Oporto’s alluring medley of visitor attractions includes the city’s former stock exchange building, the beautiful Palácio da Bolsa.

Built by merchants in the mid-19th-century on a site where the monastery of São Francisco once stood, the palace lies within the old city boundaries and as such enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. The dazzling interior reflects the wealth pouring into the city at that time, and a tour of the ornate rooms and galleries reveals a grandness and richness as extravagant as any royal palace.

Epitomizing this opulence is the incredible Salão Árabe, the Arabian Room. Inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, the magnificently gilded salon is wrapped in blue and gold Moorish-style decoration that shimmers like Aladdin’s cave.

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