Porto

Travel Guide Europe Portugal Porto

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Introduction

P1010544

P1010544

© Jan Van Acker

Porto, also called Oporto in English, is a city along the northwestern coastline of Portugal and is the second biggest city in the country, with over 1.5 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, but just about 250,000 in the city itself. The city is built at the high ground overlooking the Douro river estuary's northern side, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th century BC.

Named by the Romans Portus Calle (the origin of the entire present country's name), the city is nowadays officially styled A muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto (the very noble, always loyal, and undefeated city of The Harbor; the traditional English name "Oporto" is etymologically correct). This is usually shortened to "a Cidade Invicta" (the undefeated city) a title won because of Porto's unparalleled resistance against hostile troops during the 1820s. Residents of Porto are nicknamed the Tripeiros, or tripe eaters, since the Portuguese conquest of Ceuta in North Africa in 1415, when the city's inhabitants went without meat in order to provision the fleet (which left from Porto), and had to subsist on tripe soup, which developed into a gastronomical specialty of the city.

The city is quite varied architecturally, with medieval as well as modern living side by side. Porto's geography is hard on the feet, but pleasant to the eye. The city's grounds are extremely uneven; the Romans strategically built their fortified settlement into a cliff face that overlooks the river, where the present cathedral stands today. Stairs cut into the stone run up and down the cliff face and offer a laborious but rewarding walking tour. Across the Douro from Porto proper, at Vila Nova de Gaia, are the warehouses of notable Porto wine companies: Cálem, Ferreira, Fonseca, Sandeman, Kopke and others.

Portuguese speakers usually say "I'm at Porto Alegre" (and similars) as estou em Porto Alegre, but will universally refer to this city as "The Harbor": estou no Porto.

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Sights and Activities

Porto is a mysterious city that reveals its charm to the visitor through time. Take your time, wander through the mazes and alleys of the city. Take in the old, bohemian spirit of the city. Hike through the Ribeira and Foz do Douro regions (the latter, at sunset). Porto may not be in every tourist's Iberian Peninsula itinerary, but it's well worth a visit if you want to see a city that has changed economically, but that has kept its old traditions.

If you want to visit several museums, consider the Porto Card which provides free access to several museums and further discounts, optionally also free public transport access.

Avenida dos Aliados

Stretching from Praça da República to City Hall, this wonderful wide avenue is Porto's living room. Flanked by many classified buildings (nowadays housing banks), it is the result of a wise intervention a century ago, replacing small and uncharacteristic streets by the wide and well planned space, the merging point of the inhabitants in all the important events.

Ribeira

Ribeira is one of the oldest and typical places of the city of Porto, Portugal. Facing the Douro River, it is part of the Historic Center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is, nowadays, a very touristy area, place of concentration of bars and restaurants, integrating the Urban Wine Route.
The best attractions in Ribeira are the Praça da Ribeira, also known as square of the cube, Rua da Fonte Taurina, one of the oldest in the city, Muro dos Bacalhoeiros and the Casa do Infante, where it is believed that the Infante D. Henrique was born in 1394. It was the access to the infamous Ponte das Barcas, where in 1809 more than 4 thousand people died, running away from the French troops. Today, a bronze bas-relief attests to this moment. Tourism meant great improvements in Ribeira. The dark neglected houses were recovered and painted, and now they are a glowing image, mainly if seen from the opposite side of the river.

São Francisco

One of the most visited monuments in the historic centre of the city is São Francisco church, so rich, in its gilded interiors, that picture is forbidden (though possible to see in internet in its own site). It is a Gothic church from the 14th century, but its great attraction is the baroque decoration from the 18th. This is a two in one. A single ticket of €3 allows you to see the church and the museum.

Clérigos Tower

Built in the first half of the 18th century by Nicolau Nasoni, this Baroque Tower is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city. The entrance to the tower and museum costs 4€, and to reach the top and enjoy the panoramic views you will have to climb almost 240 steps.

D. Luis bridge

One of the landmarks of the city is a metal bridge with two levels, built by the end of the 19th century. The bridge called Don Luís, the king that ruled by the time of its construction, is commonly attributed to Eiffel, but its plan was carried out by one of his collaborators, the Belgian engineer Théophile Seyrig. Both platforms allow vehicles and keep being used, but the lower one is a special and quick passage for pedestrians who want to visit the Port caves in Gaia.

