I've been trying to search the forum for 'which area to stay' questions & answers but haven't really found anything.
So: which areas in Porto are nice to stay in? I am late 30's, in other cities I always enjoy bustling, gayfriendly areas with street art, funky cafes, quaint shops, nice squares that have locals sitting around and chatting, markets, old architecture... Of course it would be nice to be close to some sights but my main goal is just strolling around looking at architecture (but *not* spending hours reading about its history or exploring churches), nature, people, letting the wind at the beach blow though my hair, visiting one or two other towns (by train or rental car).
Are there nice bustling areas in Porto that suit my wishes?
I'm planning to go for about 7 days in October (5 full days). Any comments on hotels versus apartments are also welcome, I'm leaning toward apartment if I can find something under €40 a night.