Understanding where to stay in Porto is key to enjoying all the charms the city has to offer. World-renowned for its wine, bridges, and architecture blending old and new, Porto is one of the most sought-after cities in Northern Portugal.
And with so many options of what to do, you might feel overwhelmed when planning your trip, which is why we have gathered everything you need to know about the best neighborhoods and, of course, the best accommodations in Porto.
Porto Portugal at a Glance
Located 200 miles from Lisbon, Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto is one of the top destinations in Europe as a whole.
With a lot of charm, the northern city unites beautiful sights, excellent cuisine, lively nightlife, and art galleries that will make your trip truly unforgettable. In addition, the region has much more attractive prices than the capital, Lisbon.
Porto is also known for being a cozy city. Right from the start, you will notice that people are nicer – I am not saying that the rest of the country is unfriendly, okay?
A clear example of this is the treatment of customers in stores, bars, and restaurants: instead of using ” madam” to refer to customers, they use “girl”. Much more informal and personal.
This is just one example of just how comfortable you will feel in Porto. So, to make it even more special, be sure to check out very carefully where to stay in Porto so you can make the most of your trip.
Porto’s best neighborhoods
As in many places, the first homework before choosing where to stay in Porto is to list the sights of interest in each of the city’s regions.
This makes a lot of difference when it comes to knowing where to stay. You also might want to know how to get from there to the main attractions in the city.
Below, you can find a brief description of the main neighborhoods and why you might want to stay in each one of them.
However, in a nutshell, the coolest area in Porto are the following:
- Historical Center – known as Baixa – which is in the middle of the main attractions
- Ribeira – with a beautiful view of the Douro River and fantastic sunsets
- Cedofeita – a calmer alternative with lower prices.
Where to stay in Porto | Historic Center
Known in Portugal as Baixa, the city center, better known as the historic part of the city, might be the best area of Porto to stay in.
One of the advantages is the possibility of being close to the main tourist attractions, the hill climbs to other neighborhoods will be smoother.
It also features a wide range of hotels, cafes, and restaurants. In addition, you will be close to all the public transportation if you want to make a day trip around the Porto region.
To ensure a privileged location, stay close to Avenida dos Aliados and Praça da Batalha.
1. Infante Sagres | Luxury hotel
Infante Sagres hotel is a 5-star hotel located in the al center of Porto. The building has been totally renovated while keeping its originality.
It features spacious rooms, with a queen bed, air conditioning, bathroom amenities, and soundproofing. There is also a pool on one of the terraces and the Vogue Café.
2. Hotel Dom Henrique | mid-range hotel
The Hotel Dom Henrique is large, and the restaurant is on the top floor, where you have a wonderful view of the city. Although it is a bit far from the Douro River, the location is great, with residential buildings and some stores in the vicinity.
3. Hotel Aliadosis | Budget hotel
The Hotel Aliadosis a cozy 3-star option near the Porto city center but also far from the Douro. At first, you might think it looks old, but the website informs us that the rooms have been remodeled.
The restaurant on the first floor of the Aliados Hotel is the emblematic Café Guarany, which also offers live music in the evenings.
Where to stay in Porto | Ribeira District
After central Porto, the Ribeira area is the second best place to stay in Porto. But I warn you that Ribeira is the lowest part of the city, so you can expect to be climbing a lot of hills to visit the city’s attractions.
But what makes the Ribeira so popular is the great postcard of Porto, the D. Luís Bridge crossing the Douro River, and the hill with countless colorful buildings in the background.
Not to mention, Ribeira is also an important gastronomic center in Portugal. Nothing is more pleasant than sitting on the banks of the river and enjoying your lunch or dinner.
4. Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel | Luxury hotel
In a 16th-century building, the Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel is one of the top places to stay in Porto. The privileged location in Praça da Ribeira overlooks the Douro River and the town of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Close by, you will find the Torre dos Clérigos and the Porto Cathedral, both within walking distance.
And even though it is in a busy area, the rooms are double-paned with anti-noise windows, giving more comfort and tranquility to the guests.
