron bridge Luiz I, so it is one of the most photogenic areas in Porto.
Some of the most famous monuments in Porto, like the Stock Exchange Palace and the St Francis church, are located in Ribeira. You are also close to the Port wine lodges, which are just 10 minutes walking distant.
Moreover, from Ribeira departures the most famous tram ride in Porto, the tram no. 1, that goes all the way to Foz neighborhood.
Because of this, Ribeira is the most touristy neighborhood in Porto. It has many hotels, restaurants and above all souvenir stores, so it is quite busy and noisy during the day. During the night it is very pleasant to walk by the riverside, especially during Summer nights.
Ribeira is the best neighborhood in Porto for elder travellers (as it is a flat area) and for travellers who don’t mind crowds and confusion.
What is the catch?
The major downside of staying in Ribeira is that it is near the riverside, so to go to Downtown you need to climb Rua Mouzinho da Silveira or Rua das Flores. It only takes around 15 minutes, but it it very steep. The area itself is flat, but to visit the city attractions in Downtown Porto it is not so comfortable.
Moreover, as Ribeira is very touristic, it is not the best neighborhood in Porto when it comes to eating out as the prices are quite high.
Lastly, the lower deck of the iconic Luiz I bridge is currently under renovating and hence closed for cars. Moreover, the area around Praça do Infante (a famous square in Ribeira) is also under renovation which makes driving in this area even more complicated than what it already was. So, if you have rented a car in Porto, I don’t recommend you to stay in Ribeira neighborhood.
But if you still want to stay in Ribeira, then I suggest you to stay east of Luiz I bridge as it has way less tourists around. In there, you have two great options available: Eurostars Porto Douro (a 4 stars hotel with a killing view) or, if you prefer to stay in an apartment, Oporto Trendy River is the best choice.
Best hotels to stay in Porto – Ribeira
There’s plenty of accommodation at this neighborhood in Porto. If you are looking for a superior experience I recommend you Pestana Vintage Hotel. It has spacious rooms with a fabulous view of the Douro river and the Port wine cellars.
Other amazing options but at slight lower prices are Descobertas Boutique Hotel and House Ribeira Porto Hotel.
Another great place for you to stay in Porto is 1872 River House, one of the best boutique hotels in Porto. This guesthouse combines the traditional granite stones of Porto with elegant decor. It’s 500m away from D. Luis bridge, so it is very peaceful at night. 1872 River House is ideal for couples on a romantic getaway in Porto 🙂
But if you want to stay at a truly special place, take a look at Torel Avantgarde. This 5 star hotel opened just a few years ago to quickly steal our hearts with its infinite pool overlooking the Douro river and its Instagram-worthy terrace. The breakfast, I’ve heard from my clients, is divine.
Recently I fell in love with an amazing guesthouse called Mo House. It has fantastic double bedrooms but also family bedrooms, and despite its amazing location and overall quality it is rather affordable!
Best apartments to stay in Porto – Ribeira
One of the best things about staying in Ribeira neighborhood is that you can find many many apartments with direct view of the Douro river 🙂 Isn’t it nice, to wake up to this view every morning?!
There are plenty of really nice apartments in Ribeira, but personally I really like Porto River as it has the most charming atmosphere you can imagine. Each bedroom has its own kitchenette so that you can prepare your meals if you want to. It’s simply perfect!
RVA Sao João Novo Apartments are just STUNNING – I love that they didn’t try to hide Porto’s traditional granite stones :’) These apartments have the advantage of being located further away from the construction work, so let noise and less confusion.
YOUROPO Ribeira apartments are also an excellent option – personally, I really like its modern decor – make sure to book one of the apartments with a river view.
Another personal favourite of mine is the River Eyes apartments because it is located in Rua da Bainharia, exactly half way through the river and the city centre. It is a very central, cute apartment, but on the small side – so if you are looking for a spacious apartment, it might not be the best option for you!
Last but not the least, recently some new apartments showed up in Ribeira. I particularly like the unique light blue walls of both HM – Infante riverside apartment and Liiving in Porto – Ribeira design apartment. They are both so, so pretty and sophisticated that they look more like hotel rooms, really.
If you want more recommendations, read my article about the Best Hotels in Ribeira.
#3 Best neighborhood in Porto: Baixa
Why Stay in Baixa?
Baixa, commonly known as Downtown Porto or simply as “Baixa”, is the neighborhood just above Ribeira.
It basically consists of two hills: one around the cathedral of Porto, where the city was founded, and one where the famous Lello bookstore and the Clérigos tower are located. To move from one hill to the other you have to cross the most important avenue in Porto, Avenida dos Aliados.
