The beautiful country of Portugal has consistently been ranked as one of the best travel destinations in Europe. This comes as no surprise since Portugal has a lot to offer: rich history, culture, delicious local dishes, beautiful cities, lovely countryside, amazing waves, affordable living, and warm, wonderful people. Portugal is definitely bucket list worthy. Below we share some of our favorite parts of this beautiful country.
Picture Perfect Places & Adventures
Considered as one of the best places to visit in the country is Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. When in Lisbon, drop by the Vasco da Gama Bridge, one of the most iconic structures in the city. Explore the Alfama District, considered as the oldest district in Lisbon. Take a trip to St. George’s Castle, built nearly 2 millenniums by the Romans. It is undoubtedly one of the most visible landmarks in Lisbon that’s so rich in history. Explore the Oceanario de Lisboa, a marvelous oceanarium in the city, perfect for families.
Another place that should be on your Portugal itinerary is Porto – Portugal’s second largest city. Porto is more budget-friendly than Lisbon and attractive to backpackers. Take a river cruise to Portugal’s best wine region, Douro Valley. Enjoy the sun at Praia de Matosinhos, a beach loved by locals. Take selfies at Livaria Lello, the bookstore that was J.K. Rowling’s source of inspiration for Hogwarts. Stroll through the Viana de Castelo and appreciate its very beautiful architecture.
Braga, this city is famously known as Portugal’s religious center is a wonderful tourist destination. A visit to Braga won’t be complete if you don’t get a chance to visit the Bom Jesus do Monte, with picturesque stairways that signify the ascent to heaven. Braga is also rich in lovely city gardens just like the Jardim de Santa Bárbara city garden.
The country’s first capital, Guimaraes, is also a place worth visiting for a fantastic day trip. The town center of Guimaraes is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of how the town center’s authenticity of being a medieval settlement have been so well preserved.
Visit their delightful plaza, the Largo da Oliviera, considered as the best tourist attraction in the city and marvel at the beautiful ancient castles such as the Castle of Guimaraes and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.
A must visit when in Portugal is the Madeira Island, dubbed as Portugal’s island of eternal spring. It’s a beautiful island that’s currently trendy with travelers and is a year-round wonderful holiday destination because of its year-round spring climate. Here the natural scenery is amazing, enormous mountains for hiking, deep blue sea, lush forests, exotic fruits and an abundant supply of seafood to try.
Travel to Algarve, a perfect holiday destination for locals and travelers alike due to its beautiful beaches, stunning fishing towns, soaring cliffs and waves perfect for surfing. Algarve is the perfect place where one can balance relaxation and adventure. Top destination when in Algarve is the Tavira, the region’s peaceful and lovely fishing town.
Fall in love with the charms of Coimbra, a historic city in Central Portugal, which was the country’s medieval capital for more than a hundred years. Coimbra is home to Portugal’s oldest University – University of Coimbra, which is the top destination in Coimbra.
Have a great time in the peaceful region of Alentejo, a beautiful region between the Alrgarve and Central Lisbon. It is an agricultural region, with soft rolling hills covering the horizons and is blessed with a stunning coastline. Travel to Evora, the main city of Alentejo wherein little has changed over the last five centuries truly preserving the city’s history.
Explore the enchanting walled town of Obidos, it is a small town just outside of Lisbon that has a colorful charm because of the painted houses and narrow cobbled streets. Be sure to take lots of pictures because this town is considered one of Portugal’s most picturesque towns!
Local Cuisine and Drinks to Enjoy
Enjoy one of the best custard tarts in the world at Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon. Locally, the pastry is known as Pastel de Natas. People line up for this delicacy because of its sweet, rich flavor.
An all-time favorite dish in Portugal is the bacalhau, it is a local dish where you get to enjoy a pan-fried dried and salted codfish mixed with the best herbs to enrich its flavor. It’s dubbed as Portugal’s most treasured food.
A must try for any seafood lover is the famous Lulas recheadas à lisbonense, considered as Lisbon’s signature dish. The phrase simply means “Lisbon styled stuffed squid”.
Always present on Portugal’s menu is the Caldo Verde. It’s a popular Portugal soup made with green leafy vegetables and chorizo.
A well-known Portugal snack is the Bifana, a sandwich made of pork slices marinated in white wine and spices and then served in a fresh, soft bun.
When in Lisbon, also get to try one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in all of Portugal – Sagres beers. Order their pale lager, it’s the most famous.
When in Portugal, don’t forget to get a sip of their national drink – Wine or Porto. It’s all over the country, so don’t miss out, it’s their national drink for a reason!
Best Seasons to Visit Portugal
In general, August is the busiest and most expensive month of the year due to the summer holidays. It is highly recommended to visit Portugal between March and June or September to November so that you get to enjoy Portugal to the fullest while not hurting your pocket.
ake lots of pictures, eat good food, go on adventures and make wonderful memories! Portugal is truly a remarkable place; you are in for a treat. Be ready to fall in love with amazing Portugal.
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