5. Descobertas Boutique Hotel | Mid-range hotel
Descobertas Boutique Hotel sits in a perfect location, just next to the river and several restaurants! The hotel is spotless, and the rooms are pretty large.
The train station is a short, steep walk away and only ten minutes away. As a bonus, breakfast is delicious, with fresh croissants, eggs, fruits, and mousse.
6. Ribeira Cinema apartments | Budget accommodation
When you take into account thof e ideal location, the river views, and the price, Ribeira Cinema apartments, you might be inclined to stay there.
Located in the heart of Ribeira, these studios offer views of the Douro next to the bridge of Don Luis I.
The apartments have a kitchen with a dishwasher and luggage storage, which is great to take advantage of on your last day in Porto.
Where to stay in Porto | Cedofeita
Although the neighborhood of Cedofeita is also close to the city center, it offers more tranquility to travelers who do not want to stay in the busiest part of the city. But don’t be fooled, this is still one of the best areas in Porto. After all, Cedofeita has lively nightlife and is especially recommended for young people.
What is interesting is that Cedofeita breathes art 365 days a year. The region has several art galleries in Rua Miguel Bombarda.
Besides the galleries, there are restaurants, bars, and bookstores with decorations that are different from the usual, giving this place a more jovial air.
Also, for those who want to save a little money, in this region, it is possible to find some cheaper hotel options.
7. Hotel Cristal Porto | Luxury Hotel
Situated very close to the heart of Porto, on the Avenida dos Aliados, the Hotel Cristal Porto offers beautifully decorated rooms in soft shades of blue and white.
The iconic Lapa Church is right next to it, and there are many other attractions within walking distance.
8. BO – Álvares Cabral GuestHouse | Mid range hotel
BO – Álvares Cabral GuestHouse is a very modern hotel and, although not very big, it has everything very well organized and very nice decoration. All for a decent price.
9. Estoril Porto | Budget accommodation
At first, you might think Estoril Porto is too simple. But know that this hotel stands out for its proximity to places like Livraria Lello and Palácio da Bolsa.
Where to stay in Porto | Boavista
Boavista is not as touristy as the other neighborhoods mentioned here, as it is more of a commercial and residential area. Not to mention, more modern.
This is why some people say that it is not the best choice for those traveling to Porto for tourism.
However, this all means that you will feel like a local there and find more affordable lodging options. Also, the area is flat, which is perfect if you want to avoid the hills of the city.
The location is home to the Casa da Música, one of the most amazing tourist attractions that I highly recommend, especially the guided tour through the building.
10. Hotel da Música | luxury Hotel
Hotel da Música might not be the most luxurious hotel on this list, but it is without a doubt one of the most popular accommodations in the entire city.
Located 5 minutes walking from the Casa da Música subway station, it has a musical décor as well as a bar and restaurant, Bom Sucesso Gourmet, where many of the dishes are made with organic food.
11. Hotel boa da vista | mid range hotel
The Hotel Boa da vista is a 3-star hotel located by the Douro River but away from the Luís I Bridge. This is one of the most comfortable and cost-effective hotels in Porto for people who want more rest.
The hotel offers an indoor rooftop pool open all year long, a fitness center, and a panoramic outdoor café.
And it is only a 3-minute walk from the beach, making it a great option by the Atlantic Ocean.
13. So Cool Hostel Porto | low budget hotel
Also located near Casa da Música, So Cool Hostel Porto is one of the best hostels in the city, with great service and great living areas to socialize and share experiences.
The hostel staff frequently organizes Portuguese-themed dinners.
Where to stay in Porto | Vila Nova de Gaia
My last recommendation is Vila Nova de Gaia, which is on the other side of the Douro River. Actually, Vila Nova de Gaia is the neighboring town to Porto, connected via the D. Luís Bridge, one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal.
Gaia is a haven for travelers looking to sample some fine Portuguese wine. After all, it was there that Porto Wine was born.
This is why Gaia is home to numerous wineries that produce some of the world’s best wines. Many of them, by the way, allows tourists to visit while also offering free tastings.
In addition, the main hotels and restaurants are right on the south bank of the Douro river and have panoramic terraces overlooking the river and the city of Porto.
