Where To Stay In Porto – A Neighborhood Guide Of The BEST Areas!

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Porto is a beautiful city in northern Portugal famous for being located along the Douro River. Rich in history, architecture, and culinary traditions, Porto boasts a striking mix of old and new. Even more creative than Lisbon, Porto’s every corner boldly expresses its character. So deciding where to stay in Porto during your holiday can be a little overwhelming.

To assist you in planning your stay in this unmissable Portuguese city, we’ve crafted this guide with a detailed breakdown of the best places to stay in Porto for unforgettable times. Plus, we will share our favorite things to do in each neighborhood and our top tips. 

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Where To Stay In Porto

where to stay porto city on riverbank including neighborhood guide

Porto is a compact city of different neighborhoods, similar to Lisbon, with unique vibes and plenty of things to see. From traditional-looking districts to artistic ones, you need to choose where to stay in Porto carefully. This overview of the city’s neighborhoods will help you find the best area to stay in Porto for your travel needs. 

The main neighborhoods of Porto

1. Baixa / Sé – Porto’s downtown area is where to be for sightseeing and discovering the city’s major attractions, making it perfect for first-time travelers.

2. Riberia – The city’s riverfront neighborhood, the Ribeira is characterized by narrow cobbled streets, charming colorful houses, and several popular attractions.

3. Cedofeita – This is Porto’s art district, where you will find more art galleries and trendy shops than you can visit, and an unforgettable romantic bohemian vibe.

4. Boavista – The area where the wealthy citizens live, Boavista is outside the tourist radar, so it’s tranquil but without being boring as it has interesting sights, such as the Fundação de Serralves. 

5. Foz do Douro – Porto’s most western neighborhood, all the city’s beaches are here. Foz also has two beautiful fortified castles that make the area well worth a visit.

Porto travel tips

How to get around 

Porto is a city with a compact size which means that it is very walkable. The charming narrow streets connect Porto’s main attractions, and by exploring them on foot, you can discover hidden gems at every turn. Particularly gorgeous to walk is the Ribeira neighborhood, the one bordering the Douro River. 

However, if you get tired after much walking, Porto has great public transport options organized by the STCP (Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto). The metro system is efficient, clean, and affordable. It has six lines that connect Porto’s center with the peripheral areas of the Greater Porto region. 

Porto also has numerous bus routes that will take you everywhere in the city and three tram lines operated by vintage tram cars. 

If you are planning to take public transport to get around Porto, consider buying the Andante card, which is more user-friendly and cost-efficient than the STCP tickets. The Andante card will give you access to the metro, buses, and trams. You can purchase the Andante card at the airport as well as at every train and metro station from the automatic machines.

Neighbourhood map 

This map of the city’s best neighborhoods will come in handy to navigate the choice of your accommodation in Porto.

map of porto neighborhoods
Image via portoalities.com

Plan Your Trip 

Wear comfortable walking shoes – Porto’s downtown area is hilly and with streets paved with cobblestone, so wearing comfortable shoes is a must if you want to enjoy your time exploring the city. 

Bring the right power adapter – Portugal has Type C or Type F electrical outlets, so pack the correct power adapters for your devices. 

Consider buying a Porto Card – The Porto Card is a sightseeing pass that will give you discounted and free entrance to Porto’s many attractions. It’s a great idea to buy the Porto Card as it will help you save both money and time by skipping the lines. The Porto Card also includes unlimited use of Porto’s public transport.

Bring home conservas – A souvenir is always a good idea to remember a holiday. While in Porto, buy “conservas”, gourmet canned seafood that is part of Portuguese culinary heritage. The colorful tins will make a lovely token of your time in the city once you have eaten the delicious seafood! 

Don’t do a Port wine-tasting tour on an empty stomach – You might be surprised by how alcoholic Port wine is! Usually, wine tastings comprise 3 or 4 glasses of different Port wines, so you better be prepared before entering a cellar.

