The Europe has voted and chosen Porto as the Best European Destination 2017. This is the third time that Porto has the honour of being distinguished with the prestigious title of the best European destination, the city has previously won the title in 2012 and 2014. If you don’t know the city, this is the perfect time to discover Porto and to get mesmerised by the city and its people.
The monumental and artistic heritage of Porto city, the Port Wine, the traditional coffees, and restaurants, as well as the open-air leisure spaces and the cultural life are some of the good reasons to visit Porto.
The historic centre of the city was considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. From Juri’s point of view, “the site is of outstanding universal value as the urban fabric and its many historic buildings bear remarkable testimony to the development over the past thousand years of a European city that looks outward to the west for its cultural and commercial links.”
Built along the hillsides of the Douro river, the Porto city is an outstanding urban landscape with over 2000 years of history. An ancient yet modern city that breaths culture and tradition combined with creativity and contemporaneity; and the architecture is the perfect example of that!
One of the historical buildings of the city is the Clérigos Tower, designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, with 76 metres, where visitors have to climb a spiral staircase with 240 steps to enjoy a breathtaking view over the whole city. The gorgeous monument includes a completely restored church, with beautiful gilded carvings, among other religious relics, and two museums.
São Bento Train Station is another main attraction where you can contemplate more than 2000 hand painted tiles, reflecting one of the most Portuguese traditional arts.
In contrast, Casa da Musica is the example of a modern and contemporary architecture which was designed by the prestigious Rem Koolhaas from the Rotterdam-based OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture). “Revealing all his proficiency and genius in this metamorphosis, Casa da Musica translates into a statement of style, an aesthetic convention, an iconic mark of the architect,” Casa da Música.
The building was designed exclusively dedicated to music, either in public performances or in the field of artistic training and creation, reinventing the traditional concert hall while providing a truly unique experience.
From outside, the building has a shoe box shape that some people have described as something like a meteorite landed in the middle of the city since it’s located on the city’s main avenue, Avenida da Boavista, that stretches for 7km toward the sea.
Porto city also offers an excellent experience for design lovers that consists of a living showroom, which is constantly updated with the new products designed by the eight luxury brands that are under the umbrella of Covet House. So, you can enjoy an incredible design experience surrounded by luxury lighting and furniture designed by Boca do Lobo, DelightFULL, Koket, Brabbu, Essential Home, Luxxu, Maison Valentina and Circu.
In the meantime, you can visit the Vogue café, located inside the Infante Sagres Hotel, which is one of the most luxury properties in Porto, right in the heart of the centre city. Inside the hotel, you will have an excellent opportunity to discover some astonishing interior design pieces created by Boca do Lobo, such as the outstanding Diamond Sideboard.
At the Ribeira, you have access to the most popular night spots, wine bars, restaurants and a unique view to the Port Wine cellars on the other side of the Douro river.