The best cities to visit in Portugal
Portugal is nestled in the south-west of Europe and boasts an expansive Atlantic coastline and rich maritime history. If visiting for the first time, the cities in Portugal are a fantastic place to get a feel for this enchanting country.
What makes Portugal's cities unique?
Portugal's cities host a wealth of intriguing highlights. Lisbon, the capital, is known for its historic neighborhoods and laid-back atmosphere, while other coastal towns, such as Faro, Porto, and Funchal on the island of Madeira, offer mesmerizing ocean views and stunning natural wonders.
The top cities in Portugal to include in your trip itinerary
There are several stand-out cities in Portugal, even though it's a small country. Portugal's cities along or near the coast are ideal destinations for vacationers who wish to explore the cities before visiting the golden-sand beaches and scenic coastlines. For expert advice and insider tips, Evaneos' local partners are available to help you plan your perfect trip around the country so that you can enjoy the very best of Portugal's cities.
Check out Lisbon's historical attractions
Lisbon is packed with fascinating monuments, museums, and historic sites. Belem Tower, which overlooks the River Tagus, is an unmissable architectural treasure. Saint George Castle, meanwhile, provides excellent views of the city's coastline and includes an insightful museum.
Explore picturesque Porto
A UNESCO-protected city, Porto sits peacefully on the Douro River and is famed for being the birthplace of the deliciously sweet fortified wine, Port. The Ribeira District is Porto's historic heart—hop on a boat here and take a cruise along the Douro for beautiful views.
Check out Braga's religious sites
Braga is a city with a fascinating religious heritage. Here, visitors can check out numerous sacred sites, such as Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary and Braga Cathedral. The Pio XII and Dom Diego museums are also worth visiting, showcasing expansive archaeological collections.
Catch some sun in Funchal
Funchal is the capital of Portugal's island of Madeira. Come here to catch some sun at Praia Formosa beach or to go swimming in one of the city's lido pool complexes. Visitors can also explore Funchal's Botanical Gardens, which are glorious in the summer sun.
Explore the Algarve in Faro
Faro is the capital of the southern region of the Algarve. The area is all about sun, sea, and sand and nowhere is better to soak this up that at Faro Beach. Alternatively, take a boat trip from Faro into the Ria Formosa Park, which includes some of Portugal's most incredible landscapes.
Tips for planning a city break in Portugal
Getting around Portugal by public transport is a breeze. The Alfa-Pendular high-speed trains provide a quick and easy way to travel between the country's main cities—be sure to make reservations in advance. The best times for exploring Portugal's cities are spring and fall when hotels will generally be cheaper than in the summer. In September and May, the weather is also usually still warm and sunny.