Hostels in Portugal: Gallery Hostel, Porto’s Accomodation-GemHostels, In-Room Reviews, Portugal — By Patty H on January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Buried in the heart of Oporto, an art-centric neighborhood in Porto, Portugal, Gallery Hostel is near-brand-new (opened in 2009) and is located in a refurbished 100+ year-old school building. It’s the accommodation-gem for Porto’s young travelers. Located at Rua Miguel Bombarda 222, Gallery Hostel is within a fifteen minute walk of downtown Porto, museums, monuments, Crystal Gardens, the bustling nightlife district, and the farmers market.
Right after you check in, walk down the wood floor hallway and enjoy Gallery Hostels’ bright white, clean interior, decorated by a hip area artist and is ever changing. Gallery Hostel has a conveniently located outdoor patio tucked next to the hostel bar where you can enjoy a glass of local Portuguese wine or liquor on a mild evening. Behind the bar, you can watch a DVD or play a game of super-size chess in the spacious, cozy common area with other hostel guests.
In the mornings, dig into a delicious complementary breakfast made fresh daily by the staff cooks. You can ask for eggs to order, or munch on cereal and Portuguese sweet bread before heading off on your day. The kitchen is meticulously clean, the coffee is piping hot, and the food is tasty—the perfect way to start your day.
Gallery Hostel is divided into two main sleeping sections. Choose between staying in the main building in six or four person bedrooms, or for more privacy, stay in one of the Garden Suites behind the kitchen area. In the main building, each room is named after a renowned artist from Oporto such as Sophia Mello Breyner, Almeida Garrett and Julio Resende. The Garden Suites are named after the main Oporto city parks (Cordoaria, Botânico, Serralves and Palácio de Cristal).
Have questions about Porto sightseeing and things to do? Just ask one of the multilingual, knowledgeable staff members stationed at the front desk, 24 hours per day. Don’t miss Porto’s six-bridge boat tours, which range from 10-20 euros and last about 50 minutes. Afterward, walk across one of the bridges to the other side of the Douro River and head uphill to Taylor’s for a free port wine tasting in their caves. Porto itself is walkable, but it’s a city built on a hill so be prepared to huff it up and down steep cobblestone streets and flights of stone stairs. If you have time, take the STCP public bus (line 550) about 15 minutes to the ocean and walk up and down the waterfront. Check out Porto’s 15-foot waves and rugged coastline—it’s one of the surfing capitals of Europe and you can see people riding the waves year round. Buses operate regularly from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and less frequently at night. Purchase tickets from the driver for less than two euros.
Most importantly, don’t let the 20-euro + price per night scare you away. You get what you pay for—and more—in cleanliness, safety, location, complimentary breakfast, (they don’t skimp on food here!). Plus, Gallery Hostel has free wi-fi, two available computers if you don’t bring your own, linens, towels, lockers and hot showers. A few nights at Gallery Hostel with a couple days in Porto and you’ll have an ideal, wallet-friendly weekend getaway.
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