Porto Portugal

Gay Porto Porto City Guide

Meet Portugal´s Capital of the North, the unique and enigmatic Porto, a merchant city often foolishly overlooked in favour of Lisbon and the Algarve, packed with unique and undiscovered charms. Steep, winding cobblestone streets and colourful heritage buildings come stacked one on top of the other, precariously sloping down to the Douro river below and stretching beyond its medieval defence walls close to the verdant Trás-os-Montes province in the east and quaint Coimbra in the south. Inside the city itself, everything is laid-back and easily accessible on foot or by tramcar, with the odd challenging hill walk to keep you on your toes. This gives the perfect excuse to indulge in a pastry or two while overlooking the historic, ever sun-dappled skyline, complete with Baroque churches, old wineries and, in the distance, beautiful untarnished beaches. Wondering what to do in Porto? For your definitive Porto gay guide, let us lead the way.

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The best hotels in Porto

Let’s begin our Porto gay travel guide with a roundup of the best hotels in Porto. While our first choice is technically not in Porto, located on the other side of the Douro River, the panoramic vistas of the city offered at The Yeatman are truly something to behold. This luxury wine hotel and spa was founded by the Yeatmans, a family of British wine merchants who began trading Port wine in the early 1800s and never stopped loving the city. As well as owning an unprecedented collection of Portuguese wine, the hotel also hosts a luxurious spa that uses wine extracts in its treatments. Those travellers wanting to stay in the heart of the city should consider PortoBay Hotel Teatro, just five minutes from the main Porto points of interest, such as Porto Coliseum. Contemporary and refined with a bohemian twang, this hotel also offers theatrical heritage, as it is actually based in a 19th-century theatre. The stage and audience areas are now home to the restaurant and bar, with an adjacent inner courtyard and a fitness centre on the top floor.

Also based from the historical centre is Casa do Cativo guesthouse, a cute little 19th-century offering run by a Franco-Portuguese couple, with a family feel and all the comforts of a hotel. Added bonuses include an outdoor pool, garden and shared lounge and kitchen areas. Next up is Charm Palace, a romantic boutique retreat in the city, popular among gay couples for its upscale interiors and bourgeois 20th-century architecture. The ‘Palacio Fenizia’ room, in particular, has us wanting to stay for the year! Torel Avantgarde is another boutique worth browsing, based on a hillside less than a kilometre from Baixa downtown area and boasting brilliant views of the city and riverside in a secluded spot. Inside Torel Avantgarde, guests can revel in the bold colours and warm décor, with each room celebrating artists, writers, designers and musicians, all with locally-made furniture. The on-site bar and restaurant also radiate sophisticated cosiness through and through.

Charm Palace Hotel

Charm Palace Hotel

Torel Avantgarde Hotel | Photo: Luis Ferraz

Torel Avantgarde Hotel | Photo: Luis Ferraz

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