On the steep banks of the Douro River, Porto shines with culture, cool restaurants, bars and boutiques – plus some excellent places to stay. Immerse yourself in local Portuguese culture by joining a chef on his market visit, trying a francesinha (meat sandwich topped with melted cheese and hot sauce) or delighting in 1930s style. Whether you’re a millennial traveller or second-time visitor, these hotels will show you a different side to Portugal’s northern jewel.
For luxury served with Art-Deco style, book into this elegant hotel on the buzzing Avenida dos Aliados. Built in 1923, the building oozes glamour, from the gold fixtures and sleek trimmings to the bold geometric prints. The 63 rooms and 13 suites – some with balconies – are spacious, and feature bespoke furniture and marble bathrooms. There’s also a spa and three restaurants and bars, including Le Monument, with Michelin-starred chef Julien Montbabut at the helm.
Combining the elegance of the 1930s and ’40s with contemporary Portuguese art, this boutique hotel offers comfort, great river views and excellent dining. It’s located high on a hill, yet just a mile from the Baixa downtown area. The 47 soundproofed rooms and suites are individually designed, based on avant-garde artists and designers, from Coco Chanel to Andy Warhol. Facilities include an outdoor pool, Turkish bath, gym and spa, while the restaurant has an extensive wine list.
This 19th-century villa is now an elegant, sea-facing hotel in the relaxed beach district of Foz. The 68 rooms and suites are spread across the original manor house and a newer extension, many with balconies overlooking the ocean. A spa offers a range of tailor-made treatments and the sophisticated Vila Foz Restaurant is the place to book for fine dining. Foodies can join the head chef on his trip to the local fish market, bookable through the hotel.
Managed by students from the local hospitality school, this boutique hotel offers a warm welcome, 17 spacious rooms and an original dining concept. Relics of the building’s art college heritage can still be seen, such as artwork by former students. There’s a bar serving good cocktails and pastéis de nata (custard tarts). Dinner at the restaurant is a highlight, with a surprise menu of five or seven beautifully presented dishes.
A great option for anyone arriving or leaving via the São Bento train station, as this hostel is located right inside it. Look out for the vintage pianos and antique furnishings that nod to the station’s 19th-century heritage. Accommodation options range from shared to private rooms, each sleeping between three and 12 guests. There’s a large, fully-equipped kitchen with long wooden tables, as well as a library, ‘under roof’ garden and laundry room.
Set right on the banks of the Douro in the colourful Ribeira district, these river apartments are smart and stylish. Original features – such as wooden beams and stone walls – blend into modern touches. Expect tasty tapas, salads and wines in the relaxed Ribeira 50 restaurant. Rooms come with kitchenettes and have a rustic-chic feel, with pine flooring, stone walls and crisp white linen.
Sleeping in a ‘box’ may not sound too appealing, but this design hotel has turned the concept on its head, offering an experience like no other. Choose from three types of room, or ‘box’: Zero is windowless with a private bathroom and double bed; One is the same but with a window; and Two is the biggest, comfiest version. All are air-conditioned, with plump pillows and towels. You can even stay for free, as long as you don’t mind sleeping in the Free Room – a fully glazed box that allows people to see inside (not for the shy…).
This cheerful hostel is an affordable, centrally-located place to stay that’s ideal for anyone wanting to taste local tipples. Sip port wine cocktails on the hostel terrace, or walk five minutes across the Luís I Bridge to the city’s port wine cellars. Rooms range from garden view doubles to budget dorms sleeping up to eight. There’s a communal kitchen, lounge with board games and a buffet breakfast is available.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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