Fodor's Expert Review Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
Inaugurated in 1793, this grand neoclassical theater was inspired by classics from Naples and Milan. You have to see the main hall to appreciate the building's splendor. The stage itself is rather plain, but the five tiers of private boxes on either side draw the eye to the domed royal box, awash with gold leaf and held aloft by soaring columns. Two cherubs hold aloft the royal coat of arms. Originally an opera house, the space is now home to the Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra and hosts music and dance performances. Book guided tours in advance.