14 Best Places To Visit In Portugal

Located in southern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a country that has a rich history, and a variety of beautiful places to visit. Portugal was part of a powerful maritime empire, and much of its architecture dates back to the 1500s and 1800s. The country's location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture over the years. So let's have a look at the best places to visit in Portugal.

1.Porto

Porto, Portugal Skyline over Douro River Pin

Located along the Douro River in the north of Portugal, Porto is a city of stunning architecture and cultural treasures. If you're planning a trip to Portugal, you'll want to include Porto in your Portugal itinerary. The city's landmarks and attractions have been recognized as World Heritage Sites. And if you love wine, you'll also want to spend some time in the area's wine country.

The Porto Cathedral is the city's oldest structure. It was built in the 18th century and the interior includes a 14th-century gothic cloister and a beautiful silver altarpiece. A beautiful stained glass window gives you a great view of the city. Its tower has 240 steps to get to the top, where you'll get a panoramic view of the city.

Another must see site when you visit Portugal is the Porto Concert Hall. This is one of the oldest building in Porto, and features some great architecture. It is also home to a restaurant that serves delicious, affordable dishes. The entryway is covered in hand-painted tiles that depict scenes from Portugal its history.

One of Portugal's best, and another famous landmark is the Livararia Lello. This bookstore is known as the "world's most beautiful store." It has an impressive spiral staircase and a stained glass window. It's located only a few meters from the iconic Igreja do Carmo.

Accommodation: Best Hotels In Porto

2.Lisbon

City of Lisbon - Portugal. Fountain in Rossio Square Pin

Whether you want to go sightseeing, visit a museum, or just spend a day on the beach, there are plenty of things to do in Lisbon. The capital of Portugal is a modern metropolis, and has a rich history to boot. The city is also home to many wonderful churches and museums. You can find out more about the city's history at the Lisboa Story Centre.

The Oceanarium in Lisbon is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. It features permanent exhibits from the North Atlantic to Antarctica. There are over 8,000 creatures to see, including sharks, eels, and fish. It's open until 8pm, so there's plenty of time to explore it.

One of the coolest things to do in Lisbon is to go on a sunset tour, as many of these tours include a cocktail or dinner. This way you'll get a nice view of the city while drinking cold drinks, and visit some of the city's best restaurants.

Lisbon's oldest neighborhood is Alfama. It's an old fishing district that survived the earthquake of 1775. It's one of the most vibrant districts of the city, with bohemian cafes and pubs. It's also one of the best places to see street art.

Accommodation: Best Hotels In Lisbon

3.Faro

View on the facade of Carmo church in Faro city on the south of Portugal Pin

Located in the Algarve region at the coast of Portugal, Faro is a beautiful coastal town that offers an excellent selection of things to do. It's the capital of the Algarve, and it's a great year-round destination for travelers looking to experience the best of Portugal's natural beauty.

Faro is home to several historical monuments and is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. The Faro Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a beautiful example of classic Portuguese Baroque architecture. The church was rebuilt in the 18th century, and it's now an important symbol of the Algarve, with an interiors home to a vaulted ceiling and intricate tilework.

The Municipal Museum is a fascinating building that is located close to the cathedral, the museum's collection contains artefacts from ancient times and the medieval period. It is located in a former convent from the 16th century.

The Museu do Faro is an interactive museum that teaches visitors about the history of the city. The museum offers a one-hour journey through history. You can learn about the Phoenicians and present-day Faro. It also features a touch pool that features a variety of fish, tarantulas and other species.

The church of monastery of Sao Francisco is a gorgeous white building. The interior combines a magnificent woodwork with intricate carvings and tilework.

Accommodation: Where To Stay In Faro

Best Flights To Portugal

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Portugal. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Portugal.

4.Sintra

Sintra, Portugal old town skyline with the National Palace Pin

Located at the foot of the wooded Serra de Sintra, Sintra is a picturesque town that's full of history and culture. Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and boasts a number of castles and palaces to suit any taste.

If you're short on time, try an organized Sintra day trip. These will take you to many of the sites, without the hassle of figuring out which ones to see and when.

The best time to visit Sintra is during the off-season. Although the city is not too far from Lisbon, it can be difficult to get there without a car. A train ride from Lisbon takes about 40 minutes, and costs about 5 EUR. Sintra is also served by local tourist buses, which are designed to take visitors from one attraction to the next.

