The Ultimate Guide to Porto’s Top 6 Neighbourhoods

Read about Porto’s top neighbourhoods and discover which areas are great to live in as an international student or expat.


5 minute read
Updated on 24 Jun 2024

Porto, Portugal’s 2nd-largest city, is often called the Capital do Norte(Capital of the North). Nestled beside the Douro River, Porto offers numerous hotspots and houses with breathtaking views over the water. The historic city, renowned for its Port wine, is filled with lively bars, wine cellars, and restaurants.

Deciding where to live in Porto can be a delightful yet challenging task, given its diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique lifestyle. Whether you’re planning to study or work in Porto, knowing the best neighborhoods is essential.

From coastal retreats to vibrant urban areas, these are the top places to live in Porto:

  1. Ribeira
  2. Cedofeita
  3. Boavista
  4. Vila Nova De Gaia
  5. Aliados & Bolhao

Let's dive into the details of each neighborhood to help you find your perfect home.


Ribeira is ideal for those who love history, culture, and vibrant city life, and don't mind paying a bit more for the prime location.

Ribeira, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of Porto's oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods. It exudes historic charm with its narrow, cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and vibrant riverfront.

Ribeira is packed with cultural landmarks, including the Dom Luís I Bridge, Ribeira Square, and Palácio da Bolsa. The area offers numerous riverside cafes, restaurants, and bars, creating a lively social scene. The neighborhood is well-connected by bus routes and is a short walk from the São Bento metro and train station. Ribeira’s narrow streets are best navigated on foot.

Living in the city center of Porto will be more costly than living further away from the center. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment ranges from €800 to €1,100 monthly. Dining and entertainment are slightly more expensive due to the tourist influx.


Cedofeita is perfect for young professionals, students, artists, and anyone who enjoys a vibrant, creative community with affordable living costs.

Cedofeita, known as the Art District, is a trendy and bohemian neighborhood. It’s popular among young professionals, artists, and students for its creative atmosphere. Cedofeita is home to numerous art galleries, indie boutiques, and eclectic shops. The area also offers a variety of cafes, bars, and restaurants, making it a lively place to live. You’ll also find the Crystal Palace Gardens in this neighborhood, perfect for a scenic walk during your lunch breaks or weekends. Go to the weekly organic market at Centro Comercial Bombarda on a Saturday to purchase your weekly groceries.

This neighborhood is well connected by the metro and bus lines, making it easy to get around. The area is very walkable, with many amenities close by. It’s ideal when you prefer to live in a more peaceful location but still want the amenities of the city nearby.

The cost of living in Cedofeita is moderate. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment ranges from €700 to €1,000 per month, making it an affordable option compared to more central neighborhoods.


Boavista is ideal for professionals, families, and internationals looking for a modern neighborhood with excellent amenities and transportation links.

If you prefer to live in a more peaceful environment, check out the apartments in a look in Porto’s Boavista neighborhood. Boavista is known for its long boulevard, ‘Boavista Avenue’, leading you up to the ocean. A perfect place for beach lovers!

The neighborhood is considered to be one of the more posh neighborhoods of Porto, which you’ll understand once you face the beautiful, dazzling houses. Boavista is also the area where many companies have their offices.

This is an ideal area if you’re moving to Porto for work and want to live within walking distance from your office. You can reach Boavista within 10 minutes by car from Porto’s city center, or by taking the subways or busses, which run on a regular basis. Living in the neighborhood of Boavista is particularly loved by those who like to escape the crowds. Due to its calm atmosphere, it’s an ideal area for families.

Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Boavista ranges from €800 to €1,200 per month. The cost of living is also affordable, with plenty of mid-range dining and shopping options.

Vila Nova De Gaia

Vila Nova De Gaia is best for families, retirees, and those who prefer a quieter, more suburban lifestyle with easy access to the city.

Vila Nova De Gaia, located across the Douro River from Porto, offers stunning views of the city and the river. It's known for its wine cellars and a more suburban feel. The area is famous for its port wine cellars, beautiful riverside promenades, and beaches. It has a range of restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers. Living in this area means you can enjoy the beach during your free weekends, as ‘De Gaia’ is located on the coast. One of the advantages of living in this area is that you won’t find many tourists here, except for the ones that visit one of the popular wine houses on the riverside.

The only downside of living in this beautiful neighborhood is that commuting to and from the center can be time-consuming during rush hours. But if you prefer living in an area with stunning views and don’t mind a slightly longer commute to enjoy Porto’s nightlife, Vila Nova De Gaia could be a great fit for you.

Vila Nova De Gaia is more affordable than central Porto. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment ranges from €600 to €900 per month, making it a great option for budget-friendly residents.

Sé is ideal for history enthusiasts, students, and anyone who wants to live in a historic area with convenient access to the rest of the city.

Sé is the historic heart of Porto, characterized by its medieval architecture and narrow streets. The neighborhood offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past. Key landmarks in Sé include the Porto Cathedral and the ancient walls of the city. The streets are lined with traditional shops, cafes, and restaurants serving authentic Portuguese cuisine. Sé is centrally located, with excellent public transportation options, including metro stations and bus routes. Its streets are very narrow, and aren’t suitable for cars. As a result, many residents opt for motorcycles or public transport for their daily commute. This neighborhood is also very walkable, given its compact size.

Living in Sé is relatively affordable compared to Ribeira. The rent for a 1-bedroom apartment ranges from €700 to €1,000 per month.

Aliados & Bolhão

This neighborhood is best for professionals, expats, and those who thrive in a bustling urban environment with everything at their doorstep.

Aliados & Bolhão form the vibrant heart of downtown Porto. Renowned for its expansive boulevards and lively markets, this neighborhood is perfect for those who thrive in lively, bustling environments. The area boasts numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes. Landmarks include the iconic Mercado do Bolhão, the Avenida dos Aliados, and the São Bento railway station. Aliados & Bolhão are exceptionally well-connected, with multiple metro stations, bus lines, and proximity to the main train station, São Bento. As a result, it’s a very convenient neighborhood to live in when you’re traveling by public transport to University or your office.

Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in this central area ranges from €800 to €1,200 per month. The cost of living is higher due to the central location and abundance of amenities.

Explore homes for rent in Porto before your move so you can make sure your new home is located in one of the best neighborhoods in Porto.

Living in Porto: a summary of best neighborhoods

Porto is a beautiful, bustling city to live in, as it’s a city full of history, scenic views and vibrant nightlife.

If you yearn to live in an energetic, yet historic city center, find yourself a place in Porto’s Ribeira neighborhood.

Looking for a more peaceful location to live in? Look into finding a place at Cedofeita. This trendy neighborhood could be perfect for you.

Boavista is a pleasant neighborhood to live in when you have a bit more budget and you enjoy a little bit of a luxury.

Vila Nova De Gaia is perfect for those who prefer to live further away from the hustle and bussle of Porto’s city center. Living in this area is great if you prefer to stay low-budget.

When you want to become part of Porto’s historic soul, find yourself a place in the picturesque area of Sé.

Love being surrounded by the crowds? Find yourself a place in the buzzing area of Aliados & Bolhao.

This article is for informational purposes only.

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