There are many reasons why you might have already heard about the second largest city in Portugal: Porto –or Oporto. Perhaps you ticked Lisbon off your bucket list some time ago and your traveller friends have started prompting you to go up north and visit Porto, or you are a football fan already acquainted with Porto FC. If you are wine lover, you may be attracted to this destination for its worldwide-popular cellars and tasting tours, or because it is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Portuguese path of the Way of St. James if you enjoy historical landmarks or plan to complete the Camino. Even sea lovers can find their own little piece of paradise in Porto, since its westernmost area is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean.
Flying to Porto in northern Portugal
Porto or Oporto in Portugal is served by Francisco Sá Carneiro International or simply Porto airport (IATA Code: OPO). In line with the relevance of the city, this aviation hub is considered to be the second busiest one in the country behind Lisbon airport. It is conveniently located 12 kilometres away from the downtown, and travellers commonly use metro trains (subway), public bus lines and taxis in order to commute from the airport to Porto city centre.
The fastest way to get to central Porto from the airport is the E metro line, which takes about 20 minutes to reach the downtown. Bus routes 601 and 602 are the ones you must hop on if you want to go to the city, and if you opt for a taxi ride, know that cabs await outside the arrivals hall and the average journey to the centre costs 20 euros. In case your final destination is other than Porto, that is, Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Faro, or even Vigo in Spain, you can transfer to a train in the nearby Campanha de Comboios station.
Finding the best accommodation in Porto, Portugal
Portugal is a travel destination that welcomes all sorts of visitors: pilgrims, backpackers, holiday goers, city break lovers and luxury travellers. Therefore, it has created a varied hospitality offer that is able to cater to the needs of every type. Below you will find a selection of recommended hotels in Porto sorted out by travel budget; we hope they will inspire you to tailor your perfect trip in accordance with your estimated expenses.
2-star hotel in Porto downtown
The Vice-Rei hotel is situated within walking distance of some of the main landmarks in Porto –Portugal– while also providing a quiet atmosphere where tourists can get some good rest in spite of being in the heart of the city. Nearby metro stations, restaurants, markets and shopping malls equally contribute to a convenient stay. Rooms are soundproofed and feature free WiFi, air conditioning, private bathroom and balcony, and guests can enjoy continental breakfast daily. Choosing this budget hotel in central Porto will allow you to go on excursions on the River Douro and explore one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe; for greater peace of mind, you can leave your valuables inside the safety deposit box or else use the left-luggage services provided by the reception staff.
3-star hotel in Oporto, Portugal
Superbly located in Porto historical centre, the 3-star Douro hotel offers well-appointed rooms that include amenities, cable TV, complimentary WiFi, work desks and an equipped bathroom for private use. The front desk is available around the clock so it is up to guests to decide whether they want to have breakfast at the buffet or order it to be delivered to their room; furthermore, former visitors have positively valued their onsite bar and accessible facilities, as well as the good predisposition of the personnel at this hotel in Oporto, who will gladly arrange tours and sightseeing activities for their guests during their stay.
4-star in central Porto
The HF Ipanema Porto is a more luxurious option for travellers who want to stay in a central location and get the best hospitality features at the same time. To satisfy this demand, this well-located hotel in Porto provides an onsite swimming pool, free WiFi all throughout the facilities, cosy bedrooms with extra comfortable beds, mini fridge, soundproof windows, flat-screen TV and luxury bathrooms. Room service, business centre, massages and an excellent breakfast buffet are just some of the extras that you will be able to enjoy; besides, thanks to the tourist counter at the lobby, you will get the opportunity to join a Porto wine-cellar tour or learn how to get to the Palácio de Cristal gardens –a short stroll away-, which afford panoramic views of the Douro River.
Would you like to go on exploring Portugal? We recommend you also consider the Madeira Islands for your next adventures.