Porto is divided into 7 different parishes, which in Portuguese are called “freguesias”:
- Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde;
- União das Freguesias de Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau e Vitória;
- União das Freguesias de Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos;
These freguesias are home to different neighbourhoods, each one with its unique personality. In Porto, there’re areas to suit all tastes, so finding a well-located student accommodation won’t be hard to do.
There are a few important questions you should ask yourself when choosing accommodation in Porto. Is the place located close to subway and bus stations? Are there any supermarkets and pharmacies around? Do I prefer a busy neighbourhood or a more peaceful one? Will it be easy for me to go to university or work? That way you’ll be able to find a place that truly matches your needs.
To help you pick a perfect student accommodation, we made a list of the top areas to stay during your Erasmus in Porto. Which one will be your favourite?
Welcome to one of Porto’s liveliest areas. Located in the Freguesia of Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau e Vitória, the Ribeira is part of the historic centre of Porto. So if you want to live in a place that looks like a postcard from Portugal, the Ribeira is perfect for you.
The Ribeira is close to the Douro River, and it’s full of narrow cobbled streets and Portuguese-style houses covered in tiles, which is the dream scenario for anyone who moves to Portugal. Ideal for those who want to experience Porto’s true charm, this area is full of bars, and typical restaurants, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Another pro about the Ribeira is its central location, close to many metro lines.
Being the home to some of the most iconic monuments of Porto and also UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ribeira can be a bit touristic and crowded. So if you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful place, this might not be the best bet.
Overall, the Cedofeita parish is a very trendy area. Cedofeita has a bohemian vibe, and it’s often compared to Soho, in NY, and Montmarte, in Paris. Cedofeita became famous for its art galleries and concept stores, so today it’s known as Porto’s Art District. This area is also full of bars, restaurants and nightlife options, so if living in Cedofeita, you’ll never get bored. You’ll also be close to the ISCET, and the Faculdade de Direito da Universidade do Porto.
Renting student accommodation in the Cedofeita parish can be more pricey if compared to other areas.
It’s perfect if: If you want to stay close to Porto’s hustle and bustle and to have easy access to Porto’s most famous historical sites.
Cool Spots: Lello Bookshop, Majestic Café, the Ribeira Square, São Bento Train Station and many others!
Metro Stations: São Bento, Batalha, Aliados, Bolhão, Faria Guimarães, Trindade, Lapa e Carolina Michaelis e Casa da Música.
This is one of the best places to rent student accommodation in Porto. Why? Well, first because it’s home to the largest student community in Porto. This basically means that making friends and meeting new people will be much easier during your Erasmus.
Paranhos is also home to many libraries, schools and universities, such as the Faculdade de Economia, Faculdade de Medicina do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, and Universidade Fernando Pessoa, just to name a few. It’s also where the São João Hospital, the main hospital of Porto and also the North of Portugal, is located.
The Polo II Asprela, one of the Campuses of Universidade do Porto, is located in Paranhos. This is, by the way, a great place for renting student accommodation, and U.hub has brand new studios and suites nearby.
The great thing is that you’ll be located within 5 minutes to the Metro Hospital São João, and several bus stations, close to many universities such as Instituto Politécnico do Porto (4 min), Escola Superior de Educação do Porto (4 min), and Faculdade de Medicina Da Universidade do Porto (6 min).
Aside from the great location, U.hub residences in Polo II Asprela have plenty of amenities to make your life in Porto even better. U.hub studios and suites have equipped kitchens and are fully furnished, and are located in a residence with common areas such as study rooms, cinema, on-site laundry, private garden, and even a gym.
Perfect if: You want to be near the student life in Porto, meet like-minded people and quickly make new friends.
Cool spots: In Libris Bookshop, Jardim de Arca d’Água, and Biblioteca da Casa de Cultura de Paranhos
Metro Stations: Hospital São João Station
Located on the western part of Porto, Boavista is not exactly a neighbourhood, it’s an area that stretches from Praça da República to Praça de Gonçalves Zarco. One of the most
affluent places in Porto, Boavista is a largely residential area which is perfect if you’re looking for a more homey vibe.
Although Boavista is not super close to the city centre of Porto, it has plenty of stores, restaurants and cultural venues which students will love. Also: Boavista is connected to other areas by public transportation, and it offers easy access to the beautiful Matosinhos beach.
The great news is that in 2021 U.hub Xior will open its first student residence in Boavista. This means that soon you’ll be able to rent a brand new studio or suite in Boavista with all of the amenities for your student life in Porto.
Perfect if: You’re looking for a place that is both peaceful and residential, but has great restaurants and cultural options for students. Boavista also gives you easy access to other parts of the city.
Cool Spots: Mercado do Bom Sucesso, Casa da Música, Jardim Botanical do Porto
Metro Stations: Casa da Música
One of the best things about Bonfim is that, even though it’s close to the centre of Porto, it has a non-touristy atmosphere. Bonfim has student accommodation options for reasonable prices, and it’s crowded with amazing restaurants that foodies will love. You can either have a vegan healthy meal at O Macrobiótico, an authentic Italian dish at Pizza Piazza, try one of the best lambs in town at A Cozinha do Manel, or satisfy your sugar craving by eating a brownie at Bolinhos do Jorge.
Known as Porto’s hipster neighbourhood, Bonfim was considered one of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in Europe by The Guardian in 2020, since it’s home to cool independent shops, which are mostly located in the Santo Ildefonso Street.
Perfect if: You want an authentic place that wasn’t deeply affected by tourism. Bonfim is also a cool neighbourhood with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants
Cool spots: Parque de Nova Sintra, Real Biblioteca Pública da Cidade do Porto, Casa Guedes Restaurant
Metro: Campo 24 de Agosto e Heroísmo
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