Built on Portsea Island, the waterfront city of Portsmouth in the South East of England is the UK’s only island city! As its name suggests, Portsmouth is primarily a port city and it has served as a significant naval location for many centuries.
Many of the city’s wonderful attractions are based around its port heritage and Portsmouth is home to a number of the world’s most incredible historic ships, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and The Mary Rose.
Close to Portsmouth is miles of coastline which is perfect for exploring, with distinct seaside towns and villages that are full of character. The city of Southampton is not far and it is only a short ferry ride to the Isle of Wight. Talking of ferries, Portsmouth is still a busy port with a passenger ferry terminal with routes to France and beyond.
Whether you’re visiting this city before you catch a ferry or for another reason, figuring out where to stay in Portsmouth requires some consideration. To help you, we’ve put together a number of hotels in Portsmouth that are close to some of its most popular attractions.
Find out more about these hotels and attractions below.
Visiting Gunwharf Quays and the Spinnaker Tower
Regardless of how you get to Portsmouth, as you enter the city limits you’re going to be greeted by the impressive Spinnaker Tower, which dominates Portsmouth’s skyline.
This 170-metre high observation tower offers stunning unobstructed views across the city and out to sea. The tower sits just above the vibrant shopping district ‘Gunwharf Quays’. The many designer fashion outlets here are famous for their absolute bargains and if all that shopping makes you hungry (or thirsty) there is a really good range of restaurants and bars to visit.
Where to stay near Gunwharf Quays
Part of the internationally recognised Holiday Inn chain, this hotel is perfectly located for shopping at Gunwharf Quays and visiting the Spinnaker Tower, you’re just a short walk from both. Besides the great location, this hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi and a complimentary continental breakfast.
Visiting Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
If you’re visiting Portsmouth, you have to check out the Historic Dockyard. The dockyard is home to some of the most important ships and submarines from Britain’s naval history. Get a breathtaking insight into life aboard HMS Victory, the warship famous for its role as Lord Nelson’s flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar.
You can also visit The Mary Rose Museum and see King Henry VIII’s favourite ship up close and personal, learning about its sinking and how the ship was raised from the depths of the seabed in 1982. There are many other attractions and sights to see in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, with both old and modern ships, museums and tours all making this a wonderful day out for all the family.
Where to stay near Portsmouth’s historic dockyard
If you’re looking for a hotel in Portsmouth that is close to the Historic Dockyard, this great value hotel from Premier Inn is a fantastic option. Situated just a 3-minute walk from the dockyard, this hotel has all the fantastic attributes that you’d expect from a Premier Inn, including free wi-fi, comfy beds, TV and an en-suite bathroom.
For a day out in the South East that is as nice as any other, visit Southsea, one of the finest Portsmouth neighbourhoods. This Victorian-era seaside resort is home to a beautiful pebble beach, a funfair, aquarium and lots of independent shops, restaurants and pubs. King Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle sits at Portsmouth’s most southerly point and overlooks the Solent, it has been an important lookout fort for centuries and can be visited free of charge.
Where to stay in Southsea
This lovely family-run hotel is located in the centre of Southsea, overlooking the beautiful Southsea Common. There are 17 designer rooms that have been attractively styled, with en-suite bathrooms and tea & coffee making facilities. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and a luxurious lounge area.
Before catching the ferry
For many, Portsmouth is a gateway to the European continent with regular sailings to France, Spain, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Wight. Many people who holiday in France opt to take a ferry with their car across the channel and Portsmouth offers sailing to exciting French destinations including Le Havre, St Malo, Cherbourg and Caen. If that description fits you, you might also have to find a place to stay in Portsmouth the night before your ferry journey.
Where to stay in Portsmouth before catching the ferry
Before catching your ferry, you’ll want somewhere comfortable to stay. The Travelodge Portsmouth offers this, within very easy reach of the ferry terminal. The hotel is easily accessible from the M27/M275 motorway and there’s limited free parking available.
Visiting Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery
Discover the story of this city’s long history, what makes Portsmouth unique and how life has changed for its residents at the Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery. There are fascinating displays on a variety of subjects, including: Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Portsmouth Football Club and ‘The Story of Portsmouth’, complete with accurate reconstructions of a 17th-century bedchamber, an 1871 dockyard worker’s kitchen, a Victorian parlour, a 1930s kitchen and a 1950s living room.
Where to stay near Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery
This hotel has a very central location, close to lots of Portsmouth attractions including the Museum and Art Gallery. The Ibis Hotel has a range of stylish and comfortable rooms that highlight Portsmouth’s naval heritage, with porthole-style windows and an external facade that is designed to look like ocean waves. There is s a relaxed bar, a restaurant and on-site parking is available, with recharging units for electric cars.
Overall, Portsmouth is a nice city to visit. The weather is as good as it gets in the UK, there are some historic attractions, and many people need to spend a night in the city prior to a cruise or a ferry. We hope that this guide has helped you find a nice place to stay in Portsmouth. Have a great trip!