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Whether you are drawn to the picturesque cobblestone streets of Lisbon, Porto's historic charm, or the Algarve's sun-kissed beaches, there are so many fun places to visit in Portugal. Immerse yourself in the unique blend of medieval architecture, scenic coastal vistas, and delectable cuisine on a Portugal trip. Here are our top 10 places to visit in Portugal for those experiences.

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1. Lisbon

Famous arch at the Praca do Camercio during a clear day in Lisbon, Portugal
Step into the heart of Lisbon's allure at Praca do Comercio and be captivated by the majestic arch that narrates the city's tales.

As Portugal's capital and largest city, Lisbon charms with historic districts like Alfama and iconic landmarks such as Sao Jorge Castle. Indulge in local flavors at Belem, home to the famous Pasteis de Belem bakery. Walk along the scenic Tagus River waterfront and explore Cais do Sodre’s blend of markets and bars. Hop on the historic Tram 28 for a city tour. With its lively culture, historic sites, and delicious cuisine, Lisbon is one of the best places to visit in Portugal.

Highlights:

  • Discover Belém's historic district and landmarks like the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Savor renowned Pastéis de Nata at Pastéis de Belém bakery amidst Unesco-listed architectural marvels.
  • Experience Alfama's allure, one of the best places to visit in Lisbon, which is also one of the oldest neighborhoods. Explore São Jorge Castle for panoramic views and a captivating journey through medieval history.
  • Discover Lisbon's nightlife in Bairro Alto with its lively bars and Fado houses. Explore a blend of historic charm, modern boutiques, and iconic landmarks like the Elevador de Santa Justa in the chic Chiado district.
  • Visit the Lisbon Oceanarium, one of Europe's largest indoor aquariums, in Parque das Nações. Immerse yourself in a captivating underwater world with diverse marine life, including sharks, rays, and vibrant fish—a must-visit for nature and sea enthusiasts.

2. Porto

Porto is a compact city in Europe that is a great summer destination.
Explore the narrow streets, discover medieval culture and explore Portugese dishes during your Porto trip.

Porto, Portugal's gem, captivates with its riverside charm. Explore Ribeira's narrow streets and iconic Dom Luís I Bridge for stunning views. Visit Livraria Lello, a captivating bookstore, and savor traditional dishes in this birthplace of Port wine. With its historic allure and culinary delights, Porto is a must-visit destination in Portugal.

Highlights:

  • Experience the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, followed by a scenic stroll along the picturesque Douro River. Cross the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and relish views of colorful waterfront buildings.
  • Explore Livraria Lello, one of the world's most beautiful bookstores, known for its neo-Gothic architecture and connection to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter inspiration.
  • Visit Vila Nova de Gaia's historic Port wine cellars across the river. Explore Port wine production, taste various varieties, and enjoy panoramic views of Porto's skyline.
  • Savor São Bento Railway Station's azulejos and Clerigos Tower's panoramas for a glimpse into Porto's rich history and architecture.

3. Algarve

View of beautiful Praia de Marinha with crystal clear water on a clear day.
Immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Portugal's Praia de Marinha, where golden cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sea caves create a picturesque coastal paradise for an unforgettable travel experience.

Famed for its golden beaches, stunning cliffs, and picturesque villages like Lagos and Albufeira, Algarve is one of the top places to visit in Portugal. Discover hidden grottoes, such as the famous Benagil Cave, and enjoy water sports on sandy beaches like Praia da Marinha. Golf enthusiasts find world-class courses, while Faro’s historic town charms with medieval walls. Algarve’s sun-soaked landscapes and welcoming towns make it a must-visit destination for those seeking the beauty of Portugal’s southern coast.

Highlights:

  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of Praia da Marinha, one of Europe’s most stunning beaches. Marvel at the golden cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations that make this beach an iconic destination in the Algarve.
  • Experience the magical atmosphere of the Benagil Sea Cave, accessible by boat and admire the impressive dome and natural illumination that creates a captivating environment inside the cave.
  • Take a boat tour to Ponta de Piedade to witness the breathtaking sea stacks, frottoes, and cliffs along the coastline, showcasing the natural beauty of the Algarve.
  • Stand atop Cabo de Sao Vicente and appreciate the historic lighthouse and take in the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, offering a sense of awe and exploration.

4. Douro Valley

The Douro river  passing through the Douro Valley
Cruise along the beautiful Douro landscapes, quaint villages and acres of vineyards.

Nestled along the Douro River, Portugal’s Douro Valley boasts terraced vineyards producing world-class port wine. Wine enthusiasts can savor tastings in historic Quintas and cruise the river for stunning landscapes. The valley’s scenic drives and vine-covered hills offer a serene immersion into Portugal’s rich winemaking heritage. A must-visit destination for those seeking the tranquility and flavors of Douro’s wine country.

Highlights:

  • Immerse yourself in winemaking by exploring renowned wine estates and quintas, engaging in wine tastings to savor the exceptional Port wine and other local varieties, and gaining insights into the winemaking process through guided vineyard tours.
  • Sail along the Douro River, taking in the breathtaking landscapes of terraced vineyards, charming villages, and historic landmarks while enjoying the leisurely pace of a cruise.
  • Explore Pinhao’s train station adorned with beautiful azulejos depicting local scenes, wander through the village streets, immerse yourself in local markets, and savor traditional Portuguese cuisine in this picturesque setting.

5. Sintra

Panoramic view of Pena National Palace in Sintra on a beautiful summer day.
Ascend the Sintra mountains to discover the enchanting Pena Palace, a masterpiece of Romanticist design offering panoramic views and intricate details.

Nestled amid lush landscapes, Sintra in Portugal is a captivating blend of fairy-tale charm and historic treasures. Explore the panoramic Pena Palace, the Unesco-listed Sintra National Palace, and the mystical Quinta da Regaleira. Stroll through the charming historic center and visit the ancient Moorish Castle. Easily accessible from Lisbon, Sintra is one of the unique places to visit in Portugal, offering a captivating blend of architectural marvels and natural beauty.

Highlights:

  • Discover the enchanting Pena Palace atop Sintra mountains and marvel at its vibrant Romanticist design, intricate details, and relish panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings.
  • Discover the enchantment of Quinta da Regaleira, where a palace, gardens, and mysterious tunnels showcase symbolism-rich architecture, hidden passages, and captivating initiation wells.
  • Explore the ancient Moorish Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress with panoramic views of Sintra, including the Pena Palace and lush countryside.

6. Setubal Peninsula

Beautiful landscape with golden beach and green hill on a clear day in Arrá
Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Arrábida Natural Park – a haven of limestone hills, lush forests, and secluded beaches with breathtaking landscapes and stunning Atlantic Ocean views.

Located in the south of Lisbon, Setubal Peninsula beckons with vibrant waterfronts, fresh seafood at Mercado do Livramento, and charming streets. Take a ferry to Troia for pristine beaches and Roman ruins and explore Arrabida Natural Park for stunning views and dolphin watching. Easily accessible from Lisbon, Setubal Peninsula is a top destination for coastal escape and delectable cuisine along Portugal’s southwestern shores.

Highlights:

  • Discover the Troia Peninsula's pristine beaches, explore Roman ruins, and immerse yourself in history amidst the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, enhanced by a scenic ferry journey from Setúbal.
  • Explore the natural beauty of Arrábida Natural Park, with limestone hills, lush forests, and secluded beaches, offering breathtaking landscapes and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Embark on a Sado River boat tour for a unique and unforgettable dolphin-watching experience in their natural habitat, as the river hosts a resident population of bottlenose dolphins.

7. The Azores

A woman traveler admiring the beauty of nature in the Azores.
Embark on a captivating hike to the summit, where breathtaking views of Atlantic Ocean and neighboring islands unfold.

Portugal’s Azores, an Atlantic paradise, offers stunning landscapes and vibrant blue lakes on Sao Miguel. Pico Island offers Portugal’s highest peak and UNESCO-listed vineyards, while Faial showcases a vibrant marina and iconic volcanic landscapes. Surrounding Atlantic waters provide marine encounters with whales and dolphins. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the Azores offer hiking, hot springs, and water sports, making it a top destination for an immersive experience in Portugal’s breathtaking archipelago.