A lot of the best luxury hotels in Porto are located in Avenida dos Aliados, but don’t worry because there are plenty of affordable apartments to rent in this area. This is also where we celebrate new Year’s Eve, the exciting São João festival, major sports events and music concerts.
Baixa is also one of the best neighborhoods in Porto for partying – check my guide of the best bars of Porto.
Moreover, São Bento train station is right there, which might be useful if you are planning to do some day trips from Porto.
Baixa is the best neighborhood in Porto for solo travellers looking for some fun, young couples and for group of friends travelling together. It is also great from people who want to stay as close as possible to the main city attractions.
What is the catch?
Baixa or Downtown Porto is a phenomenal area but it is also where the nightlife district is located, more specifically the streets Galerias de Paris, Rua Cândido dos Reis, Praça Guilherme Fernandes and Rua José Falcão.
Moreover, in Portugal we like to drink on the streets, especially if the weather allows it. Therefore, Baixa or Downtown Porto is a very loud neighborhood to stay in Porto during Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays nights.
However, currently Avenida dos Aliados is under renovation (they are building a new subway station there!) so you really need to be careful when picking a place to stay in Porto – Baixa, otherwise you will end up in the middle of the mess, as we say in Portuguese. Fortunately, I am here to help you 🙂
Best hotels to Stay in Downtown Porto
There are many options at this neighborhood in Porto, so I will name the ones that I enjoy the most.
Usually I would start this section telling you to stay at Intercontinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas BUT this five star hotel is located right at the center of the construction work in the main avenue in downtown Porto, so you should avoid this hotel in 2023.
A great alternative is Le Monumental Palace, another fantastic (and more modern) five star hotel in downtown Porto. Located at the top of Avenida dos Aliados, there you won’t be bother with the construction work.
But when it comes to luxury hotels in Downtown Porto, nothing quite beats the Torel Palace. It is stunning, simply stunning. it is of a rare, exquisite luxury – with its gigantic skylight, its ceilings decorated with stucco, its swimming pool lit by chandeliers and the breakfast room lined with ivy on the walls.
Another great hotel to stay in Porto is Sé Catedral, the first Hilton hotel in Porto. I discovered it completely by chance, when I picked up some clients there for my private wine tours in Douro Valley and I was immediately taken away by its jovial, funky decor – so unusual!
I also love it’s location – 3 minutes away from not only the cathedral of Porto and São Bento’s train station BUT ALSO the upper deck of Luiz I bridge.
Another hotel with a very funky decor is Chic & Basic Gravity Hotel in Porto (I am not even going to show you the pool… let’s just say that it defies gravity :D). Besides its looks, the great thing about this hotel is its location – a few minutes away from Avenida dos Aliados, so no construction work going on in there!
I know that this list of hotels in downtown Porto is already a bit long (it’s really not my fault that there are so many of them!) BUT I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning Casa da Companhia, because it has extraordinary rooms which combine mirrored walls with profuse windows. It is sooo sophisticated!
A very unique hotel in downtown Porto is Yotel, the first high-tech hotel in the city. You can control everything from the hotel’s app: the lights in the room, the TV remote control, and… you can order room service which will be immediately brought to you by a robot. Yotel is the first hotel in Porto that uses robots – nicknamed Yolinda and Yogiro – to bring towels to customers, meals, etc. I love the idea! 😀
Best apartments to Stay in Downtown Porto
There are sooooooo many apartments to stay in Porto downtown that I want to give you some general guidelines to help you chose. So keep on reading to learn more!
There are two small companies managing apartments in this area that I particularly like: RVA (like for instance the RVA Clérigos and the RVA Porto Central), and, more recently, Tripas Coração (like Tripas Coração Almada and Tripas Coração Santa Catarina). I fully trust and endorse these companies. These apartments are also cosy, simply decorated and with a central location.
There is also S. Bento residences, and in my opinion they have the prettiest apartments to stay in Porto Downtown. They are simply gorgeous, and it is not by chance that they have been designed by the same architecture studio as Casa do Conto, in Cedofeita. They are located right next to São Bento train station, a very busy area in town.
Another option with a very central location it’s the LETHESHOME apartments.
If you are traveling with your family and need several rooms (or at least several beds), then Look at Me – Apartments & Studios is simply fantastic, especially because it has a room in the attic 🙂
#4 Best neighborhood in Porto: Bonfim
Why Stay in Bonfim?
