Selection of Holiday rentals in Porto
Accommodation in Porto, Portugal
Discover the second largest city of Portugal from your Porto holiday apartment and get to know one of the former most important commercial centres of Europe. Here you will find a beautiful historic centre that stretches along the Douro River. The many baroque churches you can find in the old town give Porto the nickname of the "Baroque city”. Apartments for rent in Porto, Portugal are the ideal starting point to explore "the undefeated" on foot. Porto earned this name over the years as the city withstood several sieges without ever being taken. A holiday in Porto will put you under the spell of the cultural and economic centre of northern Portugal. The city offers a pleasant climate all year round, which together with its location at the mouth of the river Douros (which flows into the Atlantic) ensures a high quality of life. The Portuguese way of life is sure to guarantee that you will experience where you can spend your day as you see fit. With a Porto villa you can get to know many attractions, such as the iconic bridge Ponte Dom Luís I or the magnificent historic buildings, from the heart of Porto and enjoy its bustling nightlife. The university is popular with students from all over the world and has led to the opening of many hip, alternative bars and restaurants. Hundredrooms compares the holiday accommodation of over one hundred partners so that you can always quickly find cheap apartments that will meet your needs, so you don’t have to fork out. If we tried to sum up Porto in a sentence, it probably best fits its historic motto: "Antiga, Mui Nobre, Semper Leal e Invicta" - old, noble, forever loyal and undefeated. In this sense, sit back, pour yourself a glass of port and look forward to a relaxing holiday in Porto.
Best places to stay in Porto
Porto is a destination that is worth a visit all year round. To enjoy all the sights and attractions of Porto in the open air, we recommend a trip in spring. Similar to other port cities such as Barcelona or Valencia, you can expect plenty of sun, pleasant temperatures and little rain - making it perfect to stroll through the old town and get lost in the medieval streets. In summer, the sun scorches the roofs and streets of Porto up to 40 degrees Celsius, so you have to escape to one of the beaches or bars, at least during the midday hours. This time is perfect for those who want to combine a beach holiday with culture. In the morning you can relax on the beach and later wander the streets or corridors of the numerous museums. Summer time in Porto is also called festival time, the festival São João is heralded as it falls on the 23rd June every year. Of course you have to spend a bit more money on villas in Porto, Portugal during this time - but the price level is much lower than in Germany. For example, you can find an self-catering apartment from just € 19 per night, and you usually pay less than € 1 for a coffee. The winters are often rainy and foggy. Nevertheless, you can also spend days in one of its various museums or do some shopping.
Porto is divided into five important neighbourhoods, which are all worth a visit. So that you can decide for an apartment in an area that suits you, we now present the most important "Distritos" with their special features.
- Ribeira - Old Centre: The district on the banks of the Douro is part of the historic centre and thus the oldest part of the city. Placa de Ribeira, the central and social center of the district, was first mentioned in documents in 1389 and now has many bars and restaurants where you can enjoy typical Portuguese food and live music. The old houses on the riverbank are particularly characteristic, which are painted in different colours and decorated with colourful mosaics. You will find them on many postcards of the city although the atmosphere of the city itself is difficult to convey in words or pictures - you need to experience it for yourself. In 1996, the entire district was declared a World Heritage Site. With accommodation in Ribeira, you are in the midst of a vibrant community and close to many bars, restaurants and attractions. If you prefer something a little quieter, we recommend that you look a few streets further out, as almost all bars are open at the weekend until four o'clock.
- Bombarda - the creative quarter: This is the quarter adjacent to the old town, and is also located in the centre and presents itself as modern, creative and young. Here you will find many galleries of contemporary art, with a lot of young creatives. Every two months you can marvel at the latest works of art and then move on to the streets lined with alternative cafes, vintage shops and tea rooms. At the Palácio de Cristal is the start of the Caminho Romântico, which make up a total of five routes that invite you to explore Porto by foot. Moreover, Bombarda is the centre of nightlife and you can choose from a wide range of clubs and bars. If you rent an apartment in Porto in this part of the city, it is ideal for art lovers and young creatives as many walls and streets of the Bombardas are lined with street art.
- Foz Velha - the sunny quarter: Formerly an independent city, Foz de Velha was incorporated into Porto as part of its expansion and growth. People that love the sun and sea will thoroughly enjoy staying here. Foz Velha is located at the mouth of the River Douros and is the only neighbourhood in Porto with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. This used to be the seaside resort of the upper class and the noblest part of the city. Even from the beaches alone, you can discover a lot here. A characteristic part of this area is the small streets that meander unpredictably their way through the bourgeois houses. Among the highlights has got to be the Farol Molhe do Douro, a lighthouse that stands at the end of a long jetty, in the middle of the sea. From here you can enjoy wonderful views of Porto and a postcard panorama in a calm sea. In a holiday villa in this area, holidaymakers that are looking to enjoy the sea, families and those seeking a bit of respite will enjoy it.
- Vila Nova de Gaia - the culinary quarter: On the other side of the Douro, you will find the birthplace of port wine, since port wine merchants settled here at the beginning of the 18th century. From here you have a fantastic view over Porto and a visit to one of the port wineries is a must during your stay in the city.
- Boavista - the cultural quarter: In the west of Portos you will find Boavista, the cultural centre with many shops. In 2005, the "Casa da Musica", an urban concert hall with stubborn architecture, opened here. Here you will also find long shopping arcades, the city park and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Boavista is, especially in the evening, rather quiet and yet centrally located. Here you have a good chance to find cheap apartments for your stay.
