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Porto is best known for its beautiful setting along the Douro River and the famous Port wines.
We spent several weeks in Portugal’s second largest city, exploring the local food scene and eating our way through the city.
As you plan for your own food quest to explore the local flavors, you will want to know where to stay in Porto.
A very convenient city for visitors, Porto has a walkable Old Center that is easily navigable by foot. The inexpensive public transportation system makes it easy to reach all the main attractions.
You will not want to miss visiting the wine cellars and tasting the local gastronomy while sightseeing around this Unesco Historical Center.
If you are looking for the best places to stay in Porto for food lovers, use this guide.
Here are our recommendations based on location, neighborhoods, and the local food scene.
Finding The Best Area to Stay in Porto, Portugal For Food Lovers
To help you find the best hotels where to stay in Porto, we’ve simplified and divided the city into three main areas.
Centro-Baixa, Ribeira is where you find the city center. This is the best area to stay in Porto if you want to be close to the main attractions and tourist sites.
Vila Nova de Gaia is an area located straight across the city center on the other side of the Douro river. This is where the Port wine houses are located, a more relaxed alternative to the city center.
And finally, we explore a few local neighborhoods worth considering: Marques Square, Estádio do Dragão and Campanha. There you will find the real Porto with more local venues and affordable places to stay.
For each area, we list the best hotels to stay in Porto for foodies from budget to luxury accommodations.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: To explore the city and make the most of your visit to Porto, we recommend getting a Porto Card. A Porto Card is an official city pass that offers benefits and discounts for over 170 attractions and cultural sites in Porto and the region. We used it ourselves and wrote more about how to make the best of your Porto visit with the Porto Card.
1. Centro-Baixa and Ribeira – Best Area to Stay in Porto For First Time Visitors
The Porto city center is the best area to stay in Porto for first time visitors. Although not as affordable as other areas, you will find all the major sights within walking distance.
Much of the downtown Porto area is nowadays classified a Unesco World Heritage Site, so you are sure to find some major attractions in this historical center.
While enjoying your stay in Porto, you can admire the art district, the Porto Cathedral, the Dom Luis I Bridge, or the Liberty Square.
This is the best area to stay in Porto to take advantage of the many cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and the main market: Mercado do Bolhão.
Centro-Baixa stretches from the Praça da Liberdade to the Avenida dos Aliados. Many historic buildings and older properties in the area started to be renovated and refurbished, while lots of new businesses opened up recently.
You will find plenty of opportunities to party, dance, and shop here, thanks to the large number of bars, clubs, and luxury malls.
Closer to the bank of the Douro river is Ribeira. While the restaurants can be hit or miss, you cannot go wrong with having a drink and admiring the view while people-watching.
Besides this, the São Bento train station is right there if you wish to plan a day trip to a surrounding city.
Here are our suggestions for where to stay in Porto City Center if you are a foodie.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: To explore Porto city center and get an introduction to the local Porto food, we recommend taking a Porto food tour. This Porto half-day food tour gets you to taste many local food and wine specialties. As you walk around Porto, you’ll learn about the history of the city and finish off with a local Portuguese sweet treat.
Best Places to Stay in Baixa-Ribeira – Porto City Center for Food lovers
When you visit Ribeira, you will be able to find a lot of luxury hotels with spacious rooms located within easy walking distance from Central Porto.
The best Porto hotels are usually found near the Avenida dos Aliados area.
In the Porto City Center area, we recommend the following boutique hotels and accomodations for the best places to stay for food lovers.
If you are looking for “a home away” with access to your own kitchen, book your stay in a spacious modern loft-like, beautifully-decorated apartment. Porto White City Lofts are located in a quiet neighborhood, within walking distance of the historic Bolhão market.
Porto White City Lofts provide spacious apartments with a great location, making these apartments perfect for a romantic getaway.
You’ll also enjoy access to numerous excellent restaurants and other gastronomy options located just a short walk away from the lofts, and you’ll be able to discover the vibrant nightlife district in Porto’s downtown as well.
Prices start at $100 for an apartment.
This renovated guesthouse is the former residence of prominent scholar and writer Carolina Michaelis, the first female professor of Portugal’s prestigious University of Coimbra in the 1900s.
The building features typical Portuguese design architecture, including a central staircase, skylight and Juliet balconies overlooking Rua de Cedofeita, a pedestrian shopping street.
One of the highlights of this boutique guesthouse is the fabulous breakfast. Follow the smell of freshly baked bread to the garden. Find a wide selection of local and seasonal produce including cherry tomatoes, olive oil and balls of butter and avocado. Orange juice is squeezed on the spot.