Bonfim has a special place in my heart since it is was there that my grandparents first settled in Porto, and it is still where I live today (and hence I already wrote a cool article about what to do in Bonfim).
It is an interesting neighborhood in Porto as it combines hipster coffee shops (like Combi) and craft beer pubs (hello Letraria and Armazém da Cerveja!), with businesses catered for the locals.
So if Cedofeita is the artistic neighborhood in Porto, Bonfim is definitely the hipster one.
Bonfim is not a touristic hot spot because none of the important monuments of the city are located there. However, here you can find hidden gems like the first public garden in Porto and the first public cemetery, among others.
Moreover, if you decide to stay in Bonfim you will be just 15 minutes walking distance from the city centre, but without all the noise and the traffic, which is perfect.
Bonfim is the best neighborhood in Porto for pretty much everyone, except young people who want to party all night!
What is the catch?
For some reason that I don’t really understand, the nightlife of Porto started to move in the direction of Bonfim, much to my dismay. So some streets in Bonfim are particularly noisy – I am talking about Praça dos Poveiros -, but if you avoid this area you’ll be fine.
Moreover, if you stay in Bonfim you will be 15 minutes walking distant from the main monuments of the city.
Best hotels to Stay in Porto – Bonfim
Bonfim has some cute boutique hotels in Porto,, and the most recent sensation is definitely MOU.CO Hotel, a luxury music hotel. It is such a pretty place, a sophisticated oasis in the middle of town. The hotel’s restaurant is quite bad but who cares – you’re in Porto, there’s literally THOUSANDS of restaurants to choose from 😛
If you find MOU.CO Hotel a bit on the expensive side, try aDuquesa Guest House – somehow it gives me the same artistic vibes!
Another fantastic option is Cocorico Luxury Guest House. What I love about this hotel is its particularly large and bright rooms. It also has a nice patio where you can enjoy a cocktail in the evenings.
Another option that is closed to my hear is the Editory Artist Baixa Porto Hotel, because it is a “school – hotel” managed by the students of the School of Tourism in Porto, where I used to be a professor :’) If you decide to stay at the Editory Artist Baixa Porto Hotel, make sure to have lunch at their restaurant and to talk to the staff – some of them might still remember me! 🙂
If you are looking for a cheap hotel in Porto, you will be able to find it in Bonfim – more specifically, Moov Hotel, My Stay Porto Batalha and Legendary Porto Hotel are what you are looking for. They all have the same location (the iconic Batalha square) and the same vibe, so just go for the cheapest option.
Best apartments to Stay in Porto – Bonfim
I recently fell in love with Feel Corporate Housing Campanhã – oh my god, would could there be such fantastic apartments without me noticing?! There are several different types of apartments (from single studios, perfect for couples, to large apartments that can accommodate 8 people) and they all have spacious living rooms with leather sofas and fantastic balconies where you can have breakfast.
Thomaz Palace apartments have been around forever, and no wonder why. They have a strategic location in Rua Fernandes Tomás – a quite area near the most famous francesinhas restaurants in Porto, which is great for a late night snack. Moreover, most apartments are equipped with a “working station”, making it ideal for digital nomads. If I were you, I would pick *exactly* the apartment on the photo above as it is an attic bedroom (and you know how much I love those :’).
There are other great apartments in Bonfim neighborhood, such as B.Arts, Trait Houses (perfect for small groups of friends), The Gallery Studios (with an exquisite decoration) and Home Made Guest Studios.
If all of these are taken (you should book as early as possible as our city is becoming increasingly popular!), you can try one of this under the radar apartments in Porto: Nomad’s Boulevard Flats or Lusitania Garden Apartment.
#5 Best neighborhood in Porto: Marquês
Why Stay in Marquês?
Marquês might not seem the most obvious neighborhood to include on this list of best neighborhoods in Porto. In fact, if you ask locals what they think about Marquês, they will tell you that it is a shady area of street prostitution.
However, I couldn’t disagree more, as the area is perfectly safe. Marquês is a quiet neighborhood in Porto with a subway station that will put you in the heart of Porto in – literally – 5 minutes. Therefore you are completely away from the touristy area, and yet close enough.
And, because there is nothing touristy around, the prices of cafes, bakeries and restaurants are catered to Portuguese pockets (aka, they are cheap).
Marquês is very close to the highway (which is perfect if you are planning some day trips from Porto). You are also walking distance from two recently renovated parks: Quinta do Covelo (particularly suitable for kids) and Jardim da Arca d’água.