Other Sights and Activities

Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace), Rua Ferreira Borges, 4050-253. It also contains the most impressive Arab room in the country. There is also a Port wine tasting room. It was built in the 19th century on the grounds of the destroyed old cloisters of the adjacent São Francisco church. €10 adults, €6.5 concessions.
Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral), Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573. This Romanesque cathedral was originally completed in the 13th century. Later on Baroque alterations were made in the 17th and 18th century. The cathedral is located on top of a hill from where you also have great views over the city and the river. Free. Adjacent monastery €4.
Visit Porto wine cellars and port cellars
Dining in restaurants on the riverside.
Go for dinner and to listen Fados (typical Portuguese music).
Douro Valley.

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Weather

Porto has a nice and warm climate with warm summers from June to September when temperatures average between 23 °C and 26 °C degrees Celsius. Nights are around 15 °C degrees. Occasionally, temperatures hit 38 °C degrees. Winters last from December to March, when daytime temperatures are between 13 °C and 17 °C degrees and nights rather chilly with around 5 °C degrees. Most of the rain falls during the wintermonths while summers are dry with only some showers now and then.

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Getting There

By Plane

TAP Portugal and Portugália Airlines both have flights to and from Porto Airport (OPO), with a growing number of other airlines having services throughout Europe as well. Destinations include Faro, Madeira, Porto Santo, Lisbon and the Azores. TAP flies to a number of European cities as well. Low-cost carrier Ryanair flies to most destinations, a few dozen throughout Europe. There are also direct flights to Montreal and Toronto.

To/from the airport
The airport is served by Line E of the Porto Metro, linking it to downtown Porto, pendolino trains and Estádio do Dragão, and by transfer to other urban centres of Greater Porto: in Verdes station to Vila do Conde and Póvoa de Varzim (using line B), Fonte do Cuco station to Maia (line C), and Senhora da Hora station to Matosinhos (line A). Taxis and STCP buses also link the airport and the city. There is also a bus service to/from Vigo (in Galicia, Spain) twice a day on weekdays, and once a day during the weekend.

By Train

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses has an extensive network of train links throughout the country.

São Bento station is right in the city center and only served by local trains (Urbanos) and selected Regional and Inter-regional services to Regua and Pocinho. Urbanos (commuter trains) travel in four directions out of São Bento - to Braga, Guimãres, Caíde and Aveiro, stopping at numerous destinations along the way.

The Campanhã station is about 3 km east of São Bento on a high-speed line to Lisbon. The long-distance Alfa Pendular and Intercidades trains arrive at Campanhã and reach these destinations in the following amount of time, respectively:

Coimbra to Porto - 59 min (AP) to 69 min (IC)
Lisbon to Porto - 2 hr 46 min (AP) to 3 hr 9 min (IC)
Faro to Porto - about 5 hr 45 min (selected AP services only)

From Lisbon, you can board the train at Santa Apolónia, Entrecampos or Oriente. Travelling to Porto from Oriente in the north of the city, and close to Lisbon's Portela airport (within a 10-minute metro ride directly connecting Oriente and Portela) saves 9 minutes from the travelling time. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time.

There is only one direct international train from Porto. It's the Celta train to Vigo, Spain. There are two daily trains that take about 2hr 15min to complete the journey stopping only at Nine (connection with Urban trains from Braga), Viana do Castelo and Valença. Other international trains (to Paris and Madrid) require a change in Coimbra-B station.

There are various Regional and Inter-regional to Régua, Pocinho, Coimbra and Valença (connection to indirect trains to Vigo besides the Celta services and calling at more stations). There is also a direct night train to Lisbon (there are no direct night trains from Lisbon, as this service is traditionally used by serviceman reporting in Lisbon).

If you have a train ticket to or from Campanhã, you can travel to or from São Bento on urban trains with that ticket at no extra cost. Trains between Campanhã and São Bento take about 5 min.

By Car

The city is served by five major highways: A1, which connects Porto to Lisbon, A29 which connects Porto to Aveiro, A3 connects Porto to Braga, A28 connects Porto to Viana do Castelo and the northern Portuguese border, and A4, which goes eastwards from the city towards Vila Real. The IC29 connects Porto to the neighboring city of Gondomar. The city is also served by 2 ring urban highways, the A41 (still incomplete) which is the outer ring, and VCI/IC23 or A20 which connects all the main places inside the city. The A20/VCI, A28, A29 and A41 are all free highways, but there are plans to install tolls in the latter three, sometime in the future.

