What to Do and See in Portugal

A magnificent experience that blends history, culture, and natural beauty is travelling to Portugal. Portugal, a nation in southwest Europe, is renowned for its balmy weather, stunning coastline, and warm population. Portugal’s architecture, museums, and landmarks all display the country’s rich history and culture.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is one of the must-see cities there. Lisbon is a stunning city with a long history and a wealth of attractions, including the old town’s exploration, museums, and the famed Pasteis de Belem. Another well-known city in Portugal is Porto, which is renowned for its wine, lovely waterfront, and magnificent architecture.

The Algarve region of Portugal, which is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and gorgeous cliffs, is one of the country’s many stunning beaches. The Peneda-Gerês National Park, which is ideal for hiking and outdoor sports, is one of the many natural parks and reserves found in Portugal. Overall, travelling to Portugal is wonderful and has something to offer everyone.

In this article, we will be discus what you should do and see when you visit Portugal.

  1. Visit Lisbon

A trip to Lisbon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that combines history, culture, and breath taking architecture. Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is located on the banks of the Tagus River. Lisbon has a long history that stretches back to the Roman era and has had a significant impact on the formation of Portugal’s identity.

The city is renowned for its vibrantly coloured structures, cobblestone lanes, and historic areas including Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Chiado. Visitors can explore museums and historic sites like the National Museum of Ancient Art, Belem Tower, and Jeronimos Monastery.

Lisbon is renowned for its mouth-watering cuisine, which includes delectable pastries, seafood, and wine. Visitors can eat regional specialties including sardinhas (grilled sardines), bacalhau (salt fish), and the renowned Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts).

Additionally, the city has a thriving nightlife with a wide selection of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Overall, going to Lisbon is a fantastic experience that has something to offer to everyone.

2. Visit Sintra

Just outside of Lisbon, in the Serra de Sintra highlands, is the charming town of Sintra. It is a popular day trip from Lisbon due to its magnificent palaces, castles, and spectacular countryside.

The Pena Palace, a colourful castle built high on a hilltop overlooking the town, is one of the most well-known sights in Sintra. The palace and its luxuriant grounds, which provide breath taking views of the surrounding countryside, are open to visitors.

Other must-see sights in Sintra include the Quinta da Regaleira, a beautiful estate with elaborate gardens, grottoes, and underground passages, and the Castle of the Moors, a mediaeval fortification perched atop another hill overlooking the town.

Sintra is renowned for its picturesque streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and restaurants in addition to its historical sites. Visitors can experience regional wines and traditional Portuguese cuisine, including grilled fish and seafood.

Overall, a trip to Sintra is a magical adventure that provides a window into the rich history and culture of Portugal.

3. Visit Porto

A lively city in Portugal’s north is called Porto, commonly spelt Oporto. It is renowned for its beautiful architecture, port wine, and historical landmarks.

The historic Ribeira neighborhood, which is situated on the banks of the Douro River, is one of Porto’s top tourist destinations. Visitors can stroll through the vibrant streets, take in the historic architecture, and relax with a meal or drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

The Dom Luis I Bridge, a famous steel bridge that links Porto to the nearby town of Vila Nova de Gaia, is another must-see attraction. For breath-taking views of the river and the city, visitors can cross the bridge on foot.

Vila Nova de Gaia is home to Porto’s famous port wine cellars. The wonderful port wine may be tasted while taking a tour of the cellars and learning about the wine-making process.

Overall, a trip to Porto is a special experience filled with history, culture, delicious food, and fine wine.

  1. Relax on the Portuguese Beaches

Portugal is well known for its breath taking coastline and immaculate beaches, which draw numerous tourists there each year. There are numerous beaches to pick from, each with its own distinct charm and character, along the more than 800 kilometres of coastline.

The Algarve, a region of Portugal’s south, is renowned for its stunning beaches with clear waters and golden sands. There are several water sports and activities available at the well-liked tourist sites of Praia da Rocha and Praia de Tavira.

