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Things to do in Portugal

Things to do in  Portugal

Welcome to Portugal

Long overlooked in favor of its larger neighbor, Spain, Portugal is holding its own on the European travel circuit today, as growing numbers of visitors discover its old-world charms. Outstanding food, award-winning wines, and distinctive Manueline architecture are just the beginning. Portugal's diverse landscapes range from granite peaks and forested hills in the north, to the sunny beaches of the southern Algarve—all bordered by nearly 500 miles of stunning Atlantic coastline. Start in Lisbon, taking in the capital's many historical sights and famous hills by foot or electric bike. The country's faded glory as a maritime empire in the 15th and 16th centuries is most evident here, but humans have lived in this region since prehistoric times. After a city tour, take a day trip to wander through Roman ruins in Evora; tour a royal castle and a Moorish palace in Sintra; or visit one of the well-preserved medieval villages, like Obidos, that are sprinkled all over the countryside. In Northern Portugal, foodies flock to the UNESCO-listed Douro Valley for wine- and food-tasting tours. Porto's striking harbor is the starting point for scenic Douro River cruises. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix by surfing, skydiving, or parasailing in the Algarve. And for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, the fishing villages of Nazare, Sagres, and Tavira can feel like a trip back in time. Portugal's delights are many, and with easy access to Western Spain, your Iberian itinerary could extend to Seville, Cordoba, or Granada.

Top 10 attractions in Portugal

#1
Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)

Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)

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Watching over the city from its hilltop spot, the imposing fort-like Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)is a reminder of Porto’s diverse history. Featuring Romanesque, Gothic, and baroque architecture, this is Porto’s oldest and largest church, a must-visit for architecture and history aficionados.More
#2
Sintra

Sintra

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Once a hot spot destination for Portuguese royalty—Lord Byron called it a “glorious Eden”—Sintra is widely acclaimed as one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations, full of gardens, tiled villas, colorful palaces, and neo-Gothic structures, all surrounded by verdant hills rolling toward the Atlantic Ocean.More
#3
Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

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A mighty medieval fortress perched on the banks of the Tagus River, Belem Tower is one of Lisbon’s most visited landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos), it’s a lasting symbol of Portugal’s maritime heritage, dating back to the early 16th century.More
#4
Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta)

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A sandy, uninhabited island off Portugal’s Algarve coast, Barreta Island (Ilha Deserta) is a popular beach destination and wildlife refuge inside Ria Formosa National Park. With freshwater lagoons, salt flats, sand dunes, and more, the park has a diverse range of habitats—each with its own resident population of birds and other species, including chameleons.More
#5
Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte)

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Church of Our Lady of Monte (Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte) is the most important pilgrimage site on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The original church was built in 1741 on top of the foundations of an old chapel that was said to be built by the son of the settler of the island, but it was soon destroyed by an earthquake. The church that stands today dates to 1818. The interior features elegant chandeliers, a statue of Our Lady of the Mountain and the tomb of Charles I of Habsburg, the last emperor of Austria who lived in exile on Madeira until his death in 1922. Also inside the church is a silver Pieta that was the only relic saved from the earthquake. Every year in mid-August the surrounding village of Monte is home to a large festival that includes a procession to the church in honor of Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of Monte).More
#6
Clérigos Church and Tower (Torre & Igreja dos Clérigos)

Clérigos Church and Tower (Torre & Igreja dos Clérigos)

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Standing atop a hill overlooking Porto, Portugal, are the Igreja dos Clérigos, an 18th-century church and one of the city’s architectural symbols, and the Toree dos Clérigos, its bell tower. Intricately carved baroque shells and garlands on the church reflect Porto’s seaside location, and the bell tower offers panoramic views of the city.More
#7
Madeira Botanical Gardens

Madeira Botanical Gardens

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One of Madeira’s loveliest green spaces, the island’s Botanical Gardens (Jardins Botânicos da Madeira) debuted in 1960. Stretching across 20 acres (9 hectares) and home to more than 2,000 species of exotic plants, the oasis is best known for its colorful geometric flower beds and carefully groomed topiary gardens.More
#8
Alfama

Alfama

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Sprawling down the southern slopes of Lisbon, Alfama is the capital’s oldest and most picturesque district with steep cobblestone lanes and a sea of terracotta roofs. Head there in the day to take in the sights, browse the flea market, and ride the historic tram, then come back after dark to soak up the atmosphere at the many fado bars.More
#9
Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

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The imperious, double-decker metal spans of Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luís I) stretch across the Douro River from Porto to Villa Nova de Gaia, and were designed by Téophile Seyrig, the student of Gustave Eiffel who also drew up the plans for the nearby Donna Maria Pia Bridge. WhenDom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luís I) was finished in 1886, it was the longest single-span bridge in the world at 564 feet, and it supported 3,045 tons of steel in weight.The bridge marked a significant step forward in Porto’s economic growth, as before it existed, the only passages across the river were boats lashed together. Today the lower deck of the bridge carries cars while the upper level is utilized by metro Line D and has a pedestrian walkway offering views across the river. Since the late 19th century, four other bridges have joined the bridge of Dom Luís I and Donna Maria Pia in reaching across the Douro; they are all best seen by river cruise in a traditional wooden rabelo.More
#10
Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

