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.
A deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria Feb. 6, with more than 11,000 fatalities thus far reported. That number is expected to grow as rescue operations continue.
FXExpress Traveler of the Year Contest 2023
As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to start thinking about romantic getaways to spend some quality time with your special someone. Chile has been recognized as one of most romantic destinations in South America, making it an ideal Valentine’s destination. Of course, you don’t need to wait until Valentine’s Day to make a romantic trip to Chile.
Here’s a destination some nature lovers and adventure travelers may still not have on their radars: the northernmost Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Visitors can explore endless dunes via horseback or camel, then settle into an Al Wadi Desert camp such as Sonara, where experiences include entertainment and dining beneath star-filled skies.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
On game day, Super Bowl host cities stand to gain almost as much as the teams competing on the field, if not more. The game can mean hundreds of millions of dollars in the days leading up to, during and immediately after the game, but it can also have an economic impact that lasts for years.
According to Allianz Partners USA’s recent Top Valentine’s Day Destinations report, searches for Valentine’s Day travel plans jumped by 45 percent this year, compared to last year. To conduct the survey, Allianz reviewed more than 700,000 itineraries for round-trip flights departing U.S. airport Feb. 2–6, with a return Feb. 9–13, finding 71 percent of itineraries are for domestic travel and 29 percent are for international trips.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes to life at night. Translating to “good airs” or “fair winds,” Buenos Aires is an autonomous district filled to the brim with eclectic European architecture and a rich cultural life. The multicultural city, a melting pot of language, history, incredible food and music, comes to life at night. When you travel to Buenos Aires, be prepared to eat late, choose from hundreds of restaurants and thousands of bars and clubs, and dance beyond dawn. The city’s nightlife, as varied as it is intense, allows you to dance to whatever rhythm takes your fancy. A city that oozes sex appeal, it proves dynamic and passionate, and the beauty and rhythm will get under your skin for an amazing trip.