Generally speaking, the traffic is usually chaotic and very intense, especially during rush hours.

By Bus

There are many companies providing direct bus trips from major European countries and also for most of the northern cities of the country. Try Rodonorte for timetables. Visit also Porto Bus Service, Renex, Rede Expresso,...

An international bus operated by the Spanish company ALSA leaves Madrid at 23:00 and arrives in Porto Casa Da Musica at 06:00. It costs around €50 from Madrid and also stops at (among others) Avila and Salamanca. The return trip leaves Porto at 20:30.

By Boat

There is a cargo and recreational harbor called Leixões or porto de Leixões (port of Leixões) in the neighboring city of Matosinhos. Modest-sized cruise ships can dock just outside a drawbridge to the inner harbor. Beneath the south approach to the bridge is a station for the light rail system (see "By Metro" below) that goes to Oporto.

There is also a very small recreational harbor in the Douro river. As far as a major method of getting to the city, sea transport is not really a feasible means. However, you can go on scenic tour boats along the Douro river, based especially in the zona ribeirinha of Oporto but also on the Vila Nova de Gaia wharf, for one of the most scenic short riverine trips you'll ever make.

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Getting Around

By Car

Porto, like most Portuguese cities, is a nightmare to drive in. Roads vary in conditions - from fully paved to cobbled lanes that can make even the most shortest of distance seem like a go-kart rally. With that said, keep in mind that the touristic parts of the city (the Ribeira and Baixa) are a never ending maze of narrow streets, short tempered drivers and snakelike alleys. Better to walk (despite the fact that it's very hilly). Also, drivers seem to have forgotten how to drive (apart from pushing the pedals) - therefore, they make their own rules of the road (however, this generally does not apply to young drivers). Be prepared to lose your patience several times whilst driving.

By Public Transport

Porto Metro is an modern light rail/subway system, which was only constructed at the turn of the millennium and is still being expanded. It has several lines, that run across the center of Porto, and reach out to surrounding municipalities. It is quick, and probably the most efficient way to get around Porto. Some major areas of the city, however, are not that well served by the metro. Announcements in the metro are made only in Portuguese, though most ticket machines and directional signs are bilingual in Portuguese and English.

Tickets must be purchased beforehand. They can be bought at the machines in the station (if there are no tickets in the machine that day, take the metro to the next station and buy it there!) The ticket is stored on a card called Andante, and you can purchase as many rides (or travels) as you want. Andante is Porto's main ticket system and it is based on somewhat unusual zone system [1] . The city centre is zone C1 and the airport is N10. To travel between places you need to know how many zones you need to cross. Within the same zone or up to another zone you buy Z2 ticket. Z3 for three zones and so on. The Andante card itself costs €0.60 and can be re-used/re-charged, so do not throw it away. You can also buy daily passes or Andante Tour tickets for 1 or 3 days, which may be more convenient.

There is also the option to buy a Porto Card for 24, 48, or 72 consecutive hours which, besides of providing unlimited access to public transportation, includes free access to several museums and further discounts.

If you plan on staying for more than three weeks, it is recommended you get the Andante Gold, Andante's monthly subscription. The card costs €6, and will allow unlimited travel with your chosen zones. The Andante Gold, like the Andante Blue can be used in all metro lines, the funicular and all buses. When you are buying the Andante Gold, you must have a picture of yourself (your passport photo will do. They can amplify the image from the passport to the card in seconds).

Your Andante must be validated before you enter the metro, bus or funicular. There are no barriers to stop you at the metro, but the Metro police enter the cars and check your Andante to make sure you have validated it, and are travelling within your zones.

STCP is the best way to move around if you don't want to waste money on taxis. It's the public bus operator in the region, and the only one operating inside city borders. Suburbs are served either by STCP or private companies. STCP buses are the largest eco-friendly fleet in Europe, modern, comfortable, and lines cover the entire city, as well as major suburbs. Buses colors are white and blue. Line numbers are a 3-digit code. First digit is assigned according to the destination zone (2-west porto, 3-north porto, 4-east porto, 5-matosinhos, 6-maia, 7-valongo, 8-gondomar, 9-vila nova de gaia). For example, line nr. 906 has its destination in vila nova de gaia (9). You can use two kind of tickets: Andante (see "Metro" above) or STCP own tickets (you can only use STCP's monthly subscription that costs €47 plus a card). You can also buy single tickets for €1.85. Andante tickets are recommended: you can also use them on metro and suburban trains, plus they're easier to buy and recharge on any metro station or newspaper seller with "payshop" symbol. Andante blue card costs €0.60 and can be charged with how many journeys you like.

