Casa da Música
At once minimalist, iconic and daringly imaginative, the Casa da Música is the beating heart of Porto's cultural scene and the home of the Porto National Orchestra. Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas rocked the musical world with this crystalline creation – the jewel in the city's European Capital of Culture 2001 crown.
With a regal beaux arts boulevard blazing through its centre, this vibrant neighbourhood hides boutiques, old-school grocery stores, pavement cafes, and baroque churches dazzling with azulejos(hand-painted tiles) down its backstreets. This is where Porto comes to market-shop, eat and play, with the Galerias enticing party-goers to its speakeasy-style bars, slinky cocktail-sipping lounges and live-music venues after dark.
Ribeira is Porto's biggest heart-stealer. Its Unesco World Heritage maze of medieval alleys zigzags down to the Douro River and a promenade lined with slender, pastel-hued houses and hole-in-the-wall tascas (taverns), with front-row views of the spectacular Ponte de Dom Luís I and the port-wine lodges across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. Jam-packed with sights, shops and restaurants (and flocks of tourists), this historic neighbourhood is postcard Porto.
It affords spectacular views of Porto’s historic city centre and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects the two cities of Oporto and Gaia. The entire Lodge has been recently renovated by the Symington family and all its original features restored. Visitors to the Graham’s Lodge can experience the best of three centuries of craftsmanship and heritage.
Ostensibly a bookshop, but even if you’re not after books, don’t miss this exquisite 1906 neo-Gothic confection, with its lavishly carved plaster resembling wood and a stained-glass skylight. Feels magical? Its intricately wrought, curiously twisting staircase was supposedly the inspiration for the one in the Harry Potter books, which JK Rowling partly wrote in Porto while working here as an English teacher from 1991 to 1993.
Rua Mártires da Liberdade, 78
4050-011 Porto - Portugal
+351 91 21 78 131