For years, Porto’s motto was, in essence, “You’ve tried the wine; now try the city!” But these days Portugal’s second-largest metropolis — an attractively faded hillside city of venerable town houses and Baroque churches — no longer needs to coast on the reputation of its famous digestif. A jam-packed new night-life district is taking shape, and a blossoming creative scene features everything from an upstart design center to the avant-garde Rem Koolhaas-designed Casa de Música, a stunning concert space. And there’s great news for oenophiles as well. With the Douro region’s emergence as a hotbed of prize-winning red wines — not just port — Porto (also known as Oporto) can now intoxicate you with myriad vintages, new ambitious restaurants and even wine-themed hotels.
By Seth Sherwood (The New York Times)