Every bus stop has at least a timetable and lines served. There is also a code, so you can get an SMS showing minutes left to next arrivals updated in real time. The SMS cost 0,25€. You can also download the Move-Me app that, if you have an internet connection, is free and does the same thing. The busiest ones have electronic displays (though most of them are not working and they're often unreliable) with timetables and city maps. Every bus inside has a display showing the name of next stop as well as its Andante zone (very occasionally the Andante zone is not mentioned however it isn't very relevant since it is probably the same zone as the last stop), so it's easy to keep track of them. The stop and the zone (if it's the first or last stop in it) are announced however this announcements are in Portuguese (Próxima Paragem - Next Stop and Fim de Zona - End of Zone).

Route 500 is probably the most scenic STCP route as it runs along the river and the ocean front. STCP also possesses a fleet of old trams three of which are still in operation, mainly for tourist purposes. Route 1 runs along the river from Ribeira to Foz, route 18 runs from the river towards the city centre and route 22 goes around the city centre. The single tram ticket costs 3€ and a 24h ticket costs 8€ for adults and 5€ from Children up to 12 years old. While the Andante website claims the ticket is valid on the tram, this is not the case for the pay-as-you-go card.

Some other private companies run services namely to some suburbs however they are often unadvertised and Andante tickets might be of limited acceptance.

The Funicular dos Guindais is a cable railway system. Use this if you don't wish to walk up the steep streets of Porto. This system connects the 4 Ribeira to the 5 Batalha square, in the city centre (connection with some buses, the 22 tram, metro and trains, the last couple of ones from S. Bento). It also has a panoramic view of the River Douro. A single trip cost €2.50. Monthly Andante tickets (see Metro above) are also accepted; the pay-as-you-go ticket Andante card is not.

The Ascensor da Ribeira​ is a panoramic elevator running from the Largo da Lada, and is visible behind the buildings of the Ribeira, close to the Ponte D. Luís.

By Foot

Much of central Porto, including the area directly across the river where you'll find some good port cellars, is easily navigated on foot.

By Boat

There are ferry boats that connect Porto to the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia, although you can easily walk or travel by car, metro or bus to the other side. Also there are numerous tourist boats which travel up the Douro river, where you can get fantastic views of the green landscape the region has to offer.

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Eat

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal.

It is said that if you like to eat, you should go to Porto because it's a place where you eat well in terms of quality and amount (even Lisbon citizens say that in Porto is where they eat the best food). The best restaurants of the city are mainly in Matosinhos near the beach, and the Porto de Leixões seaport but watch out for pricing, more than a few ok establishments deem themselves worthy of high pricing just because of the decor or the "in crowd" is seen going there or a combination of both, they charge ridiculous prices for food not much better prepared or presented than elsewhere and many times, the dose is very small, so don't be shy to look around to get a sense of what is what. You can take the blue metro line A to get there which takes about 30 min. In the Ribeirinha part of Oporto, overlooking the Douro River and Vila Nova de Gaia, there's many well run very affordable small family run restaurants with a great vibe, friendly staff, great food and drink and sometimes, due to limited space, having to share tables with complete strangers, sometimes local people and sometimes not, making the whole experience very cosmopolitan and entertaining. Within the old city center, inexpensive to reasonable priced eating houses catering mostly for residents are also easily found for both lunch and dinner, these places welcome foreigners and many take special pride in hosting you. At these places, to enjoy a hearty well prepared meal, it's best practice to just follow the waiter suggestions as the menus are three course set Pratos do dia (Today's menu), normally a choice of two or three soups, main dishes including bread, wine of the house, dessert and a bica (espresso) in the end, all this from about 7 or 10 Euros p/person. If you are hungry, a good strategy is to say how much you enjoyed the soup and politely ask if you can have a little more. That's why local patrons tend to have the soup last. If you truly enjoyed the meal, show your appreciation to the chef and staff, it always makes the people proud for being of service.

