FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Discover Architecture, Art And Ambience In Porto

Apr 1, 2013
2013 / April 2013

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.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
Apr 24, 2024

Summer, Unplugged: Get Cozy at These Digital Detox Destinations

There is a cure for summertime blues in the digital age: Find yourself a beautiful country inn, cabin or retreat far in spirit from the maddening crowds and distractions of daily life. Next, unplug, relax and don’t look back.

Tips to Plan a Destination Event Worth the Trip

It's time to shake things up and inject some serious excitement into your next gathering. Whether  planning a corporate conference, black-tie gala or milestone celebration, choosing the right venue can make all the difference. City Winery shares some tips to make your next gathering a rockin' success.

eFlyer Reviews
Apr 24, 2024

Fairfield by Marriott Phnom Penh Review

Phnom Penh as we imagined it stretches beneath us: a picturesque, low-rise mix of Southeast Asian and French Colonial styles. When the inhabitants of those buildings look back at us here in the Fairfield by Marriott hotel in Chip Mong Tower, they see the future.

Apr 24, 2024

Wolf by Vanderpump Opens at Harveys Lake Tahoe

Lisa Vanderpump, TV star and restaurateur, recently opened her newest restaurant, Wolf by Vanderpump at Harveys Lake Tahoe, in partnership with Caesars Entertainment. To commemorate the occasion, Vanderpump hosted a star-studded opening and surprised guests with an extravagant “white carpet” arrival with her dog, Marky.


There’s more to travel than just getting there.

eFlyer News
Apr 24, 2024

World of Hyatt Members Can Now Earn Points at Mr. and Mrs. Smith Properties Worldwide

Starting today, World of Hyatt members can now earn and redeem points at a collection of more than 700 boutique and luxury hotels and villas around the globe with Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The luxury travel platform was acquired by Hyatt in 2023 and brings even more world-class properties and amenities to World of Hyatt guests than ever before.

Apr 24, 2024

Four Seasons Yachts Unveils Inaugural Itineraries

Four Seasons Yachts prepares for its inaugural season by unveiling the first 10 of its unique voyages in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Apr 23, 2024

6 Wellness Experiences to Try Around the World from Four Seasons

Plan a wellness-focused getaway at one of these Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts around the world.