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      our holidays > Journeys in SlowMotion > Portugal > On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront

Lisbon, Coimbra & Porto
In all three cities, your stay is on a bed and breakfast basis, leaving you free to dine out at a restaurant of your choice using our recommendations as a guide.
In Coimbra and Porto, you have a choice of excellent hotels. A small supplement is payable if staying at the Quinta das Lágrimas – see price panel for details.

Solar do Castelo (4*), Lisbon

Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Solar do Castelo
Enviably located within the walls of Lisbon’s famous castle at the top of the oldest quarter of the city, Alfama, this elegant 18th-century mansion is arguably the best place to stay in Lisbon. The superb location is complemented by exceptionally friendly service, stylish rooms (equipped with air conditioning, satellite television, a safe, hairdryer and free wifi) and plenty of space to relax, including a courtyard, garden, lounges and a library.


Hotel Britania (4*), Lisbon

Alternative accommodation
Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Hotel Britania
The Britania dates from the 1940s and has been listed as a historic building as it is the only Art Deco hotel in Lisbon to have remained intact. Polished marble and bold light features characterise the lobby and sitting room, while the bar is decorated with wood panelling and painted motifs. The stylish bedrooms are air conditioned and equipped with a minibar, hairdryer, safe, satellite television, free wifi and tea and coffee-making facilities.


Sapientia Boutique Hotel (4*), Coimbra

Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Sapientia Boutique Hotel
This elegant boutique hotel is located in the heart of the old city within a few minutes' walk of the cathedral and one of the oldest universities in the world. It is housed in three 18th and 19th-century buildings, combining traditional features with all the amenities of a modern, stylish hotel. The design of the rooms pays homage to figures of Portuguese literature, while the in-house tapas bar serves tasty meals which you can enjoy on the patio in the shade of an ancient walnut tree. On the roof, there is a panoramic terrace from which to watch the sun go down over the city.


Quinta das Lágrimas (5*), Coimbra

Alternative accommodation
Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Quinta das Lágrimas
This handsome, beautifully converted 14th-century mansion is set in 12 hectares of tranquil parkland which incorporates a botanical garden and outdoor pool. The sense of space outside is mirrored inside, with spacious public lounges, a spa and an indoor pool. It is located just over the river from the Old Town and its eateries, a 15-minute walk, but as the hotel boasts an excellent restaurant, you may well decide not to venture out. For extra comfort, upgrade to a ‘palace room’ in the main house.


Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto (4*), Porto

Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto
Behind the handsome yellow façade of this 16th-century building lies a stylish hotel, the friendly staff of which pride themselves on the high levels of comfort and service. The location, within the UNESCO-protected part of the city and a stone’s throw from the Douro, is hard to beat. We include superior rooms which are equipped with air-conditioning, a hairdryer, minibar, satellite television, safe and wifi. For uninterrupted views over the River Douro, upgrade to a Vintage room.


Hotel Infante de Sagres (5*), Porto

Alternative accommodation
Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Hotel Infante de Sagres
This high-quality, palatial hotel, located in the heart of Porto’s historical district, is just a short stroll away from the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area, and close to the São Bento railway station. All rooms and suites are tastefully and individually decorated with original artwork, stylish furniture and antiques. The hotel also boasts an elegant restaurant and bar.


Hotel Ribeira do Porto (3*), Porto

Alternative accommodation
Meal arrangements: breakfast only

Hotel Ribeira do Porto
This comfortable hotel stands in a prime location on the waterfront Praça de Ribeira square, with views across to the port houses on the other side of the Douro. All 18 rooms have views onto the square and the river beyond and we include the superior rooms, which are slightly larger and have two or three windows so are lighter and mean you can enjoy the view better. The walls are adorned with large old black-and-white photographs of Porto and the Douro; while the 'Tasca Bar', where ​​breakfast is served, is styled on a traditional Portuguese tavern of the 1930s.


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At a glance
Starting point: Solar do Castelo, Lisbon
Day 1: Solar do Castelo, Lisbon
Days 2-3: Sapientia Boutique Hotel or Quinta das Lágrimas, Coimbra
Days 4-5: Pestana Vintage Porto, Hotel Ribeira do Porto or Hotel Infante de Sagres, Porto
Extend your stay
For a longer holiday that combines these three cities with stays in the Douro Valley and magnificent Sintra, see our 10-night Cities, Palaces & Wines holiday.
Extra nights
There is so much to see in both Lisbon and Porto that you could easily fill another day in either city – from Lisbon, you could even take a day trip to the splendid hill-town of Sintra.