The northern region of Portugal, known as the Costa Verde, has a more rocky and dramatic coastline with isolated coves and charming fishing towns. Surfers frequently visit Praia da Aplia and Praia de Moledo because of the enormous waves and powerful currents there.

Other prominent beaches are Praia da Falesia in the Algarve, which offers a long stretch of golden sand surrounded by spectacular cliffs, and Praia do Guincho, which is close to Lisbon and famed for its high winds and good surfing conditions.

Portugal’s beaches often have something to offer everyone, from quiet coves to busy tourist areas.

  1. Visit Peneda-Gerês National Park

A breath taking natural beauty called Peneda-Gerês National Park may be found in northern Portugal, not far from the Spanish border. It is Portugal’s sole national park and spans an area of more than 700 square kilometres, with craggy mountains, deep valleys, and lakes and rivers with crystal pure water.

In addition to a wide range of bird species, the park is home to a diverse range of flora and animals, including wolves, deer, otters, and wild boar. It is renowned for its distinctive geology, which includes granite structures and stunning waterfalls.

In addition to swimming and canoeing in the park’s lakes and rivers, visitors to Peneda-Gerês National Park can go hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. A variety of cultural attractions, including as historic stone carvings and traditional villages, are also available in the park.

Peneda-Gerês National Park offers a singular and remarkable experience of Portugal’s natural splendor, making it a must-visit location for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

If you would like to book a tour to see the Peneda-Geres National Park, click here or on the Klook image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

6. Enjoy the Algarve

Portugal’s southernmost region, the Algarve, is one of the most well-liked travel destinations in the world. It is well known for its stunning beaches, clear waters, and warm weather, making it the perfect place to go for a restful and sunny vacation.

The Algarve’s lovely towns and villages, like Lagos, Portimo, and Albufeira, provide a variety of cultural and historical attractions in addition to top-notch food and nightlife alternatives. Visitors can visit these places while on vacation.

The greatest draw of the Algarve are its beaches, which stretch over 200 km of breath taking coastline. Popular beaches like Praia da Rocha and Praia de Tavira provide a variety of water sports and activities, while more sedate beaches like Praia da Dona Ana and Praia do Vau provide a more tranquil and private experience.

Overall, the Algarve offers a singular and remarkable experience of Portugal’s natural beauty and culture, making it a must-visit location for visitors seeking sun, beach, and leisure.

  1. Visit Évora

The Portuguese city of Évora is renowned for its well-preserved mediaeval architecture and rich cultural history. It is situated in the Alentejo area. Visitors can explore a variety of remarkable historic monuments and landmarks in the city, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

The Templo Romano, a superbly preserved Roman temple from the first century AD, is one of Évora’s most well-liked sights. Visitors can also explore the magnificent Cathedral of Évora, which has a variety of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.

Other noteworthy locations in Évora include the Capela dos Ossos, a chapel embellished with the remains of over 5,000 monks, and the Igreja de So Francisco, a building with magnificent Gothic architecture and beautiful tile work.

Aside from having a rich cultural history, Évora also has a variety of places to eat, shop, and enjoy a vibrant nightlife. In general, Évora is a must-visit location for everyone fascinated by the rich history and culture of Portugal.

  1. Do a Wine Tour in the Douro Valley

Portugal’s Douro Valley is renowned for its breath taking scenery, terraced vineyards, and top-notch wine production. Any traveller or wine enthusiast visiting Portugal should take a wine tour in the Douro Valley.

Visitors can explore the numerous vineyards and wineries in the area while on a wine tour, learning about the wine-making process and tasting some of the best drinks the Douro Valley has to offer. The tour frequently includes a stop at a traditional wine cellar where visitors can taste and learn about port wine.

Visitors can engage in a variety of activities in the Douro Valley in addition to wine tastings, including hiking, biking, and boating, all while admiring the stunning environment.

Overall, a wine tour in the Douro Valley is a unique opportunity to sample some of the world’s top wines while taking in the breath taking natural beauty of this area.

If you would like to book a wine tour of the Douro Valley, click here or on the Get Your Guide image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Visit Tomar

Centrally located in Portugal, Tomar is a lovely mediaeval city renowned for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural surroundings. Convento de Cristo, a well-preserved Templar stronghold built in the 12th century and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the city’s most well-known landmark.

Tomar’s mediaeval alleyways, castle, and several churches and palaces all draw tourists who want to experience the city’s magnificent architecture. The stunning Manueline window of the Igreja de So Joo Baptista, which is regarded as one of the finest specimens of Portuguese Gothic architecture, is one of the city’s most well-known attractions.

Tomar is a wonderful starting point for exploring the countryside in the area, especially the Serra de Estrela natural reserve, which has some of Portugal’s most breath taking scenery. Albufeira do Castelo de Bode Lake and Constância, a picturesque village on the banks of the Tagus River, are two other attractions in the area.

  1. Visit Ponta Delgada

On the Portuguese nation’s Azores archipelago’s island of So Miguel, Ponta Delgada is a charming city. Ponta Delgada draws visitors from all over the world with its breath-taking surroundings, lively culture, and rich history.

The city is renowned for its quaint old district, which is home to winding cobblestone lanes, stunning churches, and tasteful 18th-century buildings. The Portas da Cidade, a regal entranceway that welcomes guests to Ponta Delgada’s centre, is one of the city’s most recognisable monuments.

Nature lovers will have many places to explore in the neighbourhood. The spectacular natural beauties of So Miguel, including as crater lakes, thermal springs, and lush vegetation, are well known. A must-see feature is the Sete Cidades Lake, which has twin lakes tucked inside of volcanic craters.

Additionally, Ponta Delgada provides a range of cultural encounters. The city holds yearly celebrations of history and faith, including the Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, which draws together residents and tourists.

Ponta Delgada is a location that captures the hearts of people who visit with its blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and genuine friendliness, making it a true gem of the Azores.

  1. Cruising around Portugal

Portugal offers a beautiful blend of coastline beauty, extensive history, and dynamic culture for cruise travelers. There are several options to set sail on an unforgettable cruise journey, from the picturesque Douro River to the breathtaking Algarve coastline.

The Douro River, known for its stunning scenery and wineries, is one of Portugal’s most well-liked sailing locations. Travellers can take in the splendour of the region’s terraced vineyards, charming villages, and historical sites, such as Porto’s famed Dom Lus I Bridge, while on a cruise along the Douro.

Another great place to go cruising is along the Algarve coast, which is renowned for its breath-taking cliffs, golden beaches, and beautiful waters. In addition to visiting attractive coastal cities like Lagos and Albufeira, cruisers can explore the area’s undiscovered coves and partake in water sports like snorkelling, kayaking, and deck-side tanning.

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is frequently where cruises begin or terminate. The Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, two of the city’s most well-known features, are magnificently visible from a boat along the Tagus River.

Cruising in Portugal offers a singular and wonderful way to enjoy the country’s beauty and charm, whether it is touring the historic cities along the Douro River, finding the Algarve’s hidden treasures, or taking in the sights of Lisbon.

If you would like to book a river or ocean cruise around Portugal, click here or on the cruise or Viator image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Portuguese Festivals

The brilliant and colorful celebrations of Portugal’s rich cultural history are known as festivals. These festivities provide a fascinating look into Portuguese traditions and customs, from music and dancing to food and drink.

The Carnaval, a pre-Lenten celebration that takes place in places all around Portugal, is one of the most well-known festivities there. Along with vibrant parades, music, and dancing, the Carnaval also involves customary attire and masks.

The Festa de So Joo, which takes place in the city of Porto in late June, is another well-known celebration. The custom of hitting one other with plastic hammers and releasing sky lanterns into the night sky is part of this festival, which also includes street celebrations, music, and fireworks.

Other famous celebrations include the Festa de Santo António in Lisbon, which has parades, music, and regional cuisine, and the Festa dos Tabuleiros in Tomar, which features a procession of women carrying magnificent bread baskets on their heads.

Overall, participating in Portuguese festivals is a great way to explore the nation’s rich culture and traditions.

If you would like to book a ticket to an event or festival in Portugal, click here or on the Ticketmaster image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers.