Posts About 'Porto (Oporto)'

New Places to See in Lisbon Before You Die

Monday, February 6th, 2012

1000 Places to See Before You DieThe best-selling book “1000 Places to See Before You Die” by author Patricia Schultz inspired countless other copycat “…before you…” publications but it is still the original ultimate “traveler’s life list.” It was first published in 2003 and has recently been updated. A major update is for Portugal and especially Lisbon (“one of Europe’s most alluring capitals”), which now has three “must see” museums. The first book only listed the Gulbenkian but it now highlights “great museums of three collectors.” Those are the Gulbenkian, the Berardo Museum (opened in 2007) and MuDe (design and fashion museum opened in 2009). All three showcase “awe-inspiring gifts” from different collectors (Calouste Gulbenkian, Joe Berardo and Francisco Capelo) who “enriched the city with magnificent museums.”

Another Lisbon addition is Alfama, the “ancient neighborhood where history and Fado live,” and back on the list are Sintra (“the summer resort of palaces and castles”) and Obidos, “the town that belonged to the queens of Portugal.” Other places to see in Portugal “before you die” are the “hilltop castles” in the “ancient border towns” of Estremoz and Marvão, the “open-air museum of Portuguese architecture” that is the city of Evora, the “pleasure palace” of the Buçaco forest, and Madeira, “the pearl of the Atlantic.” New on the list is Porto and the Douro Valley, where “there’s magic in the air.”

After Portugal, you have other 991 places left to see around the world, and many of them are Portuguese-built, from “one of the world’s greatest enclaves of Baroque architecture” that is Brazil’s Ouro Preto to long-forgotten constructions like Ghana’s Elmina Castle.
Perhaps in a future edition the author will also discover Portugal’s Azores, the Coa Valley or the promontory of Sagres, all with a must-feel/must-see mystical atmosphere.

6 Recommended Restaurants for Porto Restaurant Week

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Porto Restaurant WeekIf you’re in Lisbon from October 20th to November 2nd, you’ll want to hop on the train to Porto. That’s when the Restaurant Week of Portugal’s second city takes place, offering the opportunity to try some of the finest restaurants in town at special prices. One euro per person will be donated to charity so you’ll also be contributing to a good cause. In this edition there are over two dozen participating restaurants, and we’re recommending six of them where you’ll be able to try different flavors, from Portugal to Japan:

ARTEMÍSIA – International cuisine.
FOZ VELHA – International cuisine
GÓSHÃ’ – Japanese cuisine
GREAT – Mediterranean cuisine
PORTUCALE – Portuguese cuisine
SESSENTA SETENTA – International cuisine

5 Reasons to Go to Porto this Summer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

When in Lisbon, many travelers choose to then move on to the beaches of Algarve while others head north to the country’s second city, Porto. This summer you should go for the second option, as it also offers beaches nearby together with a major cultural renaissance. Here are the five main reasons to go now.

Café Astoria, Porto
Café Astória

There’s a new “wine hotel” that’s not only one of Porto’s top accommodation choices but also one of Portugal’s best. Facing the city’s majestic skyline on the other side of the river, The Yeatman‘s inspiration is the famous wine that Porto is famous for. In addition to the luxury of the rooms, it also offers a wonderful spa and restaurant. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you may experience its refined gastronomic choices at the Yeatman Restaurant. Outside, you’ll find countless centuries-old wineries offering free guided tours and wine tastings.

Downtown Porto (including the monumental Avenida dos Aliados) has undergone a major renovation over the past few years and is now a vibrant area at any time of the day. A new InterContinental hotel just opened a few days ago in a palace facing the city’s main avenue, and several café terraces and bars have given downtown a lively ambience. The new hotel also brought back to life an old café in the same building (Café Astória), and other hotspots to check out on the renovated avenue include Casal Lounge and the always-popular Guarany café.

The fact that a new Marc Jacobs shop just opened in the center of the city is the latest indication that the major labels have also begun to discover Porto. But the reason to shop here is for the local products and to admire some beautiful storefronts. Many of them maintain charming turn-of-the-century façades and inside you’ll find attractive classic products or surprisingly modern and alternative pieces. One example of the classic-meets-contemporary is the Taken Urban Culture Store which recently took over one of the city’s most iconic shops. More surprises are found at Lobo Taste, home to contemporary crafts. Also worth a look is the Porto home of one of Lisbon’s most famous shops, A Vida Portuguesa, right in the center of the city. More shopping options here: Porto Shops

Head to the upscale district of Foz where the Douro meets the Atlantic and enjoy the fresh air of the sea. The brand-new Deck Foz is just one option but there are also the already-classic Praia da Luz and Homem do Leme.