1. Baixa / Sé

azulejos tiles on outside of church in where to stay in porto neighborhood guide

What’s there and why visit 

Baixa and Sé are two bordering neighborhoods that together make up Porto’s downtown area. Baixa and Sé sit above the Riberia, hosting the city’s major attractions. Quite touristy, Baixa / Sé unique landmarks featuring the typical Azulejos tiles make this big neighborhood an absolute must-visit. 

Boasting labyrinthic streets, the old but gorgeous buildings host everything from cafès to boutique shops to classic hotels.

The downtown area highlights are the São Bento Station and the Capela das Almas, which have azulejos-decorated walls that will inspire you shoot endless photos!

Baixa / Sé is also the best neighborhood if you want to explore the city’s nightlife and spoil yourself by staying in the best hotels in Porto. 

Suggested hotels near Baixa / Sé

BUDGET

moov hotel porto centro standard bedroom view

Moov Hotel Porto Centro

“Very helpful, courteous and professional staff. The room was basic, clean and contained everything one needed. The hotel was very quiet, located near shops and a short walk to an indoor market. The continental breakfast was very well presented.”

GUEST HOUSE

casa dos loios by shiadu double room with cathedral ceilings

Casa Dos Loios By Shiadu

Located in the center of Porto, this guest house is close to many shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s also within walking distance to many popular attractions, such as São Bento train station and Clérigos Tower. The guest house offers a breakfast buffet every morning and features a patio that guest are welcome to relax on.

MID-RANGE

se catedral hotel porto bed next to window

Se Catedral Hotel Porto

This 4-star hotel features a restaurant and bar available to it’s guests, and offers a continental breakfast every morning, as well as room service. Its location puts it close to Ribeira Square, Palacio da Bolsa and Ferreira Borges Market, as well as the Sao Bento Metro Station, making it really easy to get to any place you’d like to see!

LUXURY

where to stay portobay teatro suite with bed and dome ceiling

PortoBay Teatro

Recently reopening after being fully refurbished, this hotel has much to offer. Featuring an Italian-style restaurant and a bar, this hotel offers comfort at its best! It’s located in the historical centre of the city, putting it close to São Bento Station, Clérigos Tower, Porto Cathedral and many more popular attractions.

Things to see near Baixa / Sé 

Sé do Porto – Porto’s cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Dating back to the 12th century, the cathedral boasts a surprising mix of Baroque, Romanesque, and Gothic styles. The Sé do Porto houses an important treasure of religious art, so make sure to visit it.

​​Igreja do Carmo – This elaborate church has stunning Rococò architecture that features one of the outside walls entirely covered with blue and white azulejos. These tiles depict a specific scene: the origins of the Carmelite Order and Mount Carmel in Israel. Step inside the church to marvel at more wonders, like the stunning gilded woodcarving in the side chapels and behind the main altar.  

São Bento Station – Porto’s train station is one of the most beautiful in the world. It has become a tourist attraction in its own right thanks to the mesmerizing architecture. More than 20,000 blue and white azulejos tiles depicting the story of Portugal cover the station’s walls. São Bento Station is a hub for national and urban trains, but you will likely pass by it to admire its beauty.

Mercado do Bolhão – One of the best ways to experience a city is by strolling around its market. Shop for fresh produce or plants, mingle with locals, or have a bite in one of the restaurants inside the Mercado do Bolhão. This 19th-century, wrought-iron building officially reopened in 2022 after a major restoration project, so it’s even more gorgeous than before. 

Livraria Lello – This exquisite bookshop on Rua das Carmelitas is an absolute must-see, even if you are not after buying books. Livraria Lello’s building dates back to 1906 and has stunning elements. Walk around lavishly carved plaster resembling wood, stained-glass skylights, and a curved wooden staircase. The mix of Art Nouveau design and neo-Gothic elements inspired J.K. Rowling to write scenes in her Harry Potter books.   

