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Portsmouth NH

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About Portsmouth NH

The second oldest city in the Unites States — and the oldest in New Hampshire — beautiful Portsmouth has a wonderfully lively buzz: perfect for a waterside holiday. A hugely popular place to visit, Portsmouth offers a broad range of accommodation options, from simple guesthouses to luxurious hotels with fantastic facilities. The best places to stay in Portsmouth NH are housed in striking heritage buildings, fusing the city’s fascinating history with chic, contemporary interiors.

Set alongside the Piscatagua River, the region was originally home to Abenaki and other Algonquian languages-speaking nations, who inhabited the area for thousands of years. First explored by Europeans in the early 1600s, Portsmouth grew wealthy as one of the busiest ports and shipbuilding cities in the United States. Delve into the city’s history to discover links to the slave trade, the American Revolution and the Civil War, all of which shaped the city’s development, as well as the rise and fall of its inhabitants’ fortunes.

Much of the city’s past can be glimpsed through its impressive architecture. Despite significant early nineteenth-century fires, Portsmouth NH’s leafy central streets remain lined with lovely colonial, Georgian and Federal-style houses. Many have been carefully preserved, and are now open to the public. The Strawbery Banke Museum, for instance, showcases 17 houses in the city’s oldest neighbourhood, offering a precious glimpse into the past -- best appreciated with a guided tour. There are ample individual house-museums dotted around the city centre, too.

When it comes to the great outdoors, Portsmouth NH offers activities aplenty: head out on a river cruise to spot marine life and admire spectacular views over Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and Fort Constitution, enjoy a round of golf at one of the area’s many courses, or stroll through riverside Prescott Park. For the best boutiques, cafes and restaurants, amble along Market Street to Market Square, and make sure to catch a show at The Music Hall one evening.

In addition to heaps of history and culture, Portsmouth NH has a fun, youthful vibe, ideal for unwinding with friends or family. Our pick of best places to stay in Portsmouth NH ranges from grand waterfront hotels with indulgent spas to smart guesthouses in beautifully restored heritage properties, promising fabulous food and lots of charm. This is a very popular destination, so book your stay well in advance to avoid missing out!

The best places to stay in Portsmouth NH

For a chic central stay

  • The Hotel Portsmouth offers 32 indulgent rooms with classic furnishings and a soothing colour palette in a masterfully restored Queen Anne building. Pick this B&B for the hearty breakfasts, central Portsmouth location, and thoughtful nods to the building's heritage. Helpful staff are full of local foodie recommendations.
  • The Sailmaker's House is a chic boutique guesthouse with 10 cosy rooms in the heart of downtown Portsmouth. A converted sailmaker's home, the property fuses maritime touches and contemporary comfort with traditional New Hampshire style. Lovely & laid-back!

For a classic seaside stay

  • Wentworth by the Sea is splendid coastal hotel near Portsmouth, with classic interiors and beautiful sea views. Boasting a restaurant, swimming pool, spa and gym, and easy access to golf courses and the marina, this is a grand, resort-style base for a charming New Hampshire stay.

For an apartment or villa

If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel information

  • Fly to either Manchester International Airport, Portland International Airport or Boston International Airport, all of which are about an hour's drive from Portsmouth NH.
  • Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Alternatively, regular train services run from nearby cities to Dover. You can then catch a bus to Portsmouth NH.
  • Visit during the summer months (June to August) for warm weather, with temperatures averaging at around 24°C. This is also a beautiful area to explore in the winter, but do come prepared for freezing, sub-zero temperatures!

