Where to live in Porto
Porto may be a very different city from Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, but if you ask yourself what is the biggest difference you can choke on the answer. However, we make it easy for you: Porto has a personality that makes it more than a city, more than a place. Porto is a state of mind!
While Lisbon, regardless of its charm, is the typical European capital – with all its good and bad- Porto is a city with a more specific identity. It is a kind of charisma that is difficult to explain in words. It is in particularly in the historic and typical neighborhoods of Porto that one can better understand this strong personality of the city, which is reflected in the people, its architecture, its colors and its environment. You can find the soul of Porto in the way its locals receive visitors, the way food is tasted in the old taverns or in the narrow winding streets of Porto’s picturesque neighborhoods.
It is obligatory to visit the Ribeira district, on the Douro River. Although it is not clear when it was first inhabited, Ribeira is one of Porto’s oldest neighborhoods and is part of the city’s storic Center, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a phase of some decay, Ribeira has recovered with all its strength and today is a meeting place between the strong tourist flows and the locals. Old fishing district, Ribeira is characterized by the picturesque and winding streets, where open taverns, restaurants and bars sell the typical cuisine of the city. This is the best area for tasting fish in all of Porto. In addition, there is a very large concentration of bars, which makes nightlife one of the must-see places, especially in summer, when the terraces are full of people.
Besides the neighborhood itself, visiting Ribeira is also visiting the old Bridge of D. Luís, one of the ex-libris of the city of Porto. This bridge that connects the two banks of the Douro River, leading to the famous Port wine cellars on the other side in Gaia, is one of the most magnificent examples of iron architecture, built in the 19th century. It is an amazing postcard to take a selfie and, from the top you have a fantastic view of Porto, Ribeira and Douro.
Avenida dos Aliados
We can say that this neighborhood starts right from São Bento’s own train station, one of the main gateway to the city. Arriving in Porto by train could not have a better reception, with the station hall filled with tiled panels making it one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world.
Avenida dos Aliados in the heart of the center, where the city manifests itself in full, a vibrant artery that joins services and commerce with the passage of tourists and visitors. It is an imposing avenue, topped by the Porto City Hall building, always full of life, where you can stop to rest, take photos, eat or buy everything you need.
Around Torre dos Clérigos
The Clérigos Tower is the other ex-libris of Porto. This the tallest tower in Portugal and marks the skyline of the city, right next to Capela das Almas. Here you have the best view of the whole city, with a range that goes up to the Douro river.
Very close you have Jardim das Virtudes, a chilling place where you can grab some beers and salty snacks and enjoy your afternoon sitting on the grass surrounded by the youth of Porto and with an outstanding view over the city, specially in the end of the day!
And right next to the Clerics is also the famous Lello Bookstore, one of the oldest in the world and one of the prettiest too, which became even more celebrated after having inspired J.K. Rowling for her universe of the famous magician Harry Potter. Today, Lello Bookstore is one of the most visited places in the city, with its Art Nine decoration.
Relaxing area of Bonfim
Sometimes the best way to mingle in a culture is precisely to avoid the most touristic places for more cute and instagrammable they might be! Future visitor or resident, we present to you the area of Bonfim, more precisely the gorgeous calm Avenida Camilo, as the one best place to live when in Porto!
In Student Room Flat we truly believe that your home is your first social network! That’s why we bring you our lovely Camilo’s Co-living Residence! The entire building was created having in mind the importance of providing you quality common areas that promote discussion and friendship while assuring you the maximum privacy in your room!
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a street 15 mins away by walk from Avenida dos Aliados, planted right next to the trendy Belas Artes quarter and 4 mins away from all the transports you might need? The international residence was designed to make you feel so much at home that it will be hard to leave, however feel free to explore the area around! The famously tasty (attention, attention to all foodies!) Casa Guedes is just around the corner, like many other typical restaurants with menus for as low as 3.50€ – yes, 3.50€ for some seriously mouth drooling chicken is common in this area!
Ok, but where is the catch? Surely the residence must be far from a groceries store, right? Wrong! Lidl, the groceries shop, is literally 2 mins away and La Vie shopping mall is a 10 mins relaxed walk far. Same goes for the temporary market of Bolhão, whose fresh fish and vegetables need no introduction!
Want to travel around Portugal during your stay? We get you, it is impossible to don’t feel tempted to discover the many hidden gems (beaches, mountains, villages, rivers, oh so many things…) of the country! In this Co-living Residence you are 4 mins away from the main bus station of the city and 15 mins from the train station Campanha! Don’t waste your time getting around the turists and dealing with traffic, your ticket to rest of the country is one nice stroll away!