There’s no better way to guarantee an amazing trip to Porto than by booking a boutique holiday accommodation for your stay. This timelessly charming city is the place for booklovers, wine lovers, and art lovers alike, so why not make sure your holiday home or apartment matches that? If you fancy taking a trip to Porto for your next getaway, browse through our selection of holiday rentals on Tripadvisor or Airbnb. A city that combines neoclassical buildings with a lively nightlife and hip cafes, it’s the place for any traveller’s bucket list.
Find and book the perfect apartment or holiday home in Porto
Visit Porto: the city of wine!
Both edgy and somehow fantastically elegant, Porto is a place of history, amazing food, world famous wine, and charming locals, just to complete the package. The city's charms stretch from the calming waters at the docks, to the rooftop terrace bars, and the street art and cutting-edge architecture hiding quirky but beautiful holiday apartments for rent. With amazing chefs like Pedro Lemos, Ricardo Costa, José Avillez and more feeding the tourists, and famous port wine flowing from every tap, no matter where you stay in Porto your luxury holiday rental will never be far from the captivating nuances that fill the streets.
Best Time to Visit Porto
Portugal as a country is a lovely place to visit, almost all through the year. However, Porto is along the north-eastern coastline, which means it can be less sunny and greyer if you don't time it right. Porto is a city that needs to be experienced in beautiful sunny weather, so between the months of May and October is the best time to visit. It's then that you'll find the sun glinting off the brightly coloured pavements and buildings, in the traditional tiles of houses, and off the always full wine glasses sat on rooftop garden tables.
How to Get to Porto
One of the biggest hubs in all of Portugal, Porto is pretty easy to get to no matter where you are in the world. Flights to Porto go to the closest airport, Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport which is served by Luxair, TAP Portugal, Ryanair, Air Berlin and plenty more. It's about 7 miles north of the centre, and you can fly here and catch an easy train straight to the city. In fact, Porto is one of the most important railway hubs in Portugal; you can get from here to anywhere in the country.
Where to Stay in Porto
The Sé and Aliados
It's here that you'll find some of Porto's oldest and most enchanting streets, all tightly woven around the Sé – Porto's ancient cathedral. Home to the Paco Episcopal, the palace of the bishops of Porto, as well as some pretty impressive churches, and the world-famous São Bento train station. Plus, Aliados is home to the city's grand civic buildings, and if history is what you're after then the luxury apartments in the 1940s Art Deco Pão de Açúcar is the place for you.
A great place for anyone looking for a really fun atmosphere, the Baixa is home to some of the city's most interesting artefacts, buildings, and sights. Here, you'll find the Igreja do Carmo church, the towering Torre dos Clêrigos, and even the city's university. Or, alternatively, just eat and drink your way around the area, visiting all the cafes, bars, clubs, and shops as you wander.
Vila Nova de Gaia
The birthplace of the famous Port wine, why just visit when you can stay here instead? Obviously, you'll want to take a tour of the actual wine lodge and the historic port, but you can also take a trip on the waterfront cable and get an amazing view of the port wine lodges that dominate the riverfront. Great for any travellers interested in history, port wine, and more, so book a holiday apartment here if you want the full Port experience.
Riberia translates to mean "riverside", which is the perfect setting for any getaway to Porto. The area is full of tall, colourful houses which make up what was once the heart of medieval Porto – and what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The riverbanks are inundated with bars, restaurants and more, and some of the city's most historic buildings can be found right here. These include the Casa do Infante, which is a 14th century building that was once the home of Henry the Navigator, a 15th century Portuguese prince, as well as the Igreja de Santa Clara, a 15th century church. According to many critics, the Santa Clara church is one of the most amazing examples of Portugal's 17th century woodwork, showcasing both Baroque and Rococo architectural styles.
Things to do in Porto
The Clérigos Tower is an iconic symbol of the city of Porto; the baroque bell tower that sits above the Clérigos church was constructed during the 18th century, and it stands over 75 metres high. Officially opened in 1763, the tower is intricately designed with baroque motifs, courtesy of Italian designer Nicolau Nasoni. If you fancy climbing its 225 steps, you can get amazing 360-degree views of the city – see if you can spot your holiday home while you're there!
Livraria Lello (Lello Library)
According to Lonely Planet, Lavraria Lello is the world's third most beautiful bookstore – but when you visit, you'll probably decide it deserves the number one spot. Founded in 1869, the Livaria Lello is the oldest bookstore in the world, and it was actually one of Porto's first buildings to be created using reinforced concrete – ensuring it stands the test of time. Famous for more than one reason, it's claimed that this bookshop was the inspiration for Flourish and Botts in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, as well as inspiring the grand red staircase that can be found in Hogwarts.
Beaches in the Porto area
Since Porto lies near the beautiful Costa Verde, there are many beaches close to the metropolis you can visit during your stay. The closest is Praia do Carneiro, situated about 6km from the centre. It's a small beach, with a little lighthouse, pebbly sand, a jetty and even a 16th century fort. This little haven is the ideal place for families and couples in search of a less busy beach not too far from their holiday rental. Further north on the coastline you can find Gondarém Beach, a rocky beach that's popular with walkers and sunbathers alike, with plenty of options for a break for food and drinks at one of the many options nearby. The largest and most popular beach in the vicinity of Porto is Praia de Matosinhos, popular with locals and tourists alike, who flock here to enjoy its soft sand and clear waters. During the summer months it has lifeguards so can be enjoyed by people of every age. The waves are also good enough to surf. It is, however, located near a container port and fishing harbour so if you are looking for an idyllic setting, the first two beaches mentioned are your best option.
Very traditionally designed and laid out, Ribeira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the tiny streets make for the perfect setting to indulge in the local's lifestyle and escape the tourist traps for an hour or two. Take a cruise down the river in a rabelo boat, or visit the Bacalhoeiros Wall, the Casa do Infante museum and more.
São Bento Train Station
One of the world's most beautiful train stations, São Bento has a Belle Epoque Parisian exterior, with an interior of over 20,000 decorative tiles that took one painter, Jorge Colaço, 11 years to complete. Finally completed in 1903, hundreds of decorative tiles adorn the walls and ceilings, each illustrating historic scenes and battles – including Henry the Navigator's famous overthrow of Ceuta.
Learn about the famous wine
The Douro wine region is home to the famous Port wine, and it's also one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in Europe. Generally known as a dessert wine because it's sweeter and stronger than regular wines, while in Porto you can visit the wine cellars where it's stored – if you can get over the bats flying around, that is.