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Portugal, the best destinations: travel guide for your next adventure

Woman on the rocky shore in Lagos, Portugal

Discover the best places to visit in Portugal. From the vibrant capital of Lisbon to the charming city of Porto, the magical Sintra and the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, this country offers a wide variety of fascinating destinations.

Explore the beauty of Aveiro, immerse yourself in the history of Coimbra and be captivated by the unique atmosphere of Evora. We’ll also give you tips and recommendations for planning your trip to Portugal.

Don’t miss our detailed guides about each place on our YouTube channel!

Lisbon: Exploring the country’s capital

Must-see places to visit in Lisbon

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, never ceases to amaze its visitors with its rich history and charming corners. Among the must-see places you should visit is the emblematic Belém Tower, a historical symbol of the city.

Enjoy panoramic views from the Mirador de Santa Luzia and explore the bustling Alfama Quarter, the heart of Portuguese fado.

In addition, don’t miss a visit to the imposing St. George’s Castle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and immerse yourself in centuries of history.

Touring the historic center of Lisbon

Lisbon’s historic center is a maze of cobblestone streets full of history and charm. Stroll through the famous Praça do Comércio, with its impressive arched entrance and elegant buildings all around.

Admire the majesty of Lisbon’s cathedral, known as the Sé, one of the oldest churches in the city. Immerse yourself in the lively life of Rossio Square, surrounded by cafes and stores, and discover the beauty of the Marques de Pombal Square, with its imposing statue in the center.

Don’t miss the Elevador de Santa Justa, a wrought iron elevator that will take you to panoramic views of the city from the Bairro Alto.

Sao Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint. Lisbon, Portugal
Sao Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint Lisbon, Portugal

  • Explore the Jerónimos Monastery, a stunning Manueline masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Venture into the bustling Ribeira Market, where you can find a wide selection of fresh produce and delicious gastronomic options.
  • Tour the modern Parque das Nações, built for Expo 98, and enjoy its beautiful gardens, the Lisbon Oceanarium and the iconic Vasco da Gama Tower.
  • Discover Portugal’s maritime history at the Navy Museum and learn about the expeditions that led Portuguese sailors to explore the world.

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Porto: Discovering the second-largest city

Porto, also known as Porto in Portuguese, is the second largest city in Portugal and offers a wide variety of tourist attractions for visitors. Located on the banks of the Douro River, this charming city combines a rich history with a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere. In this section, we invite you to explore Porto’s main points of interest, as well as to discover its old town and receive useful recommendations for your visit.

Porto’s tourist attractions

Porto has many tourist attractions that you cannot miss during your visit. These include the iconic São Bento train station, famous for its impressive Portuguese tiles that tell the history of the country. You can also marvel at the architecture of Porto Cathedral, an imposing medieval building, and enjoy the panoramic views from the Don Luis I Bridge.

In addition, you can’t miss a visit to the famous Lello e Irmão bookstore, considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and a stroll through the Ribeira, the picturesque riverside neighborhood full of colorful houses and traditional restaurants. And if you are a wine lover, a visit to the Port wine cellars, where you can taste this authentic Portuguese delicacy, is a must.

Exploring the old town of Porto

Porto’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a true historical gem. As you wander through its narrow cobblestone streets, you will immerse yourself in the essence of the city and discover numerous impressive monuments and buildings. One of the highlights is the Torre de los Clérigos, an imposing baroque bell tower that offers exceptional views of the city from its vantage point.

In the old town you will also find the church of San Francisco, known for its exquisite interior decoration with gilded details and an impressive catacomb room. In addition, you can visit the Casa da Música, a modern concert hall with amazing architecture, and enjoy the gardens of the Crystal Palace, a perfect place to relax and enjoy the panoramic views.

Oporto, and the Douro River Portugal
Oporto, and the Douro River Portugal

Recommendations for visiting Oporto

  • Plan your visit to Porto in advance to make the most of your time and not miss any of the highlights.
  • Explore the city on foot to fully enjoy its charm and discover hidden places.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the famous Port wine, a must-try tradition during your stay in the city.
  • Take advantage of the city’s viewpoints to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of Porto and the Douro River.
  • Discover the local gastronomy and try typical dishes such as francesinha, a delicious and hearty hot sandwich.