Capela das Almas – On Rua de Santa Catarina stands another building completely ornate with blue-and-white azulejos. You can see this chapel’s magnificent outside from a distance, with the tiles panels depicting scenes from the lives of various saints, including St. Francis’s death and St. Catherine’s martyrdom. 

Getting there 

Sé do Porto – Take the metro line D (yellow) and get off at São Bento Station. Once out of the station, walk for 5 minutes on Av. Dom Afonso Henriques to reach the church. 

​​Igreja do Carmo – From São Bento Station, take Praça da Liberdade and walk it for 270 meters until turning right on R. de Cândido dos Reis. After 160 meters, turn left on R. de Santa Teresa, and then turn on the second street on the left (raça Guilherme Gomes Fernandes). After 90 meters, turn slightly to the right to take Praça de Gomes Teixeira. The church will be on the right. 

São Bento Station – The nearest tram stop is Praça da Liberdade (line 22). You can also take every metro line as they all pass by the station. 

Mercado do Bolhão – From São Bento Station, go north on R. de 31 de Janeiro and keep walking for 450 meters before turning right on R. Formosa. The destination is on your left.

Livraria Lello – From São Bento Station, take Praça da Liberdade and walk it for 220 meters. Then turn right on R. das Carmelitas, and the library will be on your right after 150 meters. 

Capela das Almas – From Mercado do Bolhão, take R. de Alexandre Braga and turn on the first street on the right (Rua de Fernandes Tomás). After only 50 meters, turn left to take R. de Santa Catarina, and the chapel is immediately on your right. 

Suggested activities in Baixa / Sé 

Porto: Guided Walking Tour and Lello Bookshop – This 3-hour guided walking tour will lead you around the city to learn about Porto’s history and admire its stunning monuments and buildings, among which the Lello bookshop.

Porto: Local Market Tour and Cooking Class – Visit Porto’s authentic market to get to know Portuguese products before walking to a professional kitchen to prepare a traditional meal that you will enjoy in the company of your travel companions. 

2. Ribeira

ponte de dom luís i in ribeira

What’s there and why visit 

The Ribeira is the most famous neighborhood in Porto and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stretching along the Douro River, it boasts picturesque colorful houses that you will love taking pictures of. The Ribeira has Porto’s iconic landmark, the Ponte de Dom Luís I. Walking the iron bridge, you will cross over to Vila Nova de Gaia, where you will find Port wine cellars to have wine tastings. 

The Ribeira is Porto’s most touristy area, so you will find many hotels, restaurants, and stores here. However, the downside is that it’s always crowded and noisy, so if you are looking for peace and quiet, you should opt to stay in another neighborhood. 

Suggested hotels near Ribeira

BUDGET

street view front of carris porto ribeira

Carris Porto Ribeira

Overlooking the Douro River, this 4-star hotel is within a beautiful historical building. Featuring a gym, bar and restaurant that serves meals all day, guests are to surely feel at home. And you can’t beat the bus stops and the train and metro stations being so close, making your travels around the city super convenient!

MID-RANGE

the editory house ribeira porto hotel suite with bed, desk and chairs

The Editory House Ribeira Porto Hotel

“The location and the staff were the best features of this hotel. The rooms were comfortable (we had 2 rooms) we stayed over a week. We enjoyed the breakfast that was varied and lasted until noon. The staff was friendly and helpful. One block from the Ribera. We loved Porto and the Editory house.”

MID-RANGE

icon duplo ribeira bedroom view

ICON Duplo Ribeira

Located just a short walk from Ribeira Square, this hotel sits close to Ferreira Borges Market, Sao Bento Metro Station and Sao Bento Train Station. Not only does this hotel feature a bar, but the front desk staff also organize tours for guests, offering their expertise when doing so. Continental or American options of breakfast are available every morning.

LUXURY

where to stay in porto portobay flores main lobby seating area and front desk

PortoBay Flores

This hotel features an indoor pool and sauna, a fitness center, restaurant and bar, and top-of-the-line room service. Situated in the heart of Porto, the hotel is close to Clerigos Tower, Palacio da Bolsa and Ferreira Borges Market. After exploring all day, find yourself a relaxing seat at the hotel patio that is beautifully landscaped for your enjoyment.

