A new cultural and tourist hub has opened in Porto to bring people together to celebrate the city's many charms, namely great food and great wine. Called the World of Wine (naturally), the visitor attraction has been five years in-the-making but is now finally ready to welcome guests.
With its Unesco World Heritage Site center, bustling streets, riverside bars, Art Nouveau architecture and centuries-old trade in port wine, every turn in Porto reveals a different story. Now a new visitor attraction is attempting to tie those tales together. Known as World of Wine (WOW) or Porto's Wine District, the attraction opened its doors in August after five years of planning and consists of six interactive museums, nine restaurants, bars and cafes, which were created from the restoration of the city's old port wine cellars.
Centrally located on the south bank of the Duoro River, the space boasts impressive open-air views of one of Porto's most striking sights, the Dom Luís I Bridge. It's one of the largest tourism projects to launch in Europe this year and through its museums it showcases the city's wine, cork, fashion, textile and chocolate traditions in a way that's entertaining to visitors of all ages, even little ones, with immersive exhibits, historical artefacts and exhibits that look like they were pulled straight from movie sets.
Porto has long been synonymous with port wine but visitors can explore the many different styles of Portuguese wine through the center's Wine Experience museum, which will tell you all you need to know about red, wine, sparkling and even green wine (best known for its fizz). Most importantly, there are wine tastings available for adults so they can test their knowledge by the glass.
Additional museums in WOW trace the story of Porto from its early beginnings right through to present-day, while the rest will focus on Portugal's major industries including chocolate (there are tastings here too) and cork. Another museum, the sixth, is slated to open in November, and will showcase design work from the country's best fashion, textile and jewelry designers, as well as providing exhibition space to emerging local designers. The icing on the cake is the open-air space up top where families and friends can gather (at a safe distance) to enjoy food and drink while taking in the story-book views of Porto.
Tickets to WOW start from €7 for children and from €14 for adults. For more information, see here.
Portugal opened its borders to tourists from within the European Union, the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom in July. Visitors from low-risk countries outside of these zones such as Canada, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea are also permitted to visit. Travel restrictions are still in place for US visitors. For up-to-date information, check your government's travel policy.