The most impressive of Sintra's many attractions is the Pena Palace. Built in the 18th century, this is one of the largest and most opulent palaces in the city. The Palace also happens to be one of the best preserved medieval palaces in the country. The Pena Palace has a number of things to see, including a sweeping view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. And in the meantime you'll also get access to see some of the most beautiful gardens in Portugal.

5.Madeira

Hiking trail in the mountains at Pico do Arieiro, Madeira. Portugal Pin

During your visit to Madeira, Portugal, there are many places to explore on this island. The island's beautiful landscape and subtropical climate makes it a great destination for those who want to spend their vacations in an area that is full of natural beauty. For those who love hiking, there are plenty of opportunities to explore.

In addition to its stunning landscape, Madeira has an interesting history. The island has been home to Portuguese sailors since the early 1400s and is located in the Azores. Its levadas have been used for centuries to move water and are a great way to learn about the island's history.

One of the best places to visit in Madeira, Portugal, is the Monte Palace Tropical Garden. This garden has a great collection of exotic plants and sculptures, as well as artistic installations. The garden is also home to an incredible museum of minerals, and offers a great view of Funchal.

Pico do Arieiro is one of the most popular viewpoints on the island. It's the third highest peak on the island and offers spectacular views. It's also a great spot to watch the sunrise. The mountain is prone to thick fog, which means that visibility can be extremely low if you're unlucky.

Recommended reading: Best Restaurants In Madeira

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6.Coimbra

View on the beautiful square with Joaquim Augusto statue in Coimbra Pin

Located in the higher region of Portugal, Coimbra is a city in Portugal with a long history and a progressive student culture. It is home to one of the world's oldest universities. The university has a beautiful campus that includes a number of historic buildings, some beautiful art, and a beautiful library that are worth visiting.

Coimbra's main university building is an impressive structure that sits on top of the hill, with a square in front of the building that includes statues and a clock tower.

Another great attraction in Coimbra is the Gothic Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha. The monastery was founded by nuns from Santa Clara-a-Velha and was abandoned in the 1600s. In 2000, the monastery was opened to the public as a tourist attraction. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Santa Cruz monastery is outside the original city walls and was renovated by King Manuel in the 16th century. The monastery contains tombs of Portuguese rulers. The monastery is open from 9 to 18 during the week. It is a great place to see and learn about Portuguese history.

7.Lagos

Lagos old town resort in Portugal Pin

Located on the Algarve coast in Southern Portugal, Lagos is known for its beauty. It's the perfect destination for a family holiday, romantic getaway or an adventure holiday.

It's easy to get to there from Lisbon, including bus, train and car. If you want, you can rent a car from the airport and drive yourself around. Or If you don't have your own car, you can also take a taxi or Uber.

One of the best things to do in Lagos is to visit the Mercado de Escravos, which was Europe's first slave market. This museum educates visitors about the history of the slave trade in Portugal. It's open Tuesday to Sunday.

Boat tours are also popular. You can go on a cruise to see the spectacular rock formations along the Algarve coastline. It's also a great way to see dolphins in the wild.

There are several beautiful beaches to choose from in Lagos, including Praia do Pinhao, which is a secluded beach with great waves for beginners. Another popular beach is Praia do Dona Ana, which is a world-famous beach. It's a popular place to visit in the summer months, and can get quite busy.

8.Albufeira

beautiful white houses on the rocks in Albufeira Pin

Located on the Algarve coast of mainland Portugal, Albufeira has become a major holiday destination. It has whitewashed, tiled houses and cobblestone streets, and boasts a wide variety of attractions, including some of the best beaches, museums and an archaeological museum.

Albufeira's Marina is one of the most sheltered marinas in the country. It is situated about four kilometers west of the old town and has a number of restaurants and stores. It is also the departure point for many sightseeing cruises.

The archaeological museum is located in the old town. It has a collection of exhibits spanning prehistory and the Islamic period. You can see ancient stone tools, Roman artifacts and weathered 16th century keystones. It also has a small Museum of Sacred Art.

The main collection was gathered by the priest Father Jose Manuel Semedo de Azevedo. It contains Roman, Visigoth and Islamic artifacts. It is divided into four sections, each relating to a period of history.