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Since the 11th century, St. George’s Castle (Castelo de São Jorge) has stood tall in the Lisbon skyline, viewable from almost every point in the city. The Moorish castle overlooks various districts and offers some of the best panoramas of the city. Even if you have only a few hours, the former fortress offers plenty for you to do.More

Trip ideas

Top Beaches on the Algarve

Top Beaches on the Algarve

Must-See UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lisbon

Must-See UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lisbon

Top Hiking Trails on Madeira

Top Hiking Trails on Madeira

Top activities in Portugal

Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch and Optional Cruise.
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Small group tour to Sintra, Pena Palace, Regaleira, Cabo da Roca and Cascais
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Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
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Sintra Small-Group Tour from Lisbon with Cabo da Roca and Cascais
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2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
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Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk

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Lisbon: Half Day Sightseeing Tour on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk

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Lisbon - Private Wine Tasting Tour to the Setubal Wine Region
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Catamaran Sunset Sailing

Catamaran Sunset Sailing

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Recent reviews from experiences in Portugal

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Amazing day - The walk to do
GAELLE_R, Jul 2021
Paiva Walkways and Alvarenga Small-Group from Porto
Take the time to see the bridge 516 Arouca, an experience to have.
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Outstanding
Ptslone, Jul 2021
Half-Day Lagos Golden Coast Cruise with Lunch
The crew was fantastic and it was a outstanding way to see this special coast of Portugal.
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An unforgettable evening!
farnhambrittany, Jul 2021
2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour
An amazing way to see Libson - picture perfect views of Lisbon, Christ the King Statue, Ponte 25 de Abril, Belém Tower and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
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Magical and memorable tour
Irene_M, Jul 2021
Tour on Wheels Sintra & Cascais Pick-up Lisbon
He took us to places we would never be able to see on our own.
star-5
Fabulous Tour
Sandra_S, Jul 2021
Best of Braga and Guimaraes Day Trip from Porto
He tirelessly offered historical and practical information, in English and Spanish, taking every opportunity to share with me information that helped me learn and appreciate the significance of the religious and national heritage sites.
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Nice, thorough tour but with a few "buts"...
Hector_S, Jul 2021
Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
All in all, I'd would recommend this tour at least to see more of Portugal other than Lisbon.
star-5
The best preview of Portugal!!
Shawn_K, Jul 2021
Private Sintra Tour - at your own pace
Frederico made sure we got to see as many sights as we can, without feeling rushed, while giving us the history and the significance of the sights we were visiting.
star-5
Great experience
Maribelle_H, Jun 2021
Small group tour to Sintra, Pena Palace, Regaleira, Cabo da Roca and Cascais
The tour itself was great, was able to visit historic sites + had enough time for pictures & lunch.
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The best way to see the coast
Matthew_K, May 2021
Benagil Cave SUP Tour
There are many beautiful caves to see and this is the perfect way to explore them safely.
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Learning Portuguese from a local.
Sarah, Nov 2020
Private Virtual Portuguese Language Class with a Local
This is a must for anyone about to visit Portugal!
star-5
Great experience
Suresh_V, Aug 2020
Shrine of Fatima, UNESCO monastery of Batalha, Nazare and Obidos in Private Tour
The stories and history that he mentioned made us fall in LOVE with Portugal and it’s people.
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Portuguese Pronunciations
Heather_B, Jul 2020
Private Virtual Portuguese Language Class with a Local
I highly recommend this course for anyone getting ready to visit Portugal.
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A wonderful trip.
Eric_S, Jun 2020
Fátima, Nazaré, and Óbidos Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
Portugal always impresses with great places to visit.
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Fascinating Porto from different angles
Yuliya, Mar 2020
Porto: Small Group City Tour Full Day with Lunch, Wine Tasting & Cruise
Entire day tour makes you to see the city from different angles and view points.
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Wonderful time with Rodrigos
Lucille_P, Feb 2020
Lisbon to Porto with stop at Óbidos Nazaré Fátima Coimbra and Aveiro private
My husband and I would highly recommend taking this tour to visit Portugal.
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Best part of Porto visit
maghentrinker, Jan 2020
Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch and Optional Cruise.
We normally do not want to join guided tours but to see the Douro Valley and visit the vineyards this was by far the best option.
star-5
Value for money experience
freyazemek, Jan 2020
Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
A fantastic way to see the highlights of Sintra and Cascais in one day.
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Sintra
Beverly_M, Jan 2020
Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon
Got to see the Pena Palace, Sintra, Cascais and had time to poke around the towns.
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Wonderful Day
Elizabeth_k, Nov 2019
Arrabida and Sesimbra Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon with Wine Tasting
I thoroughly recommend this tour as a great way to see more of Portugal than just Lisbon.
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Highly recommended trip.!!!
Maria_M, Nov 2019
Full-Day Small-Group Tour to Fátima and Óbidos and Nazaré
Very professional and knowledgable guide with perfect English and great insights about life in Portugal.

All about Portugal

When to visit

Come summertime, temperatures soar in Portugal, making the Algarve a popular hub for sailing tours and sunbathing sessions. Given its vertiginous hills, the capital city of Lisbon is best saved for the cooler spring and summer months, when you’re less likely to break into a sweat. And in the winter, venture to northerly Porto for a warming glass of port—or two.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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