Deciding where to stay in Porto is easier with a little insight into the city. The best and most central neighbourhoods for important sights, restaurants and atmosphere are Ribeira, São Bento and Aliados, Batalha and Belas Artes, Clérigos and Cedofeita.

Luckily, Porto’s historical centre is compact enough to facilitate walking between most major sights as long as you’re based in one of these areas. If you opt for accommodation away from the city centre, you’ll need to factor public transport or car journeys into your itinerary.

As well as providing a brief overview of the best neighbourhoods, I’ve made suggestions for Porto accommodation options in each area to save you the time and trouble of searching.

There are several gorgeous boutique hotels and guesthouses in Porto and an ever-increasing number of holiday apartments. My criteria for selecting accommodation in Porto are: value for money, levels of comfort and service, sense of style and charm.

If you don’t want to read the full article, here are my favourite Porto hotels and guesthouses

Best 5 star hotel in Porto = InterContinental’s Palacio das Cardosas

Best 4 star hotel in Porto = Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel

Best 3 star hotel in Porto = Ribeira do Porto Hotel

Best boutique guest house in Porto = 1872 River House

Read on for more information about the best locations to stay in Porto city centre as well as in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is on the opposite side of the Douro River plus more accommodation suggestions in each neighbourhood.

Note: I’ve written similar accommodation guides for the Douro ValleyLisbon and the Algarve to name but a few.

See all my Portugal accommodation guides

The best areas to stay in Porto for sightseeing: Ribeira 

One of the liveliest and most attractive places to stay in Porto is the riverside Ribeira district, dominated by the iron Dom Luís I bridge and rows of colourful houses above the sturdy medieval walls. There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the waterfront and in the main square, although this could be a problem for light sleepers.

Ribeira is a great place to simply sit at a café with a glass of port tonic and watch the boats come and go or stroll along the water’s edge.

Other Porto attractions in this area include the 6 Bridges Douro river cruises, a weekly craft fair, Casa do Infante Museum, the golden Gothic church of St. Francis and the Palácio da Bolsa Stock Exchange building.

Ribeira district, Porto

Ribeira district, Porto

Where to stay in Porto: Accommodation in Ribeira 

Pestana Vintage Porto 5-star hotel is in prime position overlooking the river and the square from its 16th century building. Try to get a room with a river view and check room sizes before booking as some can be a bit small. Find a room with a view.

A 4-star option that’s on the banks of the river but set apart from the hubbub is Eurostars Douro. Tasteful decor with character, comfortable rooms and excellent service make for a very pleasant stay, especially if you get a river view. Check availability and prices

For a boutique guesthouse situated right in front of the river, 1872 River House is fabulous. There are eight rooms to choose from either facing the river or the city. The decor is thoughtfully done from the lovely stone walls to the tasteful reclaimed furniture. Which room would you choose?

With a stunning view over the river Douro, Mo House combines bohemian style with luxury comfort. Rooms are bright and spacious and a fabulous breakfast is served daily. There is a relaxing outside patio area, and an elevator.  Check for availability.

Ribeira do Porto Hotel is good 3-star option. Again, housed within a tall, historical building, some of the rooms are small so check measurements if this is important to you. Click to check prices.

Porto Sense Ribeira is a great example of a renovated 18th century building converted into comfortable, modern studios and apartments alongside the river. See photos and reviews

Area overview: São Bento and Avenida dos Aliados

In terms of public transport, you couldn’t be much better placed in this area. The most central and most famous train station in Porto is São Bento. Even if you’re not using it to go anywhere, you should pop in to see the stunning azulejo panels that decorate this historical building.

From São Bento, it’s easy to walk to the cathedral and the main shopping streets leading down to the river, such as the trendy Rua das Flores, or Avenida dos Aliados, the central avenue that leads up to the City Hall.

Porto Avenida dos Aliados. Photo credit Smirre
Porto Avenida dos Aliados. Photo credit Smirre

Best places to stay in Porto around São Bento and Aliados

For a 5-star luxury hotel in Porto city centre, InterContinental’s Palacio das Cardosas is your best option. Not only is the location ideal for exploring Porto on foot, the 18th century palace-turned-hotel is gorgeous, especially if you appreciate inlaid marble floors and the convenience of an onsite spa and restaurant. Check prices and availability.

Alternatively, the 5-star Infante Sagres Luxury Historic Hotel combines the incredible beauty of a historical building with spacious rooms, some with decorated ceilings. See the photos and be charmed

Another 5- star option is the friendly Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace located in a renovated historic building. You can relax in the indoor swimming pool and be pampered in the Spa & Wellness Centre. Check prices and availability.

The Pestana Porto – A Brasileira is among the newest 5-star hotels in Porto. Built in the historic A Brasileira Café, the decor is inspired by the role of spices and other products imported during the Portuguese maritime expansion of the 15th and 16th centuries. Try to get a room overlooking the city rooftops. Take a look at the photos.