End your day (or night) at the latest hotspot in the city, the rooftop terrace Zenith Lounge. It offers moonlit views of Porto and its river together with cocktails and DJ sounds. Closer to downtown, the latest buzz points to Vila Porto, a club hosting the hottest weekend parties in town.


Deck Foz, Porto
Deck Foz

The Luxury of Porto

Thursday, December 9th, 2010


The Financial Times’ monthly magazine “How to Spend It” always features a city in its “The Long Luxurious Weekend” column. Lisbon was highlighted in the February 2009 issue (as reported here: “Lisbon for a Long Luxurious Weekend“), and the December 2010 issue has chosen Porto.
The reason for the trip was the new luxury “wine hotel” The Yeatman, but the author found that the city is “increasingly home to design-savvy hotels” like the recent Hotel Teatro and the Palácio do Freixo Pousada.
In addition to the new sophisticated accommodation, the city also offers “original restaurants, world-class concert halls and chic boutiques.”
Porto is “now echoing with vibrant culture,” and among the featured attractions in the article are the Rem Koolhass-designed Casa da Musica and the Serralves Museum.
The city is also described as a “first-class walking city,” and a visit to the riverside Foz is recommended for its “signature boutiques” and “buzzing” restaurants.

The New York Times Discovers the Old and New Portugal

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Portugal in the New York Times travel section

After Portugal’s Alentejo in its lifestyle magazine earlier this week, the New York Times now highlights the north of the country in this weekend’s travel section. Titled “Portugal Old, New and Undiscovered,” the article goes through the Douro region (the World Heritage wine country) after arriving in Porto, “a city of bold, sudden architectural contrasts.” The chosen hotel was the new Pousada which for the author was a surprise to find such affordable luxury. Dining was at two of the city’s newest “glossy design showcases,” although the favorite gastronomic experiences were at the more traditional restaurants. From the city the next destination was “Portugal’s Tuscany or Piedmont,” staying in the region’s newest accommodation and trying the “superb” food at two of its restaurants that pleased “immensely.” The rest of the trip was driving around this “majestic land.” Here are all the details in the full article: Portugal Old, New and Undiscovered

Lisbon’s Most Charming Shop Now Also in Porto

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Loja A Vida Portuguesa, Porto
Photo: Filipe Paiva, “i

Lisbon’s “A Vida Portuguesa” became a favorite of every Lisbon travel guide soon after it opened and is now a shop that no tourist misses. However, its success is also in large part due to the Lisboetas themselves who nostalgically go there looking for the authentic Portuguese products from the past and present that are difficult to find elsewhere. Its popularity inevitably would lead to the opening of a second shop, and the city of Porto was the most obvious choice. It has been reported that owner Catarina Portas took more than two years to find the perfect place in Portugal’s second city, and has finally done it in the downtown district. It just opened on the corner of Rua Galeria de Paris and Rua das Carmelitas, in a former textiles shop, on the first floor (second floor in American terms), as there is another shop on the ground level. It will soon take over the floor above that, which will make Porto’s shop bigger than Lisbon’s.
Just like in Lisbon, most of the products are straight out of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s, ranging from toothpaste to soaps, pencils, and coffee. Their retro packaging is what attracts most shoppers and make practically every product the perfect gift for those already familiar with Portuguese culture and those just curious about it.

Address: Rua Galeria de Paris, 20 (Porto).
Tel. 222 022 105.
Open every day except Sundays; 10AM-8PM

Visiting Portugal’s Newest Pousada: Palacio do Freixo in Porto

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Pousada do Porto, Palacio do Freixo Hotel

If you’re taking our recommendation and going to Porto during its restaurant week, be sure to also consider a visit or a stay in the city’s newest hotel and attraction — Palacio do Freixo Hotel. Classified as a national monument, this baroque palace was recently renovated to become a Pousada (the special chain of Portuguese hotels in historical buildings or atmospheric areas), and is now open to guests and those curious about the monumental building.

