I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking me where to stay in Porto. The answer depends on your age, your travelling style (are you looking for partying, or waking up early in the morning to do some sightseeing?), if you are travelling with kids, etc. Therefore, I decided to write an article about the three best neighbourhoods to stay in Porto.
As an inspiration, I used this map where the neighborhoods in Porto are clearly marked. I am going to write about my top three neighborhoods to stay in Porto: I – Ribeira (light blue); II – Baixa/Sé (orange) and III – Cedofeita (yellow).
Whether you are on a romantic getaway in Porto or on a party weekend with friends, on this guide you can find useful info on main attractions, where to stay and where to eat at each of these top neighborhoods to stay in Porto. I hope you like it!
#1 Best neighborhood in Porto: Ribeira
Overview: Ribeira is a picturesque neighborhood in Porto by the riverside, with tiny houses painted in colourful tones. Ribeira is always packed with people, as it has many souvenir shops, restaurants and bars with a view towards the Douro river.
At Ribeira you will be close to D. Luís bridge, the famous iron bridge of Porto. You will also have a premium location to visit the Stock Exchange Palace and St Francis Church (a stunning example of Gothic architecture in Porto).
Moreover, at Ribeira you will be able to walk to the famous Port wine cellars.
It is also a beautiful place to go on a tram ride – check my detailed guide on tram lines in Porto.
Ribeira is the best neighborhood in Porto for: elder travellers (as it is a flat area); travellers who don’t mind crowds and confusion.
Where to Stay in Porto – Ribeira: There’s plenty accommodation at this neighborhood in Porto. If you are looking for a superior experience I strongly recommend you Pestana Vintage Hotel. It has spacious rooms with a fabulous view towards the Douro river and the Port wine cellars.
Another great place for you to stay in Porto is 1872 River House. This guesthouse combines the traditional granite stones of Porto with an elegant decor. It’s on a corner 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 🙂
If you’d rather stay in an apartment, I suggest you Porto River as it has the most charming and romantic 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!
Places to eat in Porto – Ribeira: Ribeira is very touristic, so in my opinion it is not the best neighborhood in Porto when it comes to eating out. Nonetheless, I have a few suggestions for you.
I love the restaurant inside Mercado Ferreira Borges, one of the oldest markets in Porto. There you’ll find plenty petiscos as well as good pizzas, and the atmosphere is great.
There is also RIB Beef & Wine, a great restaurant for meat lovers.
A great for wine is Prova, one of the few wine bars in Porto. For more information on this bar, check my list of best bars in the city.
#2 Best neighborhood in Porto: Baixa/Sé
Overview: Baixa/Sé is a neighborhood just above Ribeira. At this neighborhood in Porto you’ll find plenty of monuments, such as Mercado do Bolhão (the last traditional market of Porto), São Bento train station and Lello bookshop.
Baixa/Sé is the best neighborhood in Porto for: solo travellers; young couples; group of friends travelling together.
Where to Stay in Porto – Baixa/Sé: There are many options at this neighborhood in Porto, so I will name the ones that I enjoy the most.
Starting with the hotels: Intercontinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas is magnificent! This five star hotel, located at an eighteenth century building, is 5 minutes walking distant from the nightlife district and the main attractions of Porto. It has two subway stations just across the street, as well as São Bento train station. Besides the spacious rooms, it has a fitness centre, a spa and a trendy bar.
If you are looking for a romantic hotel in Porto, my suggestion is Flores Village & Spa. It is located at Rua das Flores, the trendiest street in Porto. It has both bedrooms and independent apartments. It has a peaceful garden on the back as well as a-ma-zing spa & sauna facilities, which include an indoor pool. It is ideal for a romantic getaway in Porto and for families with kids.
If you are looking for an accommodation for the best value, I suggest B The Guest Downtown. The decor is very elegant and the location is quite convenient.
Places to eat: This is one of the best neighborhoods in Porto for eating and drinking. Here you can find the best restaurants to eat Portuguese food on a low budget in Porto, as well as the best restaurants to eat francesinha, the most famous dish of the city.
Moreover, it is a great neighborhood in Porto to do some shopping at the traditional grocery shops of Porto, where you can find the best Portuguese food products.
#3 Best neighborhood in Porto: Cedofeita
Iverview: Cedofeita is the trendiest neighborhood in Porto as it has an art district at Rua Miguel Bombarda, full of art galleries and concept stores. 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 of Porto.
Another interesting spot is Igreja de S. Martinho de Cedofeita, the oldest church of Porto. Usually tourists never stop there, but it is worth to take a look!
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; couples on a romantic getaway in Porto.
Where to Stay in Porto – Cedofeita: Cedofeita is the best neighborhood in Porto for a romantic getaway as it has superb hotels for couples.
I recommend you to take a look at Rosa Et Al, a lovely guesthouse famous for its insaneously good brunch (so good you need to book in advance!). Rosa Et Al’s suites combine modern design with a vintage twist. It has a lovely dining room facing the backyard garden, as well a a little concept store.
Another beautiful place is Mercador Guesthouse. It has stylish bedrooms, with a vintage decor that will take you on a journey in time. The breakfast, absolutely delicious, is served on an old fashioned room that I find very romantic 🙂
If you prefer to stay in an apartment, I suggest you Oporto Serviced Apartments bbgourmet. The apartments and studios are very large and can easily accommodate families with kids, or two couples. Below the apartments there is a nice restaurant with a terrace facing the street, where you can enjoy a drink after a day walking in Porto, as well as delicious brunch on the weekends.
Another suggestion for apartments at this neighborhood in Porto 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. It’s splendid!
Places to eat: I recommend you Adega do Carregal, a typical Portuguese tavern that was featured on my post about best restaurants in Porto for large groups.
There is also a concept shopping mall called Centro Comercial Miguel Bombarda, where you’ll find two fabulous budget restaurants called Sabores & Açores and Pimenta Rosa. Also at Rua Miguel Bombarda, there is a great burger place called Bugo – Art Burgers with nice lunch menus. It’s worth to check it out!