14. Lodge Wine & Business Hotel | Luxury hotel
The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel is a wonderful five-star hotel with modern amenities and architecture, in addition to exclusive services. For those who like luxury, this is perhaps one of the best options in Porto.
15. Caléway Hotel | Mid-range hotel
Half a mile from the Gaia Cable Car and the Dom Luis I bridge, you will find the Caléway Hotel. The hotel has a 4-star rating and offers a buffet or American-style breakfast and a restaurant on its terrace.
16. House of Sandeman – Hostel & Suites | Budget Hotel
The House of Sandeman – Hostel & Suites is a hostel/hotel hybrid, and the ambiance is unparalleled, in my opinion.
If you want to be alone and do your own thing, that’s OK; conversing with a few folks at the breakfast table is also fine. The furnishings are magnificent, as are the windows that overlook the Douro.
Best hotels in Porto by type of traveler
17. Best hotel in Porto for solo travelers : Pilot Design Hostel
For those traveling alone, sharing a room in a hostel can be a good option. The Pilot Design Hostel is very well located – close to the Aliados metro station – the staff is very friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is welcoming, with several social areas that promote exchanges between travelers.
All the rooms have a closet under the bunk beds to store luggage, and the bathrooms are always clean and well maintained. Breakfast has many varieties but it is charged an extra cost. It is also good value for money.
👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com
18. Best hotel in Porto for digital nomads | Eurostars Heroismo Hotel
A popular destination among digital nomads, a city like Porto has many cafes in which you can work, as well as coworking spaces to rent. But we know that sometimes we might want to work from our rooms at whatever time.
If you want to explore the city during the day, so you might have to work at night when the cafes are already closed. In this case, it is important to choose an accommodation that guarantees a working area in the room and wifi, of course.
A great example is the Eurostars Heroismo which has a great location next to the subway and also offers an outdoor fitness center.
19. Best hotel in Porto for a romantic escape | Palace Museum – Espaço Palmeiras
The Palace Museum – Espaço Palmeiras is exactly what the name says: an old building, totally restored, but with a museum feel, with original pieces from the 19th century.
So, if you love that vintage style and very elaborate furniture, walls, and high ceilings, this place is for you.
The staff are super friendly and make every effort to ensure that your stay is as pleasant as possible.
The breakfast is great, with plenty of variety – you could call it a good brunch – and served in a very cozy room.
20. Best hotel in Porto for location | Zero Box Lodge
Zero Box Lodge has its own concept: without windows, television, or any extras in the rooms, it is an invitation to live life outside.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have comfort and quality service. There is a welcome drink, breakfast is prepared with great care, and the cleaning is very thorough.
But the highlight is definitely its location. You can get around a good portion of the central area of Porto on foot. Worth checking out!
21. Best hotel in Porto for comfort | NH Collection Porto Batalha
The NH Collection Porto Batalha is another big hotel that impresses for its structure, quality, and high standard of service. It is a “superb” hotel, but without losing its friendliness.
The rooms are huge and some of them look like apartments, with a living room and a bathtub, perfect for the European winter. It has an excellent breakfast and is located in a great area with easy access.
22. Best luxury hotel in Porto | The Yeatman
The Yeatman has an incredible structure, a restaurant with two Michelin Stars, and a pool with one of the most beautiful views of the city, facing both the Douro and Dom Luis Bridge.
From the pool area and the front rooms, you also have a view of Cais da Ribeira.
The rooms also deserve to be highlighted, with ample lighting, large beds, a minibar, and luxury amenities in the bathroom. Some also have a furnished balcony.
23. Best value for money | MyStay Porto Centro
MyStay Porto Centro has a smart lodging concept that, among other things, allows the guests to check in by themselves.
This makes life easier for those who like to plan ahead and know how to get around anywhere.
The hotel is new, with super cozy rooms: high-quality bed and bath linen, tasteful furniture, excellent bathrooms, and some rooms have a compact kitchen.
Located between Baixa and Cedofeita, the location is good, and the cost-benefit is excellent.