Expect hearty meals, and if you can, try "Tripas à moda do Porto", a tripe dish. Citizens of Porto are called tripeiros (tripe-eaters) on account of this dish. Traditional set menu restaurants, tend to serve the soup last but these days most waiters will ask what you want first and so on, but don't be surprised to see someone starting with desert and finish with the couvert! It's known to happen... Also try bacalhau - in any way it is cooked - there are hundreds of different dishes with salted codfish!

Don't forget the traditional grilled cheese sandwich called "Francesinha", which literally translated means little French lady. This city is just about the only place in the world where you can find it. However, in many other northern Portuguese cities you can find a low quality version of it. Essentially it is a toast with layers of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...). It is covered with cheese and a spicy sauce, with the option of including french fries on top. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by beer and not wine.

A good tip is taking the bus or subway to Matosinhos in July, there will be the fish festival. Freshly caught fish is being served the same day at barbecues lined up in the streets just a few blocks from the main beach. You choose a fish (only whole fish) and they prepare it on the streets for you - not a fancy restaurant, but together with the local people you are eating the best tasting fish you ever had! Try a dourada, it is delicious.

Porto is dotted with thousands of different bakeries (Pão Quente) and pastry shoppes (Pastelarias). Apart from serving delicious (and quite inexpensive) goods, they are also equipped with a side-cafe that serves all sorts of coffees (Pingo, Meia de Leite, etc.) and sandwiches (Tosta Mista-ham and cheese toastie). Unlike the other river side cafes in the city, these establishments do not have picturesque views of Porto (that's expensive, and in the end, you'd be the one paying for that bill). Instead, they attract tourists by offering good food at very cheap prices.

Maus Habitos, Rua de Passos Manuel, 178 (at the 4th floor of an old parking garage opposite Oporto Coliseum). Open Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00. Vegetarian restaurant by day, youth culture clubhouse at night. Menu changes weekly and costs 9 euros (7.50 excl. dessert).
Paladar da Alma, Rua de St Ildefonso 293/295. Open Mon - Wed: 12:00 - 15:00, Thu - Sat: 12:00 - 15:00, 20:00 - 23:00. The vegetarian food is based on Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisines with influences from other parts of the world. The owner is also the cook.
Âncora d'Ouro (The Golden Anchor), Praça de Parada Leitão 45 (between the Cordoaria park and the Praça dos Leões). The third oldest cafe in Porto, it is commonly known as "O Piolho" (the Louse). The cafe looks out on the street facing a faculty of the Universidade do Porto, and had been a meeting place for students since the 19th century. Plaques donated by graduating medical classes from the early 20th century onward decorate the walls. During the fascist period (1926-1974) it was a regular meeting place of "undesirables" (according to the regimes point of view), and was accordingly under regular surveillance by the secret police. On one occasion it was raided by the GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana) who have a post nearby, and they charged their horses into the cafe itself. It is uncertain if the place's current disorder results from this or more recent activities. Service is surly, the place isn't at all fancy, but it is usually stuffed to the gills with students. Its also quite cheap.
Casa Adão, Avenida Ramos Pinto, 252, Vila Nova de Gaia. Located on the other side of the Douro river, is a restaurant that serves generous plates serving one hungry person or two who eat normal.
Tà-se Bem, Largo Sampaio Bruno 25, Vila Nova de Gaia. As one of the last restaurants along the river in the Gaia area,it was a great place to stop and have a lengthy lunch before heading out to do some port tasting. With delicious and hearty selections for a good price, it is also very popular with the local crowd—during lunch it was completely full of people who work in the area. Skip the touristy cafes and head here for an authentic experience. edit
Mauritânia Grill, Avenida Combatantes Grande Guerra 50, Leça da Palmeira. Nice restaurant with excellent views over the Leça Beach. The space is very light with many windows and it has is own parking lot. The decoration varies along the year (one of the few restaurants that does that) for e.g. Summer, Christmas, Halloween, Easter etc. The employees are usually kind and funny. They care about the client. Sometimes they prank you, so don't be surprised if they simulate that are spilling coffee on you.
Casa Da Foz, Rua Padre Luís Cabral, 4150-461 Porto. Excellent Italian restaurant. Wide variety of dishes. Extremely small, so it's best to call ahead and reserve a table.
Varanda Da Barra, Rua Paulo Gama 470, 4150-589 Porto. Great restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese, Italian and "International" food. Nice riverside view.
Galeria de Paris Restaurante Bar, 56 Rua Galeria de Paris.
O Filipe, Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 36-r/c, 4450-110 Matosinhos. One of the best restaurants to eat fresh fish. Small but cozy, it can be expensive but depends on what you order. Parking is difficult to find in this area but you may park in front of the restaurant and they will take care of the car when needed (e.g. Parking Available, obstructing the road, etc.).
Marisqueira de Matosinhos, Rua Roberto Ivens 717, 4450-255 Matosinhos. Another great restaurant; if you like shellfish this is one of the best places in Porto.
Malcocinhado
Cafe Embaixador
Local Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts)
Bella Roma

