A mix of medieval, baroque and modern, the city is forecast to be a housing hotspot
Portugal’s second-largest city has much more to offer than its famous fortified wine, port. Situated on the coast where the river Douro flows into the Atlantic, Porto offers history, spectacular scenery and some of the best of Portuguese cuisine.
Central Porto was classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996 and is known for its medieval buildings and gilt wood-decorated baroque churches. A stroll through the city’s cobbled streets might take you past the neo-gothic Livraria Lello & Irmão, one of Portugal’s oldest bookshops, founded in 1881 and in its current form since 1906. The library-esque bookshop combines art nouveau and art deco styles as designed by 19th-century engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves, and attracts both tourists and locals.
However, the city is far from stuck in the past. Recent architectural additions include the impressive, angular Casa da Música, Porto’s modern concert hall. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the white concrete building opened in 2005 and today its 1,238-seat and 300-seat auditoriums host four in-house ensembles.