Prices start at $145 for a double room with breakfast.
For a luxury hotel in Porto check out Charm Palace Porto, one of the most romantic buildings in the city which retains its charm from the early 1900s.
Conveniently located near Santa Catarina street and Bolhão Market, you are a stone throw away from Porto’s main shopping center and a typical market not to be missed.
Feel like royalty at this lovely boutique hotel with extremely helpful staff willing to go the extra mile for you.
Enjoy the outstanding room service at this boutique hotel Porto. Explore nearby gems like picturesque houses, the Casa da Música, art galleries,and port wine lodges of Porto.
Tired after a day of sightseeing, relax with the first class amenities and you’ll understand why it is one of the best luxury hotels in the city.
Prices start at $200 for a standard suite at this beautiful hotel.
2. Vila Nova de Gaia – Best Area to Stay in Porto For Port Wine Lovers
Vila Nova de Gaia is located across Porto, on the other side of the River Douro and easily accessible with the tramway as well as the bus system.
Vila Nova de Gaia is the home base of the port cellars of Porto. This is the place to be if you want to enjoy Port and wine tasting.
Furthermore, Vila Nova de Gaia has an incredible array of bars and restaurants where you can have a great time on your trip. For a local joint, check out Pero do Cais away from the main sites.
And for sweeping views of the city and the Douro river, ride the Gaia cable car that brings you up to the observation deck. Take the opportunity to sip on a drink while enjoying the sunset at the Cable Car Terrace.
If your visit to Porto is focused on exploring Port wines and visiting many Port cellars, here are the best places to stay in Porto.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: While enjoying your stay at Vila Nova de Gaia near the Douro River, get a tour of the port houses offering daily wine tasting tours. We recommend taking this guided tour with a wine expert for a complete experience. You visit three different cellars, taste different types of Port and learn how to distinguish them. You also get historical insights into the production of Port in the Douro Valley.
Best Places to Stay in Vila de Gaia for Food and Wine lovers
Port wine and food lovers will love any of these accommodation recommendations in Vila de Gaia.
For a budget friendly place, we recommend the House of Sandeman. This affordable hostel is located within the historic building of Sandeman Port Wine Cellars.
Dormitories and double rooms with private bathrooms are available.
This riverfront property also has a bar and a nice restaurant which proposes live music on specific nights. A buffet of traditional Portuguese cuisine is served for breakfast every morning.
A nice perk are the bicycles which are available for rent to easily reach the center of the city or the many Port cellars at your leisure.
Prices start at $84 for a double room with a private bathroom.
Ideally located on the riverfront, this modern apartment with a fully equipped kitchen offers wonderful views on the Douro River and the Dom Luís I Bridge.
Enjoying your morning coffee on their spacious balcony while admiring the stunning view of the city is definitely something you will remember for years after the trip.
You will find several restaurants right next door on the promenade and various port cellars around. It is also very convenient to get to Porto City by crossing the nearby bridge.
One of the best perks of Oh! Porto Apartments is that you get high quality hotel service, as well as delicious breakfast delivered every morning to your apartment. This is easily one of the best places to stay in Porto.
Prices start at $92 for a studio apartment breakfast included.
For a luxury hotel in Vila de Gaia, look no further than the Yeatman. This wine five-star hotel and luxury spa combines gastronomy with wellness and is located in the best neighborhood of the city.
The spa offers panoramic views over the Douro Valley and Porto. And, the 2-Michelin star restaurant serves excellent regional Portuguese cuisine and wines.
Besides this, you will also be able to relax in one of their two large swimming pools, or savor a cold drink at their fancy bar. You can also bring your beloved furry friend if you wish, as this luxurious hotel is also pet-friendly.
This is one of the top Porto hotels for a gastronomic experience at the doorstep of Porto port cellars.
Prices start at $400 for a standard suite.
Local Porto Neighborhoods – Best Areas to Stay in Porto On A Budget
Beyond Porto City Center and Vila Nova de Gaia, you may want to consider staying in a local neighborhood.
These are some of the best areas to stay in Porto for a local experience and they are all accessible via public transportation.
These areas offer an affordable alternative to the city center or Villa de Gaia while still being conveniently accessible.
Here are a few local neighborhoods to consider for where to stay in Porto.
3. Marques Square
By the Marques Square, you will find a lively local scene still within proximity to the center of the city by metro. The Marques Square is a large square with a relaxing romantic garden in the center.