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Best Hotels in Portsmouth NH

  • Ale House Inn Portsmouth NH 10 rooms from £110

    Local exploring  -  Portsmouth will appeal to beach-lovers, history buffs, walkers & those looking to explore the picturesque Hampshire coastline
    Great walks  -  There are great nature and beach trails in the area; Portsmouth Harbor Trail is especially good for culture vultures
    Sights nearby  -  Take a tour of USS Albacore, a historic submarine, visit Fuller Gardens, John Paul Jones House and Prescott Park
    Sailing  -  Take in the sites from the water on a local harbour cruise
    Air conditioningParkingNo pets

    Great value quaint historic inn. Situated in a 19th-century red-brick former brewery, rooms are small but many have river views; decor is contemporary with bright colours, mismatched furniture and nautical palettes. Warm, welcoming and cosy public areas have fireplaces and exposed-brick walls. See More

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  • The Inn Downtown Portsmouth NH 10 rooms from £116

    Local exploring  -  Ideal for exploring both downtown Portsmouth & Kittery on foot. The latter boasts independent shops, hip eateries and galleries
    Short fly break  -  This quaint fishing town is just an hour from Boston yet a world-away
    Sights nearby  -  Explore John Paul Jones House or Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden
    Minimum Stay  -  Two night minimum stays apply on weekends
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyParking

    Historic downtown 19th century home converted into range of contemporary-chic self-catered studios. Cosy living areas and modern kitchens are decorated with SMEG fridges, on-trend colour palettes and bold prints. Walk to the waterfront and great restaurants. Brilliant option for longer stays. See More

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  • The Hotel Portsmouth - Downtown Portsmouth NH 32 rooms from £126

    Value chic  -  An historic and lively hotel offering vibrant interiors, luxorious bedding and a downtown location at a very reasonable price
    Great walks  -  The stunning Prescott Park is just a five minute walk away, wander the ten plus acres of waterfront parklands
    Sights nearby  -  Centrally located within walking distance of Portsmouth's best bars, restaurants and historic sites
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningDisabled accessParking

    A beautiful Queen Ann building, masterfully restored, in the heart of Portsmouth. The sharp interiors are modern and indulgent while nodding to the building's rich history. An excellent breakfast is served each morning and helpful staff will guide you to the best dinner spots. Warm and welcoming. See More

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  • The Sailmaker's House Portsmouth NH (New Hampshire) 10 rooms from £155

    Local exploring  -  Set close to the harbour and heritage Portsmouth, this hotel is perfectly place for local exploring in New Hampshire
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the luxury finish at this boutique guesthouse; book a deluxe room for a private living area and patio
    City Style  -  Located in a heritage property in the heart of Portsmouth's old district, this hotel has lots of local city charm
    Great walks  -  Explore historic Portsmouth on a long walk; head to the harbourfront Prescott Park for pretty marina views
    Air conditioningParkingNo pets

    Nestled on Portsmouth's Seacoast, this renovated sailmaker's house has been transformed into a boutique inn. Behind the wooden facade, a spiral staircase leads to cosy guestrooms with original brick fireplaces, sink-in rugs and bespoke fittings. Maritime accents run throughout; a stylish guesthouse. See More

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  • Wentworth by the Sea Portsmouth NH 161 rooms from £218

    Landmark  -  Known as the "Grand Dame by the Sea", this hotel is a beloved jewel on the New Hampshire coast.
    Spa  -  The coast inspired the spa, a tranquil sanctuary dedicated to health and wellbeing.
    Sailing  -  Guests enjoy access to the privately-operated Wentworth by the Sea Marina.
    Views  -  The hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and the marina of New Castle.
    TennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    A stalwart landmark of the New Hampshire coast, this gleaming white and splendid hotel has stood the test of time to become a paragon of hospitality. Interiors are classic and traditional with floral patterns, neutral colours and panoramic sea views. Restaurant, pool, spa, gym, golf, marina, bar. See More

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  • Great Island Inn Portsmouth NH 6 rooms from £232

    Local exploring  -  Well located for exploring the area: New Castle offers historic sites, lighthouses, beaches and outdoor activities
    Country Escape  -  Works well for those looking for a change of scenery and fresh sea air after months of homeworking
    Sailing  -  Get out onto the water for the day; take a cruise around the Isles of Shoals
    Minimum Stay  -  Two night minimum stays applies on select Saturdays and holidays
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    Modern apartment-hotel situated in a historic house metres from the water. Feel right at home, each light and airy self-catering studio with a nautical colour scheme comes with kitchen and laundry facilities. There are also cosy living, dining & working areas. Quiet base ideal for a country escape. See More

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