Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal is a city of contrasts; gorgeous tiled buildings, new and ancient, lie next to rundown buildings ready to collapse. I found this charming if that makes any sense. Being a city built by the ocean the humidity puts its unforgiving print all over the city. It reminded me a lot of Venice, with the same contrasting charming look. I loved the narrow cobblestone streets lined with little stores, restaurants and neighborhood cafes. The people are friendly and welcoming making you feel less of a stranger. The trip was an all ladies trip (4 of us) and found Porto very safe, even walking around in the evening, in the dark

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Douro River

At the mouth of the Douro River, the medieval city of Porto, Portugal, is undergoing an architectural renaissance. Old World icons, such as the baroque Torre dos Clérigos bell tower that helped the city earn UNESCO status in 1996, contrast with contemporary buildings by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura. New boutiques are transforming historic streets, and upscale hotels are bringing former palaces and row houses back to life. This appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.

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