Holiday Homes in Porto, Portugal: We scout out the bargains; Keith Perry; City A.M.

Portugal – Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar

The snaking queues of tourists outside Porto’s 19th century Livraria Lello bookstore are not people seeking a good read.

They’re tourists wanting to glimpse the second floor café where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone while raising her daughter and teaching English in the City.

Potter fans believe the shop’s spiral art nouveau staircase and beautifully carved bookcases inspired Rowling’s fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It’s a new brand of tourism magic for Portugal’s second-biggest city, which in the past relied on its beautiful scenery to attract visitors. It is also famous for its port producing – a happy consequence of Portuguese wine producers adding brandy to wine bound for England to stop it fermenting.

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