Things to see near Ribeira 

Ponte de Dom Luís I – The iconic symbol of Porto, this bridge connects the city to Vila Nova de Gaia. Spanning over the Douro River, Ponte de Dom Luís I boasts an iron architecture that will remind you of Paris’ Eiffel Tower and about right. Not by chance, the bridge was built by a close associate of Gustave Eiffel, which is why its iron structure resembles Paris’ famous tower. Walk the bridge’s upper deck to admire breathtaking views.

Miradouro da Vitória – Among the spectacular viewpoints in Porto, don’t miss the Miradouro da Vitória. Offering stunning views over the neighborhood rooftops and the Douro River, from the Miradouro da Vitória you can also see several of the city’s main landmarks, like the Palácio da Bolsa.  

Palácio da Bolsa – This 19th-century Neoclassical palace is Porto’s old stock exchange. It was built next to the Igreja de São Francisco and is particularly beautiful from the inside. Stunningly eclectic, the Palácio da Bolsa displays a wide range of sculptures, decorative carvings, frescos, and decorative tiles you won’t tire of admiring. 

The best parts are the Salão Árabe in Moorish style and the monumental courtyard.

Praça da Ribeira – This is the neighborhood’s main square and the spot to visit to experience Porto’s nightlife and clubbing scene. With plenty of busy bars and clubs to partying until the sun comes up, Praça da Ribeira is the perfect spot if you are a night owl!

Douro River bank – The Douro River is among the main feature of the city, and a walk along its bank is a must. The nice boardwalk, lined with the typical colorful tall buildings hosting private homes, restaurants, shops, and cafes, makes for a lovely walk. 

Getting there 

Ponte de Dom Luís I – From São Bento Station, walk in a southerly direction to take Av. Dom Afonso Henriques and continue for five minutes, and the bridge will be right in front of you.

Miradouro da Vitória – From São Bento Station, walk south to take R. de Mouzinho da Silveira. Proceed for 400 meters, and then turn right on Largo São Domingos. After 110 meters, turn right to take Escadas da Vitória, climb the stairs, and walk on Rua da Vitória. After 50 meters, turn left on R. da Bataria da Vitória, and the viewpoint will be on your left. 

Palácio da Bolsa – From São Bento Station, take R. de Mouzinho da Silveira and walk this street for 500 meters. Then, turn right onto R. da Bolsa, and turn again, this time left, to take R. de Ferreira Borges. After just 8 meters, turn right to arrive at Palácio da Bolsa.

​​Praça da Ribeira – Follow the same road as you would do to go Palácio da Bolsa, but instead of turning on R. da Bolsa, keep walking for a couple of minutes. At the intersection with Rua do Infante D. Henrique, turn left on R. da Alfândega. After 60 meters, turn left again on R. da Fonte Taurina, and the square is at the end of this street.

Douro River bank – The promenade along the river starts on the right of Ponte de Dom Luís I.

Suggested activities in Ribeira

Porto: Sunset or Daytime Sailboat Cruise on the Douro River – Explore the Douro River on a cruise to admire the wonderful historic area of Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia.  

Porto: 6 Bridges Port Wine Boat Tour with 4 Tastings – Join this boat tour that combines beautiful sightseeing with a wine-tasting experience of 4 different Port wines alongside a selection of chocolates.

3. Cedofeita

igreja de s. martinho de cedofeita church in porto portugal
Image via Wikipedia by António Amen

What’s there and why visit 

If you are looking to stay in a trendy and art-filled area, Cedofeita is for you. The neighborhood’s many art galleries and concept stores are mainly located along Rua Miguel Bombarda, an unmissable spot in the city!