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Drink

Porto is home to port wine of course, and there are many wineries around the city where port wine is brewed. Strictly speaking, port wine can only be called port wine if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is produced and bottled in Porto. Port wines come in many styles, with vintage port being the most expensive.

The main areas for bars are Praça de Ceuta to the north, through the station surrounds to Ribeira further south.

Solar Vinho do Porto, ☏ +351 226094749, ✉ solarporto@ivp.pt. Rua de Entre-Quintas 220. A villa with port samples and a great view of the Douro. Open M-Sa 2PM to midnight. This is the perfect place to sit in soft chairs or outside in the garden and enjoy a few glasses of the finest ports. You can also have cheese with your port.
Ryan's Irish Pub. In the Ribeira, nice cozy atmosphere and friendly bar staff. Always a good place to start edit
Trintaeum In the Foz area near the lighthouse, quite small, cool decoration, and cool crowd and not too pricey. Open till very late.
Triplex On the Avenida Boavista in a big old house. Fantastic garden bar which is great in the summer. There's a restaurant upstairs too.
Praia do Ourigo Beach bar in Foz. Has to be the bar with the best view in town. Set on stilts over the beach. Has a restaurant too.
Cais de Gaia This is a bar region in riverfront area in the neighbour city of Vila Nova de Gaia. It is a modern zone for bars and clubs, usually priced a little higher than normal bars. You have a great view of the river and the beautiful city of Porto.
Ribeira region This area is full of bars and pubs where you can have a pleasant time with an incredible view, before going to the bigger clubs around the city. Most bars are relatively close to each other, and in some there is no entrance fee. Usually most of these bars close from 3AM-4AM, after which the area becomes deserted. Be sure to go either home or to a club after, because when this area becomes deserted you may feel a bit insecure.
Prioridade In the Ribeira region, this bar is one of the cheapest in the area. It's probably the only decent place in the whole of the Ribeira region (and probably, in the city) where you can get a large beer for only a few euros. They also serve spirits and cocktails, at very cheap prices as well. If you are planning a night out, have a few drinks at this bar before clubbing, since the price of drinks in the clubs can be outrageously high and you may find yourself with no taxi fare money to return to your home, hotel, hostel, etc. It's quite tricky to find, since it's tucked away in a rather isolated (but quite nice) place; it's near the D. Luis I bridge. Ask the locals, they'll know where it is.

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Sleep

There's residential homes all around the city. There's also a lot of 3-star hotels with very affordable prices. In the entire city there's only one camping site (Prelada), but it's a bit far from the center. There aren't many family houses to rent in Porto, so they'll be difficult to find.