You are also very close to a great Art Foundation called Fábrica Social. To get there, simply go down Rua de Santa Catarina, one of the most popular streets in Porto.
Marquês is the best neighborhood in Porto for families with kids, travelers on a budget and for people who want to be away from touristy areas.
What is the catch?
The only thing I don’t particularly like in Marquês is that there is nothing going on at night. There are no bars there, and very few restaurants.
Best apartments to Stay in Porto – Marquês
One of the perks of staying at a non-touristy area is that you can find really nice accommodation for an affordable price. In Marquês there are no hotels – true story 😛 – BUT there are some nice apartments you can stay at.
I particularly like Charming House and Castelo Santa Catarina, as these guesthouses have lovely balconies and terraces right in the middle of the city!
Another popular place in Marquês is Lounge Inn Guest House. If you prefer an apartment to stay in Porto, then I highly recommend Urban Views Townhouse, as this two bedroom apartment is large, beautifully decorated and it has a parking spot (this is really rare!).
Other great apartments to stay in Porto are the Oporto Square and the modern Love Porto – Marquês.
#6 Best neighborhood in Porto: Foz
Why Stay in Foz?
Foz is the most ocidental neighborhood in Porto, located on the west side of Ribeira.
As the city grew in circles around the cathedral, Foz was one of the last neighborhoods to be inhabited. It used to be a fishermen village, and people from Porto used to go there only during Summer. So in Foz you can find beautiful mansions and fishermen houses that are just lovely.
In Foz you can find the best beaches in Porto, as well as a large promenade by the ocean that gets full of people on warmer days. There is also a nice garden called Jardim do Passeio Alegre, that has a mini golf.
A lot of people will tell you not to stay in Foz because it is not in the city centre nor near any important city attraction. But I think it really depends on what you are looking for on your trip to Porto. If you wish to spend some relaxed days by the beach, and not surrounded by tourists, then Foz might the the right place for you.
Foz is the best neighborhood in Porto for people who want to spend the days by the beach.
What is the catch?
Foz is indeed a bit far away from the city centre (20 minutes by car, a bit more by public transports), so if you want to visit monuments or stay close to the nightlife district, this might not be the best neighborhood for you.
Where to Stay in Foz:
As Foz is a fancy neighborhood, you can have a pretty unique stay there in the sense that you can stay at some former mansion that belonged to a family in disgrace (they’ll hate me for writing this here, but it’s true :P).
My first recommendation is Vila Foz Hotel & Spa, a renovated manor house with a large garden and a proper bar. This 5 star hotel in Porto also has restaurant, fitness centre and a stunning indoor pool. One of my best friends swears by their spa.
But there is more, a lot more. If you really want to stay in style, you can rent an entire manor house and experience how it was to live like a wealthy member of Porto’s aristocracy. You can do this by staying at Foz Townhouse (up to 8 people), which is VERY expensive but oh, so stunning.
A more affordable option is to stay at the lovely Casa das Laranjas, a guesthouse with an inviting living room where you can mingle with other guests. You can also share a kitchen so it is really a great place to meet people while enjoying some privacy.
There is also a new, moderne corporate like hotel called Neya Porto Hotel. The rooms are exactly what you would expect from a corporate hotel but what really seduced me is its fan-tas-tic rooftop and a lovely (and secret) garden.
Best apartments to stay in Porto – Foz
My current obsession in Foz is Casa dos Olivais because it is SO COOL. Imagine a living room worthy of a magazine cover, with shutters that open wide onto a private pool, protected from prying eyes. It’s my definition of luxury and I can’t wait to stay there myself.
If you are looking for an out of the box place to stay in Foz, Vila na Praia Foz Luxury Apartments might be the right spot for you. I love it’s unapologetically funky decor, I love that the windows face the ocean and I love that it is near Camélia, one of my favourite brunch spots in town.
And speaking of beautiful views: if you are looking for an apartment right by the sea, from where you can enjoy a magnificent sunset and that has a hydromassage bath as a bonus, book right now your stay at Bartolomeu Beach Apartments.
#7 Best neighborhood in Porto: Boavista
Why Stay in Boavista?
Boavista is considered the business / posh neighborhood in Porto. This is where wealthy families live, and where corporate companies have their offices. So during the day you will see a lot of white collar workers, particularly during lunch time.
During the night there is nothing particularly interesting to do, besides having dinner at Bom Sucesso market an a beer at Casa Agricola.
Boavista is around 10 minutes away (by car) from the city centre, but you have a subway station nearby as well as plenty of bus lines, so you are really well connected there.