Cedofeita has several other interesting attractions, and it is located right next to Baixa / Sé, which makes its location extra convenient. Contrary to downtown, Cedofeita is quiet and is where to stay in Porto if you love a romantic bohemian vibe. Boasting excellent cafes for brunch and a wide range of hotels and guesthouses, Cedofeita can accommodate travelers with any budget. 

Suggested hotels near Cedofeita

HOSTEL

where to stay porto gallery hostel community dining area

Gallery Hostel

This hostel provides private and shared rooms with free Wi-Fi. Some rooms include a sitting area and a balcony with city views. The hostel features a fully-equipped shared kitchen, a restaurant and a 24-hour lounge and terrace area for guests to relax on. It’s within walking distance to National Museum Soares and Clérigos Tower.

BUDGET

chic & basic gravity hotel garden area with large waterfall fountain

Chic & Basic Gravity Hotel

This hotel offers a beautiful garden with seating, a restaurant and bar, room service and private parking, which can be difficult to find in this type of area! Located just down the street is the Sao Bento Metro Station. The Oporto Coliseum, Clerigos Tower and Boavista Roundabout are all popular points of interest close by as well.

MID-RANGE

renaissance porto lapa hotel pool lounge chairs next to pool

Renaissance Porto Lapa Hotel

“This is a lovely new hotel, with a nice view as it is situated on a hill above the center of Porto. You can easily walk down to the city center and neighborhood. The rooms are very nice furnitured and the infinity swimming pool on the roof top is very nice. Breakfast is very good. Staff is so friendly and helpful.”

GUEST HOUSE

casa carolina room with bed and fireplace

Casa Carolina

This guest house is perfect for families as it not only offers well equipped guest bedrooms, each featuring a desk and private bathroom, but family rooms as well. Enjoy the continental breakfast provided in the picnic area. Take in the beautiful views of the city surrounding the property from the sun terrace!

Things to see near Cedofeita 

Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis – This unmissable museum in Porto displays an impressive permanent collection, including everything from sculptures to porcelains to archaeological finds. The museum is mostly dedicated to Portuguese art from the 19th and 20th centuries, so it’s an ideal spot to visit to get to know local artists. 

Casa da Guitarra – This is the city’s best spot to listen to the “music of the people”, the traditional Fado. This music genre is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, so you need to include the listening experience in your trip. Casa da Guitarra is a proper Fado house, delighting visitors with authentic hour-long concerts. 

Igreja de S. Martinho de Cedofeita – Dating back to the 13th century, this Romanesque church was built on the site of an older one. The Igreja de Cedofeita is a unique monument as it is the only church in Portugal to have a single nave with a stone vault. Another peculiar feature is the central door decorated with animals’ basreliefs.

Rua Miguel Bombarda – The most typical street of the neighborhood, Rua Miguel Bombarda is eclectic and cosmopolitan. Here you will find dozens of art galleries, alternative shops, and restaurants. Walk around to see what’s going on in the Portuguese contemporary art scene! 

Jardim das Virtudes – This is a peaceful green space where locals go for relaxing walks and to hang out. This public garden boasts a magnificent view of the Douro River and has direct access to the Ribeira. The Jardim das Virtudes is also one of the best spots in the city for watching the sunset!

Getting there 

Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis – With the tram no. 8, get off at the stop Viriato. Proceed in an easterly direction on Rua da Restauração toward Lgo de Viriato. After 50 meters, turn left on R. Dr. Alberto Aires de Gouveia. Walk for 150 meters and turn left on R. de Dom Manuel II. The museum is on your right.

Casa da Guitarra – From São Bento Station, walk south on Av. Dom Afonso Henriques, and after 280 meters, the destination will be on your right. 

Igreja de S. Martinho de Cedofeita – From São Bento Station, take the metro line D for one-stop, change on any metro lines there, and get off at Lapa stop. From here, take the pedestrian overpass, turn right on R. da Manutenção, and take the stairs. Turn left towards R. da Boavista and proceed for 350 meters before turning left on R. de São Martinho. After 66 meters, turn slightly to the right to take Largo do Priorado. Your destination is on the left.

