Top 5 Places To Visit in Portugal
If you are looking for a dreamy European getaway this year, consider Portugal. Known for breathtaking views, fabled architecture, and unforgettable wine, this country will leave you with a wanderlust you won’t ever forget. Recently TAP Portugal, the country’s main airline, has opened new routes and begun to offer free stops in Lisbon and Porto, making it an easy and safe place to travel!
-Porto is Portugal’s second largest city. Old, colorful buildings characterize its hilly streets, as it sits beside a major river. Porto is known for its culture and art and is home of the famous sweet Porto wine. Portugal’s azulejos, or public art, can be seen throughout the city, but most notably in the Sao Bento railway station which walls’ are covered in stunning mosaic tiles and memorable works of art. Porto is also a great stop for wine tasting, as it is very close to the stretches of vineyards that makeup the nearby Douro Valley.
Porto, Portugal’s second largest city | © Gregorio Puga Bailón/Flickr
-Known as the “City of Seven Hills,” Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city. According to CultureTrip.com, “…Navigating Lisbon is very easy, especially on foot, and visitors can anticipate winding, narrow roads, and phenomenal lookout points…Walking at night is also a treat and in Alfama, Lisbon’s old district, mouthwatering aromas and wistful melodies (known as fado) drift from cozy restaurants that line the narrow, cobblestone labyrinth of streets.” Lisbon is almost always sunny with great weather, so there is never a bad time to visit. It’s trendy district Chiado, is home to the oldest bookstore in the world! Filled with history and beautiful scenery surrounding the city, this is a must-stop on your Portugal bucket-list.
-Home to the largest surfable wave in the world, this seaside city consists of three smaller neighborhoods: Praia, Sitio, and Pederneira. Considered to have the best beaches in Portugal, this seaside fisherman town is a must see for tourists, and especially surfers. If you can visit during its municipal holiday, September 8th, to catch the festival processions, bullfights, fireworks, and folk dancing.
-Algarve is the beach city to visit for warm weather, trendy beaches, hiking adventures, and a livelier social scene. Filled with unforgettable blue water, mesmerizing cliffs, and spectacular views, this town is like a slice of heaven on earth. CultureTrip.com comments on the seafood cuisine: “There’s no way anyone can miss the plethora of markets selling freshly-caught seafood either, and don’t worry about not speaking Portuguese. Many neighborhoods in Algarve (if not most), are more English-speaking than Portuguese these days, especially around Albufeira and Vilamoura.”
Camilo Beach, the Algarve, Portugal | © Natalia/Flickr
-Home to the famous fairytale author, Hans Christian Anderson, Sintra is literally out of a fantasy story. Visitors still stumble across his house in the woods while trekking downhill from the city’s many palaces and fortresses. Located approximately 30 kilometers from Lisbon, getting to Sintra is easy and makes a great day trip, though you may prefer two or three days to see everything in detail. Make sure to see the romantic 19th century Pena Palace, the exquisite Monserrate Palace, and medieval Castle of the Moors. Sintra will take visitors into a life-like fairytale experience.
The Pena Palace in Sintra | © F Mira/Flickr
Whether on the hunt for artistic culture, exquisite cuisine, breathtaking views, or fairy-tale history, Portugal is a place for travelers and dreamers alike to visit.