What are the Best Cities to Visit in Portugal? Top Cities and Their Attractions

Share your love

There are a ton of cities in Portugal that you can visit, but if you’re thinking what are the best cities to visit in Portugal, these are our top picks.

If you’re looking for top cities in Portugal then you can explore beautiful architecture in the capital city of Lisbon, sightseeing in Sintra, and make historical visits in Porto. The country has several places with great natural beauty, such as the Peneda-Ger√™s National Park, Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, and the Alentejo region.

What are the Best Cities to Visit in Portugal, there Attractions and Sightseeing

If you’re looking for a great place to visit in Portugal, we have some recommendations. We’ve been to all of these cities, and they are all absolutely amazing! So if you’re planning a trip to any of these places, make sure to check them out!

Lisbon

If you’re looking to get away from the cold and take in a few days of sun, there’s no better city than Lisbon. This city is also popular between digital nomads and backpackers because of its travel-friendly visa and their facilities.

The city is surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush mountains, making it an excellent spot for outdoor activities. You can also visit the Belém district, which has some incredible museums and galleries. The capital also has several great restaurants and bars where you can enjoy some time getting to know your fellow travelers.

Top Attraction

  • Bel√©m Tower (Landmark medieval defensive tower)
  • Aqueduto das √Āguas Livres (High-level, 18th-century aqueduct)
  • Alfama (S√£o Jorge Castle & live Fado music)
  • Carmo Convent (Medieval ruins & archaeology museum)
  • Tram 28 (Historic yellow trams on a scenic route)
  • Church of S√£o Vicente de Fora (Stylish mannerist church & monastery)
  • Jer√≥nimos Monastery (World heritage listed Gothic monastery)
  • Pal√°cio Nacional da Ajuda (19th-century royal palace now museum)
  • Ocean√°rio de Lisboa (Waterside aquarium with ocean ecosystems)
  • Church of Sao Roque (Jesuit church with sacred art museum)
  • Santa Justa Lift (1902-built elevator linking city levels)
  • Bel√©m Tower (Landmark medieval defensive tower)
  • Pra√ßa Dom Pedro IV (Prominent square with bronze fountains)
  • Bas√≠lica da Estrela (Baroque church with twin bell towers)
  • Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Oil magnate’s global art collection)
  • National Pantheon (Celebrity tombs in a 17th-century church)
  • Padr√£o dos Descobrimentos (Concrete monument to maritime explorers)

Coimbra

Coimbra is surrounded by mountains and has many parks and gardens and a charming medieval town of Coimbra to explore; it’s also home to several universities, which makes it an ideal place for students seeking intellectual stimulation or people looking for professional opportunities.

  • Igreja de Santa Cruz (Parish church with royal remains)
  • Joanina Library (Opulent 18th-century university library)
  • S√© Velha – Coimbra (Rare surviving Reconquista-era church)
  • National Museum Machado de Castro (Century-old museum with religious art)
  • University of Coimbra (Europe most oldest University campus)
  • S√© Nova (Ornate New Cathedral & taberna dining)
  • Chapel of S√£o Miguel (Ornate chapel built in the 16th century)
  • Mondego River (Beautiful sights on riverbanks)
  • Igreja de Santa Cruz (Parish church with royal remains)
  • Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha (Ruins of a 14th-century monastery)
  • Parque da Cidade Manuel Braga (Park and garden)
  • Arco de Almedina (entrance points to the old city in Coimbra)
  • Portugal dos Pequenitos (Miniature village with Barbie museum)
  • Jardins da Quinta das L√°grimas (Tranquil 19th-century garden)

Porto

Porto is Portugal’s northern region is a modern metropolis with a vibrant art scene and an amazing food scene. The second-largest city in the country, and home to the Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood‚ÄĒalso known as “Little Venice” because of its canals.

  • Clerigos Church and Tower (Ornate church with an iconic bell tower)
  • Vila Nova de Gaia (Port wine cellars & Cais de Gaia cafes)
  • Bolsa Palace (Neoclassical landmark tours & events)
  • Ribeira (Historic city center, UNESCO site, Classic bars & Ribeira square)
  • Porto Bridge Climb (Guided climbing up Arr√°bida Bridge)
  • Livraria Lello (Ornate bookshop with iconic red stairway)
  • Igreja de Santa Clara (Historic church with a gilded interior)
  • Porto Cathedral (Monumental 12th-century religious site)
  • Cais da Ribeira (Photogenic riverfront promenade)
  • Casa da M√ļsica (Contemporary landmark concert hall)
  • World of Discoveries (Interactive history museum with a ride)
  • Casa de Serralves (Art deco house, gallery & gardens)
  • Church of Saint Ildefonso (Baroque-style church with a tiled facade)
  • National Museum of Soares dos Reis (Art museum within an 18th-century palace)
  • Igreja do Carmo (Twinned baroque church with tiled facade)

Sintra

One of the most famous towns in Portugal and the oldest cities in Europe, Sintra is home to many great walking paths through an old town full of palaces and gardens. This former royal retreat has been transformed into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal

  • Park and National Palace of Pena (Hilltop Romanticist palace in parkland)
  • Sintra National Palace (Moorish palace & tile collection)
  • Quinta da Regaleira (Palace & gardens hosting cultural events)
  • Castelo dos Mouros (Hilltop Moorish fortress with sea views)
  • Castelo dos Mouros (Hilltop Moorish fortress with sea views)
  • News Museum (Museum of journalism & media)
  • Park and Palace of Monserrate (Grand 19th-century mansion & gardens)
  • Convent of the Capuchos (Compact convent built into nature)
  • Queluz National Palace (18th-century summer palace & gardens)
  • Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (Seafront park with dunes & cliffs)
  • Azenhas do Mar (Clifftop cottages, Viewpoints & Azenhas do Mar Beach)
  • Cabo da Roca (Natural coastal viewpoint & lighthouse)
  • Praia da Adraga (Scenic beach in a cliffside cove)

Leiria

While you’re in Portugal, don’t miss the chance to visit the stunning sites of Leiria. This small town on the coast is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views of nature. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, Leiria is a perfect choice. The city is located in the Alentejo region, and it’s known for its scenic countryside and beautiful beaches, as well as its vibrant nightlife.

  • Batalha Monastery (Gothic monastery built over 150 years)
  • Castle of √ďbidos (Well-preserved medieval castle & hotel)
  • Mira de Aire Cave (Limestone caves with an underground lake)
  • Alcoba√ßa Monastery (Gothic church with Cistercian monastery)
  • Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Leiria (Cathedral and church)
  • Castelo de Leiria (City views from imposing hilltop castle)
  • Museu da Imagem em Movimento (Museum of film history & techniques)
  • Coin Caves (Dramatic cave with a geology museum)
  • Jardim Almu√≠nha Grande (Garden and park)
  • Praia da Foz do Arelho (Beach for swimming & windsurfing)
  • Jardim do Visconde da Barreira (Garden and park)
  • Centro de Interpretaci√≥n de la Batalla de Aljubarrota (Museum and monastery)
  • Batalha (Monastery, gothic architecture, chapel, convent, and church)
  • Baleal Island (Destination beach for surfing & swimming)
  • Santu√°rio do Senhor Jesus dos Milagres / Igreja Paroquial de Milagres / Igreja do Senhor Jesus dos Milagres (History, shrine, and architecture)
  • Museum of Glass (Museum and art)
  • Castle of √ďbidos (Well-preserved medieval castle & hotel)

Algarve

The Algarve region is another popular option for travelers who want to relax in a more tropical climate. It’s known for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and long stretches of deserted coastline.

Located close to the Spanish border, this region is known for its beaches and windy coastlines. If you want to see the most picturesque spots in Portugal, the Algarve is an excellent place to start. The landscape is dotted with olive groves and vineyards and has some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.

  • Praia da Fal√©sia (Long sandy beach with colorful cliffs)
  • Ponta da Piedade (Scenic rock formations & boat tour spot)
  • Castillo de Silves (Hilltop castle with Moorish construction)
  • Cabo de San Vicente (Portugal’s most southwesterly point)
  • Sagres (Surfing, beach, lighthouse, cliff, and dolphin)
  • Vilamoura (Vilamoura Beach & Cerro da Vila museum)
  • Sagres Fortress (15th-century fort on a rocky outcrop)
  • Olh√£o (Beach, marina, fishing, lighthouse, and dolphin)
  • Carvoeiro (Beach, cave, cliff, golf, and lighthouse)
  • Monchique (Mountain and hiking)
  • Zoo de Lagos (Compact zoo with a Portuguese restaurant)
  • Portim√£o (Museu de Portim√£o & Rocha Beach)
  • Algar Seco (Scenic locale with a rocky coastline)
  • Ria Formosa (Barrier islands with hiking & cycling)
  • Marinha Beach (Scenic beach amid soaring cliffs)
  • Praia do Camilo (Tiny sandy beach accessed by steep steps)
  • Cacela Velha Beach (Scenic shoreline with ancient ruins)
  • Ferragudo (Beach, fishing, lighthouse, dolphin, and cave)
  • Praia da Rocha (Scenic beach near hotels & restaurants)
  • Castelo de S. Jorge (Hilltop Moorish castle & palace ruins)
  • Lighthouse of Cabo de S√£o Vicente (Scenic, rocky cape with a lighthouse)
  • Praia dos Salgados (Bustling beach with dunes & walkways)
  • Praia do Barril (Tranquil beach & an anchor cemetery)
  • Jer√≥nimos Monastery (World heritage listed Gothic monastery)
  • Albufeira Old Town (Whitewashed homes & classic plazas)
  • Carrapateira (Surfing beaches & cozy, open-air cafes)
  • Praia do Beliche (Steps down to beach with cliffs & caves)
  • Praia do Carvalho (Scenic destination with cliff tunnels)
  • Praia da Manta Rota (Beach known for its migratory birds)
  • Praia do Vau (Sandy beach with unique cliffs)

Aveiro

A city with lots of history, Aveiro is known for its beautiful buildings, including a castle and cathedral. For a taste of local culture, head to Aveiro, home to some of the country’s most beautiful castles. This old city is famous for its castle and its famous cathedral, which was built over 500 years ago.

  • Aveiro Museum (Religious art in a historic convent)
  • Beira Mar – Jardim do Rossio (Riverside promenade & canal cruises)
  • Aveiro Lagoon (Lagoon, canal, birdwatching, fishing, and windsurfing)
  • S√£o Jacinto Beach (Vast sand beach backed by dunes)
  • Museu de Arte Nova (Art nouveau, museum, and art)
  • Igreja de S√£o Jo√£o Evangelista / Igreja (Carmelite Church)
  • Praia da Costa Nova (Sandy beach with colorful houses & dunes)
  • Museu Mar√≠timo de √ćlhavo e Aqu√°rio dos Bacalhaus (Local maritime exhibits & a cod aquarium)
  • Forum Aveiro (Shopping centre, Canal, Galleries and Bridges)
  • Praia da Barra Sul (Beach)
  • Passeios de Moliceiro (Canal tour)
  • Museu Mar√≠timo de √ćlhavo e Aqu√°rio dos Bacalhaus (Local maritime exhibits & a cod aquarium)

Braga

Another beautiful medieval town; it’s also home to some really delicious food! You’ll want to try all the typical dishes from this region, such as mussels and stuffed potatoes. With more than 50 castles and fortresses spread across its historic walls, Braga has always been considered one of Portugal’s most important cities.

  • Bom Jesus do Monte (Religious retreat in hillside gardens)
  • Bom Jesus Funicular (Shrine and sanctuary)
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro (Hilltop shrine with city views)
  • Bom Jesus Staircases (Shrine and sanctuary)
  • Bisca√≠nhos Museum Garden (Garden)
  • Braga Cathedral (Cathedral with Gothic & Baroque features)
  • Museu Pio XII (Archaeological museum with many relics)
  • Chafariz da Pra√ßa da Rep√ļblica (Fountain & Architecture)
  • √ćdolo Fountain (History and architecture)
  • Jardim de Santa Barbara (Stone fountain in a colorful garden)
  • Monastery of S√£o Martinho de Tib√£es (Benedictine monastery with rococo decor)
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro (Hilltop shrine with city views)
  • Peneda-Ger√™s National Park (Portuguese national park & Ger√™s town)
  • Bisca√≠nhos Museum Garden (Garden)
  • Casa do Raio (Historic baroque-style structure)
  • Parque Da Ponte (Shady green space with a chapel & a lake)
  • Arco da Porta Nova (Landmark archway with baroque flair)
  • Igreja Miseric√≥rdia (Church and history)
  • Parque Sao Joao da Ponte (Park and garden)
  • Jardim de Santa Barbara (Stone fountain in a colorful garden)
  • Biscainhos Museum (Decorative arts museum & gardens)

Evora

The city of √Čvora has many beautiful sights to see, including the Alc√°√ßova Palace, which is one of the largest Renaissance palaces in Europe. It also has several museums and churches worth visiting.

  • Chapel of Bones (√Čvora) (Historic chapel lined with human bones)
  • Templo Romano √Čvora (Ruins of 1st-century Roman temple)
  • Gra√ßa church (Church, convent, and architecture)
  • Aqueduto da √Āgua de Prata (Landmark 16th-century structure)
  • Clock Museum – Pole √Čvora (Gallery of historic watches & clocks)
  • Monte Selvagem Reserva Animal (Zoo and safari)
  • P√°teo de S√£o Miguel (Castle and history)
  • Igreja dos L√≥ios / Convento dos L√≥ios em √Čvora (Convent, azulejo, chapel, and architecture)
  • Termas Romanas de √Čvora (Roman Baths)
  • Pra√ßa do Giraldo (Main square with medieval buildings)
  • Igreja da Miseric√≥rdia (Architecture)
  • Igreja e Mosteiro de S√£o Francisco (Skeleton-lined chapel in a vast church)
  • Almendres Cromlech (Neolithic monument of standing stones)
  • Largo da Porta de Moura (Square, Cultural Footprint, Sightseeing Architecture)
  • Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro (Ancient tomb cut into a hillside)
  • Jardim P√ļblico de √Čvora (Park and history)

Obidos

Obidos is another popular destination in Portugal that’s worth seeing off the beaten path. It’s located on an island in the middle of the Tagus River near Lisbon, making it easy to avoid crowds while still enjoying all the best parts of Portugal’s capital city! If you’re looking for a little adventure, check out Obidos, where you can hike through ancient ruins and historical villages.

  • Castle of √ďbidos (Well-preserved medieval castle & hotel)
  • Lagoa de √ďbidos (Large lagoon with beaches & trails)
  • Museu da Cer√Ęmica (Ceramics exhibits in an old manor house)
  • Bacalh√īa Buddha Eden (Asian sculpture garden built in 2001)
  • Municipal Museum of √ďbidos (Museum)
  • Church of Saint Mary (Painted ceiling & Renaissance tomb)
  • Livraria de Santiago (Church & Bookstore)
  • Porta da Vila (Azulejo and history)
  • Pra√ßa de Santa Maria (Church, Square & Monuments)
  • Praia da Foz do Arelho (Beach for swimming & windsurfing)
  • Parque Dom Carlos I (Picturesque spot with a lake & play area)
  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora do P√≥pulo (Architecture)
  • Acueducto de √ďbidos (Historical Arc Wall)
  • Sanctuary of the Lord of the Stone (Sanctuary and architecture)
  • Rua Direita (Pedestrian street with shopping & dining)
  • Church of Mercy of √ďbidos (Azulejo and architecture)
  • Sanctuary Senhor Jesus do Carvalhal (Architecture)
  • Rua Direita (Pedestrian street with shopping & dining)
  • Caldas da Rainha (Museum, hot spring, pottery, hamburger, and park)
  • Sanctuary Senhor Jesus do Carvalhal (Architecture)

Portugal’s safety record is due in large part to its low crime rate, which makes it an ideal place for solo female travelers who want to avoid being harassed or attacked while they’re out and about. The country’s low number of reported assaults and crimes against people indicates that most travelers feel safe here, despite its Mediterranean climate and diverse population base‚ÄĒwhich includes people from all over the world.

FAQs

What cities are the best to visit in Portugal?

Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and delicious food. From Porto to Sintra, there’s something for every traveler’s taste. Whether you want to relax by the water or explore castles and cathedrals, there are a lot of great things to see and do in Portugal!

What is the most beautiful town in Portugal?

Portugal has a lot to offer. From the wild and beautiful coastline of Porto to the historic sights of Sintra, there’s something for everyone. You can go on a day trip to Leiria and Algarve, or stay in one of Portugal’s most popular cities, Aveiro. If you’re looking for something with a little more adventure, Obidos is just down the coast from Guimar√£es.

Which part of Portugal is best?

From the beautiful beaches of Portugal’s southern coast to the bustling metropolis of Porto and its famous fish market, this country has something for everyone. It’s also home to some of Europe’s most important cities, including Sintra and Leiria. Whether you want to explore medieval castles or ancient ruins, or go on a hike along some of Europe’s most impressive coastline, there’s no shortage of things to do here!

Where is the best place to holiday in Portugal?

If you’re looking for something a little more holiday, head over to Aveiro or Obidos instead. These inland cities are less touristy than their coastal counterparts but just as gorgeous and historic. They offer plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking and swimming‚ÄĒand they’re within easy reach from one another!

What is the nicest city in Portugal?

The region of Portugal is a beautiful place to visit.

There are many beautiful cities in the region, including Lisbon, Porto and Viana do Castelo.

In addition to this there are many other cities that offer great opportunities for you to enjoy your time there by visiting them. These include: Coimbra, √Čvora, Aveiro and Obidos.

You can also enjoy the natural beauty of this country by visiting its national parks such as Peneda-Gerês National Park or Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês.

Share your love
Sarah Gautam
Sarah Gautam

Hi there! My name is Sarah Gautam, a travel blogger, and digital nomad, currently living in the United States. I believe life is all about experiences, and what better way to gain them than by seeing the world that's exactly why I left my office job in England and escaped to the national parks of Utah, working remotely as I go, to earn my income. It's a fantastic lifestyle choice and I want to inspire others who are looking to do something similar as well. These are my free resources for future nomads.

Articles: 75