Rua Miguel Bombarda – You can take the buses no. 300 and 602 to get here. Get off at the Diogo Brandão bus stop, and then walk for 4 minutes on the left on Rua de Miguel Bombarda.

Jardim das Virtudes – From São Bento Station, take Praça da Liberdade on the left and walk for 580 meters before turning right on R. Dr. António de Sousa Macedo. After 80 meters, turn left on Passeio das Virtudes, and your destination is on the right.

Suggested activities in Cedofeita 

Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine – This experience is perfect for those looking to do something locally as it consists in watching a Fado show in the Casa da Guitarra, in a very intimate setting, while tasting the Port wine. 

Porto: Half-Day Street Art Tour – This tour will lead you through the best areas to watch the street art made by famous local artists.

4. Boavista 

fundação de serralves museum with large fountain in front
Image via Unsplash by Maksym Pozniak-Haraburda

What’s there and why visit 

Boavista is Porto’s posh neighborhood where wealthy families live. It is very well connected to the downtown area by public transport, so if you choose your accommodation here, you won’t have a problem reaching Porto’s popular attractions. 

But Boavista itself has great spots to visit, among which are the Fundação de Serralves, with a contemporary art museum and a wonderful park, and the historical Sinagoga Kadoorie. The neighborhood also hosts the Porto National Orchestra, so it’s an ideal accommodation choice if you are into music. 

Suggested hotels near Boavista

GUEST HOUSE

where to stay in porto boavista guest house bedroom with private shower

Boavista Guest House

This guest house offers guests the choice between standard and superior rooms, all including a private bathroom. Enjoy your breakfast on the outdoor terrace! Situated closely to the church of São Martinho da Cedofeita, Casa da Música Cultural Centre and the Carolina Michaelis Metro Station, as well as many local shops and bars!

BUDGET

bessahotel boavista suite king bed

BessaHotel Boavista

“The suite deluxe was incredible. It was clean and spacious and the terrace with the jacuzzi was amazing. The staff was very kind and the hotel also has private parking, a fitness room and in the lobby area you can find computers to use. The location is not near the touristic points.”

MID-RANGE

nh collection porto batalha suite with city view from window

NH Collection Porto Batalha

Featuring an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center and on-site restaurant and bar, this 4-star hotel provides everything you need and more. Massages, laundry and dry cleaning services are available upon request. Just a few minute walk to the São Bento station, you can easily get to anywhere you desire in the city!

APARTMENT

serviced apartments boavista palace dining and living areas

Serviced Apartments Boavista Palace

This apartment complex features a terrace where guests can relax, and a gym free for guests to use. Rooms include a living room with a plasma TV, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, and bathrooms with heated flooring. Each apartment also has it’s own balcony and there is private parking on-site.

Things to see near Boavista 

Fundação de Serralves – If you are into art and polyvalent spaces, you will enjoy visiting the Fundação de Serralves. Its main building contains a museum displaying ever-changing art exhibitions. The complex continues with the “Serralves House”, a beautiful Art Deco building that was the former home of Count Carlos Alberto Cabral. If you want to discover more about Portuguese filmmaking, stop by the “Casa do Cinema”. Completes the Fundação de Serralves, a park of 44,5 acres with lush gardens and various recreational areas.

​​Casa da Música – Home of Porto National Orchestra, the Casa da Música is the beating heart of Porto’s cultural and musical scenes. The building itself is a work of art, a wonky cuboid shape that creates a perfect acoustic. Check it out by attending a concert or joining a guided building tour.

Sinagoga Kadoorie – This is the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula. Inaugurated in 1938 thanks to donations from Jews from all over the world, the synagogue is of great historical value. It is open to visitors and hosts daily guided tours that you can join to learn about its architecture and the history of the Jewish community of Porto.