Flores Village is a highly sought after luxury complex of rooms and self-catering apartments within a beautifully restored 18th century historical building. A blend of contemporary and historical features adds to the charm and the onsite wellness centre with hammam and indoor pool will soothe away the strains of a full day’s sightseeing or long journey. Grab a room in the main building if you can.

As the name suggests, the 4-star Porto A.S. 1829 is in a 19th century building at the end of the revitalised Rua das Flores, mid-way between Ribeira and Aliados. There’s a swish restaurant beneath the comfortable, spacious rooms.  Choose a room and check prices.

B The Guest is a 10-bedroomed boutique guest house near Bolhão market (and metro station) where you’ll be made to feel exceptionally welcome. There’s no elevator so be prepared to climb some stairs. Otherwise, it’s hard to find fault. Check availability for your stay.

If you are looking for a self catering apartment then Bolhão Nobre fits the bill. The rooms provide all you will need for a stay and hosts really go out of their way to help. It is situated on the 3rd floor of a 19th century Art Noveau building with no elevator. Take a look at the photos.

BO Almada 346 offers a selection of clean, modern and bright self-catering accommodation in air-conditioned lofts and studios with a balcony. The location is great and the host friendly and helpful. Choose a room and check prices.

Area overview: Batalha, Porto

What used to be a rather run down area has changed dramatically in recent years. The city’s emblematic theatre, Teatro Nacional São João, is in Batalha, as are the main bus stations. The main church (and other name) for this neighbourhood is the beautifully tiled Santo Ildefonso. If you walk uphill from Praça da Batalha, you’ll find yourself in an up and coming neighbourhood with all the services you could need and still just a 10-15 minute walk to the centre of the city.

It’s close enough to Porto city centre to walk to the shopping street of Rua Santa Catarina and the beautiful Majestic Café. The Coliseu do Porto hosts international concerts and there are plenty of restaurants nearby.

You can walk to places like Clérigos on the other side of Aliados (I do) but it would be less tiring to take the tram or a taxi.

Tip: If you’re coming to Batalha from the Ribeira area, take the Guindais funicular up the hill to save your legs and enjoy the view.

Majestic Café, Porto
Majestic Café, Porto

Best places to stay in Porto’s Batalha and Belas Artes district

Note: this area might also show up on maps as Santo Ildefonso.

On the road between the funicular stop and the cathedral, Condes de Azevedo Palace Apartments offer bright, spacious and modern self-catering accommodation in a 13th century building with great views and access to a garden. Check prices and availability.

Cocorico Luxury Guest House is a gorgeous collection of unique rooms, many of which have original stucco ceilings and touches of old world glamour mixed with modern comforts. Fall in love with the photos

For a stylish bed and breakfast in this area, consider Feels Like Home Santa Catarina prime suites, which are at one end of this very long shopping street. Try to get a room with a terrace.

A little further away from the centre but worth a mention because it’s a delightful and affordable place to stay is Duke’s Corner Guesthouse. It’s in a typical traditional townhouse with the added bonus of a garden and terrace. See photos and prices.

Area overview: Porto’s Arts District and around Clérigos and Cedofeita

Rua Miguel Bombarda and the surrounding streets have been given a new lease of life in recent years as the city’s arts district. You’ll find concept stores, designers, vintage shops, independent art galleries and cute cafés and bars around here.

Clérigos Tower, to the west of Avenida dos Aliados, is a Porto icon and one of the places to go for the best views of the city.

It’s also where the nightlife district spreads away from and is home to the Photography Museum, the famously beautiful Lello bookstore, the university and Natural History Museum and my favourite sculptures in the Jardim das Cordoaria.

Sculptures, students and weird trees in Jardim do Cordoaria, Porto
Sculptures, art students and weird trees in Jardim do Cordoaria, Porto

Great guesthouses in Clérigos and the Arts District

Oporto Serviced Apartments – 1858 offer very comfortable, spacious apartments with their own catering facilities (or you could try the onsite bbgourmet restaurant when you feel like a change). If you are using a car whilst in Porto onsite parking is provided for an extra fee. Take a look at the photos.

Casa do Conto & Tipografia are two properties located close together in renovated 19th-century bourgeois buildings. Rooms come with a balcony and city views and the spacious, concrete suites are furnished with designer items and period furniture. There is also a lovely garden with fruit trees and a lounge to while away any free moments. Check availability and prices.

A beautiful guesthouse located in an old iron warehouse, Armazém Luxury Housing- Architectural & Design Hotel offers a range of fully equipped rooms and a lovely terrace that overlooks the city. The decor of stone and wood works well throughout and there are lovely communal areas to relax in. Check out the photos. 

Pensão Favorita is on Rua Miguel Bombarda itself and offers spacious rooms with seating areas. There’s a garden area at the back of the building and some rooms have a little terrace. Choose a room and check prices.

Rosa et al Townhouse is another cosy but beautifully stylish guesthouse that offers rooms and suites, some with garden views. Service is excellent as is the food. Check availability and prices.

For cosy, well run apartments with simple cooking facilities near Clérigos, try Liiiving in Porto Historic Clérigos Studios. I love the door headboards! Some rooms have private balconies so grab one if you can.