Alma Porto Hostel, Rua do Bonfim, 305B (By metro exit at Campo 24 de Agosto station to Rua do Bonfim. Go up Rua do Bonfim and find us at 305B. By train exit at Campanhã station, go up Rua Pinto Bessa until the church. Turn left onto Rua do Bonfim and find us at 305B.), ☏ +351 914 049 326, +351 914 306 011, ✉ almaportohostel@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Small and chilled hostel with smooth colors, lounge areas and relaxed atmosphere in a house built in the 19th century where you can also appreciate the hand made works in the high ceilings, the typical Portuguese tiles, and the beautiful camellias in the garden.
The White Box House, Rua de Santa Catarina, 575, ☏ +351 911 008 585, ✉ house@the-white-box.pt. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. A typical Oporto house built in the early 20th century, completely renewed in order to combine the comfort of the present with the charm of the past, providing the atmosphere for a perfect stay. More info: www.the-white-box.pt.
Wine Hostel, Campo dos Martires da Patria, 52, ☏ +351 222013167. Very centrally located. Clean rooms with ensuite showers. Very close to the train station, but may be difficult to find, so check a map before arriving. €19.
Residencial Marfim (AC Guest House), Rua Alvares Cabral 213 (at the end of Rua da Cedofeita turn right), ✉ charmedaleziria@gmail.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Renowned for excellent customer service and the lowest prices in Oporto. In a quiet area within easy walking distance of the historic centre (5 minutes). With rooms that can accommodate from 2 persons up to 8. Fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese, French. Some Italian, German, Bulgarian. From €12.50 per person.
Oporto Fado Hostel, Rua Alvares Cabral 14, ☏ +351 91 063 55 55. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Set in a central, historic location. Multilingual staff available 24 hours per day. Beds available in dorms or private rooms. €10.
Andarilho Porto Hostel, Rua da Firmeza 363 / 364 (Next to Santa Catarina), ☏ +351222012073. Hot water, high pressured showers, en suite toilets, laundry service, free locker, clean spacious dorms, guest kitchen, 200 m² garden, cultural events and a barbecue grill.
Gallery Hostel Porto, Rua Miguel Bombarda, nº222 (in area of Oporto), ✉ info@gallery-hostel.com. Free breakfast, free walking tour, free nightlife tour. Thematic dinners, Porto wine tastings, Gallery exhibitions. Carefully decorated rooms, multilingual and professional team. €20-22 dorm room with private bathrooms, €50 double rooms.
Pensão Belo Sonho, Rua de Passos Manuel 186 (In the city center. 5 minutes walk from Bolhao and São Bento Metro stations (this one also train station)), ✉ residencialbelosonho@mail.com. €30 double-bed room with ensuite bathroom (July 2010).
Porto Spot Hostel, Rua Gonçalo Cristóvão nº 12 (5 minutes walk from Bolhao Metro stations). Comfortable, clean hostel with wi-fi, dvd and playstation room, reading room, a well equipped kitchen and a bar downstairs. Great light and showers. Could give Traveller's House in Lisboa a run for its money. €14-18 dorm room with shared bathroom, private rooms around €20.
Oporto Sky Hostel, Rua da Lapa, 33 (One minute walking from Lapa's subway station), ☏ +351 222 017 069, ✉ info@oportosky.com. Very comfortable hostel with a very welcoming and helpful manager, Luzia. Shared and private rooms. Free computers and wi-fi. A few minutes from the city centre and just off Boavista, which leads to the coast. Hosts speaks perfect English and Spanish. Prices starting at €14 pp with breakfast included.
Youth Hostel (Pousada de Juventude do Porto), Paulo da Gama Street, 551. Located outside of the city centre, with several buses passing just by, open 24 hours and a terrific view over the river.
Hospedaria 1 de Janeiro, rua 31 Janeiro. Incredibly cheap (€15 for a double) but dirty and dodgy.
Hospedaria Novo Mundo, rua Conde de Vizela. Incredibly cheap (€15 to €25 for a double), ok place for sleeping.
Hotel Ibis Porto São João, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, ☏ +351 22 551 31 00.
Hotel Ibis Porto Norte, Auto Estrada Porto Braga S. Mamede do coronado K11, ☏ +351 22 986 76 00.
Hotel Ibis Porto Sul Europarque, Espargo europarque, ☏ +351 256 332 507.
Residencia Pedra Antiga, Rua de Santa Catarina, 830, ☏ +351 222407467. Cheap, clean and friendly. Bathroom ensuite. Free WiFi. Hosts speak no English though French and Spanish work besides Portuguese. Starting at 13.75 pp.
Albergaria Miradouro Hotel, Rua de Alegria, 598, ☏ +351 225370717. Unique and interesting. 60s decor all over, amazing views of Porto and the Douro valley, famous panoramic restaurant on the 13th floor where you can enjoy your breakfast while seeing miles and miles of the Porto region below you. Free parking. Bathroom ensuite. Receptionists are very friendly and professional and speak English. The area it lies in is a bit run down, but definitely not as bad as many other areas of the city. From €26.
Porto Lounge Hostel, Rua do Almada, nº 317 (next to Av. dos Aliados, in downtown), ☏ +351 222085196, ✉ info@portoloungehostel.com. Free Wifi, breakfast included, lockers, bar and common area. €14-20 dorm room with private bathrooms, €40-50 double rooms.
Grande Hotel da Povoa, Largo do Passeio Alegre, nº20, 4490-428 Póvoa Varzim (Overlooking the beach in Povoa de Varzim), ☏ +351 252 290 400, fax: +351 252 290 401, ✉ grandehotel.povoa@sapo.pt. Historic hotel with 84 rooms and 2 suites, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms.
Porto Royal Bridge Hotel, Rua de Sá da Bandeira, 53 4000-433 Porto Porto, ☏ +351 222 436 221.
Douro Palace Resort & Spa, Lugar do Carrapatelo - Santa Cruz do Douro 4640-423 Baião Baião – Porto, ☏ 0.
Douro Royal Valley, Portela do Rio Pala · Ribadouro 4640-400 Baião Baião – Porto, ☏ 0. edit
Hotel Belver Beta Porto, Rua do Amial, 601, ✉ comercial@belverhotels.com.
Mercure Porto Centro Hotel, Praça da Batalha 116 (São Bento station approx. 400 m; Bolhão metro 500 m; Guindais funicular 300 m), ☏ +351 22 204 33 00, ✉ h1975@accor.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern 4-star hotel with large rooms overlooking the railway station (those with limited mobility may prefer to arrive by taxi or metro). Rooms have kettles, and price includes reliable wireless Internet access. Good views.
Vila Galé Porto, Av. Fernão Magalhães, nº 7 4300-190, ☏ +351 225 191 800, ✉ porto@vilagale.pt. In the centre of Portugal’s “Invincible City”; Rua de Santa Catarina is a few metres away from the hotel. Online booking.
Hotel Malaposta, Rua da Conceição, nº80, 4050-214, ☏ +351 222 006 278, ✉ reservas@hotelmalaposta.com. Four floor hotel with contemporary décor located at Oporto’s historic and shopping area. Online booking.
Pestana Porto, Praça da Ribeira, nº 1, ☏ +351 22 340 23 00, fax: +351 22 340 24 00, ✉ reservas.portugal@pestana.com.
inPatio Guest House, Pátio de São Salvador nr. 22, ☏ +351 93 4323448, fax: +351 22 085479, ✉ info@inpatio.pt.
HF Ipanema Park Hotel.
Sheraton.
Porto Palácio Hotel.
Infante de Sagres.
Tiara Park Atlantic Porto, Av. da Boavista, 1466 (1.6km from Franco station by car.), ☏ +351 226 072 500, ✉ reservations.porto@tiara-hotels.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Luxury hotel with 232 guest-rooms with a highly decorated interior. Located in the city's centre.
The Yeatman Hotel, Rua do Choupelo, 4400-088 (Vila Nova de Gaia).