24. Best hotel in Porto for design | The Rex Hotel
At The Rex Hotel you will have no problem with space. The rooms are really big, airy, bright, and extremely cozy. The clean and modern decoration brings a lightness that only helps us relax.
The hotel is located in a big house with a lot of personality that was totally restored to receive guests from all over the world.
The breakfast room and other areas take us back in time, and I am sure you will love it. Pay special attention to the ceiling!
Best condo apartments in Porto
Whether you are staying a little longer in the city or simply prefer the privacy of an apartment, I have picked out a few for you to take a look at before you decide where to stay in Porto.
25. Hopstays Oporto Tiles 2 – City Center Duplex
Hopstays Oporto Tiles 2 – City Center Duplex is a nicely decorated and furnished apartment with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a great location.
26. Gold & Grey Loft Almada
Perfectly decorated, the Gold & Grey Loft Almada makes you want to live in it forever. Super cozy, well located and quiet, it has all the qualities to be your home for at least a few days.
👉 Check out rates and availability on Booking.com
27. Indulge Porto Flats
Indulge Porto Flats has very good and comfortable apartments in a central area, close to restaurants, bars, and markets. It is a great place for those who want to enjoy the city but also rest for a few days.
Even though Porto is not that big, it has several attractions that you will enjoy visiting.
The main recommendation is to stay in the city center, but if this is not possible, there are several good options near subways or other sights, and taxis are not usually expensive there.
Just keep in mind that Porto sits on a hill, so depending on the neighborhood, you will need to climb many, many hills to get to a certain place.
As you have seen, the main areas to stay in Porto are:
- The Center – known as Baixa – close to the main attractions;
- Ribeira – with a beautiful view of the Douro River and fantastic sunsets
- Cedofeita – a calmer alternative with lower prices.
All these areas are served by metro stations, and where to stay will highly depend on your taste and what you want to do during your stay in Porto.
Is Porto a walkable city or do I need a car? How to move around?
Most touristic sights are concentrated in the historical center, close to Cais da Ribeira. This means you will be doing a lot of exploring by foot, without even needing to use public transportation.
Unless, of course, you intend to visit some more distant places, such as some museums and beaches, or even go back and forth to the villages to the north.
But as public transportation works very well in the city, you will not have difficulty getting around.
In fact, Porto’s public transportation is ranked as one of the best in Europe. It comprises subways, streetcars, funiculars, and buses, as well as trains that connect Porto to more distant regions, including Lisbon.
Those arriving at Porto’s airport, the second busiest in Portugal, can also use the city’s subway, which connects to the center in just under an hour and has fair prices.
How many days are enough in Porto?
It takes at least two days of sightseeing to discover Porto, making it ideal for a weekend city getaway. This could be condensed into a single day. However, it could be very rushed.
On the other hand, three days will allow you to explore the city at a more leisurely pace as well as provide time to visit the lesser-known museums and sights.
However, there are also many interesting day trips out of Porto, so it is worth considering staying a little longer to allow time to see other pretty towns in Portugal such as Guimarães, Braga, Vale do Douro, and Aveiro.
To make your trip even more complete and special, I recommend reserving at least 3 days (2 nights) for Porto and 2 days (1 night) for the Douro region.
But note that I said “at least” because I think this is the minimum time necessary to do the basics.
If you can, spend a few more days enjoying the excitement of Porto or the peace, wines, and great food of the Douro region.
The first thing you should know is that each of the cities has its charms and flaws, and it is definitely worth visiting both. But, anyway, here is what I think.
Price – Despite the fact that prices in Porto have risen significantly in recent years and are now comparable to those in Lisbon, the truth is that visiting Porto is still less expensive than visiting the capital. In Porto, you spend less on food, transport, and historical monuments.
Activities for tourists – Both Porto and Lisbon are very diversified cities where you can find activities for all tastes and moods. Both cities have incredible viewpoints; beautiful churches; must-see monuments; activities for families with children; historical tramways; and much more.
Daytrips. You can use both cities as starting points to explore other beautiful areas around them. From Lisbon, you can visit the famous towns of Sintra, Bidos, and Fátima.
Some people also take advantage of combinations that allow them to visit Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca on the same day.
