Portugal is one of the most exciting countries in Europe with its rich heritage, beautiful coastline, stunning beaches and fantastic culture. Holidays in Portugal are incredibly popular and for good reason. Here we give you a guide to the top things to do and see in Portugal for your next holiday.
We’ll start in the most obvious place with the capital Lisbon. Lisbon is a thriving bustling metropolis with a fantastic culture and one of the best clubbing scenes in Europe. The city was largely destroyed in 1755 which unfortunately means that a large part of the countries incredible history is sadly no more. However, it is still an incredible place and a few notable buildings remain including the incredible Catelo de Sao Jorge and the monastery of Jeronimos at Belem. The city more than makes up for this though with a lively culture and vibrant arts community while the modern architecture is simply sublime. The art museums particularly the Funacao Calouste Gulbenkian are incredible and the cities street café culture is fantastic fun. Travelling around the town on the wooden clunky trams is fantastic and gives you a great feel for the easy going cosmopolitan way of life that the city is so famous for.
Heading outside of the capital the top tourist destination is undoubtedly the Algarve with its beautiful coastline and fantastic beaches. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Algarve every year for the tourist resorts and beautiful sands. Lagos and Faro are fantastic towns to explore. Lagos has a rich maritime connection and is still a major fishing port. It is one of the most historically significant destinations thanks to the slave trade and the beautiful church. Faro, the capital of the Algarve, has a beautiful medieval town centre with fantastic museums and beautiful street cafes. Inland Silves is a beautiful Algarve town with an incredible Moorish fortress and beautiful cathedral to explore. The beaches of the region are the biggest draw though with the area around Ilha de Tavira providing some of the best spots for sun, sea, sand and local culture.
The centre and North of Portugal are the most overlooked by tourists but boast a rich history and a much less tourist orientated culture that makes them immensely appealing. Obidos in central Portugal is a beautiful whitewashed town with a fairy tale atmosphere, beautiful gardens and a beautiful local church. In Alcobaca you can visit the beautiful Cistercian Abbey and the 14th century tombs of Dom Pedro which are incredible and offer a great glimpse into the unique history of the country. Batalha offers one of the finest buildings in all of Portugal the Mosteiro de Batalha which was built to commemorate the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It’s a beautiful abbey with incredible architecture and well worth exploring. In Northern Portugal Braga is perhaps the most intriguing place and considered to be the religious capital of the country. It is home to the Archbishop’s palace and the King’s chapel which are beautiful buildings and hold incredible religious significance to the Portuguese. Finally the valley river of Douro and the Douro rail route take oyu through some of the finest Portuguese countryside and offer a much different experience to the rest of a trip. Portugal holidays offer a great diversity and there’s plenty to do so hopefully we’ve given you some great ideas.