Embrace yourself! There are so many beautiful places in Portugal, it will be hard to keep up.
Portugal is home to a variety of landscapes and nestled in them are some of the world’s most gorgeous places.
Bordered by the sea under a warm sun, this Southern European country is laid-back and welcoming.
It has affordable wine, delicious food, a Mediterranean feel, and a strong cultural identity.
While the urban cities in the country grow as a chic hotspot, its coastline continues to be the colorful, cozy abode.
Tourists flock to Portugal to escape crowd and immerse in the beauty of its cities.
What are you waiting for? Here is a well-curated list of things to do in Portugal. Let’s get the show on the road.
The most beautiful places in Portugal
Here we share a list of the most beautiful places in Portugal.
Explore the Insta-Famous Capital: Lisbon
Lisbon is one of the sought-after places to visit in Portugal.
If it is your first time to Lusitania, as Romans would call this region, you will love how stunning its capital city is.
The littoral capital offers such spectacular views of the sea that it has been dubbed as the Rainha do Mar, meaning Queen of the Sea. Deep-rooted in history, this pastel-wash city is second only to Athens.
Its streets, neighborhoods, and seven hills are all a beautiful fusion of old cathedrals and chic boutiques.
Besides, this beautiful place in Portugal brims with activities.
Things to do in Lisbon
- Saunter in its cobbled streets
- Explore the city in search of street art
- Visit the ancient houses of Alfama.
- Explore the iconic 16th-century monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
- Immerse in the Bohemian vibe of Bairro Alto
- Climb the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte for views
- Take the iconic Tram 28
- 3 days in Lisbon, a complete itinerary
- The best photo spots in Lisbon
- The best places to watch the sunset in Lisbon
Grab A Tipple and Board A River Cruise: Porto
Enclosed in 14th-century walls is the port city of Portugal, Porto. Winding between its picturesque orange-roofed houses are medieval streets. Decking the city are ornate tiles and bell tower.
Tourists from across the world come here to leisure at the riverfront and watch the boats float past.
A seamless concoction of old charm and metropolitan culture, the second-largest city of Portugal offers a lot to do.
Things to do in Porto
- Have an alfresco five at Praça da Ribeira
- Take a seaside stroll at Ribeira do Porto
- Visit the 19th-century bridge, Ponte de Dom Luis I that connect Porto to Gaia
- Surf or sunbath at Praia de Matosinhos beach
- Explore the UNESCO-acclaimed Neoclassic building, Palacio da Bolsa
- Grab a tipple at sea-overlooking Miradouro Ignez
- Enjoy traditional Portuguese Cuisine
Leave Footprints on Atlantic Beaches: The Algarve
An exhilarating coastal scene awaits you at the southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve. Blue sky reflects in the vast sea as the rocky landscape and soft climate create the perfect day for an outing.
No wonder it is one of the most romantic places in Portugal!
Its sandy beaches and whitewashed fishing towns are a dream for beachcombers and wayfarers. Adding a twist of cultural and architectural wealth are landmarks like the Arco da Vila gate and Church of São Lourenço.
The region is also Europe’s second least-expensive holiday destination!
It is also a great winter destination if you want to escape gray winter days. If you are looking for a good hotel, we definitely recommend the Hilton Vilamoura. Here you can read more about this golf resort with amazing spa.
Things to do in the Algarve
- Explore the natural arches and caves at the headland of Ponta da Piedade
- Leave footprints at the longest beach of Portugal, Praia da Falésia
- Wade in the rolling surfs of Praia da Rocha
- Visit the baroque Church of São Lourenço
- Stand on the gnarled rock formations in Algar Seco
- Take a boat ride to Tavira Island and do dolphin spotting
- Explore the historic center of Lagos
- Admire the 19th-century Moorish gateways in Faro
- Explore these mind-blowing beaches in Lagos
- You should definitely visit the best towns in the Algarve
- Make a boat tour to the beautiful Benagil cave
Become One with Nature: Douro Valley
Douro, streaming through Spain and Portugal, makes a postcard-perfect scenery. This idyllic landscape is what makes Douro Valley the highlight and most romantic place in Portugal.
