Are coming to study in Porto next year? Then find out more about the places of the University of Porto and its faculties in order to better choose the best area for you to live in Porto.
Oporto and the University
The University in Porto is spread through the city of Porto in three main areas, the “polos”. Polo 1 is in the centre of Porto, polo 2 is in the north near S. João’s Hospital, the third polo is located to the west of the centre along the Campo Alegre street, near Rotunda da Boavista (Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque).
Polo 1, city centre
Here is where the Faculty of Law, Pharmacy, some of the students residencies and several University services are located. This is the centre, or downtown Porto, if you like. So if you are coming to one of these faculties or institutes, the best thing is to find accomodation right here. You’ll find a mix of older buildings, many of which don’t have for example heating, as well as some more recent apartment buildings. There is basically all you need in the neighbourhood from shops, cafés, banks, supermarkets, lively bars at night, etc. Therefore most of the time I think you’ll be walking.
It’s a bustlying area both daily and at night and if you rather stay away from the rowdiness, it’s better to choose somewhere to the west (nicer), to the north or east of the city to live. There are plenty of buses all leading to the centre anyway.
Polo 2, Asprela
This polo, also know as Asprela polo is located in the north of Porto, between VCI (IC23 or A20) and the Estrada da Circunvalação, on the surroundings of St João’s Hospital. What you have here are mostly faculty builddings and institutes separated by some streches of empty land. There isn’t a lot of residential buildings, so accomodation isn’t easy here, unless you cross to the other side of Circunvalação in Pedrouços, Maia. On this side, apart from a shopping mall on the back of the hospital there’s not much else.
My suggestion is that you choose to stay along the metro line towards the centre or any where else along the 204 line. These are also served by the following bus lines: 205,300,305,505,603,604,704, 705, 804 e 9M (this is a night bus) and the line D of metro with the following stops: Pólo Universitário, near Dental faculty; IPO stop and Hospital de S. João stop.
Polo 3, Campo Alegre
The Campo Alegre street streches from Praça da Galiza (east) to Lordelo do Ouro to the west. It is on the west of the centre of Porto and this could be the way to take you to the sea. Here there are the faculties of Architecture, Literatures and Ciencies. Also Institutes like IBMC or INEB are here.
This area is very close to Boavista and there are shops, restaurants, shopping malls and of course good apartment buildings. It’s a bit more expensive area but the apartments tend to be also better. It can be difficult to find shared apartments, but if you look well you’ll find something.
Metro isn’t nearby, but there are several buses that take you to the centre or the other polo of Asprela: (200, 204, 207, 504, 1M).
Porto, a small city
Porto isn’t all that big and many of these place are easily reached walking. Asprela might be a bit less walkable, but you can always try it with a bike too. So if you are planning on coming next scholar year to study in Porto’s university it is important to know where you are going to study to choose where you prefer to live.