The 17 Best places to visit in Portugal
Discover the Best Places in Portugal, the must-see destinations in Portugal, the very Best Destinations of Portugal. You certainly know the beautiful cities of Porto and Lisbon but have you ever visited Aveiro, the little Venice of Portugal, Sintra and its romantic castles? Or Lagos and its "Ponta da Piedade"?
Three times awarded the title of "European Best Destination", Porto is the Best Place to Visit in Portugal! You will quickly fall in love with Porto. It's almost impossible to resist the authentic streets that smell like Porto wine, its traditional markets or its markets of young designers, its authentic or trendy cafés.
Porto is very good at mixing tradition and modernity, authenticity and fashion. The locals are perhaps the greatest wealth of this lovely city. Improvise, let yourself be carried by the atmosphere of this city. Stroll around meet people, eat, drink, laugh, dance, you are in Porto, a city with a heart on the hand.
Treat yourself to a cruise on the Douro Valley, a Portuguese wine tasting, a visit to the Serralves Foundation, and a visit to the Port wine cellars. Hundreds of unforgettable experiences await you in Porto, the best destination to visit in Portugal.
Where to stay: For a perfect stay we recommend "Porto Moments" a welcoming house dating 1893 completely renovated in the heart of the cellars of Porto.
Lisbon is one of the most exotic destinations but also the most authentic of Europe. The capital of Portugal is of course on the podium of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal. Come discover the city, its inhabitants, its students’ traditional songs, its folklore, its Fado,... Climb to the top of the Sao Jorge castle, watch the sun set on the 25th April bridge, have a drink on the terrace, watch dogs play around the fountain, ladies hanging laundry on the clothesline at the windows.
Life is sweet and calm, you are in Portugal, in one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe and one of the Best Destinations in Portugal.
Where to stay: If you want to live an exceptional experience, book your stay at the "Olissippo Lapa Palace", you may meet the singer Sting who stays there when he is in the Portuguese capital.
Elected among the best destinations in Europe, Braga is one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal. Braga is a city that combines tradition and modernity. It is a perfect destination if you want to immerse yourself in authentic Portugal, for lovers of baroque architecture or for shopping fans.
Braga has both small shopping streets and huge shopping centres, among the largest in Europe including the Centro Comercial Nova Arcada. Shopping is, nowadays, a form of religion. For non shopping fans we recommend a visit to the sanctuary of "Bom Jesus do Monte", a place straight out of a fairy tale.
If you still have energy after climbing the 650 steps of its magnificent staircase, discover the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro which offers breathtaking views of the entire region and, for believers, relics of Pope John Paul II who visited the sanctuary in 1982.
How to get there: Book your flights to Porto (40min by car, 1h by public transport).
Where to stay: For a perfect stay we recommend "Porto Moments" a welcoming house dating 1893 completely renovated in the heart of the cellars of Porto.
Barcelos is the cradle of Portugal's symbol in the world, the Galo de Barcelos (Barcelos Rooster). A happy, creative, safe and sunny city, located on the north coast of Portugal, between Braga and Porto. The city evokes a garden amid the sea and the mountains, bathed by the River Cávado and crossed by the Portuguese Way of Santiago.
Visit Barcelos, discover its hospitality, taste unique experiences in a living and dynamic territory, stay in excellent accommodation, savour the exquisite gastronomy and wines, enjoy tailored experiences and a tourism of excellency in one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal.
How to get there: Book your flights to Porto (30 min by car/ 1h45 by public transport).
Where to stay: "Art'Otel Barcelos" offers an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi.
Cascais is Lisbon ‘s seaside resort , the equivalent of Arcachon for Bordeaux, Brighton for Londoners, Fishers Island for New Yorkers. Cascais is a paradise just minutes from a big city, nature, parks, sea, relaxation, well-being. For a 5-star stay in a guest house with authentic charm, book your stay at the Casa Vela Charm Guest House located in the preferred area for travellers to Cascais.
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon (30 min by car/ 50 by public transport).
Where to stay: For an unforgettable stay, book your room at "The Charm of Cascais" a small hotel surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Located south of the island of Madeira, Funchal is the capital of the most beautiful island in Europe and one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal.
We particularly liked its covered market filled with fruits, vegetables, flowers, fishermen's stalls and its small shopping streets. To be honest, we also enjoyed staying at the Belmond Reid's Palace, probably the best hotel in Europe.
If you're lucky you might be staying in Winston Churchill’s room when he used to visit Funchal with his wife. In the afternoon he used to carry his easel to "Camara dos Lobos" village: the village of the wolves. In fact Lobos are seals; they were very numerous in Madeira but also very much appreciated for their flesh. Some took refuge on the "Ilhas desertas" (desert islands) facing the city of Funchal.
