Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries due to its idyllic climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. It offers an incredibly diverse range of visitor attractions.
Portugal, located on the western coast of Iberian peninsula, is one of the most famous holiday destinations in Europe. Portugal offers pretty farmlands, beautiful beaches, fairy-tale castles, mighty mountains, famous vineyards, and rich history.
Places to Visit in Portugal
The capital of Portugal stretches along the Tagus River. Just stroll away in the city or gorge on the famous Portugese tart. Especially, Pastéis de Belém, just outside the city, is famous for its tarts. Other attractions here include the Belém Tower and Santa Justa Elevator.
St. George’s Castle, located on a hill near Alfama, is a popular attraction in Lisbon. The fabulous archaeology and museums make it worth a visit! Alfama also boasts of melancholy melodies known as fado.
Jeronimos Monastery built in the 16th century is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful monastery portrays the rich culture and history of the region.
The Lisbon Oceanarium is definitely one of the best and largest aquariums in Europe. It boasts of numerous fish species and marine animals.
The city is located in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains boasting of beautiful history. The colorful buildings and the streets lined with cafés come out of a fairytale.
The Pena’s Palace is a beautiful castle built in the mid-1800s that is a reminiscent of Germany’s Neuschwanstein. It was used as a summer retreat for the royal family. The palace is surrounded by parklands including exotic trees and flowers.
The Gardens of Monserrate is a great place to spend a romantic time with your partner. You can also see the Monserrate Palace.
Another attraction is the Castle of the Moors standing tall on the city’s highest hill.
Sintra Palace should definitely be on your list! The two conical chimneys are a distinctive feature of the 14th century palace. It was built for King João I and is the oldest surviving palace in Portugal.
The News Museum is one of the most interactive museums focusing on the role news, media, and communications play in our modern world. The Toy Museum is also located in the same building.
Azores consists of 9 volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Each island is beautiful in its own way. Azores is famous for whale watching, surfing, hiking, the pretty towns, and hot mineral springs.
São Miguel, also known as ‘The Green Island’ is the largest and most populous island here.
The island of Pico boasts of the highest mountain in Portugal, Mount Pico which stands tall at 2,351 meters.
Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region in southern Portugal. The city boasts of over 4,000 historic walls and temples.
Just outside the city, Almendres Cromlech, Europe’s largest complex of prehistoric megaliths is located.
Evora Cathedral built in the 13th century, boasts of beautiful interiors with a stony exterior. It resembles a fortress due to the pair of asymmetrical bell towers.
Roman Templa is also known as the Temple of Diana, the Roman Goddess. The famous religious place attracts lot of crowd.
The Chapel of Bones is a small chapel decorated with the skeletons of previous city inhabitants and attracts lot of crowd too, on Halloween specifically!
Porto is located in Northern Portugal, along the hills overlooking the Douro River. The city is known for its production of port wine in the whole world. The busy city is bustling with live music, fancy restaurants, cozy cafés, colorful buildings, and charming pedestrian zones.
Livrario Lello attracts a lot of Potterheads as it’s also known as the Harry Potter bookshop. It is said that J.K.Rowling frequently visited this book store while she was living here and was an inspiration for ‘Flourish and Blotts’.
Porto Bridge is one of the attractions here where there are guided tours around this structure. People are secured with a harness and safely taken around.
The riverside area is very pretty with its winding streets and quaint alleys amidst the arches. The Ribeira Square, known as Praça da Ribeira, is a beautiful and lively square where youngsters meet up.
The Mediaval village, Sortelha is a small village with a rich history. You feel like literally walking through the medieval times.
Coimbra, a beautiful river-side city boasts of a lively culture, pretty gardens, and many historic sites like the Old Cathedral and Gothic Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha. Also, visit the Joanina Library in the University of Coimbra which is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Aveiro is often called as the ‘Venice of Portugal’ because of its canals, cute bridges, and colorful gondolas. The city boasts of stunning beaches and delicious cuisine.
The major attractions here are the Aveiro Cathedral, Convento de Jesus, and São Gonçalinho Chapel; which boasts of beautiful architecture.
Madeira, nicknamed as the ‘Floating Garden if the Atlantic’ lies in the Atlantic Ocean, between Portugal and North Africa. It’s known for its flower gardens, lush green forests, beautiful waterfalls, volcanic rockpools, and wine!
The capital city, Funchal, is home to various historic fortresses and churches. Must-visit places are the Laurissilva Forest, world’s largest number of laurel (broadleaf tree species) and the Orchid Garden.
The town, Obidos, is located on a hilltop in the Centro Region of western Portugal, within castle walls! The Medieval Castle and the Historic Center of Obidos are major attractions here.
The cobbled and winding streets, old churches, quaint shops and cafes, whitewashed houses, and numerous bookshops; give you the perfect reasons to get lost in the beautiful city.
It is a UNESCO city of literature and boasts of the largest literary hotel, The Literary Man Hotel. Ginja de Óbidos, a specialty, is a cherry liqueur served in small chocolate cups.
Algarve is renowned for its picturesque beaches, quaint towns, dramatic cliffs, historic sites, and affordable prices.
Benagil Cave is a cave that can be reached by a boat. There’s a small beach inside the cave and it is a sight when the sun shines from the open top.
Faro is the capital known for its architectural history, beautiful churches, and their outdoor cafés. An interesting thing here is that a few white storks have adapted to this town and stayed here for a long time. You can see their nests and chicks in the town.
Faro definitely stands out in the list of a backpacker. It is a buzzing student city and offers great affordable food and drink options. You can also go off beat by travelling to Barreta Island which offers beautiful waters and gorgeous beaches.
Lagos is known for its bustling nightlife and impressive beaches. Silves is known for its red sandstone castle and orange groves. Tavira is a town famous for Renaissance castles, monuments, and bridges.
Douro is a beautiful region where you could go on a long ride or take a boat ride; exploring the stunning landscape of vineyard and enjoying food and wine. It is also famous or the hotels and spas.
Sagres is the most western part of Europe which is perfect to experience dramatic cliffs, huge waves, breathtaking views, and go through hiking trails. Fortaleza de Sagres, the fort, is a off-beat one and worth the effort it takes to reach.
Ericeira is renowned for its great waves and is a paradise for water sport lovers. You may even take a class in the award winning surfing schools here. Don’t forget to enjoy the delicious Portuguese seafood here.
Tomar is known for its history as it’s the headquarters of the Knights Templar for over 200 years. Major attractions here are Convent of Christ, Pegoes Aqueduct, and Castelo de Tomar.
In the heart of Sintra Forests, you can visit the little whitewashed villages in the Sintra-Cascais National Park. You can even take a cooking class in small organic farms. You can also visit Cabo da Roca for panoramic views of the cliffs over the Atlantic Ocean. You can even get a personalized certificate stating that you’ve been here.
Serra da Estrela is a paradise for nature lovers and also boasts of the highest mountain peak in Porugal. It also is the place for skiing in winter. The beautiful villages and the delicious homemade food items is inviting for tourists.
Monsanto is a place where it feels like time has stopped. It is a village built around huge boulders and almost hasn’t changed in over many years.