Sintra: A treasure on the outskirts of Lisbon

Sintra, located on the outskirts of Lisbon, is a magical place full of charm and beauty. Known for its majestic palaces, imposing castles and lush natural landscapes, Sintra captivates all who visit.

Visiting the highlights in Sintra

In Sintra, you will find a wide variety of highlights to visit. One of the most impressive is the Pena Palace, with its fairy-tale architecture and lush gardens. You can also explore the imposing Moorish Castle, with its panoramic views of the region, or visit the Sintra National Palace, known for its characteristic conical chimneys.

Touring the historic center of Sintra

Sintra’s historic center is charming and picturesque, full of cobblestone streets and ancient buildings. Stroll through its narrow streets and discover local craft stores, cozy restaurants and charming cafes.

In addition, don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous travesseiros, delicious puff pastries filled with almonds and powdered sugar.

Must-sees in Sintra

Quinta Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal

You cannot leave Sintra without visiting Quinta da Regaleira, an impressive palace surrounded by gardens and mysterious subway tunnels. In addition, the Monserrate Palace, with its mix of architectural styles and exotic gardens, is another place not to be missed.

Finally, the National Park and Palace of Sintra Mountain, located on the highest hill in the city, will give you unparalleled panoramic views.

In addition, Sintra is a unique place that perfectly blends history, nature and architecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this treasure on the outskirts of Lisbon during your visit to Portugal.

Algarve: Enjoying the south of Portugal

Exploring the beaches and coves of the Algarve

The Algarve is famous for its stunning beaches and coves with crystal clear waters. From long golden sandy beaches to small coves hidden between cliffs, this destination offers you a wide variety to enjoy the sun and sea.

Some of the most popular beaches include Praia da Marinha, Praia de Benagil and Praia de Dona Ana. In addition, if you are a water sports lover, you will be able to practice surfing, diving, paddleboarding and much more.

A tour of the most beautiful villages of the Algarve

In addition to its stunning beaches, the Algarve is home to charming villages worth exploring. Tavira, with its traditional architecture and Roman bridge, offers a peaceful and picturesque atmosphere.

Lagos, with its old town full of history and impressive city walls, will transport you back in time. Fuseta and Olhão are two fishing villages that preserve their authenticity and allow you to enjoy delicious fresh seafood.

Highlights to visit in the Algarve

Cape and lighthouse of San Vicente, Portugal.
Cape and lighthouse of San Vicente, Portugal.

The Algarve also has outstanding places that you cannot miss during your stay. Cape St. Vincent, known as the end of the world in sailors’ times, offers impressive cliffs and panoramic ocean views.

The Ria Formosa natural park, with its biodiversity and unique ecosystems, is perfect for nature lovers. In addition, for culture lovers, the historic town of Silves, with its Moorish castle and Gothic cathedral, offers a fascinating visit.

Also, in the Algarve you will find a perfect combination of beautiful beaches, charming villages and historical sites that will make you experience the best of southern Portugal.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this fascinating region during your visit to Portugal!

Aveiro: The Venice of Portugal in the center of the country

Aveiro, known as the Venice of Portugal, is a charming city located in the center of the country. Known for its canals, colorful typical houses and moliceiros boats, Aveiro offers a unique and picturesque atmosphere that will surprise you.

Discovering the charms of Aveiro

A walk along the canals of Aveiro is a must to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the city. The moliceiros boats, formerly used for seaweed harvesting, are now the protagonists of romantic canal walks.

Enjoy views of the picturesque houses and bridges while discovering the history and culture of Aveiro.

The Market Square, also known as Praça do Peixe, is another must-see spot in Aveiro. Here you will find a variety of restaurants and bars where you can try traditional Portuguese food, with specialties such as caldeirada de peixe (fish stew) and Aveiro’s famous ovos moles.

The University of Aveiro is another emblematic place of the city. Its modern architecture and lively academic atmosphere make this university a tourist attraction. Stroll around its campus and discover its well-kept natural environment.

Also, don’t miss the impressive Department of Communication and the Arts building, known as the yellow building because of its striking color.

Aveiro, Portugal
Aveiro, Portugal

Recommendations for visiting Aveiro

  • Don’t forget to try the famous ovos moles de Aveiro, typical sweets of the region made with egg yolk and sugar.
  • Explore the canals in one of the moliceiros boats and admire the beauty of the local architecture.
  • Visit the Museum of Aveiro, located in a former convent, to learn more about the history and culture of the region.
  • Enjoy a bike ride on the trails surrounding the city and discover the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  • Take advantage of your visit to Aveiro to try the delicious regional food in one of its traditional restaurants.

Coimbra: A city full of history and culture

Exploring the historic center of Coimbra

Coimbra, located in the center of Portugal, is a city that exudes history and culture in every corner. Its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a real treasure that will transport you back in time. Walking through its narrow cobblestone streets will allow you to admire the impressive medieval and Renaissance architecture of its buildings.

One of the highlights of the historic center is the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe. Its imposing Joanina Library, with its atmosphere full of wisdom and ancient books, is a must-see. In addition, touring the cloisters and courtyards of the university will allow you to immerse yourself in its rich history and enjoy spectacular views of the city.

Another must-see in the historic center is the Sé Velha, a Romanesque cathedral built in the 12th century. Its imposing facade and interior full of artistic details will leave you speechless. In addition, from the top of the cathedral you will have incredible panoramic views of Coimbra.

Tourist attractions in Coimbra

In addition to its historic center, Coimbra has other tourist attractions worth visiting. The Portugal dos Pequenitos is a theme park where you can see miniature replicas of the most emblematic monuments of Portugal.

It is an ideal visit if you are traveling with your family or if you want to admire the country’s architecture in a different way.

Another point of interest is the Botanical Garden of Coimbra, a haven of peace and nature in the middle of the city. Here you will find a wide variety of plant species, as well as ponds and trails to stroll and relax.

What to see in Coimbra in one day

Coimbra City in Portugal
Coimbra City in Portugal

If you only have one day in Coimbra, we recommend you to start your visit in the impressive historic center. Take time to wander the streets and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city. Don’t forget to visit the University of Coimbra and the Sé Velha, two key points that will take you back in time.

Afterwards, you can head to the Portugal dos Pequenitos to discover the miniatures of Portugal’s most emblematic monuments. If you have time left, you can take the opportunity to relax in the Botanical Garden and enjoy nature.

Coimbra is a city full of charm and there is much more to discover than what is mentioned here. We invite you to explore it for yourself and be amazed by its history and culture.

Évora: A walk through Portugal’s history

Évora is a charming city in the heart of Portugal that will transport you through the centuries with its rich history and stunning architecture. In addition, in this destination, you will be able to explore a great number of important places that will immerse you in the history of the country.

Visiting the most important places in Évora

When visiting Évora, be sure not to miss these highlights:

  • Temple of Diana: An ancient Roman temple that has stood the test of time and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
  • Évora Cathedral: An imposing Gothic cathedral that has impressive works of art inside and offers panoramic views from its terrace.
  • Chapel of Bones: A haunting and fascinating place, decorated with human bones, which invites you to reflect on the transience of life.
  • Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval: A beautiful 14th century palace that houses a collection of art and historical objects.
  • University of Évora: One of the oldest universities in Europe, founded in the 16th century, with fascinating buildings and interior courtyards.
Evora Cathedral
Evora Cathedral

Recommendations for visiting Évora

Here are some recommendations to make the most of your visit to Évora:

  • Explore the historic center: Évora is a perfect place to stroll and discover its cobblestone streets and charming squares. Do not hesitate to get lost among its most picturesque corners.
  • Taste the local gastronomy: Savor the delicious Alentejo cuisine, known for its traditional dishes such as bacalao a la Évora, migas and pastel de nata.
  • Visit the nearby vineyards: In the surroundings of Évora, you can find wineries and vineyards that produce some of the best wines in Portugal. Enjoy tastings and discover the secrets of local winemaking.
  • Participate in traditional festivities: Évora celebrates various festivities throughout the year, such as the St. John’s Fair and Easter festivities. Immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the traditions.
  • Visit the surroundings: Take advantage of your stay in Évora to explore the surrounding area, where you will find charming villages such as Monsaraz and Estremoz, famous for their beauty and historical heritage.

