This week I’m in the fabulous city of Porto – one of my favourite places in Portugal. The cobbled streets, friendly locals and excellent Port make it a destination that’s hard to beat! But if you’re looking to stay here – or even rent or buy – where is the best location? What are the best neighbourhoods in Porto? I’ve selected some of the best neighbourhoods, as well as more reasonably priced neighbourhoods for those on a budget.
What are the Best Neighbourhoods in Porto?
Baixa is the central zone of the city of Porto. Geographically it’s the area surrounding Liberdad square and Clerigos tower. The area is rich in historical sites, and great to explore in the day time, but it’s not actually the best place to stay overnight. Baixa can be noisy especially on ‘Gallery street’ or rua da Galeria de Paris. I stayed near Clerigos tower the once and deeply regretted it! The party didn’t calm down until 6am on Friday and Saturday night.
Ribeira is one of the most beautiful parts of Porto and is very popular with tourists. It’s the area along the River Duoro where the beautiful tall colourful houses overlook the river. Head towards Dom Luis Bridge to find it.
Ribeira is a wonderful place to relax and socialise as the river front is full of bars and restaurants where you will be entertained by street artists. Why not experience a traditional Portuguese fish dish at ‘Fish Fish!?’
From Ribeira, you can also easily explore the other side of the river in Gaia, which is abundant in Port houses! Although Ribeira is one of the best neighbourhoods in Porto, it is nowadays extremely expensive, and so it is a good idea to explore the areas South of the River Douro or to the East of the city near Campanha.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia is the area on the other side of the river Duoro. It is popular with people who have a longer stay in Porto and are looking for cheaper rent. You can rent a room in Gaia for around 280-350 EURO a month. Vila Nova de Gaia is an up and coming area that is also serviced by the Porto Metro with the following stops…
- Jardim do Morro
- General Torres
- Camara Gaia
- Joao de Deus
- Dom Joao II
- Santo Ovido
Foz do Douro
Foz do Douro is the wealthy area to the West of Porto. This part of the city boasts access to Porto’s finest beaches (Praia was Pastoras, Praia do Carneiro and Ingress beach). It is also popular with the expat population and is home to Oporto British School. Expect to pay the price of these benefits and local facilities if you buy or rent here – it’s not cheap!
North of Foz do Douro is the beautiful and affluent area of Matosinhos. It boasts lovely beaches and beautiful properties. This area has it’s own facilities including supermarkets and entertainment and so it is not necessary to go into Porto if you live in Matosinhos. However, if you need to go into the city Matosinhos is well connected by Metro – Senhor do Matosinhos is on the blue line.
Bonfim is a neighborhood located in the city of Porto, Portugal. It is known for its colorful houses, vibrant culture, and rich history. The neighborhood is home to the Bonfim Church, which is a popular landmark and a major attraction for tourists. Bonfim is also known for its annual Festa do Bonfim, which is a religious festival that attracts people from all over the country. The neighborhood is known for its friendly locals and is a great place to experience the authentic culture of Porto. It’s much more affordable than Ribeira and Baixa. To the East of Bonfim is Campanha train and bus station, making it a great option for people who like to travel within Portugal.
Campanha is to the East of Bonfim and is the area around Campanha station. It is a cheap and up-and-coming area where you can still buy an apartment for under €200,000. Campanha station (trains and buses) connects Porto with many other destinations including Aveiro, Lisbon, Amarante and Lamego. This makes the area a great place to stay for digital nomads and travel bloggers who want to explore further afield within Portugal.
North of Campanha and Bonfim is the area of Antas. You will come to Antas if you walk up Avenue de Fernao de Magalhaes. This is the area slightly to the West of the stadium (Estadio de Drago). The area is a little run down with some social housing in the form of high rise flats. However, if you are looking for a very cheap option, then the area is OK – I found it to be safe and it is walkable to downtown Porto in around half an hour.
To the West of downtown Porto (but not quite as far as For do Douro on the coast) is the area of Miragaia. It is the section between Jardim da Cordoaria and Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. Hospital do Santo Antonio is one of the main landmarks. Miragaia is a pricier area and an apartment will set you back in excess of €350,000.
North of Lapa is the area of Paranhos – a popular area for the students due to its proximity to some of the university buildings. In Paranhos you will find Hospital de São João and the Areosa Church. Paranhos has excellent connections to the city centre — any stop on the yellow line takes you directly to São Bento station and Ribeira in just a few minutes. The student population makes it a lively neighbourhood even on the evenings – expect to be able to find a Franscesinha as late as 2am! It is still possible to pick up a small apartment in Paranhos for around €150k-180k.
The area of Lapa is about a 20 minute walk North of Clergos and downtown Porto. It is on the Metro line and directly connected to Porto Airport and Trinidade, making it very accessible and well connected.Some of the landmarks include Lapa Church and the Palace of Maques de Pombal. The area is popular with locals who work in central Porto.
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