When planning an itinerary, one of the first problems to solve is where to stay, and Porto is no exception. Porto is the (unofficial) capital of the north – the largest city and the main tourist spot. So, the options are many and varied, more central, cheaper, for the whole family or for backpackers? In this article, we will help you choose where to stay in Porto.
Here we will determine the best areas to stay in Porto, as well as the best hotels, hostels, and apartments in each of these neighborhoods. In order to elaborate this list, we mainly took into account the following characteristics: Price and value for money, location, service quality, comfort level, design/charm, and other amenities.
One of the best features of Porto is that despite being a big city, its historic center is relatively small and very easy to navigate on foot. In fact, by choosing a central hotel you can visit almost all the attractions on foot. On the other hand, the Porto metro works quite well, so if you prefer to stay a little further away from the hustle, it is also perfectly possible.
In order to make your life easier, we have divided the port into some areas/neighborhoods: Ribeira, Baixa (downtown), Foz, Cedofeita, and Marquês. In addition, we will also mention some suggestions for those who stay outside these more central and tourist areas, such as Boavista, Antas, and Gaia.
If you don’t want to read the entire article, check the table below with our favorite accommodations in Porto!
Where to stay in Porto?
# 1 Ribeira – The most popular area to stay in Porto
Located next to the D. Luiz bridge, Ribeira is the best-known neighborhood in Porto and is a tourist attraction by itself. Whether or not you sleep there, Ribeira is a must for anyone visiting Porto due to its streets, alleys, colorful houses, and of course the beautiful riverside area.
In addition to the D. Luiz bridge, in Ribeira, you’ll also find the Stock Exchange Palace, the Infante’s house, and the Church of S. Francisco. Together with the Baixa (downtown) area that we will talk about next, Ribeira is ideal for those traveling to the port for the first time, for those with little time, and for young travelers. On the other hand, it is a bad idea to stay in this area of Porto if you are traveling by car. It’s a nightmare to drive and even worse to park.
Thus, Ribeira is possibly the most touristic area of Porto with lots of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy both typical Portuguese and international food. As it is one of the most lively areas of the city, it can also be noisy at night, which is a disadvantage for those who are light sleepers.
Porto – Ribeira best accommodations
The best hotel in Ribeira is the Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & amp; World Heritage Site. A 5-star hotel, located in a 16th-century building in Praça da Ribeira facing the Douro and with an unforgettable view… ! All of this comes with a price, but if it’s within your reach it’s well worth it!
The 1872 River House is a much smaller but no less charming accommodation and equally well located in the center of Ribeira. Despite being a historical building and with a very rustic design, the comfort is maximum. See prices here.
If you want a slightly cheaper option, but still very well located, we suggest the 3-star Ribeira do Porto Hotel. It is comfortable, has an attractive design, a good breakfast, and even has a bar inside. Given the excellent price/quality ratio, we advise you to book it as early as possible.
If you are looking for an apartment and not a room, our suggestion goes to Ribeira Cinema Apartments. The location is central, the apartments are comfortable and you have the choice of a studio up to 2 rooms. It’s great for families and groups of up to 4 people. Check here prices.
#2 Baixa – The best area to stay in Porto
In this article, downtown Porto corresponds to a large part of the historic center, including the entire area of Sé, Batalha, Aliados, and even Clérigos. It is thus a relatively large area and also extremely touristy as it is where most of Porto’s biggest attractions are located.
As in Ribeira, downtown is the best place to stay in Porto for those who have limited time in Porto, for young people, and for those who want to stay in the center of the action, using as little transport as is possible. From there you can walk almost everywhere.
This is a very expensive area of Porto, and where accommodation will have higher prices despite its enormous offer and variety. There are big hotels, charming hotels, guest houses, tourist apartments, etc… there’s a lot of everything!
Porto – Baixa best accommodations
Located in the beautiful Palácio das Cardosas, the intercontinental Porto is our favorite downtown Porto hotel. In addition to being a luxury hotel, it is the opportunity to stay in one of the most emblematic buildings in the city, located in the most central point of the city. See prices here.
If you want a smaller, less monumental hotel, we suggest the Porto AS 1829. It is not as imposing as the intercontinental, but it is a charming hotel located in a completely renovated historic building that offers excellent comfort and service. Choose the best rooms here.
The Pao de Acucar Hotel is our low budget hotel suggestion for downtown Porto. It has an excellent quality/price ratio and well located, close to several attractions and lots of restaurants and bars. It’s great for young people and couples who don’t want to spend too much. See prices here.
The downtown area has perhaps hundreds of tourist apartments for rent, and many of them are perfectly designed and can be booked at attractive prices. Our suggestions go to the InSitu Formosa 178, near the coliseum, and to Aparthotel Oporto Batalha. The latter has options for 2 to 6 people, making it a good option for groups and families.
# 3 Cedofeita – Art gallery area
Cedofeita is the area of the city along and around Cedofeita Street. It is still close to the city center, but a little outside the historic and tourist center of Porto. Hence, it is perfectly possible to walk to all destinations in the center, downtown, and even Ribeira.
Naturally, this area is a little cheaper, offering an excellent value for money. It is also less noisy and with fewer tourists. Miguel Bombarda Street, known for its art galleries, is in this area.
We advise Cedofeita to those who don’t mind walking a little more, to art lovers, to those looking for a slightly more local experience, but who don’t want to miss any of the big attractions.
Tip: Clérigos tower seen from Rua da Cedofeita is one of our favorite images of Porto, especially in the late afternoon with the sun hitting the tower.
Best Hotels in Porto – Cedofeita
As mentioned above, this is not an area of large hotels, but there are a few. The Eurostars das Artes is a good 4-star hotel, very comfortable and carefully decorated. It is right next to the art galleries at Miguel Bombarda. See here prices.
If you want a cheaper hotel in our opinion the best alternative is MyStay Porto Centro, which despite not being downtown, turns out to be less than 1km from several attractions such as Bolhão, Clérigos, Aliados, and Livraria Lello. The design is modern and has both rooms and studios, which is great. See if still have rooms available.
The Gallery Hostel is one of the best options in Porto for those looking for cheap accommodation yet close to the center. It has private rooms or dorms, and it is really outstanding. Given the excellent value for money, it sells out very quickly, so you should try to book the room as soon as possible.
In our opinion, the best accommodation options in Cedofeita are the tourist apartments. There are several apartments where all the decoration has been furnished to the smallest detail, and where comfort and design are at the same level as the best hotels in the city. The Rosa Et Al Townhouse and Capim Dourado Apartments Cedofeita are our favorites in the Cedofeita area.
# 4 Foz – Best area for those who want to go to the beach
As the name implies, Foz is at the mouth of the Douro and extends along the coast all the way to the city park. It is an area completely different from the ones just mentioned because it has fewer international tourists, as it is mainly frequented by locals or people who already know the city well. One of our favorite activities here is cycling on the waterfront along the river and the sea. You can easily go to the center by bike if you have the energy to do so.
Foz is one of the prime areas of the city, and despite not being focused on tourism it is expensive. Like the whole city, there are plenty of accommodation options but they are more upscale and less geared towards backpackers, and youth tourism. There are also some interesting activities, such as the beach, the riverside area, the fort, and the city park.
We suggest going to Foz if you want to escape the chaos if you already know the historic center well if you have a car, or for not so youthful tourists. To visit the historic center there are several options such as bus, tram, or Uber, but unfortunately, there is no metro.
Best Hotels in Porto – Foz
Despite being the beach area, and very popular with the Portuguese, Foz is nowhere near as t touristic as downtown Porto, and consequently, the supply of accommodations is smaller. Still, there are some accommodations that deserve to be mentioned. Vila Foz Hotel & SPA is one of the best alternatives in Porto for those who want to relax and slow down a little from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. See here if it is available on the dates you are traveling.
Another very high-quality alternative is Suites Foz O Porto. This hotel has very pleasant rooms, some of which have a private spa bath. Since it is close to the beach and has an outdoor swimming pool, it is ideal for those who cannot be too far from the water while on vacation. See here prices.
#5 Marquês e Bonfim – Neighborhoods with good value for money
Marquês and Bonfim are two completely different areas of Porto, Marquês is to the north of Baixa, while Bonfim is to da East of Baixa/Ribeira. Here they are on the same heading because they share a few characteristics.
Both are a little removed from the tourist areas and for a long time were poorer and run-down areas of the city and therefore much cheaper. However, in recent years, with the growth of tourism and the recovery of the city, they are increasingly popular and end up being a good alternative for those who do not want to stay in the center.
These are two great areas for those who want to save some money, both on accommodation and meals, and for those who want to have a more local experience. There are not many hotels, especially large ones, but there are a lot of guesthouses, and apartments.
On the negative side, these are neighborhoods where very little happens at night. They have fewer restaurants and very few bars, particularly Marquês.
Best Hotels in Porto – Marquês
In Marquês we have to highlight the Castelo Santa Catarina as it is a beautiful hotel, with gardens where you can relax and forget you are in the city center. This is a perfect hotel for couples. See if is available.
If you are looking for even cheaper accommodation, we recommend Lounge Inn Guest House, which probably has one of the best value for money in Porto. This guesthouse has the option of renting a room, studio, or even an entire apartment. Click to see all available options.
Best Hotels in Porto – Bonfim
In Bonfim the options are even more varied but we must highlight the countless lovely apartments at much more inviting prices than in Ribeira/downtown, but with the expansion of tourism to other areas of the city, the offer of lodging both in Marquês and Bonfim has increased exponentially in recent years. In Bonfim we now have accommodation for all types of travelers, from large hotels like Eurostars Heroismo in Bonfim to the usual guesthouses and tourist apartments.
If you want to rent an apartment, we suggest the Pause Apartments which are right next to the Bonfim church. It is not very close to the main attractions of Porto, but it is still possible to go there on foot, or of course using public transport. These are refurbished apartments with impeccable design and generally very pleasant to be in. See prices and here if they are available.
Alternatively, the Oportolazaro Apartment is closer to the center, attractions, and restaurants. They are also stylish apartments that guests usually love, as you can see from their average rating. Book early possible because they sell out easily.
#6 Boavista – Best area for business trips
Boavista is not a very touristy area, it is already quite far from the center, and it does not have many attractions, besides Casa da Música. On the other hand, it is an area that concentrates several hotels of big international brands because it is one of the richest neighborhoods in the city and above all, it is one of the most important business areas.
We recommend this area to those who are traveling on business, to those who already know the center and want to stay in different areas, or to those who want to stay in a quieter area and less confusion.
Despite being far from the center, Boavista has a metro station and so it is possible to be in the center in just a few minutes.
Best hotels in Boavista
As mentioned above, there are several high-quality hotels in Boavista, for example. All of them have extraordinary levels of comfort and prices to match. It is worth mentioning the 5-star hotels as they are all within a few meters and are really quality: