Oporto, Portugal

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Cruising to Oporto (Porto), Portugal

The colourful tumbledown town of Porto is a world of contrasts. Cute streets lined with colourful houses are against a soaring backdrop of jaw-dropping bell-towers, while extravagant baroque churches and stately beaux-arts buildings are piled on top of one another. It's iridescence is striking, with what's on offer changing dramatically depending on which way you percieve it.
Looking at it now, you wouldn't believe signs of decay were creeping in just two decades ago. Porto has undergone a remarkable renaissance, with the installation of a new metro system and a number of new tourists attractions such as Siza Vieira’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Rem Koolhaas’ Casa da Música. These have arrived thanks to the boom in low-cost airlines over recent years that has transformed Porto into a splendid tourist destination.
If there's one aspect that everyone seems to know about this unique and special destination, it's the thriving wine scene. A long-running mecca for oenophiles pursuing fine Portuguese vintages, you can easily enter a cellar here and spend hours trying different beverages before being escorted - possibly tottering - out. Take a walk along the river Douro to get the alcohol out of your system. The vineyards stretch for miles across the velvet green hills. A delightful sight indeed, and the gentle splash from the waterway lapping up against the banks makes it all the sweeter.
Wandering through the city's charismatic streets, you'll witness extraordinary architecture and incredible sights, with must-visit attractions including the beautiful church of St Francis and the grandiose Palácio da Bolsa, which once served as the city's stock exchange. But if there's one thing you'll definitely appreciate about Porto, it's the atmosphere, which is inspiring to the young and the old alike. This picturesque city is a river cruise stop-off that you'll likely remember for the rest of your life.
Oporto (Porto), Portugal

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