PORTO – EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATION 2012
Porto is exceptional. In more ways than one. Elected Best European Destination 2012 by the european citizens, Porto, the “Cidade Invicta” (unvanquished city) is history, is architecture, culture, gastronomy, trade, encounters and discoveries.
Porto has all the charm of towns which happily cohabit with their river. You can stroll along the River Douro (river of gold) in the Ribeira, fly over it by helicopter or discover Porto ‘s architecture, its amazing landscapes and magnificent bridges by taking a cruise on this majestic river. Porto is also a sea city and in the briefest of time a tram will bring you to Foz do Douro’s gentle beaches face to face with the Atlantic.
Enter the sumptuously cool Palacio da Bolsa, and walk through history with Portuguese adventurers, follow the country’s trade routes and be stunned by the treasures which they brought back. Remarkable buildings such as the Sé Catédral and its terraces offer superb viewpoints over a bustle of markets, grocery stores, bars, restaurants…
Immerse yourself in culture and visit the art-deco style Fundação e Museu de Serralves(Serralves Foundation and Contemporary Art Museum) and its collection of national and international contemporary art. Check their cultural programme of concerts and workshops.
Take a stroll or a jog in the many small and large green spaces or chose to rest a while in one of Porto’s beautiful parks. All this activity will naturally have opened your appetite and you will find yourself hurrying towards places where portuguese cuisine is at its best, a starred restaurant perhaps or the little place round the corner which everyone is talking about, or the old seafood place on the waterfront.
There are many trendy areas with their own unique ambiance of top designer bars and young designers’ shops. It is of course impossible to ignore the region’s world renowned port wine in all its glorious intensely modulating versions, ruby, vintage, white and rosé. To discover their history is to unravel the history of a town open to the outside and open to trade.
Porto knows how to make you feel welcome; very likely it will conquer your heart and leave a long lasting impression. You will find it hard to leave.