The Marina is home to a variety of retail outlets and tour agencies. There are also restaurants, self-catering apartments and beauty parlors. It is also the base for dolphin-watching trips.

A boat tour of the coastline is a must. You can also go kayaking, which allows you to get close to the rock formations and caves. Alternatively, you can take a Jet Boat tour for a great afternoon or evening.

Best Flights To Portugal

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Portugal. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Portugal.

9.Evora

courtyard of the old cathedral in Evora Pin

Located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, Evora is a great place to visit. There are a variety of sights to see and places to stay. It's a short drive from Lisbon and is a popular day trip. Besides its many attractions, Evora also has plenty of excellent restaurants and cafes.

Evora is an excellent destination for people who like to explore historic sites. The Roman Temple of Evora is the best preserved example of Roman architecture. It's located on the highest point of the city, and is made of granite and marble.

The Evora Cathedral is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal. It's built from pink granite, making it recognizable by its sturdy towers with conical spires. It also has a beautiful interior. The altar used to be a polyptych of 19 panels. The opulent chapel is to the left of the altar.

Evora is also home to a number of museums. One of the best museums in Evora is the Museum of Evora. It contains a wide variety of artifacts. These include historical items, religious art, and archaeological artifacts. It is also famous for its chapel with real human skulls.

10.Braga

Bom Jesus do Monte Monastery, Braga Pin

Another place to see in Portugal and known as "the religious city of Portugal", Braga has a long and varied cultural history. A city of deep religious roots, Braga is home to many impressive religious monuments. It has been a place of pilgrimage and religious devotion for centuries.

One of the most important religious sites in Braga is the Santa Barbara Cathedral. This site has Gothic and Baroque elements, while the interior of the church has murals and statues. It is a lovely place to visit at any time of the day or night.

Another must visit religious site is the Bom Jesus de Braga. This basilica is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a beautiful church that blends baroque and neoclassical styles together. Its location at the top of a hill makes it a popular picnic spot. A water-powered funicular provides access to the basilica.

Other religious sites include the Sao Marcos hospital church, which has two large towers. It features life-size statues of apostles. The interior has a silver tabernacle and an image of the patron saint.

The Pio XII Museum has several levels and displays medieval art. Its collection of artifacts dates back to the Palaeolithic era. The museum also has a portfolio of paintings by the 20th century artist Henrique Medina de Barros.

Accommodation: Best Hotels In Braga

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11.Guimaraes

garden in guimaraes Pin

Located in northern Portugal, Guimaraes is the cradle of Portugal and has a rich history, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic center has medieval architecture and is the earliest capital of Portugal. There are many major landmarks to visit in Guimaraes. These sights and buildings reflect the history of Portugal from past to present.

Guimaraes' oldest building is the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. The church dates back to the 10th century. The church was once a pilgrimage site and is a great example of medieval architecture. Its two church spires are impressive. It is also worth seeing the azulejos that line the building's exterior.

One of the most famous landmarks in Guimaraes is the Vasco da Gama monastery. The monastery is located on the site of the church where Vasco da Gama prayed before his expedition to Asia. The monastery is an important religious site and is popular with tourists.

Another landmark in Guimaraes and a place to go in Portugal is the Ducal Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. It was built for the first Duke of Braganza and is now the official residence of the President of Portugal in the north. It is a beautiful building that was almost destroyed in the 1940s. It is now restored.

12.Nazare

old town in tomar Pin

Located in northern Portugal, Nazare is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. People visit this place for its natural beauty, surfing, and rich history. If you're looking to get away from the city crowds, head to Nazare for a laid-back beach break or a visit to one of the local museums.

While you're in the area, make sure to visit the Ermida de Sao Bartolomeu. This church is located on the clifftop in Sitio village and is a historical site. The chapel has a lookout tower and is a good place to take in the views. The chapel was built over 800 years ago and has a very rich history. The church is filled with azulejos tiles that tell the story of how Mary saved a local nobleman.

Nazare is also home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazare. This chapel is located close to the Miradouro da Pederneira and is also a popular pilgrimage destination, with many people making the trip in February.

Another popular tourist attraction in Nazare is the Forna do Orca cave. This cave can only be accessed when the waves are calm. Only a few minutes of hiking will bring you to this hidden treasure.

Best Flights To Portugal

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Portugal. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Portugal.

13.Tomar

old town in tomar Pin

Located in central Portugal, Tomar is a pretty little town with a lot to offer visitors. It's a great stop on a multi-day road trip through Medio Tejo. Its historical traditional Portuguese charm, and lovely scenery make Tomar a lovely town to visit. Whether you're looking to take a tour, shop, or just stroll around, there are plenty of places to explore in Tomar.

Also visit The Convent of Christ, this is one of Portugal's most famous religious sites. This castle is built on a hill overlooking Tomar. Located on a small island in the Tagus River, the castle is a great place to enjoy the views. This is a 12th century Templar stronghold that was founded as a symbol of the Christian Reconquista. The building is a fusion of Gothic and Manueline architecture, which is a mix of different styles that makes it an impressive architectural monument.

Located in Tomar's Jewish quarter, the Tomar Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Portugal. Built in the mid-15th century, the synagogue has several original elements, including four smooth lanky columns and a vaulted ceiling.

14.Aveiro

aveiro portugal Pin

Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal is a coastal town that's a haven for travelers looking to discover the Portuguese coast. It's a place that has plenty to offer, from its colorful churches to its abundant natural wonders.

The town of Aveiro was once a salt supplier for Portugal. Today, the town still produces artisanal salt, and is known for its Salinas de Aveiro, or salt flats.

The city also has many art nouveau buildings. The Cathedral of Aveiro is especially noteworthy for its beautiful facade. It's also worth visiting the Aveiro Museum, which is housed in the old Convent of Jesus of the Female Dominican Order. There, you can see religious and artistic artwork, including Azulejos tiles. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. If you have a student ID, you can get free tickets.

Aveiro also has a bike-sharing system called BUGA. You can rent a bike at any of the 20 BUGA depots around town. Renting a bike is a popular way to get around the town. You can find BUGA bikes near the canal and near the Farmers Market.

Another popular activity in Aveiro is boating on the canals. These canals are unique to the city. And during your ride, you can enjoy the sight of white herons and flamingos.

FAQ

Q: How many days should you spend in Portugal?

A: A general guideline would be to spend at least 7 to 10 days in Portugal to have a well-rounded experience and explore some of the country's highlights.

Q: What is the most beautiful part of Portugal?

A: The Douro Valley is undoubtedly one of Portugal's most breathtaking regions, located in northern Portugal. This region is famous for its terraced vineyards and wine production. The lush green hillsides surrounding the Douro River are dotted with quintas (wineries) that offer fantastic views over the valley.

Q: What month is best to go to Portugal?

A: If you’re after hot weather and beach days, the summer months of June through August are the most ideal time to visit Portugal. However, if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures, visiting Portugal in the shoulder seasons of April through May or September through October is recommended. During these months, the weather is still pleasant with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C (59-77°F) depending on where you go in the country. Moreover, during springtime, you can witness beautiful flower blooms and attend colorful festivals such as Easter celebrations and Festa de São João held in June.

Q: Is Portugal an expensive place to visit?

A: Accommodation in Portugal can range from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. In general, prices are lower outside of peak tourist season (June-August) and major cities like Lisbon and Porto tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and villages. Food in Portugal is generally affordable with delicious seafood dishes being a highlight. Wine lovers will also appreciate the low cost of local wines compared to other European destinations.

Transportation costs can vary depending on whether you choose to rent a car or use public transportation. Gas prices in Portugal are relatively high, so renting a car may not always be the most economical option for longer trips.

Q: What is better Porto or Lisbon?

A: Ultimately, both Porto and Lisbon have their own unique appeal and offer different experiences. If you enjoy a vibrant city with a mix of history, culture, and nightlife, Lisbon may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you're interested in wine, river views, and a more relaxed atmosphere, Porto might be the preferred option.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO PORTUGAL

Book Your Hotel In Portugal

You can book your hotel in Portugal with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses, hostels and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Portugal

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Portugal. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Portugal?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Portugal here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Portugal?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Portugal, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Portugal.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Portugal without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Portugal. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Portugal:

Be sure to visit our Portugal Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

More Portugal Travel Resources