Area overview: Vila Nova de Gaia instead of Porto?

The other side of the Douro River is not Porto, it’s Vila Nova de Gaia, home to the port wine cellars. Staying here offers, among other things:

  • easy access to the wine
  • a pleasant riverside promenade
  • fabulous views of Porto
  • access to the smaller river cruise ships
  • Serra do Pilar Monastery

And, as you head out towards the ocean:

  • nature reserve and nudist beach
  • traditional fishing village
  • marina
  • boat maker’s yard

See more in this post.

View of Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto
View of Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto from Dom Luís bridge.

Best accommodation options in Vila Nova de Gaia

One of Porto’s most famous luxury hotels, The Yeatman, is over here. The wine theme runs throughout with barrel-framed beds and a decanter-shaped pool. Check availability and prices.

On the more affordable side of the accommodation scale, Reis de Gaia offer a range of apartments for those with strong legs (up to 4 flights of stairs and no elevator). Your reward is views, excellent service and a terrace. Check availability and prices.

The gorgeous 296 Heritage Apartments has a modern yet classy-minimal look with granite walls and offers a range of rooms to make your stay in Vila Nova de Gaia special. The views are stunning and the rooms are super comfy with a very good continental breakfast delivered each morning. Check out the rooms and availability.

The Bridge It – Suites & Views has a fantastic location and offers great views of the river and bridge. The rooms are bright, clean and modern and the hosts go out of their way to help. There is a nice terrace, a shared lounge and a bar for that refreshing drink after a long, hot day. Choose a room and check prices.

See all my Portugal accommodation guides

Porto guide books

Aside from my self-guided walking tour of Porto, if you’re spending a long time in the city, you may find a dedicated Porto guidebook useful, and perhaps a city map. You can pick up free paper maps from the airport and tourist information offices but they won’t cover the outlying areas.

Click on any of these to get more details from Amazon:

Choose between the Lonely Planet Pocket Porto Travel Guide and

Pocket Rough Guide Porto for a city-specific guide book.

If you want something more robust than the free city maps, try thisPorto map

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Where to stay in Porto. Best areas and neighbourhoods in Porto city centre. Best boutique hotels, guesthouses and apartments in Porto
Where to stay in Porto. Best boutique hotels, guesthouses and apartments in Porto city centre and Vila Nova de Gaia.

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  1. All the hotels in Porto are sold out June 7 – 9. Any suggestions on where to stay nearby?

    1. Author

      Quite likely – there’s a major football event on at that time. Have you looked into Matosinhos?

  2. Thanks for the great post. My wife and 6 month old daughter will be in Porto with friend for 3 night in Sep. Which are would you recommend please? We like to be able to walk everywhere ideally and near restaurants, cafes and bars?

    1. Author

      Any of the places mentioned in this article then.

  3. Hi, Julie! We have an early flight out of Porto in September and I’m wondering if there is a good hotel/apartment option near the airport. We will have a car rental we need to drop off before the flight. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  4. Hello, thank you for this helpful article. My wife and I plan to fly into Porto the end of this month (June 2018). We will be staying for 3 nights. Can you recommend an ideal location for a couple who loves taking Instagram pictures and eating seafood? thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Wil, try the Ribeira district

  5. We are looking for a “beach” stay at the end of our vacation in Portugal. From our stop in Evora we are trying to decide between Cascais area or Settubal/Arrabidos area. Can you comment on how those two areas compare?…quality of beach, crowd size, character?

    1. Author

      Cascais is more of a coastal resort town and has a range of beaches within easy reach of the town centre. Those closest to town will be quite busy in season. Arrábida is a natural park so, depending on the time of year, you may need a car (or use the buses) to access the beaches. They are backed by greenery and quite beautiful. Setúbal is a less touristy city than Cascais but still quite charming. You can take the ferry across to Troia for more beautiful sandy beaches with plenty of space for everyone.

  6. We would like to know of self catering apartmennts in Porto, some where central.

    1. Author

      Tony, there are several such places mentioned in this article.

  7. Hi My sister and I have a car and are spending 3 days in porto. is parking a hassel in Vila Nova de Gara? Can you recommend a hotel?

    1. Author

      Hi Maureen, you’ll find my suggestions for Vila Nova de Gaia at the end of this article.

  8. Do you have suggestions on areas to stay if you do have a car in Porto. We will be arriving in mid October but will need a place to park. We only have a short time to visit Porto so we want to make the most of our visit. Thanks!!

  9. e crazy to not have accomodations booked, other then in Porto and Lisbon?

    1. Author

      Depends on where and when you want to go and how fussy you are about where you stay. I prefer to book ahead but I know others who like being more flexible. July and August are best prebooked as is September for the Douro.

  10. An entire post about lodging and no mention of AirBnB.
    For us, coming in September 2017, the choice of using AirBnB was easy and obvious.

    1. Author

      Hi Dave, I’ve kind of gone off AirBnB after my last experience so I prefer to use, which also has apartments. Some of them are also listed through AirBnB so whatever suits you best when it comes to booking.

Over to you. Please share your thoughts in a comment.