23 best places to go in Spain and Portugal in 2023, according to Condé Nast Traveler editors

This little corner of Europe, nestled above Portugal in the northeast corner of Spain, has long been described as “the end of the world”. Recently, however, he’s starting to feel closer to being center stage. One of the changes is noticeable even after a short walk: the streets are increasingly filled with people of different nationalities, speaking differently languages, and wearing different clothes. Ask any of them why they are in La Coruña, and the likely answer is “to work”. Ask where they work and what you’ll get in response is likely a gesture to the west and the nearby town of Arteixo, where Inditex is headquartered. (Even if you don’t recognize Inditex as the name of a huge multinational clothing company, you’re probably familiar with some of its brands, including Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti.)

The increasingly cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Galician city is manifested not only by strolling its streets, but also by exploring the cultural offer of its museums and art galleries. One of the most important cultural initiatives has a link with Inditex via Marta Ortega Pérez, who is both the new president of Inditex and the president of a foundation that bears her initials. The MOP Foundation is structured around three pillars: La Coruña, photography and fashion. Last year it hosted the successful exhibition Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories seen by 110,000 visitors.

“After this success, it was clear that we had to organize another exhibition,” explains Leticia Castromil, exhibition coordinator for the MOP Foundation. “We couldn’t stop there.” End of November 2022, Steven Meisel 1993 A year in photographs opened its doors and the free exhibition will continue until May 1, 2023. The show takes place in a building in the city’s port, the Muelle de la Batería. Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk and Christy Turlington were among the fashion stars who attended the opening. “The exhibition space is an old industrial building next to the port. It is located in an area near the city center that had been closed to the public. Thanks to this initiative, part of another quay is once again accessible and people can walk around it,” adds Castromil.

In addition to the Meisel exhibition, 2023 includes a milestone for a former resident of La Coruña. Pablo Picasso, who lived in the city between the ages of 9 and 13, died 50 years ago. “Keep doing what you are doing and never doubt you will achieve fame and a bright future,” a review published in The Voice of Galicia said after seeing an exhibition of an early Picasso when he was just 13.

All year long Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 a series of events and activities will take place around the world. In the region where the young genius spent four years of training, the center of the celebration is the Casa Museo Picasso. The Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña will be the host Picasso, Blanco and the Recuerdo Azul (“Picasso, white in blue memory”) from March 24 to June 23, 2023. The Fundación Luis Seoane will organize a show about the women who shaped the life of Picasso and the School of Art and Superior by Designer Pablo Picasso also organizes events to mark this anniversary.

Besides the rich cultural scene, there is also an impressive gastronomic scene, led by Árbore da Veira, Omakase, Bido, Taberna de Miga, NaDo, Terreo and Salitre. You’ll find specialty cafes, wine bars, cocktail lounges, pottery workshops, bookstores and design shops as you wander through the city. All this, with the Atlantic as a backdrop reminding us that if the world was once doomed, today it is a place where new adventures begin. —CM

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