Need other reasons to visit Madeira? The climate is ideal, never too hot nor too cold all year round.
During your stay in Madeira, discover the Best Instagrammable Places in Madeira, Best Beaches in Madeira, Best Activities for Nature Lovers, for Kids, for Active Holidays in Madeira as well as the Best Viewpoints in Madeira.
Where to stay: The "Belmond Reid's Palace", probably the best hotel in Europe.
Madonna, who lived in Lisbon for 3 years, also bought a "Quinta" in Sintra; she was seduced by the beauty of this city north of Lisbon ranked among your Best Places to Visit in Portugal. Finally she did not take the time to renovate her palace and Queen Madonna left Sintra on a whim: the Municipality had refused her the access on horseback to a historic palace for the needs of one of her music videos.
Furious, she left Portugal. Her "Quinta do Relogio" is on sale now for more than 7 million euros. If you have a smaller budget than Madonna’s, no problem, you can enjoy the beauties and riches of Sintra by booking your accommodation at the best price and your tours and activities in Sintra such as "Sintra, Cabo da Roca & Cascais full -day tour from Lisbon". Sintra is a magical place and well worth seeing.
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon (30 min by car, 50 by public transport) as well as your accommodation at the best price in Sintra or Lisbon and discover one of the most beautiful places in Portugal.
Where to stay: If you are staying in Sintra we advise you to book at "Chalet Saudade" located in the city centre of Sintra: it offers a neat and elegant decoration.
If you are staying in Lisbon we advise you to book in the Alfama area: the "Alfama Loft Studio with river view" is a good choice.
Lagoa is certainly the most beautiful municipality of the Algarve. Just a little less famous than Lagos, Faro and Albufeira, it has many assets including a preserved nature, the most beautiful beaches of Portugal, a "7 hanging valleys" natural park, but also Benagil Caves, the beaches of Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Senhora da Rocha. It is in your top 10 of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal.
It is a perfect destination for families with the "Side & Splash" amusement park and the "Sand City".
Located halfway between Sagres and Faro, Lagoa is a very good choice to discover this sublime region where the sun shines 330 days a year.
How to get there: Book your flights to Faro (Lagoa is located 30 minutes by car - count 40 euros for a taxi transfer for 4 people) and your accommodation at the best price.
Where to stay: Located 200 metres from this beach, we advise you to book "Algarve Moments" a perfect apartment for 2-5 people or for a romantic getaway.
The so-called "Venice of Portugal" is in fact a unique destination. Surrounded by salines (salt production), Aveiro was built around canals.
Stroll through its historic centre, treat yourself to a gondola ride and let yourself be tempted by a small bag of Aveiro sea salt on sale on board. Do not hesitate to rent a bike to discover the coast of Aveiro and more particularly Costa Nova. The Aveiro Town Hall offers a free bicycle rental system, you just have to deposit your identity card as a guarantee.
Costa Nova has many "palheiros" (small colourful half-timbered houses), an old fish market and miles of sandy beaches. Book your accommodation at the best price in Porto and go to Aveiro by train or by car or book your accommodation in Aveiro. If you are staying in Porto we advise you to stay in "Porto Moments" in the heart of the historic centre and close to General Torres train station.
How to get there: Book your flights to Porto (45 min by car, 1h by public transport) as well as your accommodation, your best tours and activities in Aveiro such as a "Aveiro: Halfday tour to Aveiro from Porto or, Gaia with cruise".
Where to stay: If you are staying in Porto we advise you to stay in "Porto Moments" in the heart of the historic centre and close to General Torres train station.
The capital of the Algarve is the entry point for travellers from around the world who come to discover this sublime region, it is also in your top 10 of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal.
Faro is a good starting point for exploring the Algarve with on one side the cities of Olhao and Tavira, perfect for an afternoon getaway, and on the other side sublime places such as Carvoeiro, Ferragudo, Porches.
Do not miss to visit the old faro "Cidade Velha", it is the most beautiful part of the city.
How to get there: Book your flights to Faro.
Where to stay: During our stay in the Algarve we stayed at the "Vila Monte Farm House" located in Moncarapacho. The hotel is a marvel.
World famous for the beauty of its beaches, Lagos is the favourite destination of English visitors to the Algarve and one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal. Its old historic centre, its beaches of rare beauty, Ponta da Piedade and its laces of rocks, Lagos has it all for young and old, families, couples or solitary travellers.
Lagos is located more than an hour drive from Faro airport but transfers in the Algarve are not that expensive, (around 50 euros for 4 people) to reach this beautiful city of southern Portugal. You can also rent a car on the spot.
Where to stay: For its value for money we advise you to stay at the hotel "Dom Pedro Lagos" with pool and sea view.
12. Sao Miguel
Ponta Delgada is not only the main city of the island of Sao Miguel, it is also the largest one of the Azores and the capital city of this autonomous region of Portugal. It is for sure one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal.
A few kilometres from the city centre are the lakes of Sete Cidades, the Carvao cave, but also the only tea plantations in Europe. We advise you to visit the tea factory "Cha Gorreana" located on the northern slope of the island of Sao Miguel but also to swim in the warm ferruginous waters of "Caldeira Velha".
Where to stay: "Furnas Boutique Hotel - Thermal & Spa" located in Vale Das Furnas, site of the largest concentration of thermal waters in Europe.
Portugal is a very trendy destination and Peniche is attracting more and more travellers from all over the world. Peniche is one of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal but also a hot spot for surfing.
Its historic centre is authentic and charming and not to be missed. We advise you to take surf lessons for the most intrepid of you. If you do not want to get wet you can have an invigorating walk on the beach.
In the evening you can enjoy the sweet life of Peniche and have a meal at quite a reasonable price in one of the many seafood restaurants in Peniche.
Do not miss a visit to "Praia de Medao Grande" beach also known as "Supertubos" for its gigantic waves known to surfers.
Where to stay: We recommend the "Mercearia of Alegria Boutique B&B", (dating back from 1936).The tradional grocery store has been fully renovated.
Nazaré is another paradise for surfers. Ranked among the best surf spots in Europe, Nazaré is the Mecca of surfers but not only, it is also one of the Best Destinations in Portugal.
Located 80 kilometres north of Lisbon, Nazaré is a Portuguese town with authentic charm. There may be wind on the beaches, (we are not in the Algarve), but it's well worth seeing: it's pure, it's nature in the wild!
During your stay in Nazaré you can make a short trip to Fatima. If Nazaré is the Mecca of surfers, Fatima is the Mecca ... of Catholics. It is a bit like the Lourdes of Portugal, a place of pilgrimage after the apparition of the Virgin Mary to three young children.
Where to stay: "Hotel Mar Bravo" featuring a prime beach front location.
Located in northern Portugal, Guimaraes is an important city in Portugal and one of the Best Places to Visit in Portugal. The city of Guimaraes has been listed as a UNESCO heritage site for about ten years; it is associated with the history of Portugal. You can read this on its ancient walls "Aqui nasceu Portugal", "Portugal was born here”.
Do not miss a visit to Guimaraes Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança. If you are not passionate about history you can stroll around the streets of the old historic centre and admire the facades of the beautiful colourful houses.
How to get there: Book your flights to Porto (40 min by car, 1h by public transport), your accommodation and your tours and activities in Portugal such as a "Full-day wine tour from Braga & Guimaraes".
Where to stay: For a perfect stay we recommend "Porto Moments" a welcoming Airbnb in the heart of the cellars of Porto.
Leiria is 1h30 by car from Lisbon and only 30 minutes from the charming city of Nazaré. We do not recommend the visit of the castle to people with reduced mobility, but the historic centre of Leiria (one of the hidden gems of Portugal) will satisfy all.
You will feel like a chatelain while strolling through this castle. There is only one way to get to it: walk up the endless steps to the top. The view of the entire region from this castle is breathtaking ( entrance ticket: 2 euros).
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: For its excellent value for money we advise you to stay at "Hotel Leiria Classic".
This year visit Setubal, one of the Best Places in Portugal. Setubal is a destination which has it all: a charming little town centre, traditional and trendy cafés and restaurants, affordable accommodation, a beautiful covered market and above all a natural park with the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
The Arrabida Natural Park is a protected area, just a few kilometres south of Lisbon. Come discover one of the most beautiful beach in Europe, "Praia dos Galapinhos".
Fine sand, white, crystal clear waters: it is located in the middle of a nature reserve of unreal beauty.
How to get there: Book your flights to Lisbon and set off to discover Setubal, just a 60-minute drive from the Portuguese capital.
Where to stay: During our stay we stayed at the hotel "Ha Mar ao Luar", a little outside the city centre, in the middle of nature, the place is perfect to recharge your batteries.
Plan your trip to Portugal
Hotels, Apartments, B&B...
Fresh deals every single day
Thousands reviews you can trust
Tours, Sightseeing & Activities
Discover Portugal’s biggest collection of things to do and guided tours.
Whatever you want to do you’ll find it here.
Travelling to Portugal.
Explore Portugal holidays and the best places to visit