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Work

Porto is a business, financial and manufacturing centre. Some hotels have conference rooms, some with internet.

The Porto University is the second largest in Portugal by student numbers and its biology, pathology and computer science research departments are top notch. The University's Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia cooperates with well established companies by providing assistance to new companies with business research and incubation support.

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Learn

University of Porto.
Fast Forward Language Institute (In the centre of town). Offers a variety of courses in Portuguese language and culture including 3 hour "Portuguese for survival", aimed at foreign visitors to the city.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wifi is common in many places in Portugal, including hotels, restaurants and coffee bars. Free wifi along the Algarve coast is available in many places. Internet cafés can still be found in most larger cities and tourist areas though.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Portugal's international telephone code is 351. The general emergency number is 112.

There are three mobile telephone operators in Portugal: TMN, NOS and Vodafone.

Each provider offers a variety of prepaid (Pré-Pagos) and contract (pós-pagos) SIM cards, both of which are available to foreigners. It generally means much lower rates for calls and especially internet. Be sure to switch off data roaming if you don't buy a local SIM card, as prices for internet are very high.

Post

CTT is the national postal service of Portugal. It has relatively fast and reliable services and it takes several days to over a week for your post to arrive within other European countries, more so if you send post to North America or Australia. Post offices (correios) have varying opening hours, but in general post offices are open on weekdays from 08:30am-6:00pm and on Saturday mornings until 12:30. More information about offices, costs and other details can be found at the CTT website. It's a relatively efficient but also relatively slow postal service. If you want to send packages overseas, you'd better use international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are competitively priced, fast and very reliable.

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Quick Facts

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Population
240,000
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 41.149968
  • Longitude: -8.6102426

Accommodation in Porto

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Porto searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

as well as solopes (3%), joffre (1%), Herr Bert (<1%), Absolutazul (<1%)

Porto Travel Helpers

This is version 41. Last edited at 12:31 on Jun 5, 20 by Utrecht. 66 articles link to this page.

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