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Travel Tips Around The World

Apr 7 2017

Earthly delights: Shopping in Porto, Portugal

Set along the gorgeous Douro River, Porto, Portugal is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and a must-see for many reasons. Among the historic sites and museums, there is also magnificent shopping to be found, for everything from artisan chocolate to fine clothing. Portugal's second largest city is full of chain and specialty stores for any and every kind of product, but these are a few of our favorite spots for special souvenirs and exciting experiences.

                 

                                             The grand staircase at Livraria Lello; photo via Portugal Resident.

Can there be any doubt that Livraria Lello is the most beautiful bookstore in the world? It draws people in such numbers that there is now a charge of a few euros to even enter the store—but the fee goes towards any books you may buy! This ornate shop stays packed; go early in the day, when it's less crowded. An absolute must-see in Porto.

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Apr 22 2015

Exploring Paris' Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter of Paris is known as the heart of bohemian intellectualism—this is the area where you could once find Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus sipping Pernod and talking philosophy. Though it is now largely a tourist area, it still bustles with the activity of students and free spirits, and it should not be overlooked by serious travelers. It is best to explore this section of the city as a flaneur—wander the streets, see the people, stop into any cafe or bookstore that interests you. This is one of those areas that is meant to be seen without the heavy burden of sightseeing—though it is close to Notre Dame and the excellent Archaeological Crypt of Parvis of Notre Dame. Try to spend at least an afternoon in the Quartier Latin. To get you started, here are a few of our favorite spots.

The Cluny Museum. This museum focuses on all things medieval, and that goes for everything from its structure (it's a former cloister built in the 15th century atop the ruins of the former Roman baths) to its contents. A standout museum in Paris, it is the perfect spot for art and history lovers. There you can see The Lady and the Unicorn, perhaps the most famous tapestry ever created.

                           

                                 The Lady and The Unicorn tapestry; photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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