Top Things to do in Portugal

Portugal is a travel lovers dream: delicious food, beautiful old buildings, sunshine, beaches… what more do you want? If you’re considering a trip to Portugal, then you may be wondering what to do and where to go. If you’re short on time or want to get a lot of value for your money, consider a small group Portugal Tours. You’ll save on costs as tour companies can offer discounted rates, you’ll get a personal experience because they limit the tour sizes and you’ll make some new friends! It’s a pretty great way to travel, but if you’re looking for some highlights of what to do in Portugal, here are my top things: 

1. Sintra
Located just outside of Lisbon – an easy train ride away – Sintra is home to a beautiful abandoned castle, Quinta da Regaleira, nestled on a hill. The town of Sintra is very cute and photogenic, so make sure your camera is fully charged. One of the highlights of a visit of Quinta da Regaleira is going through all the tunnels. You can easily spend the better part of a day in Sintra exploring, so be sure to get an early train.

2. Ponte de Dom Luis I 
No trip to Portugal would be complete without a visit to Porto and while you’re there you should check out the stunning Ponte de Dom Luis I. The bridge is beautiful and from the bridge you will be able to enjoy a wonderful view of the town of Porto. While you’re in the area, consider taking a river cruise for a couple of hours and you’ll get to see exciting views of the bridge.

3. Lisbon Oceanarium
If you love marine animals, then this is an unmissable destination for you. The highlight of a visit to Lisbon Oceanarium is the giant aquarium in the middle that has copious fish and you can walk around and view the fish from all different angles. This is a wonderful way to break up a day in Lisbon, and will be especially exciting for any kids who love animals and marine life.

4. Caldeira das Sete Cidades
This is an absolutely stunning crater lake with striking colours. Be sure to take some time to walk the around the edge of the lake, so you can soak in all the natural beauty here. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not consider hiring a canoe and kayaking around the edge of the lake. It costs around 20 euros for two hours rental so is very affordable and an exciting activity.

5. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Founder’s Collection
Art lovers will be in their own paradise with a visit to Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Founder’s Collection. Here you’ll see some absolutely stunning paintings, but there’s also a diverse range of art including stunning ceramics, glassware, furniture, carpets, tiles, tapestries and more. There’s also a separate modern art section – which does have an additional cost – but it is truly a wonderful place with so much to see and admire. There’s also an on-site restaurant which serves up some extremely tasty salads if you’re feeling hungry.

6. Ponta da Piedade
This is another stunning landscape and a perfect location for those of us who love hiking. Ponta da Piedade is only around a 20-minute walk from Lagos, so is an easy spot to visit in the morning or afternoon. Be warned that it can get quite busy, so if you want to take some photos that aren’t swarmed with people, consider traveling during the off seasons when the weather is still warm, or getting there earlier in the morning.

7. Praca do Comercio (Terreiro do Paco)
In my opinion, this is one of the prettiest squares in all of Europe. Near the waterfront, Praca do Comercio has magnificent architecture and a lively commercial area, providing opportunities to wine, dine and shop to your heart’s content. Portuguese people are extremely fashionable and shopping in Lisbon is a real delight. You can even find a quiet cafe or restaurant to sit down in and people watch in this lively and beautiful part of the city.

8. Alvor Boardwalk
You’ll love walking along this stunning boardwalk and if you’re lucky along the way you’ll see a variety of wildlife. You can walk all the way to the marina which leads to the nearby town of Alvor. If you can choose your time, I would suggest walking along at sunset so you can see the sun go down and some of the beautiful sunsets Portugal is famous for. If you’ve been indulging a little too often in Portugal’s delicious pastries then you may even fancy a run along this fabulous boardwalk!

Portugal is an excellent holiday destination and whether you decide to take a tour or plan it yourself, you’ll be spoiled for options! Have you been to Portugal? Let me know if you have any favourites I’ve missed off my list!

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