Cemitério de Agramonte – One of Porto’s most beautiful graveyards, it was opened in 1855 to bury those who lost their lives after a cholera epidemic. With time, the city’s wealthiest residents began building exuberant mausoleums here. Some of the tombs are adorned with sculptures by famous local artists, so it’s a perfect spot for a relaxing walk surrounded by art. 

Getting there 

Fundação de Serralves – From São Bento Station, walk five minutes north to get to Pr. D. João I bus stop. Take the bus no. 207 (direction Foz), and get off at the D.João III stop, which is right in front of the Fundação de Serralves. 

​​Casa da Música – From Av.aliados bus stop, take the bus no. 202 (direction Passeio Alegre) and get off after 14 minutes at Boavista-casa da Música. Then proceed southeast on Av. da França towards Mouzinho de Albuquerque Square. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit, and the destination is on your right.

Sinagoga Kadoorie – From Praça de Dom João I stop take the bus no. 207 (direction Foz), and after 15 minutes, get off at the Planetário stop. Turn right on R. de Guerra Junqueiro, and the synagogue is right before you after 350 meters.  

Cemitério de Agramonte – Follow the same route to arrive at Casa da Música. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and turn left on R. de Agramonte. The entrance of the graveyard is after 180 meters. 

Suggested activities in Boavista 

Porto: Private Half-Day as a Local Experience – Join this private five hour tour through the Boavista neighborhood and other areas of the city to discover the best spots, all accompanied by local guides.  

Porto: Jewish Heritage Private Tour by Tuk Tuk – Porto has an important Jewish community, and with this tour, you can discover all about its heritage, including Synagogue Kadoorie. The best part is that you will experience the city from a Tuk Tuk, for an extra fun day!

5. Foz do Douro 

farolim de felgueiras lighthouse on pier of porto
Image via Unsplash by Rui Alves

What’s there and why visit 

Foz do Douro lies on the outskirt of the city as it is its most western neighborhood. A small fishermen’s village, locals used to frequent it only during summer as the area has lots of beaches. In Foz, you can still see its past, with the fishermen’s houses standing side by side with beautiful modern mansions.

Besides being the neighborhood to visit if you are looking for some beach action, Foz also has several attractions you shouldn’t miss. In particular, you will surely love the oceanfront promenade for relaxing walks and the two forts for watching the sunset.

Suggested hotels near Foz do Douro

GUEST HOUSE

where to stay porto guest house douro street view of entrance

Guest House Douro

“Excellent little hotel, really well located, very clean and convenient. The staff was super friendly and they excelled in the details like offering cold water when we came back in the evening. The breakfast was really good with an impressive offer of juices, fruits, sweet and savory options. We will definitely come back when visiting Porto again.”

BUDGET

eurostars porto douro terrace seating overlooking bridge and boat on river

Eurostars Porto Douro

This hotel faces the Douro River, offering stunning views. It’s just a 3-minute walk from the UNESCO World Heritage Ribeira and the D. Luís I Bridge and within walking distance from Port Wine Cellars across the Douro River, the Clérigos Tower and the unique Lello Bookstore. There’s a number of bars a restaurants close by as well. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet every morning.

MID-RANGE

hotel boa vista double bed window view and seating

Hotel Boa – Vista

This hotel features aoutdoor pool and cafe on the rooftop that overlooks the Douro River and Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a terrace where guests can relax and enjoy their drinks from the bar on. The Ingleses Beach is within walking distance and the historical center can be reached on foot along the waterfront.

LUXURY

aerial view of vila foz hotel & spa by ocean

Vila Foz Hotel & Spa

Directly facing the beachfront, this 5-star hotel offers a garden, restaurant and bar, a spa and wellness center with an indoor pool, fitness center, and sauna, as well as free bikes to use. The Molhe Beach, Castelo do Queijo Beach and Ingleses Beach are all close by and the city center is 20 minutes away.