Non-guests may also dine at its excellent restaurant (which, incidentally, is participating in the Porto Restaurant Week), and admire the beautiful architectural details of the façade and interior.

This is the largest of all Pousadas, offering 87 rooms accessed through a grand entrance. Past the reception is a business center and a chapel, as well as the “Hall of Mirrors” which is connected to the bar. There is also an area devoted to wine tastings (you’re in Porto, after all), and of course the restaurant serving refined dishes of Portuguese cuisine.

As you pass through these different spaces you’ll see painted ceilings and walls, satins, and wooden floors. You’ll also want to look for the indoor pool with a spa, as well as the terrace and gardens outside offering river views.
In the rooms you’ll find classic Portuguese furnishings mixed with contemporary decorative pieces, meaning Baroque or 19th century chairs and fine Portuguese porcelain together with works by local contemporary artists.
In the end, you’ll see that the 10-million-euro investment was a reasonable price to pay when the result is providing one of the most memorable experiences in the beautiful city of Porto.

Get complete details, including booking information here: Pousada do Porto – Palacio do Freixo Hotel


Porto Restaurant Week – The Perfect Excuse For A Trip to Porto

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Porto Restaurant WeekAfter Lisbon, it is now Porto‘s turn to have its own Restaurant Week. It’s the first time that the capital of the north of Portugal hosts this event, so now is the perfect opportunity to not only get to know this beautiful city by the Douro River but also savor top-quality gastronomy at more affordable prices. Just like in Lisbon, the participating restaurants have created special menus of just 20 euros (without drinks), of which, one euro will be given to charity.
Porto Restaurant Week is happening right now, and lasts until the 31st of the month. Among the participating restaurants are Artemísia, Bull & Bear, Cafeína, Foz Velha, Góshò, Itamae, Le Coin, Portucale, and Sessenta Setenta, all recommended in our Porto Restaurants Guide, part of, the complete Porto City and Hotels Guide.

Porto is One of the “World’s Sexiest Affordable Destinations,” Says Travel & Leisure Magazine

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Porto article in Travel & Leisure Magazine

The October issue of the American “Travel & Leisure” magazine lists what it calls “the world’s sexiest affordable destinations” for this year, and one of the nineteen choices is Porto. Portugal’s second-largest city stands out at the moment for the “21st century design” in its “medieval landscape” by world-renowned architects, such as Rem Koolhaas’ Casa da Musica and Alvaro Siza Vieira’s Serralves Contemporary Art Museum. The magazine suggests a stay at the Pestana Porto Hotel which overlooks the Douro River, and recommends the seaside Shis restaurant for an Asian-Portuguese meal. A couple of other suggestions are the classic and historical landmarks that are the Majestic café and the Lello & Irmão bookshop.

If you want to find out more about these attractions, be sure to check out the Go Oporto website, which has just been completely updated, listing more restaurants, hotels, hostels, shops, and all that’s hot in Portugal’s increasingly-cool city.

Another Portugal-related article in the October issue of Travel & Leisure is one entitled “Exploring Goa’s Glamour,” which highlights some of the best of the former Portuguese colony in India, saying that “on India’s west coast, travelers can find rugged beaches, Portuguese-inspired architecture, and a handful of impeccable hideaways.”

Lisbon is the Setting of Upcoming Brad Pitt and Al Pacino Movie

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Brad PittAs GoLisbon previously reported, Hollywood has a new home in Portugal, and this week it was announced that a new movie starring Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, and Penelope Cruz will be filmed around Portugal next year. Most of the scenes will be shot in Algarve, but will also move up the country to Lisbon, Porto, and Aveiro. It’s a remake of the classic “Le Mans” which starred Steve McQueen in 1971, and this time it will be directed by Wolfgang Peterson who directed 2004’s “Troy”. The scheduled dates for filming are the month of August, as the script is still being worked on at the moment. The total budget for this film is 52 million dollars and is expected to have a crew of 600.
Another production planned for Portugal is a movie starring Richard Gere playing the role of Aristides Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese diplomat who allowed over 30,000 Jews to escape the Nazis during WWII. Other productions include a vampire thriller with Kevin Bacon, a science-fiction film starring Sigouney Weaver, a western with Val Kilmer as the star, and a Larry Cohen thriller starring Ethan Hawke.