From Porto, you can organize a day trip to the Douro Valley, to the cities of Braga and Guimarães, to Aveiro and Coimbra, all less than 2 hours away.
Nightlife – When it comes to nightlife, Porto and Lisbon are very similar. If Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré are the places to go to in Lisbon, in Porto, you will most likely go to Praça dos Leões, Galerias de Paris, or Café Piolho.
Beaches – While Lisbon has a long coastline, Porto wins by having the closest beaches.
Landscape – Overlooking the Douro River and the historic city center, the suggestion in Porto is to go to the Nossa Senhora do Pilar viewpoint.
On the other hand, in Lisbon, there is no shortage of options either: Portas do Sol, Graça, and São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoints, for example.
Climate – This highly depends on your preference, if you like cooler climates or warmer climates.
When traveling with children or with elderly people, I recommend avoiding visiting Lisbon during the summer because the temperatures are unbearable then and it can be dangerous for them.
Speaking of climate, one consideration for your vacation in Porto is the weather. Before planning your trip, it is important to know that Porto has a continental climate with super hot summers and harsh winters.
Porto has wonderful weather from May to September, but winters can be very rainy. This rainy weather continues until April, which can be a surprisingly rainy month.
If you plan to visit Porto between October and April, leave your reservations until the last minute, so you can confirm if the weather will be good. There may be incredibly cheap deals to be found during the late fall and early spring.
To avoid extremes, try to go in the spring, in the months of May and June, or in the fall, in September and October.
Also read: The best time to visit Portugal
Generally speaking, the whole country is quite safe. Of course, there is always some violence, but incidents are low there.
According to the Global Peace Index, which makes an annual ranking, Portugal ranked 3rd in the list of safest countries in 2020.
An interesting fact is that in Porto, the recorded cases of violence have been decreasing in recent years.
So, in relative terms, Porto is a safe city. But don’t get into the “I walk when I want to at any time” song because that is simply utopian and it does not matter where you are, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?!
We know that Porto is the main place of storage and aging of Porto wines, but, incredible as it may seem, there are no wineries nearby. The region where the grapes used to make Port wine are produced is the Douro Demarcated Region, 62 miles away.
With all these treasures sitting nearby, you can’t go to Porto and believe that just visiting the city is enough to know the region.
You will only have an idea of the dimension and beauty of the Douro after you go to the valley and spend at least one night there.
The charm of the vineyards is very different from what we are used to seeing. The river that cuts the whole region with the sun between the mountains making an interesting game of light and shadow in the landscape must be seen in person and not only in pictures.
But we understand that sometimes it is not possible to stop and sleep in all the places we would like. If you only have Porto on your trip, our advice is to take at least a day trip from Porto to the Douro region, so you can get a taste of the place and see these beautiful landscapes.
10-hrs Douro Valley tour from Porto with an expert guide
Enjoy a lunch of typical Douro cuisine at a renowned local restaurant
Visit two traditional wine estates in the heart of the valley for wine-tasting sessions
Learn about the history, culture, and people
(Optional) include a Douro River boat tour with scenic valley views
Small-group tour with a maximum of eight people
Where to stay in Porto – Final thoughts
I hope this fine selection of the best hotels in Porto has helped you figure out where to stay in Porto and which hotel to choose. Now that you have booked your hotel you can also check out how to get from Lisbon to Porto and what to do in Lisbon as well, which is also an unmissable city to explore.
For further reading
- 4 ways to get from Lisbon to Algarve Portugal – The ultimate guide for 2022
- 17 Things You Should Know Before Renting a Car in Portugal in 2022
- Driving from Lisbon to Porto – the perfect 10 days road trip + practical tips
- Traveling to Lisbon in Winter – Weather and Things to Do
- The Best 21 Day Trips From Lisbon
- How to get from Lisbon to Sintra by train, bus, or tour 
- 2 Days in Lisbon – The Perfect Itinerary in the Portugal Capital
- 15 most beautiful castles in Portugal
- The 23 most beautiful towns and cities in Portugal to visit in 2022
About the Author
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican permanent Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.