Tourism in Portugal has been cruising on a wave of success and it continues to be one of the best european value destinations. Tourists visit to see cities, historic landmarks, enjoy beaches, or religious sites. If you're organizing a trip to Portugal and wondering what to visit, here your have the best destinations to visit in Portugal.
The capital continues to sit at the top of travel itineraries, and visitors usually can’t wait to sink their teeth into authentic pasteis de nata, try one of the many bacalhau dishes, and explore the Portuguese calçadas (traditional mosaic walkways). Great weather and plenty of sunlight, there’s never a bad time to visit Lisbon which continues to be a city that can be explored on a budget and is still one of the most tranquil and affordable capitals in Europe. Visitors can anticipate winding, narrow roads, and phenomenal lookout points; in Alfama, mouthwatering aromas and wistful melodies (known as fado) drift from cozy restaurants that line the narrow, cobblestone labyrinth of streets. Don’t miss Chiado, the trendy district with the oldest bookstore in the world, or boho-chic Bairro Alto, which comes alive at night.
Known for it’s famous Porto wine, you can't miss Portugal’s second largest city characterized by old, colorful buildings sprawled across hilly streets. Anyone who loves Portugal’s azulejos tiles shouldn’t miss the São Bento railway station, which offers a stunning mosaic of tiles, transforming the walls into memorable works of art. There is no shortage of gardens, medieval palaces, and cathedrals, and the cuisine is often referred to as the best in the country.
Hans Christian Andersen, the most famous author of children’s fairy tales, once lived in a house in Sintra’s woods, and pleasantly-surprised visitors still stumble across the house while trekking downhill from the city’s many palaces and fortresses. A living fairy tale itself, there’s no shortage of inspiration for imaginations like Andersen’s. Located approximately 30 kilometers from Lisbon, getting to Sintra is easy and makes a great day trip, though you may prefer two or three days to see everything in detail. From the romantic 19th-century Pena Palace to the exquisite Monserrate Palace and medieval Castle of the Moors, the city will overwhelm the senses and transport minds to fictional destinations like Camelot or Westeros.
Surfing is one of the main attractions in Portugal, and Ericeira is a small fishing village with a big reputation for catching waves. It’s also easy to get to from Lisbon, and while it’s not the closest beach town to the capital, it is one of the busiest. Sitting along the cliffs that fringe the coast and watching surfers isn’t the only thing to do here as Ericeaira’s restaurants are among the top spots for indulging in fresh, delicious Portuguese food.
For those who want to go to mix warm weather, hiking expeditions, trendy beaches, and even trendier social scenes, Algarve is one of the best places. Each of the major cities including Albufeira, Lagos, Vilamoura and Portimão— is worth visiting and a weekend away may convince anyone that heaven exists here on Earth. Tiny treasure troves of jewel-bright waters and mesmerizing cliffs—like Camilo Beach in Lagos—are sprinkled across the region, and don’t worry about not speaking Portuguese if you need directions. Many neighborhoods in the Algarve (if not most), are more English-speaking than Portuguese these days, especially around Albufeira and Vilamoura. A few of the most tranquil towns are Sagres, Tavira, and Aljezur.
Break away from the crowds by visiting Alentejo region. The area’s capital city, Évora, is another lovely spot with a rich history and a mysterious nature that makes it a perfect Halloween destination, especially when taking into consideration the Capela dos Ossos or Chapel of Bones. Inside (and on) the walls of this 16th-century church are approximately 5,000 human skeletons. Of course, tourists shouldn’t miss the other historical sites, like the Roman Temple or Cathedral of Évora which together with the nearby villages are ideal retreats into nature where it is possible to hide away, enjoy true comfort food, and indulge in phenomenal wine.
How about visiting a city located within castle walls? Charming, picturesque, and romantic, Óbidos is a great place to bring a camera or smartphone and make your Instagram account more colorful. Expect clusters of white houses framed in bright flowers and souvenir shops ready for tourists. Don’t miss a taste of the Ginja de Óbidos, a cherry liqueur sometimes served in tiny chocolate cups. Once offered as the wedding gift from Portuguese kings to their queens, the city has developed a reputation as one of the most romantic destinations in Portugal. Óbidos has also been labeled a city for book lovers in large part due to the stunning Literary Man Hotel.
Serra da Estrela
This destination is a little harder to get to, but still well worth the effort. Portugal isn’t all beaches, and Serra da Estrela is home to the highest mountain peak in continental Portugal. Nature-lovers should take note because the remote mountain range of Serra da Estrela has plenty to see and do, and is the only place to go skiing in winter. Sparsely speckled with tiny villages, including one of the Seven Wonders in Portugal for 2017, the mountain feels rather remote and nature is the main attraction, but foodies may enjoy tasting the homemade honey and the creamy, pungent cheese that are made there.
Coimbra attracts more visitors than most others in Portugal being home to a high number of Roman and medieval ruins and another historical center, having once served as the capital of the country. Among the most visited tourist attractions is the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest continually-operating, degree-seeking institutions in the world. But its greatest claim to fame is the library; the Baroque-styled Biblioteca Joanina has been listed numerous times as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Portugal only has one national park and this is it ! Located in Minho, a region known for its beauty, Peneda-Gerês National Park offers oak forests, a winding Roman road with ancient markers, bridges and waterfalls, an excellent location to get in a good hike and also for bird-watching.. Camping is allowed in specific parts of the park and some natural pools allow swimming during the warmer months.
Is Portugal’s fourth largest city, tying together old and new, Braga is one of the oldest in the country with a strong, youthful following. In fact, it was labeled the European Youth Capital in 2012 and attracts students from the nearby University of Minho. Brimming with cafés, shops, restaurants and bars, the city is truly vibrant, but it’s also known for its religious side. In addition to the local cathedral being the oldest in the country, the stunning Bom Jesus do Monte is a religious retreat and the cathedral is quite unlike most others. Located on a hill in the woods and surrounded by gardens, visitors can climb the 116 meters of stairs and enjoy a breathtaking view at the top.
If you want to visit all the best tourism destinations in Portugal in a short time, you better opt for private tours. The company Tribos Tours can help you get the best of your trip in Portugal by showing more places in less time.