Neighbourhoods in Porto
Updated 9 months ago

Most people visiting Porto for the first time spend most of their time exploring the downtown, and the same thing goes for expats looking for a home here. This means most of the remaining city is still under the radar. Fear not, since this article will clue you in. Take a special look at Baixa, Foz do Douro, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia and Boavista when looking for the perfect place for you to live.


The Downtown District, or Baixa, is Porto's historical and spiritual core. What used to be a place filled with prostitutes, drug-addicts and all sorts of criminals living door-to-door with humbler families, is nowadays a thriving area where bohemian entertainment peeks at every corner. If you visited Porto, chances are you could have never guessed about its criminal past, since it is now a colourful, bright and safe place to stroll around. This is the district where it all happens and your place of choice if you are looking for a busy, hectic and upbeat lifestyle. However, this is also the area where prices are skyrocketing as days go by, leading to a serious gentrification scenario with more buildings being used for tourism than for accommodating local families.

Foz do Douro

Foz do Douro is the lovely seaside neighbourhood and a rather exclusive area where upper class enjoys high standards and commodities not everybody can afford. In Foz do Douro houses are also a bit pricey. However, you can expect the highest standard of living in the entire Porto. The sea breeze will become part of your daily routine and you will get the chance to jog through the promenade, walk your dogs or simply admire the sea while enjoying some ice-cream ' some of the locals' favourite activities.


Matosinhos is yet another fantastic option for you to consider. Not only is it located by the beach and has the best fish of the country, but this bustling and well-developed area also boasts a metro system that can easily take you to the city centre in under 30 minutes, for just 1,5â¬. Matosinhos has recently received lots of attention from visitors, tourists and investors as well, which may indicate prices are rising as we speak, so hurry up if green areas, the beach and a healthy lifestyle are what you are looking for! Besides, restaurants and other businesses don't cater specifically to tourists. The area's youthful and lively atmosphere makes it one of the most authentic districts in Porto.

Vila Nova de Gaia

As soon you have crossed any of the six bridges over the Douro, you can positively say that you have set foot in the district of Vila Nova de Gaia - the land on the other side of the Douro. Rent prices are lower in Vila Nova de Gaia when compared to the cost of living in other city districts. As a result, Vila Nova de Gaia can almost be considered a commuter town during the weekdays, with most of its inhabitants working in Porto.


Boavista is located northwest of the downtown, and it is undoubtedly one of the busiest districts in Porto, especially during day time, when it is packed with its multiple bus and metro stations which provide great connections to the rest of the city. It is a business district, with some residential streets, but mostly known for one thing: being the starting point to the biggest avenue in Portugal.

If you plan to live in Porto any time soon, keep in mind Porto is not just the busy Baixa area, but a huge conglomerate of numerous small towns and different neighborhoods, and your dream home could be waiting for you in any of these!

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