Once an important contributor to the New World Discovery Age, Portugal is a land of discovery itself where dramatic scenery unfolds to reveal medieval castles, world-class golf courses, golden-sand beaches, cobblestone villages dominated by beautiful churches, and captivating cities pulsing in rich culture, fabulous food and buzzing nightlife.
Located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries due to its idle climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. From the massive, dramatic cliffs that buffer the Atlantic in the south, to the soft rolling hills and vineyards of the Duoro in the north, Portugal is an amazingly diverse country for all your tourism goals.
While every place is worth the visit, we have listed 5 best places to visit in Portugal:
Stretching along the banks of the Tagus River near the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s capital and largest city winds upward among seven steep hills, forming an enchanting destination of warm weather, alluring alleys, quaint shops, Gothic cathedrals, impressive bridges and colorful neighborhoods, reverberating in traditional music.
The Baixa, Lisbon’s downtown area, is still the traditional center of city life and is where Lisbon’s oldest and traditional shops still exist. In this heart of the city, the streets that run parallel to the famous pedestrian-only street Rua Augusta identify the various tradesmen and craftsmen, who have continued to do business there since the time of the Maritime Discoveries. The best way to experience this city of Portugal is by taking one of the vintage trams such as the well known Tram 28, which winds along historic quarters, gardens and main attractions.
Sea, sun, and sand mark Portugal’s famous Algarve. While the region’s beaches and picturesque villages have made it world renowned, the region also has some world-renowned golf courses. Located in the country’s southernmost region, the Algarve offers a feast for the eyes, from tranquil landscapes of olive groves, traditional whitewashed villages to the wild, windswept coast with its dramatic cliffs dotted with summer resorts. Faro is the region’s capital, and Lagos is the area’s hot spot for nightlife. Looped by orange groves, Silves is best known for its red sandstone castle, while Tavira is an elegant town packed with Renaissance monuments, bridges and castles.
Sintra is a charming Portuguese town that makes for a great day trip from Lisbon or the Estoril – Cascais coastline. Contained in Sintra are stunning palaces, a ruinous castle and other grand residences, all of which are set amidst the beautiful scenery of the Serra de Sintra national park. Sintra’s Palácio da Pena is one of the best examples of 19th-century Romantic revivalism in Portugal. Set at the top of the Monte da Pena, the palace was built on the site of an old monastery belonging to the Order of St. Jerome. Sintra is rightly regarded as one of the top tourist destinations of Portugal and should be included in any holiday to the region.
Porto is a fascinating and vibrant city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most sought after tourist destinations. The city boasts of an extensive history, interesting tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife. Porto is a historic and varied city, from the warren of narrow streets that make up the ancient Ribeira district through to the grand plazas of the Avenida dos Aliados. The region is famed for the production of Port, which is still stored in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the mighty Douro River. Porto is ideally explored as a city break destination but is also a convenient base from which to explore northern Portugal. The city is truly vibrant and visitors can be assured of a great nightlife, daring restaurants and a blossoming cultural scene.
Located on a hilltop in the Centro Region of western Portugal, Obidos is encircled by an old fortified wall. Besides the wall, the magnificent medieval castle and historic center of Obidos make up the city’s main attraction and can easily be walked. A labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets leads visitors along busy squares, inviting cafes, quaint shops and whitewashed houses spruced with colorful flowers.
Obidos is one of the most picturesque towns of Portugal. The compact town centre is filled with cobbled streets and traditional painted houses, while the entire town is encircled by the solid city walls. Obidos was traditionally owned by the queen of Portugal and this has ensured that every house or shop has been lovingly cared for and maintained.