In Porto you never know what’s around the next corner. It could be a church clad in cobalt-blue tiles…
It might be an old telephone, just hanging around…
Or, if you’re unlucky – a street that dips so low it looks as if it could swallow everything in its path.
Thankfully, there’s no danger of waking to a surreal nightmare in the city’s hostel accommodation. Like the rest of Portugal, Porto delivers the goods when it comes to budget hostels.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the city’s stunning Garden House Hostel (Rue de Santa Catarina). Located on the main shopping street and within a stone’s throw of both the famous Capela das Almas church and the elegant Café Majestic, Garden House Hostel provides the perfect base for bargain hunters and sight-seers alike.
Although the townhouse building dates back to the 19th century, its recent refurbishment means that it manages to be both light and airy and fabulously decadent.
Make-yourself-at-home features include a library, an outdoor terrace and a spotlessly clean kitchen that looks like it has been torn straight out of the pages of an IKEA catalogue.
As you might expect from Porto’s newest hostel, rooms are stylish yet minimalist in decor. Polished honey-coloured wood floors and crisp, white bed linen provide a calm and relaxed ambience. The best feature by far though is the spiralling staircase which forms the core of the house.
Those fortunate enough to be stay on the top floor (luggage permitting),will get the chance to appreciate the full splendour of the building, including the fabulous domed roof light.
In a city known for its uber-stylish hostels, Garden House Hostel beats the competition hands down with its central location and ‘urban oasis’ charm.
Overall Travel Edits Rating: *****
Location: 5/5 – shopping heaven and within a 2-minute walk of the nearest metro station
Staff: 5/5 – feign weakness and they’ll even carry your bags
Facilities: 5/5 – In the kitchen there is a drawer filled with packets of ‘free’ pasta. Although no actual garden there are inflatable paddling pools…
Cleanliness: 5/5 – you could probably eat your dinner off the floor
Value for Money: 6 out of 5 – rates start at only €16 per night:)
Garden House Hostel
Rue de Santa Catarina 501