Whether you arrive by air at Porto’s modern Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport or at Campanhã Station on the three-hour, high-speed Alfa Pendular train from Lisbon, the relatively new Metro Line E is the best way into the city. The violet line opened in 2006, and its fast and stylish trains are a good introduction to Porto, where 13th- and 14th-century buildings coexist with ultra-modern, über-designed cultural venues; a dazzling public art installation; and an array of hip, new shops.
For a day in Porto, also known as Oporto, start by visiting the city’s Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art at Rua Dom João de Castro 210, a beautiful, modernist structure designed by noted Porto architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Opened in 1999 on the grounds of a large estate, the museum offers vibrant contemporary paintings, photographs and modern graphic designs by Portuguese and European artists in an ever-changing display of rotating exhibitions.
From the museum, take a taxi downtown to A Vida Portuguesa, a trendy shop on the second floor of an 1866 fabric store at Rua Galeria de Paris 20 — but first ask your driver to make a short detour to the Matosinhos neighborhood to view American artist Janet Echelman’s outdoor sculpture She Changes. This huge, billowy mesh net, supported with steel poles as tall as 150 feet, changes shape and colors as the salt air blows through from the Atlantic Ocean just a block away. The sculpture has been an iconic symbol of modern Porto since its 2005 installation.
At the beautifully designed A Vida Portuguesa, there are Portuguese textiles, toiletries and woven puchandos bags made in northern Portugal. Walk down steep streets toward the Douro River, stopping at Retrosaria das Flores (Rua das Flores 104), where high-end Portuguese wool is for sale along with colorful shopping bags made of chita alcobaca, a unique Portuguese fabric printed with birds, flowers and fruit. A block from the Douro, in the city’s historic Ribeira district, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996, you will find two separate shops, part of Portosigns, a local business selling unique handmade items. The two shops, named Tradição (Tradition) and Inovação (Innovation), offer cork products, fired clay statuettes, locally designed T-shirts and Portuguese wine and tea.
For lunch, walk to the nearby Forno Velho restaurant in the new Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira, Rua do Infante Henrique 1, a business hotel opened in 2012 that consists of five restored historic buildings. The restaurant offers traditional Portuguese cuisine including grilled meat and local specialties like fried sardines, grilled octopus, salted codfish and prawns with baby squid.
Afterward, walk along the pedestrian street that parallels the Douro, a fascinating streetscape lined with historic wine cellars (Port was first exported from here in the 14th century), handicrafts shops and small galleries. The high, metal arch bridge spanning the river is the Ponte de Dom Luis I, built in 1886 by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. Take a taxi or the metro to Casa da Música, a stunning, white concrete concert hall designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Opened in 2005 as part of Porto’s urban development plan that began with the city being named European Capital of Culture in 2001, Casa da Música offers numerous classical, jazz, ballet and opera performances in its modern theater. The 4 p.m. public tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at the unique architectural features of the asymmetric building, which won the 2007 Royal Institute of British Architects award. The eclectically designed seventh-floor restaurant, named Kool after the architect, is open for lunch and dinner.
Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.
Recently, NoMo SoHo and its ownership, real estate and investment firm Sapir Corp Ltd., launched a curated NFT program, making NoMo SoHO the first hotel in the United States to offer guests an innovative way to book stays using blockchain technology.
From Aug. 9 to 17, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, will vibrate to the sound of the world’s favorite Elvis Presley tunes as Elvis Week 2022 gets underway. This year’s event will be a fun-filled mashup of tributes, concerts, special events and celebrity appearances, including actress Barbara Eden, who starred with Elvis in the 1960 film Flaming Star and became a household name for her lead role in the long-running television series I Dream of Jeannie.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
What happens when three of the six French nationals residing in San Antonio get together? If they happen to be from a long line of proud French gourmands from three different regions of the country, they take what they know and make it something proudly Texan, while still adhering to their separate and collective culinary roots. That’s exactly what happened as a result of those three — Executive Chef Laurent Réa of Strasbourg, Philippe Placé of Chartres, and Jérôme Sérot of Lyon — meeting 20 years ago.
With a network of more than 450 independent luxury advisors, Travel Edge, the North American leader in luxury travel, released a report on its findings for travel trends in 2022. No doubt the pandemic can be blamed as the main culprit behind many of these changing trends in travel, with travelers attempting to regain moments lost over the last two years.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
Nobu Barbuda is underway in the Caribbean, the newest installation to the Nobu Hospitality portfolio. The Nobu restaurant, all conceived by actor Robert DeNiro, debuted in 2021, and Nobu Barbuda’s first beach club opened this year.