It is very popular amongst people who need a little bit of shade during the very hot days of summer in Porto. Older people gather here to play chess and enjoy nature together.
We recommend immersing yourself in the local shops and cafes. Check out Doce Alto for your favorite Portuguese sweets and pastries. Enjoy a tasty lunch at Linos Marques for traditional home cooked Portuguese meals.
Once you arrive at the Marques Square, take a second to admire your surroundings. You will find elegant, well-preserved buildings, as well as busy streets that take you to various parts of the city. This is clearly the best neighborhood for couples and family.
4. Campanha neighborhood
Campanha neighborhood is a great pick for when you are wondering where to stay in Porto, as it is close to the heart of the city of Porto. Near the second train station named Campanha, you have a local neighborhood easily reachable by public transportation.
Here you can admire famous sights of the beautiful old buildings in this neighborhood. The rural traditions live side by side with the recent process of modernisation. Being at a very close distance from major tourist spots in the city and not far from the Douro River.
5. Estádio do Dragão
Finally, near Estádio do Dragão the famous soccer stadium where team FC Porto plays, you will be sure to get into the local culture each game night.
The Estádio do Dragão is the third largest football stadium in all of Portugal, attracting football enthusiasts from all over the world.
If you plan on attending a football game at Estádio do Dragão while visiting Porto, make sure you buy your tickets early. The stadium is always entirely full during well-known games. You can also get to the stadium by metro or bus if you don’t want to rent a car.
Street food is available around the stadium on game night. During the day, find Ceilera Dieta, an organic food store for a lunch spot and tasty organic produce.
These neighborhoods will have a more local feel and they offer affordable accommodation options.
If you are comfortable taking local transportation or shared car services like Uber, these local neighborhoods with boutique hotels and modest apartments are some of the best areas to stay in Porto for affordable options with a local flavor.
Where to Stay in Porto for Food Lovers on a Budget
For budget friendly options, we recommend the following hotels and accomodations for where to stay in Porto for food lovers on a budget:
For a comfortable stay at a budget price, we recommend this guest house within a beautiful classic Porto building.
Charming House Marquês is one of the best places to stay in Porto for those who want to be near the center of the city at a surprisingly low price. The rooms are all bright and spacious, with wooden floors and access to a relaxing terrace.
A stone away from the Marquês Metro Station, you can reach the city center in minutes by foot or metro. This Porto boutique hotel has an ideal location for any tourist that wants to explore the surroundings.
Local restaurants are available within walking distance. You can have your delicious and fresh breakfast served in the garden by the terrace if weather permits. Charming House Marquês is a gem right in the middle of the city.
Prices start at $62 for a standard bedroom with breakfast.
If you are going to travel to Porto with more than one friend or with your entire family, then Aromas Flavors Tours – Apartment Velasquez is the right pick for you.
This apartment is close to most of Porto’s attractions, located in one of the best neighborhoods in the area.
Apartment Velasquez features many amenities such as a sun terrace, a garden, a barbecue, fishing, cycling, and many more.
The apartment is set in a building from 1971 and is about 2.3 km from Estadio do Dragao and 2.9 km from Oporto Coliseum.
Since Porto is such a walkable city, you will easily get to the main attractions in no time.
Prices start at $99 for a three-bedroom apartment.
For a luxury stay, check out this unique Castle with a Moorish style and beautiful gardens. Located a few minutes from the Marquês Metro Station station, you can easily get to the city center by metro, bus, or even by walking leisurely.
The interior combines antique furniture from the 20th Century and a modern design. An amazing breakfast, with local dishes is served every morning.
Castelo Santa Catarina is known to be one of the best boutique hotels in the area, featuring breathtaking green gardens where you can sunbathe on one of their loungers.
Generally, couples consider this to be the best hotel for a romantic weekend in the beautiful city of Porto.
Prices start at $77 for a standard bedroom with breakfast.
READ MORE: Best Things to do in Porto For Food Lovers
Porto has been recognized as a top European destination for multiple years in a row. The urban and rustic vibe in a city that is both historic and yet moving forward is quite remarkable.
The gastronomy and local specialties including Port wines create an enriching experience in this fascinating city.
Getting the most from your stay in Porto is enhanced by where you choose to create your temporary home.
In this “where to stay in Porto” article, we trust the neighborhoods and list of accommodations help you create a delicious experience.
What is your favorite neighborhood and best place to stay in Porto? Please tell us in the comments below.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest