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Sharon McCloskey's Spain & portugal

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Porto, Portugal
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...
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Ategorrieta Hiribidea, 61, 20013 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Villa Soro is one of San Sebastián's most interesting high-end options for a night's stay. Housed in a 19th-century villa, it's got all the trappings: a luxe living room, a garden, and even a cocktail bar. A noise-free, beautiful and relaxing...
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Mount Ulia, 20013, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Most visitors never cross the river from the Old Part, and the vast majority overlook what has to be one of the most beautiful hikes from here to California. At the edge of Gros, a trail heads up some stairs (at the end of Calle San Francisco) and...
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Iberia
We walked to the end of the La Concha beach in San Sebastian and stumbled upon these "Wind Combs" by Eduardo Chillida. Not only are they placed in an amazing setting, but their installation was truly a feat of engineering.
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Zurríola Hiribidea, 24, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián, for many, is a surf town. Pukas is your one-stop shop for everything from surf lessons, bikinis, gear, and cool souvenirs with a local twist, like their trademark 'Surfing the Basque Country' t-shirts.
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Guipuzkoa Plaza, 14, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Bideluze hits all the right notes. There's nothing artisan or hoity-toity about it. Just a good, comfortable Irish pub style vibe, with pintxos that are big enough to qualify as sandwiches and a kitchen open all day long. Mornings in Bideluze are...
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Kontxa Pasealekua, S/N, 20007 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Café de La Concha is a perfectly satisfactory café for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, what it does really well is sit smack dab in the middle of La Concha Beach. This means there is no place more picturesque to take a morning coffee than...
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Soraluze Kalea, 1 bajo, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Café Artess is one of the city's best people-watching spots. It's spacious, with high ceilings, and locals flock there to play cards in the afternoon. It also has ample outdoor seating that looks out onto an agreeable plaza. A wide selection of...
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Zabaleta Kalea, 55, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
La Guinda is quite unassuming, but its baked goods are among the city's best. They have a selection of typically "American" items, such as carrot cake, as well as alfajores, the Argentinian sweet. Their lunch menu is decent and decently priced,...
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Andia Kalea, 11, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
People dream of European bakeries, lining the city streets, emitting delicious smells day in and day out. However, the truth is, in Spain a good bakery can be hard to find. Gogoko Goxuak is the newest addition to San Sebastián's café scene. They...
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703, Rua da Boavista, 4050-110 Porto, Portugal
I thought Lisbon was the most beautiful city in Portugal, till I got to Porto. If you are looking for a weekend destination in Europe, Porto is a great option. It had all the right ingredients for a perfect long weekend or a short vacation in...
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Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto, Portugal
If you are looking for a great view over the city, consider visiting Porto Cathedral, or Sé do Porto. Its long history and stunning architecture, make it a must see location to visit. When I climbed to the top of the hill where the Cathedral is...
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Praça Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal
Might be one of the most beautiful train stations in the World, Sao Bento Railway Station was opened to the public in 1916 and is well known for its walls covered with 20,000 splendid azulejo ceramic tiles which describe the History of Portugal....
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4050-256 Porto, Portugal
Casa da Música, designed by Rem Koolhaas, is the first building built in Portugal which is dedicated entirely to music in various aspects; presentation of music (concerts), education of music and creation of music. The building was intended to be...
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Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre 62, 4050-259 Porto, Portugal
Book Restaurant (which is next door to Infante Sagres hotel) is designed as a library as well and reflects the connection between literature and gastronomy in a very contemporary way. The architect is Pedro Trindade and the chef is John Mendes...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
The Rua Santa Caterina is the most important shopping street in Oporto. It is a pedestrian street which is closed to traffic. Along the Rua Caterina you will find the Mercado Bolhao which is a lively market with many shops to delight the market...
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Largo Miguel Bombarda, 4430-999 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
There are many great restaurants in Porto, but not everyone has the best or at least the great view. De Castro Gaia Restaurant is located in The Porto Cruz Space just acros the river of Porto. The chef Miguel Castro Silva, unites the Porto Cruz...
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Adiskidetasun Kalea, 2, 48001 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
The Begona is a traveler's delight. Centrally located close to mass transit, restaurants, bars, culture and the sheer beauty of Bilbao. We spent three nights in this clean, cozy pension where the staff were spot on with recommendations and...
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Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa, Portugal
In the 20th century, the Church of Santa Engrácia was converted into the national pantheon, in which important Portuguese personalities are buried. The first stone of the present building was placed in 1682; it was the first baroque-style building...
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1100-470 Lisbon, Portugal
One of the first commercial buildings in Portugal that uses two kinds of material characteristic in Europe in the second half of XIX century: iron and glass. The project was developed by the architect Emiliano Augusto de Bettencourt and it was...
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R. do Vigário, 1100-502 Lisboa, Portugal
To get to know the neighborhood and its daily life, nothing beats a stroll through Alfama's streets. It is the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon. Here you might see two women chatting at the window (well, screaming) while...
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R. 1º de Dezembro, 1249-970 Lisboa, Portugal
The Rossio railway station was designed between 1886 and 1887 by Portuguese architect José Luís Monteiro. It makes connections with the village of Sintra, and the 2,600-meter tunnel was excavated under the city. It is considered one of...