Highlights:

  • Marvel at the captivating twin lakes of Lagoa das Sete Citadels, surrounded by lush landscapes, and enjoy a memorable panoramic view of their contrasting blue and green hues from Vista do Rei.
  • Experience the geothermal wonders of Furnas Valley on São Miguel Island, with bubbling hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles. Indulge in the unique tradition of enjoying a meal, Cozido das Furnas, cooked using the Earth's natural heat.
  • Discover Pico Island, housing Portugal's highest peak, Mount Pico. Hike to the summit for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and neighboring islands and explore Unesco-listed vineyards that produce the renowned Pico wine.

8. Evora

The Roman Temple of Evora on a clear day in Portugal.
Step back in time at Évora's Roman Temple, a marvel of 1st-century AD architecture that whispers tales of ancient history and stands proudly as a testament to the city's enduring legacy.

Evora is a Portuguese gem that boasts UNESCO-listed sites like the Roman Temple of Diana, the Se Cathedral, and the Chapel of Bones. Giraldo Square is a lively hub in the charming Old Town, featuring the intricate Se Cathedral and the eerie Chapel of Bones at the Church of St. Francis. The city's ancient aqueduct and well-preserved city walls provide glimpses into its rich history. With its blend of Roman, Moorish, and medieval influences, Evora is one of the top 10 places to visit in Portugal for history and culture enthusiasts.

Highlights:

  • Discover the well-preserved Roman Temple of Évora, an impressive 1st-century AD structure standing as a testament to the city's ancient history and architectural significance.
  • Experience the unique and somewhat macabre atmosphere of the Chapel of Bones within the Church of St. Francis, adorned with human bones and skulls.
  • Explore the grand Gothic Évora Cathedral, dominating the city's skyline. Ascend to the rooftop for panoramic views, offering a unique perspective on Évora's history and architecture.

9. The Minho

Scenic view of Cavado River and Peneda-Geres National Park on a clear day
Embark on a journey of natural wonders and untamed beauty at Peneda-Geres National Park, a must-visit destination in Portugal where pristine landscapes and diverse wildlife await your exploration.

Nestled in northern Portugal, the Minho region invites exploration with historic Braga, boasting Bom Jesus do Monte and the Sé Cathedral. Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal, offers a medieval castle. Nature lovers can trek through Peneda-Gerês National Park's stunning landscapes. Enjoy local cuisine featuring "caldo verde" and Vinho Verde wines. The Minho provides an authentic Portuguese experience, blending history, nature, and delightful gastronomy.

Highlights:

  • Immerse yourself in the historic city of Braga and ascend the iconic Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary. The Baroque staircase leading to the hilltop church provides panoramic views of Braga.
  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guimarães, known as the ‘Birthplace of Portugal’. Wander through the well-preserved historic center, including Guimarães Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, for a glimpse of medieval charm and cultural heritage.
  • Explore Portugal's only national park, Peneda-Gerês, with its rugged landscapes, waterfalls, and picturesque villages.

10. Coimbra

Old Coimbra Cathedral on a clear day in Portugal.
Explore the timeless charm of Old Coimbra Cathedral in Portugal – a captivating blend of history and architectural splendor.

Coimbra invites visitors with its historic university, medieval streets, and soulful Fado music. Explore the Unesco-listed University of Coimbra, wander the Old Town's charming streets, and enjoy panoramic views from the Coimbra Cathedral. With a rich history and vibrant culture, Coimbra is a must-visit destination in Portugal.

Highlights:

  • Explore Coimbra's rich academic legacy at the historic University, with a unique visit to the Joanina Library showcasing Baroque architecture and a distinctive bat colony.
  • Visit the site of well-preserved Roman ruins, including villas, baths, and a forum, to gain insights into daily life during the Roman era at Conímbriga.
  • Explore the Coimbra Old Cathedral, a 12th-century Romanesque marvel with Gothic and Manueline elements, offering panoramic views of the city.

Whether exploring the UNESCO World Heritage sites, savoring local delicacies, or immersing oneself in the natural beauty of its parks and coastlines, the top 10 places to visit in Portugal mentioned above cater to every interest, ensuring an unforgettable journey for every traveler.

If you are looking for a more personalized travel experience, contact our travel experts for a customized trip to Portugal.

Published by Astha Joshi, updated on February 18, 2024
Plan a trip to PortugalWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to Portugal.
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