Things to see near Foz do Douro 

Forte de São Francisco do Queijo – Located north of the neighborhood, the Forte de São Francisco do Queijo is one of the two forts you can visit in Foz. Nicknamed the Castelo do Queijo (Castle of the Cheese), it was built in the 15th century to protect Porto from pirate raids. The fort used to house the governor’s quarters. Today, it hosts a small museum, and it is one of the city’s best spots to watch the sunset.  

Farolim de Felgueiras – Felgueiras Lighthouse stands at the end of the namesake pier, where the Douro River meets the sea. The lighthouse is 17 meters high and was built in 1886, but is no longer in function. However, it still makes for a very scenic viewpoint. 

Fort of São João Baptista da Foz – Porto’s other fort, it was constructed in the 16th century on the site of a Benedictine church. The Fort of São João Baptista da Foz had the same function as the Castelo do Queijo, to protect the city from pirates and the enemy fleets. Today, this fort hosts temporary exhibitions. 

Praia da Luz – This is one of the best beaches in Porto. Praia da Luz is equipped with all the comforts for a relaxing and fun time, and it features a café and restaurant serving delicious dishes. The expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean you can enjoy from it is unparalleled, especially at sunset. 

Getting there 

Forte de São Francisco do Queijo – From São Bento Station, take the bus no. 500 (direction Matosinhos), and after 30 minutes get off at Sea Life Castelo do Queijo stop. Proceed in a northwesterly direction toward Via do Castelo do Queijo, and your destination is on the right.

Farolim de Felgueiras – From Fort of São João Baptista da Foz, walk towards the sea and as soon as you reach the promenade, you will gaze at the lighthouse. You just need to walk five minutes to get to it. 

Fort of São João Baptista da Foz – Take the bus no. 500 from São Bento Station, and after 20 minutes get off at Senhora da Luz stop. Walk south on Esplanada do Castelo toward Av. de Dom Carlos I, and the fort is on the right.

Praia da Luz – From Fort of São João Baptista da Foz, walk west on Esplanada do Castelo toward Av. de Dom Carlos I. After 500 meters, your destination is on the left.

Suggested activities in Foz do Douro 

Porto: a ride along the coast in a fun eco-friendly car – Take a car ride along the Douro River and all the way into Foz to discover the neighborhood while enjoying gorgeous views of the ocean.  

Porto: Private Boat Tour – Take sail from the Douro Marina to discover the beautiful cityscape of Porto from the water. The cruise will lead you to Foz do Douro to discover this fantastic area.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Porto best known for?

Its wine! The city is the birthplace of Port wine that you can taste in one of the numerous port lodges. Port wine has a 20% alcohol content, so it’s a bit stronger than regular red or white wines. However, it tastes delicious, and no visit to the city is complete without a proper Port wine tasting. 

Is Porto airport far from the city center?

The airport is well-connected to the city center. Getting from Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport to the city is simple, and you can opt for several means of transportation. The Metro is the quickest and most affordable option, and you will be in Porto’s center in around 30 minutes. 

What is the best month to visit Porto?

It all depends on what you are looking for from your holiday. If you don’t mind the crowds, head to Porto in the summer season. Prices are higher, but the weather is just perfect, with the wind blowing to refresh the temperature.

Where to stay in Porto for first-time travelers?

Thanks to a wide range of accommodations and the city’s best attractions, the downtown area of Baixa / Sé is the best spot in Porto for first-time travelers.

Final Thoughts 

Porto is one of Portugal’s most popular destinations. The city boats charming winding streets leading to Azuelojos-covered buildings, a colorful riverside promenade, and wine lodges to do Port wine tastings. Porto also has an impressive number of miradouros (viewpoints) from where marveling at magical sunsets!

The city is compact but filled with wonders, so deciding where to stay in Porto requires some planning. We put together this guide with a detailed breakdown of the city’s best neighborhoods to help you choose where to book your hotel for a beautiful holiday.

What you should read next

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

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Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Airbnb is the market leader but you’d be surprised how you can find cheaper deals on the lesser-known VRBO.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.

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