When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
TAP Air Portugal flies to Lisbon from all 10 of its North American gateways, after all. But, from Newark, you may also choose to fly non-stop to Porto, the country’s second city, fast becoming as popular as its bigger sister.
Porto is actually two destinations in one, divided by the majestic Douro River. Porto itself is on one side of the river while Vila Nova de Gaia, home to the area’s port makers and the popular new World of Wine attraction, awaits on the other side of the river, easily accessible by foot on the Dom Luis I Bridge.
Porto is a city made for photographers. And the best way to see it is by foot — especially the riverfront. (The tram is perhaps more helpful for Porto’s hills.)
The Ribeira (riverfront) walk takes in many historic buildings, dappled with terracotta roofs against the bustling Douro River. Keep an eye out for the beautiful blue azulejo tiles everywhere, first brought to Portugal from Seville in the 15th century by King Manuel I.
While visiting, don’t forget to:
Take a sightseeing cruise down the Douro River, along the old route once used by wine merchants transporting Port from the Douro valley to the cellars, passing under the famous Gustav Eiffel-designed Dom Luis I Bridge.
Eat as many Pasteis de Nata as possible. Legend has it frugal Portuguese nuns who had left-over yolks after using egg whites as starch created the famous egg custard tart.
Discover the Baixa and Bolhao districts. These are some of Porto’s most historic areas. Stroll the picturesque, cobblestone streets and enjoy getting lost in the beauty of Porto as you stumble across some of the city’s most popular attractions, including Mercado do Bolhão, Majestic Cafe, Rua Santa Catarina and Palácio do Bolsa.
Challenge yourself to eat Porto’s famous sandwich, the Francesinha. You’ll have walked off the breakfast calories and earned a hearty lunchtime reward. Porto’s famous Francesinha is filled with thick steak, sausage and ham, topped with melted cheese, and then covered in a tomato-based sauce and topped with an egg. It’s quite a meal, or worth splitting with a friend.
Visit Livrario Lello, Porto’s Harry Potter library. It’s said this bookstore inspired JK Rowling’s Hogwarts after she spent two years living in Porto teaching English. Designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves in a Neo-Gothic style, the bookstore was inaugurated by the Lello brothers in 1906. With intricately carved Gothic wood-paneling, a grand curving staircase, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a stained-glass skylight, it’s been a big hit and a must-see for Harry Potter fans.
Explore the World of Wine. The Douro Valley has produced Port since the 17th century. Nowadays, the region is protected as the world’s only true Port wine producer. Across the bridge from Porto, on the Vila Nova de Gaia side, lies the area’s best and most popular Port houses, an easy walk to visit all of them. But, up the hill from the riverfront, is also a new attraction, World of Wine, with 12 dining venues and a maze of port caves.
There may not be snow in Los Angeles this season, but Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is certainly full of the holiday spirit, with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s events happening in the hotel’s gorgeous event spaces.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) believes business travel is a fundamental force for good and brings the industry together to connect, innovate and set new standards. With members from across the globe, GBTA engages the many voices of business travel to build a collective future, providing a platform for buyers and suppliers to come together, connect with peers, grow their network and shape the future of the industry.
Everyone loves a good Christmas tree, but these iconic hotels around the world take it one step further with designer-styled trees illuminating lobbies and public spaces, wowing all who enter. From Lela Rose to Louis Vuitton, don’t miss these ultra-luxury trees redefining tree decorating as we know it.
In addition to intimate settings, smaller staff-to-passenger ratios, and personalized food and beverage options, river cruises have the advantage of providing a deeper dive into a region’s culture, food and history. The Rhine, Rhône and Danube in Europe and the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence in North America have much to offer travelers with their itineraries, tying together beloved cities and lesser-known destinations along their routes.
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
With the holidays right around the corner, travelers are preparing for holiday travels. For those looking for a last-minute getaway filled with holiday cheer, consider Croatia. With a variety of winter activities perfect for travelers and locals alike, the Christmas countdown in Croatia is in full swing. Leading up to Christmas, Advent in Croatia makes it even more worth your while to visit the country with free winter incentives. If you plan on visiting Croatia, here are five cities going all out for the holiday season: