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15 Best Things To Do In Faro

Faro is a beautiful coastal city located in the southernmost region of Portugal. This charming destination offers a plethora of activities and tourist attractions for all types of travelers. From exploring the historical monuments to experiencing the vibrant nightlife, Faro has something in store for everyone who visits. Whether you're looking for some fun-filled adventures or simply want to relax and take in the breathtaking views, here are some of the best things to do in Faro that will make your trip to Faro unforgettable.

1. Faro Cathedral

Faro Cathedral

Faro Cathedral, also known as the Se Catedral de Faro, is located in the Portuguese town of Faro and is a sight to behold. Built in 1251 on the remains of a Moorish mosque, this cathedral is an architectural masterpiece that still serves as an active place of worship today, and is one of the best things to see in Faro. The interior features gothic architecture from the 13th century and Baroque art from the 17th century, making it a truly unique experience for visitors.

The exterior of Faro Cathedral has been remodeled over time and now shows off intricately detailed carvings and statues. One highlight includes two majestic bell towers that reach up to 38 meters tall with their spiral staircases inside them – visible only during climbing tours.


Address: Largo da Sé 11, 8000-138 Faro, Portugal

Phone: +351 289 823 018

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2. Arco da Vila

Arco da Vila

The Arco da Vila in the city of Faro is a stunning architectural feature of the city. Located near the waterfront, it was built during the 15th century and was once part of one of the ancient walls that used to surround Faro. This gateway serves as an impressive reminder of the city's past.

The most striking aspect of this historical landmark is its design; a semi-circular archway with ornate carvings along its edges, topped off with three coats of arms that represent various noble families from Portugal’s history. Visitors often marvel at its intricate detail and beauty when exploring around Faro’s old town district, giving visitors an interesting glimpse into Portugal’s past.


Address: R. da Misericórdia 8, 8000-168 Faro, Portugal

3. Praia de Faro

Praia de Faro

Praia de Faro is a stunning beach located in the centre of Faro, Portugal. With its white sand and crystal clear waters, it's one of the most popular beaches in the Algarve region. Many people come here to relax, swim and soak up the sun on hot summer days.

The beach stretches out for miles along the coast and consists of an area of dunes backed by lagoons and salt marshes. There is also a large boardwalk that runs parallel to the beach where visitors can take leisurely walks and explore local shops scattered throughout. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, Praia de Faro offers plenty of other fun activities such as fishing, windsurfing, jet skiing and kayaking. Here, you can also rent bicycles or go horseback riding along nature trails leading away from the beach.

4. Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha in Faro

Cidade Velha in Faro is a remarkable Faro attraction for those looking to discover Faro its history and beauty of one of Portugal's oldest cities. Located in the Algarve region, Cidade Velha is home to some of Portugal's most iconic historical landmarks and offers vacationers the opportunity to explore centuries worth of Portuguese culture.

The centerpiece of this city is its historic city center or old town, which dates back to the 15th century and is filled with charming cobblestone streets that wind through quaint shops, homes, churches, and other sites. Visitors can also explore several archaeological sites located within Cidade Velha's walls, including Chapelas dos Reis Magos (the royal chapel) and Casa das Penhas Douradas (the house of golden rocks).

5. Ria Formosa Cruise

Ria Formosa Cruise in Faro

The Ria Formosa Cruise in Faro, Portugal is a great way to spend the day when visiting Faro. You can explore the exotic wildlife and beautiful nature of this lagoon estuary located in the Algarve region. From dolphins to flamingos, it’s an unforgettable experience! The cruise departs from Faro the harbor marina and you get to sail across the Ria Formosa Natural Park with its unique environment full of flora and fauna.

During your boat trip, you will have plenty of time to take pictures of all the stunning views as well as learn about the local history of Faro and culture from experienced guides aboard. Not only that, but a visit also gives you access to some of the best beaches in Portugal such as Praia de Farol Island or Ilha Deserta Beach.

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6. Island Beaches

Island Beaches in Faro

Faro is known for its breathtakingly gorgeous island beaches. One of the most stunning of these is Praia Formosa, a wide beach filled with golden sand and crystal clear waters. As one of the most popular beaches in Faro, Praia Formosa offers plenty of activities to enjoy like swimming, snorkeling and beach volleyball. It’s also great for sunbathing due to its perfect position facing south so you can catch perfect sunlight all day long.

A few miles away from Praia Formosa lies Porto Afonso Beach which is an environmental protected area. The landscape here is spectacular – rocky terrain surrounded by lagoons and sand dunes that make this place unique compared to other Faro beaches in the area near Faro.

7. Igreja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo is an iconic and stunningly beautiful church located near the old town of Faro, southern Portugal. Built during the 18th century in the Baroque style, it stands out for its impressive white stone façade and distinctive bell tower. Inside, one can marvel at the ornate decorations, which include a grand marble altar as well as a striking fresco depicting Saint Mary of Carmel.

The church also features numerous sculptures that are dedicated to different saints and religious figures. Igreja da Carmo regularly hosts several local events throughout the year such as traditional music performances, theatrical plays and art exhibitions. On special occasions such as Christmas and Easter, locals gather here to attend mass services that are held inside this magnificent holy building.


Address: R. do Carmo, 4050-164 Porto, Portugal

Phone: +351 22 207 8400

8. Faro Municipal Museum

Faro Municipal Museum

The Faro Municipal Museum is a must-see for any visitor to Portugal. Located in the old town, the museum sits adjacent to two of the city's oldest churches and offers insight into the region's rich cultural history. Its collections span from artifacts from ancient civilizations to modern art. Its permanent exhibition includes archaeological items such as sculptures, pottery and coins that date back to Roman times. Additionally, there are exhibits of traditional Portuguese crafts including textiles and jewelry.

The museum also features an impressive collection of paintings by Portuguese masters such as José Malhoa and Abel Manta, alongside works by contemporary artists like Rodrigo Mestre. Guests can take part in guided tours or explore the museum's halls at their own pace.


Address: Largo Dom Afonso III 14, 8000-167 Faro, Portugal

Phone: +351 289 870 827

9. Muralhas de Faro

Muralhas de Faro

Muralhas de Faro is an essential part of Portuguese culture and history, and one of the best free attractions in Faro. The city walls were built in the 13th century as a defensive measure against invaders, making it one of the oldest existing fortifications in the country. This vast military structure consists of two distinct segments, both with their own unique characteristics.

The outer walls are built of limestone and granite blocks, while the inner walls are made from sandstone and mud bricks. In addition to its historical significance, Muralhas de Faro is also known for its stunning beauty. Tourists can admire breathtaking views from atop the ancient towers or take a leisurely stroll through winding pathways within the grounds. There are plenty of activities to do here including exploring hidden passages and taking picturesque photographs.

10. Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão

Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão in Faro

The Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão is one of Portugal's most renowned maritime museums. It is named after the Admiral who established and ran the museum from its inception in 1945. Located on a hill overlooking the River Ria Formosa, this museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts relating to Portugal's rich seafaring history.

The exhibits range from old maps and ship models to navigational instruments and arms used by Portuguese ships over the centuries. Visitors can also learn about different aspects of fishing, sailing, and navigation through interactive displays and multimedia presentations.

The museum also offers a range of educational programs for both children and adults. These include lectures, courses, workshops and guided tours which are designed to help tourists gain a deeper understanding of maritime heritage in Portugal.

Best Flights To Faro

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

11. Milreu Roman Remains

Milreu Roman Remains in Faro

The Milreu Roman Remains is an archeological site which dates back to the 1st century AD. The remains were discovered in 1895 by a local teacher, who quickly alerted scholars and archaeologists of the find. Upon further investigation, it was found that the remains were constructed during Roman occupation of Lusitania in Faro, Portugal. It is believed to be one of the most important archaeological sites on the Iberian Peninsula due to its well-preserved ruins and artifacts.

The site consists of a Roman estate house with an intact fish processing facility located nearby - both built around 40 AD. This estate house is said to have belonged to a wealthy member of society most likely connected to Emperor Trajan's court in Rome at that time.

12. Palácio de Estói

Palácio de Estói in Faro

Palacio de Estói is one of the most impressive historical architectures in Faro city. Located on the western side of town, it was declared a Public Interest Monument by Portuguese government. Built in the 18th century, this palace has an impressive baroque architecture with towering columns and an elaborately decorated façade.

Inside you can find beautiful furniture from different eras and lavish decorations as well as some amazing art collections that were owned by families who used to live there.

Visiting Palacio de Estiin is like taking a step back into Faro’s past. With its grandeur, you can see why it was once home to some very wealthy families during its hay day.


Address: R. de São Jose, 8005-465 Faro, Portugal

Phone: +351 21 040 7620

13. Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve

Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve

The Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve is a hands-on science center designed to provide interactive experiences for children and adults alike. Its mission is to excite visitors about science, technology and innovation by creating an atmosphere of exploration and discovery. It offers educational workshops, exhibitions, activities and other creative learning experiences that enable guests to see science in action in the world around them.

The Center hosts immersive multimedia exhibits with large screens that allow visitors to explore their surroundings with virtual reality headsets and learn through digital interfaces. Visitors can take part in workshops organized by professionals who deliver lectures on scientific topics such as mathematics, physics and chemistry. They even have the opportunity to build their own robots or create a chemical reaction using laboratory equipment provided by the center.


Address: R. Cmte. Francisco Manuel s/n, 8000-250 Faro, Portugal

Phone: +351 289 890 922

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14. Forum Algarve

Forum Algarve shopping mall

Forum Algarve in Faro, Portugal is a popular destination for travelers looking to experience the culture and beauty of the region. Located close to the Atlantic Ocean, this mall offers an array of upscale shopping experiences, as well as delicious food options from around the world.

Forum Algarve is home to a variety of stores that sell clothing and accessories for both men and women. In addition, there are souvenir shops offering authentic Portuguese items that make great gifts for friends or family back home. After a day filled with shopping, visitors can relax at one of the many restaurants located inside the shopping mall such as Burger King, Subway and Starbucks.

The mall also features a movie theater that plays all of the latest blockbusters in English or Portuguese with 3D capabilities available as well.

15. Capela Dos Ossos

Capela Dos Ossos-Chapel of the Bones

The Capela dos Ossos is a sight to behold. Situated inside the Church of St Francis of Assisi, this chapel stands out due to its unique decorations. Built in the 16th century and refurbished during the 18th century, this chapel of bones is decorated with human bones and skulls that were taken from cemeteries around Faro.

These bones serve as a reminder about life’s impermanence and are arranged in decorative patterns on the walls and ceilings. It is said that its designers made it by using the remains of more than 1000 monks from two different monasteries.


Address: Praça 1º de Maio 4, 7000-650 Évora, Portugal

Phone: +351 266 704 521

Best Flights To Faro

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


Q: What is Faro Portugal famous for?

A: One of its main attractions is the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a protected area that encompasses breathtaking lagoons, marshlands, and sand dunes teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Aside from its natural wonders, Faro boasts an intriguing historical background dating back centuries. The city's historic center is enclosed by ancient walls and holds treasures like the Cathedral of Faro, also known as Sé de Faro.

Q: Is Faro a party town?

A: When it comes to nightlife, Faro may not be the first destination that comes to mind. While it does offer some entertainment options, it is not primarily known as a party town.

Faro's nightlife scene is relatively modest compared to other popular tourist destinations in Portugal like Lisbon or Porto. The city does have a few bars and clubs scattered around its center, particularly in the historic Old Town area. Here you'll find cozy pubs serving up local drinks and live music venues showcasing traditional Portuguese performers. However, these establishments tend to attract more locals than tourists. If you're seeking a wild night out with an endless array of clubs and parties, Faro may disappoint you.

Q: Does Faro have a beach?

A: The answer is both yes and no. While the city itself doesn't boast a sandy shoreline for sunbathing and swimming, visitors to Faro need not fret as there are several nearby beaches just a short distance away.

Located on the southernmost tip of Portugal, Faro is bordered by the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, an extensive network of lagoons that stretch along approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) of coast. This unique ecosystem offers visitors plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun and enjoy crystal-clear waters.

Q: Is it safe to walk in Faro at night?

A: Crime rates are relatively low compared to other European cities, and locals are generally friendly and welcoming towards tourists.

One of the main reasons why Faro is considered safe at night is due to its well-lit streets and efficient police presence. The city takes security seriously and has implemented measures such as increased street lighting in popular areas, making it easier for pedestrians to navigate after sunset. Police patrols are also common throughout the city center, providing an added sense of security for those who choose to explore Faro on foot.

Q: How do you get around Faro without a car?

A: One of the easiest ways to navigate Faro is by using the local bus system. Operated by Eva Transportes, these buses cover various routes throughout the city and surrounding areas, including popular tourist destinations such as Praia de Faro and Ria Formosa Natural Park. With frequent schedules and affordable fares, it's an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers or those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Another great way to explore Faro is by renting a bicycle. The city has embraced cycling culture with its well-maintained bike lanes and numerous rental shops scattered throughout town.

Q: How far is Faro airport from the city center?

A: Fortunately, Faro Airport is conveniently situated only around 7 kilometers (4 miles) west of Faro's city center. The journey from Faro airport to the city center offers various transportation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. The most convenient way to reach your destination promptly is by taxi or private transfer. Taxis are readily available outside the arrival terminal and offer a hassle-free option for those seeking comfort after a long flight.


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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 Faro 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 Faro. 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.

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