Photo by Joao Paulo
Porto and the North WinelandsThe Porto and Douro Region cuts across the northern tier of Portugal, marked by the Douro River Valley and the city Porto on the Atlantic coast. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and is famous for its Port wine, which comes from the vineyards lining the river valley. The area has been designated a World Heritage Site.
Porto is also Portugal's cultural capital, with an amazing riverfront of stores, eateries and nightlife. Its rich monuments, nearby seaside towns and Port wine houses make it a wonderful place to explore.
Museu de Serralves helped spur the city’s transformation from a fine wine-producing city to a center of contemporary art and architecture. Numerous galleries now populate the Rua Miguel Bombarda in the city center. The Foz do Douro area is becoming a fashion and design Mecca. Many of the restaurants and discos along the city’s riverfront are designed by young Portuguese architects.
Porto’s Casa da Musica (House of Music) is a major performance space designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Finished in 2005, the new venue has become a city icon.
Porto also has the largest Pousada de Portugal. With 75 rooms, the Pousada do Freixo. It is the largest in Portugal’s national chain of historic hotels. It is a former noble palace, with sweeping views of the river Douro as well as extensive gardens.
The Port Wine Museum located in an 18th century warehouse explores the commercial history of the city and its famous wine.