A symbol of Portugal’s illustrious wine making heritage and a captivating swirl of medieval, Baroque and 19th century grandeur, Porto makes her stately home at the end of the mighty Douro River. An ancient city birthed from a confluence of Celtic and Roman cultures, Porto abounds with alluring charms, from the historic Port lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia and the series of elegant bridges that traverse the Douro, to ornate cathedrals and sloping cobblestone neighborhoods with colorfully tiled facades. A vibrant community and inviting must see districts make Porto one of Europe’s most unexpected urban gems, just waiting to be explored.
São Bento Railway Station
A 20th century jewel box of design in Porto’s historic center, São Bento Railway Station is not only the city’s central railway station but one of its most stunning artistic triumphs. Imagined by architect José Marques da Silva, the heart of the three-level beaux-arts building is an enchanting ground level vestibule adorned with 20,000 striking blue and white azulejos, hand painted by master artist Jorge Colaço. A feast for the eyes, moments from Portuguese history are memorialized in the station’s series of elaborate glazed tiles, from scenes depicting infamous battles and portraits of nobility, to pastoral settings and moments capturing everyday working life in the region.
A notable source of inspiration for Harry Potter author JK Rowling while residing…