Ponte Dom Luís I and other points of interest
Porto is the birthplace of Henry the Navigator, initiator and patron of Portuguese seafaring, who in the 15th century established the country's rise to sea and colonial power. The inhabitants of Porto are still very proud of this fact and in the course of colonisation, the city experienced an economic boom, which is why important buildings, squares and streets still bear his name today. With the rise to the commercial metropolis, the new wealth was used to build a series of pompous buildings that still shape the image of the old town today. We will briefly introduce the most important sights of the city so that you can get a first impression.
- Ponte Dom Luís I: The unmissable landmark of the city connects Porto with the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is located on the other Douroseite. Opened in 1886, the 172 metre-long arched bridge is the longest of its kind to date. The special feature of this construction is the two levels of the bridge. While the lower part is released for cars, the Metro crosses the Douro at an altitude of 85 metres. Pedestrians can walk up and down the river. The constructor of this daring construction is by none other than Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, later named after him, in Paris. We recommend that you walk over the upper part of the bridge and enjoy the view of Porto.
- Ribeira: The name of the district on the northern side of the river translates from Portuguese to mean ‘waterfront’. Although you will find most tourists in the historic district, it is still very traditional and original. Along the waterfront you will find a variety of cafes and restaurants, which often, despite the best location in the tourist centre, food and drinks at reasonable prices. Here you can relax a bit and enjoy a café latte on the water, overlooking the aforementioned bridge.
- Porto São Bento train station: The rather unassuming train station is one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world. You will see why when you enter it. The inside of the station is adorned with the tiles, which are typical of Portugal, painted in blue - so-called azulejos - in whose patterns you can lose yourself for hours. The individual tiles that number over 20,000 combine to form a large painting that addresses different historical events.
- Igreja dos Clérigos: As mentioned at the beginning, Porto is also called the "Baroque city". One of the most splendid churches to which it owes its name is the Igreja dos Clérigos, built between 1732 and 1750. The 76-meter steeple is the tallest in Portugal and landmark of the city.
- Livraria Lello: One would think that there are more exciting things to discover than a bookstore, but you should not miss it. Several major magazines of the international press have voted Livraria Lello the most beautiful bookstore in Europe and the third most beautiful in the world. The Art Nouveau building, found in Rua Carmelitas n. 114, is characterised by the curving wooden staircase in the centre that leads to the upper floor. Fun Fact: Joanne K. Rowling, who was a language teacher in the early '90s, is said to have been inspired by this bookstore when designing various elements of Harry Potter.
- Palácio da Bolsa: Built in 1842, this building was originally used as a stock exchange and commercial court. In order to attract and impress potential investors, the neo-classical building was given a particularly splendid appearance. You should absolutely visit it and be impressed by the murals, courtyards and the Arab hall. Today, conferences and exhibitions are held here. A visit to the stock exchange costs 9 euros per person.
- Igreja São Francisco: Right next to the previous landmark you will find Porto's main Gothic church. Particularly outstanding is the extravagant interior with innumerable gilded elements. Built between 1383 and 1425, this is one of the oldest preserved buildings in the city. When entering, look for the sculptures and the gothic rosette above the entrance.
- Casa da Música: The idiosyncratic design of the concert hall, which is reminiscent of an upside-down house, caused a worldwide sensation in its construction. The foyer is decorated with azulejos and the two concert halls are dedicated to different themes. A guided tour of the Casa da Música costs 10 euros per person and takes about an hour.
Holiday rentals in Porto
Pet-friendly apartments in Porto
Holiday villas in Porto
What to eat in Porto
If you hear the slogan "Specialties from Porto", of course, you should associate it immediately with its sweet wine, which gives the city its name. But at least as varied as the land is the cuisine of Portugal, with some local specialties typical of Porto.
- Port wine: Similar to the production of champagne, only grapes of a certain area may be used to make Port wine, to be named after it. In this case, it is the Alto Douro, the oldest wine-growing region in the world whose name is protected, in northern Portugal. A port may have between 19 and 22% vol. Of alcohol and receives its sweetness, unlike other liqueur wines, not by the subsequent addition of sugar, but by the addition of a grape brandy. Since the production of port wine is incredibly complex and there are many variations, we recommend that you take part in a wine tasting and guided tour of a winery, of which there are countless in Porto.
- Francesinha: This dish is as great as it is simple. Anyway, you are sure not to miss it on your holiday in Porto, why? We are talking about the Francesinhas, a typical Portuguese snack based on ham and cheese toast. A classic Francesinha is served with plenty of sauce and fries - for under five euros! Over the years, a number of variations have sprung up around the very simple snack - including fish or shrimp.
- Tripas à Moda do Porto: When Henry the Navigator set sail from Porto in 1415 and collected his provisions, the inhabitants of the city were said to have been so generous that only tripe remained for them. As a result, they got the nickname "Tripeiros" and to this day Porto-style tripe is the port city's best-known dish. This is a stew of beans, vegetables, sausages and offal.
- Bacalhau com natas: Thanks to Porto's location with the Douro on one side and the Atlantic on the other, fish from the city's kitchen is indispensable. A particular specialty is the Bacalhau com natas - cod with cream.
- Sardines: Canned sardines are now considered a delicacy. Whether as an aperitif or snack, sardines are an integral part of Porto's culinary world. In the city centre you will even find some shops where you can buy only sardines in the most unusual variations.
- Toucinho do cèu: A very special dessert for the sweet tooth among you. The so-called "bacon" mostly consists of eggs, sugar and almonds.