Built overlooking the Douro River and situated 3hrs north of Lisbon (read where to stay in Lisbon HERE) Porto is a hilly city with charming architecture and an enchanting history. Although the Porto of today is dynamic and modern, the city still remains firmly rooted in tradition; it boasts one of the oldest city centers in Europe and is classified as a world heritage site.
Marvel at the city's most traditional and historical side in the Historic Centre, feel the cosmopolitan vibe and the new movement (Movida) in Baixa, let yourself be seduced by the modernity of Boavista , while walking toward the estuary and, breathe in the air that comes from where the Douro river meets the ocean along the Riberinha riverside.
Baixa is the central downtown district, home to famous landmarks such as the Praça da Liberdade and the São Bento railway station. Here you can take a walk down the Rua das Flores – meaning ‘Street of Flowers’ – with its decadent baroque façades. The historical center is made up of a labyrinth of streets where terrace cafes and stylish boutiques are housed in classical buildings.
Staying in Baixa would mean paying more for a room than you would for a room slightly further out of the city, but if you only have a few days to spend exploring what Porto has to offer, then Baixa is the perfect place to base yourself as it has fantastic metro connections to the rest of the city along with easy access to the bus network.
Baixa/Sé is the best neighborhood in Porto for: solo travellers; young couples; group of friends travelling together.
WHERE TO STAY in Baixa: Petite Porto B&Bs 'B&B Olivier & Marta', is our luxurious B&B guesthouse renovated for those looking for something high end and truly special; offering 3 guest rooms, a private 2 bedroom apartment and an outdoor garden with swimming pool. FROM 125euro per night all inclusive - https://www.petitebnbs.com/porto/casa-olivier-e-marta
One of the oldest districts in Porto, Ribeira is set along the river. The historic center is protected by UNESCO and is home to some stunning architecture and a wealth of culture and history. The streets are full of restaurants and bars, quirky boutiques and museums, which come alive in the evening. This is also the best place in the city to sample some of Porto’s iconic tipple at the Port Wine Cellars. The old traditional houses along the banks offer visitors a glimpse into a Porto of the past. A great way to see the city from here is to catch a ferry - we recommend the very intimate services of Ricardo at Shuttle Douro, just a regular and charming Porto native who loves to show his guests aboard his 30 person boat, his enchanting Porto while stopping at various small towns and vineyards down the river and sharing all his porto wine knowledge.
Ribeira is the best neighborhood in Porto for: elder travellers (as it is a flat area); travellers who don’t mind crowds and confusion.
Accommodation in the area is found in historic buildings such as our Petite Porto B&B Carmen - the first B&B in Porto, offering 6 perfectly appointed guestrooms overlooking the mystical Douro river - https://www.petitebnbs.com/porto/bb-carmen-e-joao
Student-friendly Cedofeita is an up-and-coming district known for its arty vibe, with cutting-edge contemporary galleries on Rua Miguel Bombarda. Vintage stores and down-to-earth Portuguese eateries dot the area, along with lively late-night bars and hip cafes. Nearby Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, in an 18th-century palace, has ceramics, jewelry, Portuguese sculpture and paintings from the 16th to 20th centuries.
In Cedofeita visitors can spend time enjoying the green side of the city at the sculpted Crystal Palace Gardens, there is a fun low key party scene here, top attractions within easy walking distance and the area is also great if you are traveling with children as it is less busy than central locations.
Cedofeita is the best neighborhood in Porto for: Family with kids; travellers who want to be close to the main city attractions but on a quieter location; couples on a romantic getaway in Porto.
There are some beautiful guesthouses to choose from in Cedofeita. Many are stylishly decorated and offer comfort for great value Such as Petite B&Bs ‘B&B Raul e Rita, a proud family owned and run terrace guesthouse, where you will become part of the family, meeting Raul’s grandfather who carved much of the wood panelling in the 3 level home. This is a very traditional Portuguese home with 6 guestrooms to chose from starting at 69euro per night - https://www.petitebnbs.com/porto/bb-raul-e-rita
Boavista is a more business oriented / posh residential neighborhood in Porto. Despite being a bit away from the city centre you can still find great places to visit in Boavista such as the modern Casa da Musica and the contemporary art museum Serralves (designed by the famous architect Siza Vieira). Another great spot is the Gallery of Biodiversity, the best museum for children in Porto. From Boavista you have a subway connection to the city centre at Casa da Musica. There you’ll find also plenty of bus lines.
Boavista is the best neighborhood in Porto for: Senior travellers; travellers who want to be close to the main city attractions but on a quieter location; businessmen visiting Porto.
In Boavista stay in the Petite Porto ‘B&B Luisa e Fatima’ and be enchanted by this 5-star luxury, meticulously decorated in traditional Portuguese furnishings in a grand 3 level terrace home offering 2 B&B suites and 1 private apartment, with sweetest hosts Luisa & Fatima who will welcome you like family - and from ONLY 110euro per night all inclusive - https://www.petitebnbs.com/porto/bb-luisa-e-fatima
For more B&Bs and private apartment rentals on the Petite B&B website visit www.petitebnbs.com
To read more about Porto and some of it's must see sights CLICK HERE