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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Discover Great Wine and Design in Porto

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3. What to Do


The Serralves Villa, originally commissioned as a private residence in the Art Deco style, now houses temporary exhibitions at the Serralves Foundation.   

Marvel at Rem Koolhaas’s Casa da Música (guided tours in English at 4 p.m. daily; $4), a music venue featuring the architect’s signature dramatic angles. Stop in to catch the resident orchestra’s free rehearsals (every other Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m) or watch the sun set through the Sala Suggia’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Check the calendar for the monthly Clubbing party ($13.50), which features an all-night soundtrack of electronic music.

Taste the best of Portuguese wines at Wine o’Clock (closed Sunday and Monday), a smart wine shop north of the city in Matosinhos, where more than half of the 2,500-strong spectrum of varietals and spirits are Portuguese. Stop by for a free wine tasting (every other Saturday at noon), or call ahead to book a tapas-paired wine session (four-person minimum; $3.40 to $17 plus wine), a gastronomic dinner (from $68), or a crash course in wine tasting (from $136).

Explore the Art Deco delights of the Serralves Villa on the grounds of the massive Serralves Foundation before stopping into the on-site Museum of Contemporary Art ($9.50 for access to museum and park), designed by Portugal’s own Pritzker Prize–winning architect Alvaro Siza. Explore the 3,300-piece collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Sol LeWitt, and then roam the 44-acre landscaped park, dotted with rose gardens, woodlands, sculptures, and art installations by the likes of Richard Serra and Claes Oldenburg.


Published on Feb 10, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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