So you hear the name “Portugal” and you might think castles, tradition, history! Yes, Portugal is one of the most fascinating countries to take you on a time-traveling experience, but that also means you can flash-forward.
Around Lisbon architecture enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to Lisbon’s north end, Parque das Nações. The whole area was redone for the World Fair in 1998 and now boasts a futuristic-looking train station, designer by neofuturistic architect Santiago Calatrava. Modern buildings, a concert hall that looks more like a UFO and Lisbon’s award-winning Oceanarium have added a touch of modern to one of the oldest cities in Europe. But if you want futurist 24/7 you need to stay at SANA Evolution, one of Lisbon’s most recent hotels that looks like it came straight out of sci-fi movie script.
Take Portugal’s fast Alfa train to Porto and check out Casa da Musica, designed by Rem Koolhaas. This new icon has been proclaimed "the most attractive project the architect Rem Koolhaas has ever built” by the New York Times and has attracted worldwide attention.
Now here’s a tip you will not read in the travel guides. Ready? In the northern town of Chaves, the local castle is has now a rival attraction: A local pharmacy owner went wild and hired Portuguese architect José Carlos Cruz, who went wilder and designed an oval-shaped pharmacy like Portugal has never seen before.
So anything can be innovated. Yes, even pharmacies.