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Staying at a hotel in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a busy city on the south coast, with a long history as an international port. It's known locally as 'Pompey', as is the Portsmouth football team. As the only 'island city' in the UK, Portsmouth is almost completely surrounded by water. It's a convenient place to stay before or after taking the ferry to France, Spain or Jersey.
Budget and luxury Portsmouth hotels
Big chain hotels such as Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Ibis and BEST WESTERN have at least one branch in Portsmouth. As a seaside resort, the city also has plenty of B&Bs and guesthouses. Boutique hotels are a stylish option for city breaks and weekends away, with many of them claiming 4 and 5-star amenities.
Many hotels are dotted around the harbour area, giving you beautiful sea views. You can also choose to stay near Portsmouth Harbour rail station or by the ferry terminal.
The Spinnaker Tower is Portsmouth's iconic landmark. It stands 170 metres tall, and has a Sky Walk on the viewing deck where you can look straight down to the ground.
Britain's maritime history is very strongly tied to the city – it has the oldest dry dock in the world. Portsmouth is home to HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose Museum, HMS Victory, the D-Day Museum and the Royal Marines Museum.
Clarence Pier is one of the biggest amusement parks in the local area. Kids can explore Pirate Pete's Indoor Adventure Playground, and taller kids and adults can try out rides including rollercoasters and a carousel.
The main venue for events is the Portsmouth Guildhall. There are regular comedy and music evenings and since 2014, the Guildhall has also been the home of the Portsmouth Beer Festival.
Shopping and souvenirs
Gunwharf Quays is the main shopping complex in the city. After wandering around the shops, take a break at one of the cafés and restaurants inside. Those in a more active mood can have some family fun at the Bowlplex or hop on a speedboat at the nearby Gunwharf Quays Marina.
The Cascades Shopping Centre is another destination for some retail therapy. It has more than 60 shops, so you can pick up everything you need for a cruise holiday or family adventure.
For souvenirs of Portsmouth, visit the gift shop at a museum or attraction on your way out. At the Spinnaker Tower, you can book a Portsmouth Sightseeing Treasure Hunt which will take you around the city's main sights.