Once a raging river, Douro is now placid after the installation of eight dams. The tamed and shimmering water now reflect the terraced hillsides. Winding through the unspoiled landscape are many cruises, nature trails, and mountain roads.
Known for its abounding grape harvest and delicious wines, the valley is bucket-list-worthy place to visit in Portugal.
Things to do in the Douro Valley
- Go on a wine and food tour
- Enjoy a scenic journey on Douro Historical Train
- Go hot air ballooning
- Take a Douro boat ride or river cruise
- Explore the Mateus Palace
Escape the Crowd: Marvao
Pinning days to just relax may not yet be one of your preferred things to do in Portugal. It will be when you learn about Marvao.
Perched on Serra de São’s highest crest, Marvao is a spectacular village and one of the 1000 places to see before you die. Engulfed with verdant panoramas of rolling hills, it offers a respite from the quotidian hustle and bustle.
The village is seated quietly between the Castelo de Vide and Portalegre.
Consequently, it is replete with many tourist attractions, despite the aloofness.
Hotels like Pousada do Marvao make excellent abodes if you are considering a multi-day sojourn on the tranquil hilltop.
Things to do Marvao:
- Go horse-riding
- Visit the Castelo De Marvao
- Explore the ruins of Ammaia and visit Cidade de Ammaia museum
- Take a long stroll through the quaint walled village
- Enjoy the sweeping views of the hills and unwind
Moonwalk into History: Coimbra
What makes Coimbra one of the most attractive places to visit in Portugal is its antiquity. It is home to one of the world’s oldest universities.
Because the city was the much-celebrated capital of 13th-century Portugal, it is decked with ornate historic buildings.
You will find several cathedrals, monasteries, museums, and town walls.
Nestled on the edge of the river, this littoral city also offers chic hospitality with its river cruises, pastel fishing towns, boutique hotels, and alfresco cafés.
Things to do in Coimbra:
- Visit the famous Old University
- Admire the Romanesque Igreja de Santa Cruz
- Visit the fortress-like Sé Velha and palatial Sé Nova cathedrals
- Go on a Mondego river cruise
- Explore the partly-sunken ruins of Convent of Santa Clara-a-Velha
- Explore Convent of Santa Clara-a-Nova which replaced the aforementioned
- Walkthrough Arco de Al-medina
- Traverse Portugal’s most expansive botanical gardens in Coimbra
- Stroll through the city’s main square
- Drive 40 minutes northeast to reach pastel-colored Aveiro
Explore Portugal’s Idyllic Countryside: Amarante
Pegged on the upland countryside, the dreamy town of Amarante is one of the best places to see in Portugal.
A leisurely stroll into the town will unveil stunning houses with balconies overhanging the Rio Tâmega.
Its idyllic beauty has turned many into writers and artists, whose works are proudly on display in the town’s municipal museum.
Beautiful valley, high hills, iconic bridges, riverfront, and historical edifices rick up this gorgeous town in North of Portugal. Lording its precious landscape is a church and a monastery.
Their theatrical location over the iconic medieval bridge makes a sight for the sore eyes!
Things to do in Amarante:
- Wander on the willow-lined riverside
- Visit the rebuilt Ponte de São Gonçalo
- Saunter to the Igreja de São Gonçalo sitting atop the bridge
- Be awed by the gilded interior of Igreja de São Domingos
- Enjoy art at the municipal museum of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso
- Go cycling above the river on Ecopista do Tâmega
- Walk on the nature trails of Parque Florestal de Amarante
- Drive 20km eastwards to reach the picturesque Serra do Marão valley
- Take a cruise or simply paddle off on a canoe
Kick Back and Go Surfing: Sagres
Sagres is a coastal town and the surfing capital of the Algarve Region. It is a less-developed and more breezy location to unleash your inner surfer. Look around and you will find yourself surrounded by beachgoers, digital nomads, foamy sea, and towering cliffs.
For thousands of years, it was believed that Sagres stood at the end of the world. It was believed that beyond its high cliffs was a monster-laden sea that plunged into void past the horizon.
The landscape has a carefree bohemian quality.
Since the city isn’t anywhere close to the crowded dwellings, it is also laid-back and one of the most romantic places in Portugal. Whether you’re thinking of a holiday or honeymoon, think of Sagres.
Things to do in Sagres:
- Go surfing!
- Head out to the most southwesterly point of Europe at Cabo de São Vicente
- Explore the Fort of Sagres
- Check out its two best beaches – Mareta Beach and Martinhal Beach
- Take a hike
- Go shopping for artistic souvenirs at shops like Sagres Design Shop on R. Cmte. Matoso
Travel back in time: Sortelha
Sited in a secluded corner, far away from the urban crowd and untouched by modernity, Sortelha is a historical gem. It is in this hilltop village that lush vegetation meets 13th-century architecture.
Sortelha is one of the oldest settlements of Portugal whose origins can be traced back to prehistoric times. Needless to say, it is a paradise for history buffs.
Even in the 21st century, Portugal has been able to preserve its precious heritage.
Visit the village to enjoy its rugged scenery and stone-constructed monuments.
Things to do in Sortelha:
- Visit the 13th-century castle located in the historic center of the village
- Walk on the village’s ancient ramparts and their steep, precarious stairways
- Learn the old witch-starring legends and ‘the end of the world’ folklores that surround Sortelha
- Visit the Old Lady’s Head boulder
Sip on the Madeira Wine: Madeira
Famous for its deliciously addictive wines, Madeira is a gastronomic paradise.
You will love it for the eclectic food scene, aromatic Madeira wine, and verdant laurel forest.
Madeira and its 3 neighboring islands form an autonomous region in Portugal.
The beautiful archipelago is one of the most exquisite places to visit in the country. One moment you are in pastoral and coastal areas and the next you find yourself in a heavenly tropical paradise.
The main island of the archipelago is volcano-studded, rugged, rocky, and green at best.
It is a setting that you would least expect of Europe and yet here it is for you to explore.
Things to do in Madeira:
- Go on a volcanic excursion at Ponta de São Lourenço
- Skywalk on the Cabo Girão
- Hike to the precarious Pico Ruivo, Madeira’s highest peak
- Ride the Funchal cable car and enjoy the views of Monte Palace Tropical Gardens
- Traverse the subtropical laurel forest
- Go scuba diving, dolphin spotting, and whale watching
- Drink (and pack) Madeira wine
Travel the Mid-Atlantic: The Azores
Teeming with natural beauty, the Azores is almost an enchanting archipelago.
Located way off the Portuguese coast, it comprises of nine awe-inspiring islands.
If you are an intrepid traveler or a nature lover, you will be smitten by Azores’s green pastures, volcanic landscapes, lake-ringed calderas, and expansive beaches.
There are outdoor activities galore on the islands. You can hike, bike, dive, and surfboard!
If you have been craving for some adrenaline rush, Azores will offer it abound.
Things to do in the Azores:
- Take in the majestic views of the Sete Cidades Massif in São Miguel Island
- Admire the unreal beauty of Lagoa do Fogo, a crater lake in São Miguel Island
- Visit the outlandish Capelinhos lighthouse of the Faial Island
- Explore the transatlantic city of Angra do Heroísmo for its mosaic pavements and traditional red-roof houses
- Climb 2,351 meters to reach the highest point of Portugal, the Montanha do Pico in Pico Island
- Descent 100 meters into the lava tubes of Algar do Carvão
- Go to Caldeira for a stupendous view of greenery, crater, and a lake in the backdrop
- Dive deep into the sea, spot dolphins, and watch whales
- Surf with the waves at Praia de Santa Barbara beach
- Lay back and relax in the recreational harbor of Marina da Horta in Faial Island
- 13 wonderful things to do in the Azores
- How to get to the Azores
- The complete guide to the Azores islands
- Renting a car in the Azores
- A practical guide to island hopping in the Azores
- The perfect Azores itinerary for first-time visitors
- How to go whale watching in the Azores
To say that you can explore all the beautiful places in Portugal on a single trip would be a blatant lie unless you are planning to stay for a year.
The vast European country is a massive heap of gorgeous travel destinations.
Whether you go eastwards, southwards, or even off the coast, Portugal will still welcome you with stupendous sights.
It is a fine concoction of antique, modern, coastal, pastoral, and even tropical elements.
You can visit it for extreme water sports or romantic scenery, Portugal will never disappoint.
If you want to learn more about Portugal, take a look at these 74 Portugal facts.
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