Évora is a destination you cannot miss if you want to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Portugal. With its impressive heritage and unique charm, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

Other interesting destinations in Portugal

Discover the beauty of São Miguel Island

If you are looking for a paradisiacal destination in Portugal, the island of São Miguel in the Azores is a must-see option. Known as the “green island”, São Miguel offers breathtaking landscapes, active volcanoes and a great diversity of flora and fauna. You can explore the Serra da Tronqueira Natural Park, enjoy a relaxing bath in the Furnas hot springs and marvel at the views from Lagoa do Fogo. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the delicious local cuisine, with fresh produce from the sea and the land.

Exploring Vila Nova de Gaia and its wine cellars

Vila Nova de Gaia, located at the mouth of the Douro River, is famous for being home to the Port wine cellars. Here you can take guided tours of the cellars and learn about the production process of this highly prized wine. Enjoy wine tastings and discover the secrets behind the aging of port wines. In addition to the wineries, Vila Nova de Gaia has beautiful river views, restaurants with delicious local cuisine and opportunities to stroll through its charming streets.

The marvelous beaches of Praia de Dona Ana

Dona Ana Beach
Dona Ana Beach

If you are a lover of dreamy beaches, you cannot miss Praia de Dona Ana in the Algarve. This small and fascinating beach is located in a cove surrounded by impressive rock formations.

Its crystal clear waters invite you to take a refreshing swim and its golden sand is perfect for relaxing and sunbathing.

In addition, from Praia de Dona Ana, you can take boat trips and discover other nearby beaches and grottoes. Enjoy a day of sun and sea in one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.

Tips and recommendations for traveling to Portugal

Tips for planning your trip to Portugal

If you are planning a trip to Portugal, here are some useful tips to keep in mind before embarking on your adventure:

  • Research and choose the cities and places you are most interested in visiting in Portugal. The country has a wide range of tourist attractions, from historic cities to beautiful beaches.
  • Check the entry and visa requirements for your nationality before traveling. Make sure you have all the necessary documents in order.
  • Decide the best time to visit Portugal. The climate varies in different regions, so research the ideal season to enjoy your favorite activities.
  • Plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time in Portugal. Consider the distances between cities and choose the most convenient transportation to get around.
  • Learn about the local culture and customs. In addition, familiarize yourself with some basic Portuguese phrases, which will help you communicate better with the locals.
  • Research Portuguese gastronomy and try traditional dishes during your trip. In addition, don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous pastel de nata (cream cakes) and bacalao (codfish), two culinary delights that are highly prized in Portugal.
  • Be sure to book accommodation in advance, especially in the most popular cities. Portugal has a wide variety of options, from luxurious hotels to cozy hostels.

It is essential to take out travel insurance before leaving for Portugal. Although we do not expect to have problems during our vacation, it is better to be prepared. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting travel insurance:

  • Protection against possible flight cancellations, delays or changes in travel plans.
  • Medical coverage in case of illness or injury during your stay in Portugal.
  • Assistance in case of lost or stolen luggage.
  • Legal support in case of legal emergencies during your trip.

There are different travel insurance options on the market, so we recommend you to research and compare to choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Best tours and excursions in Portugal

If you want to make the most of your visit to Portugal, consider joining organized tours and excursions. Here are some of the best options available:

  • Boat tour on the Douro River in Porto, enjoying the panoramic views and visiting the famous Port wine cellars.
  • Guided tour of the impressive monuments and palaces of Sintra, such as the National Palace of Pena and the Castelo dos Mouros.
  • Excursion to the paradisiacal beaches of the Algarve, where you can relax on the golden sand and enjoy the crystal clear sea.
  • Gondola ride through the canals of Aveiro, known as the “Portuguese Venice”, and enjoy the architecture and colors of the moliceiros.
  • Guided visit to the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe, and explore its impressive baroque library.
  • Excursion to the historic city of Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discover its megalithic monuments and medieval charm.

These tours and excursions will allow you to discover the highlights of Portugal and enjoy unforgettable experiences during your trip.

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