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Av. da Liberdade 138-142, 1250-001 Lisboa, Portugal
On Liberdade Avenue, amid famous designer stores, sits this five-star hotel. Each room is decorated in white and black with Victorian-inspired details. Enjoy one of the many sunny days in Lisbon, sitting outside in the terrace.
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R. São Tomé, 1100-563 Lisboa, Portugal
Santa Luzia offers you a panoramic view over Alfama, where you can make out the Alfama labyrinth. From here, you can see Santa Engrácia Dome (also known as National Pantheon), Santo Estevão Church, and the two white towers from São Miguel Church....
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Teatro Nacional D. Maria II The theatre opens doors in the year 1846, during the celebrations of the 27th anniversary of D. Maria II. The architect was the Italian Fortunato Lodi. A fire of big proportions in 1964, destroys the interior of the...
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Av. da Liberdade, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal
The Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon is the wide avenue in the center of town. After the earthquake of 1755, the Minister Pombal designed the new Lisbon and for the main avenue, he used the Champs Elysees in Paris as his model. This is a beautiful...
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Praça do Comércio, 1100-148, Portugal
Located right on the river, Lisbon’s massive main square is home to a plethora of gorgeous 18th-century architecture, all built after the devastating 1755 earthquake. Its canary-yellow facades and mosaic-like cobblestones come together to...
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Praça dos Restauradores, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal
Here is a boutique Hotel with a perfect location. From here you can walk to many Lisbon attractions. Go straight through Augusta Street (main pedestrian street) and you will be at Praça do Comércio and next to the river. Go for a walk at Bairro...
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Rua da Prata 78, 1100-415 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon Lovers, here is your souvenir stop. Here you can find calendars, T-shirts, magnets, city guides, and so on. The themes are sardines or the famous tram Nº28. The business is thriving, so they now have three shops: Shop 1: Praça do Príncipe...
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Santa Justa, Lisbon, Portugal
I really like to eat in Portuguese tascas, where the food is good, cheap, and classic. And here you have a wonderful view to Rossio train station from the seats outside. After lunch you can catch a train straight to Sintra, or you can go up...
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Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisboa, Portugal
Perched on a steep hill in the lovely neighborhood of Alfama, you will in no doubt leave with a great souvenir or gift. Sellers throw down blankets or rugs in rows and sell a variety of hand-made goods, antiques, books, clothes, military objects,...
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Calçada Santana 49, 1150-301 Lisboa, Portugal
You will be served good Portuguese food by the owner, Mr. Cerqueira, and you will feel like home. He knows the locals who come here often, and he knows already what each one of them likes, making a bit of conversation with them. You can reach the...
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Open since 1905, A Brasileira was once the choice of Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet. You can sit beside him just outside, next to his bronze statue. Back in the day, this place was a hangout for writers, artists, and journalists. The...
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R. Júlio de Andrade, 1150-122 Lisboa, Portugal
A peaceful, romantic, 19th-century garden is somewhat hidden here. But it has a kiosk, esplanade, and view over Lisbon. The view includes Liberdade Avenue and its western slope, where stands the São Pedro de Alcântara vista point and also a view...
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Largo São Domingos 8, 1100-201 Lisboa, Portugal
A Ginjinha was the first establishment in Lisbon to commercialize the drink called Ginjinha. Ginjinha is a liqueur made with ginja berries, aguardiente (Portuguese brandy), sugar, water, and cinnamon. Francisco Espinheira, a Galician friar of the...
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Av. Ribeira das Naus, Lisboa, Portugal
Finally it was reopened. The Lisboetas (Lisbon people) were getting fed up with construction in this area. It’s still not 100 percent ready, but it's election year so something has to be inaugurated. Don’t worry, though, it’s still very nice to...
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Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 1100-139 Lisboa, Portugal
This square is located in the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon. Yes, typical houses, old cafes, and grocery shops can still be found here. If you hear hollering out a window, don’t worry, probably it's just someone...
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1250-096 Lisbon, Portugal
This is a romantic urban garden built in 1853 and organized around a large octagonal pond with a fountain. Below it, you can visit the Patriarchal Reservoir, designed in 1856. You'll see families with kids playing in the playground, old men...
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R. Tomás da Anunciação 62, 1350-168 Lisboa, Portugal
I love shops where you go back in time, where you can find the hot-water bottle that your grandmother used to warm the bed, or a typewriter that might have typed a novel, or love letters or cooking recipes... This couple decided to open their shop...
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nº14, Calçada Nova de São Francisco, 1200-300 Lisboa, Portugal
Fábulas is a bar, a restaurant, an art gallery—and a good place to get together. It makes you feel at home. You can choose a chair or a sofa (from different styles and periods), or you can sit at a sewing machine table (don’t worry, you don’t have...
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1250-096 Lisbon, Portugal
Jardim da Estrela is a perfect spot to take a peek at local life. The park is filled with exotic, jungle-like plants and unusual sculptures, along with locals relaxing beneath the many shady spots. Grab a coffee or cool drink at the pond-side café...
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R. do Comércio 32-38, 1100-150 Lisboa, Portugal
The Tagus River is definitely a must in Lisbon. And there are so many ways to enjoy it. You can ride a bicycle or walk in several parts—in Belém or at Parque das Nações, or under the April 25th Bridge. Join the fishermen and get some fish; sit at...