Despite being a bit away from the city centre, you can still find great places to visit in Boavista such as the contemporary art museum Serralves, the modern Casa da Música, and the synagogue of Porto.
Another great spot is the Gallery of Biodiversity, the best museum for children in Porto.
Boavista is the best neighborhood in Porto for travellers who want to be close to the main city attractions but on a quieter location, and for businessmen visiting the city.
What is the catch?
Boavista is a bit upscale and lacks a little in charm and history when compared to the other neighborhoods.
Best hotels to stay in Porto – Boavista
Boavista is famous for having the best corporate hotels in town, such as the Sheraton Porto – Hotel & Spa, the Crown Plaza Porto and the Porto Palácio – Congress, Hotel & Spa. And speaking of Boavista, this is where the only kosher hotel in Porto is located, called Hotel da Música.
But the hotel I like the most in Boavista is DEFINITELY the BFRESH Hotel Pool & Fitness. It is a large hotel with a young vibe and that features a swimming pool on its incredible terrace, a fitness centre and a great car park. Another advantage (at least for some people) is that it is Adults only, so no kids running around! I really, really like this hotel.
Best apartments to stay in Porto – Boavista
Personally, my favourite place to stay in Boavista are the Porto Deluxe apartments (which, contrary to what you might think, are actually very affordable!). These are large, beautifully decorated apartments with private parking and just 5 minutes walking distance from Casa da Música subway station.
There are other apartments to choose from, even though not as pretty (I’m being completely honest here!).
If you are looking for GREAT value for the money, book your stay at Domus Duorum. Each bedroom is decorated in a traditional, grandma style that I find very cosy and, even though the kitchen is shared (something I don’t adore), the breakfast is GREAT.
#8 Extra neighborhood: Cais de Gaia
Why stay in Cais de Gaia?
If you ask people from Porto what they thing about Gaia, the city just across the Douro river, they will tell you that the only good thing from Gaia is the view towards Porto. But this is not true!
Gaia, and more particularly Cais de Gaia, by the riverside, is home to the best Port wine lodges, as well as plenty of restaurants (including my favourite brunch place), a fantastic wine hotel and yes, a great, great view of Porto.
Moreover, it is well served by public transports, including the subway, a cable car and plenty of bus to go to the best beaches in the region. You can also take the famous 6 Bridges cruise from Cais de Gaia.
What is the catch?
The major issues with Cais de Gaia are exactly the same as Ribeira, the second neighborhood mentioned on this article: it is very touristy and, because it is by the riverside, you have to go up to visit most the famous monuments in Porto.
However, and unlike Ribeira, if you don’t feel like going up, you can simply take the cable car from Cais de Gaia to the upper deck of Luíz I bridge and then walk from there to the cathedral of Porto or simply take the subway to the city centre. Easy!
Best hotels to stay in Cais de Gaia
If you are looking for a fancy place to stay, I have two great recommendations for you:
One is the Yeatman hotel, the best wine hotel in the country (after all, it belongs to the Fladgate Partnership, the owners of Taylor’s Port!) and home to a fantastic wine bar.
But what I REALLY want to write about is the new Vincci hotel because it has the most MESMERISING view of Porto. And you can enjoy it while having a drink at the terrace or at the swimming pool. It is truly, truly a unique experience and one that you don’t want to loose.
Another hotel that I like in this area is the Caléway hotel. I love that it has a minimalist decoration, which highlights Porto’s granite walls and the goooorgeous bathrooms, covered in Portuguese tiles. The location couldn’t be better – in a quiet street perpendicular to Cais de Gaia.
Best apartments to stay in Cais de Gaia
Cais de Gaia is also home to great apartments, many of them with fantastic views of the river and cute little terraces.
If you feel like making new friends then I can only recommend you The House of Sandeman – Hostel & Suites. As the name says, it is owned by Sandeman (the Port wine producer) and it has both dormitories and private suites. The common areas are really pretty and the best place to mingle with other guests.
If you are a foodie like me, I recommend you 7 Gaia Roaster Apartments, because they are owned by 7groaster, one of the best coffee roasters in town. Go for the pancakes, they are fabulous!
If you are looking for apartments in Cais de Gaia that are suitable for families or for groups of friends, then I recommend you to stay at North Star Flats, Estrela de Gaia Apartments or Douro Pateo House.
Finally, if you are traveling with your partner and want to stay in Cais da Gaia, you will fall in love with this apartment: GuestReady – Porto by the Bridge. At least I did – but you know that I am a sucker for houses with attics 😛