Top Cities to Visit in Portugal

by EliasZanetti

Portugal is an ideal travel destination. Here are four Portuguese cities worth visiting all year round.

Hit by the economic crisis, Portugal’s economy might be in trouble, but the country and its people still go on with their lives just like before. The country remains a preferred travel destination for many Europeans for being yet another Mediterranean heaven. Relatively cheaper than Greece, Portugal is not a place where you need to spend big money. From the north to the south, this country offers unique beauties and is characterized by its good weather and friendly people. If you like wine and good food, Portugal is surely the right place for you! Apart from its capital Lisbon, that normally draws many tourists, there are several other cities and places ideal for your vacations. Let’s take a look at some of them, starting with Lisbon – of course!


Alfama, Lisbon
Alfama, Lisbon

The capital of the country, Lisbon is a proper European city that offers to the traveler a sense of history along with everything one expects from a modern city. Last year, Lisbon’s main square was restored; it now includes a new cultural center along with the classic Beer Museum, recommended to all and not only to the heavy drinkers, of course! Lisbon’s bridge is a landmark of the city - a city where the great explorer Vasco de Gama lived once. Indeed, Lisbon awaits to be explored in all of its multifaceted beauty.  

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Castelo de Guimaraes (Portugal)
Castelo de Guimaraes (Portugal)

Located in the north of the country, Guimaraes might be less popular than Lisbon or Porto, but still, is undoubtedly a place worth discovering. The city center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is there where the Guimaraes Castle is located. Built in the 10th century, the castle stands out as a significant remembrance of Portugal’s long historical importance. The Portuguese Royal family once lived there. The whole city center, with its lovely cafes and restaurants in its narrow cobbled streets, is inviting you to explore the most of it before deciding to leave Guimaraes. Guimaraes, together with Maribor in Slovenia, was the European Capital of Culture in 2012.


Lagos Beach , Faro, Portugal.
Lagos Beach , Faro, Portugal.

Moving now to the south of the country we find beautiful Faro. Located in the Algarve region, Faro won’t disappoint the fans of the Mediterranean beauties. Algarve receives annually millions of tourists searching for the sea and the sun and Faro can be the ideal place from where to explore as much of Portugal’s magnificent coastline as you can. During autumn, the streets might look emptier, but that shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who wishes to avoid the big crowds that flood Algarve during the peak of the touristic season. Overall, Faro is an idyllic destination for family vacations and young people alike. Discover it! Love it!


Porto Ribeira
Porto Ribeira

We finish with Porto, Portugal’s second most famous city. José Mourinho, one of the best coaches in the world, left his mark on the city’s soccer fans. More than this, Porto is a worldwide famous destination. Porto’s center is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with its many old buildings and historical sites. Gothic, baroque and Romanesque architecture are represented in the city’s old center, revealing Porto’s diversity of styles and influences.

If you are in Porto, you must try the world renowned port wine, one of Portugal’s most recognizable products. It is sweet and flavored and it is served as a dessert wine. Have a glass or two and then go on to live the city’s vibrant nightlife! Finally, in case you are in search for an authentic Portuguese experience, then try to find a bar with traditional fado music. Fado songs express Portugal’s soul and spirit and they can’t just leave you unmoved, trust me on this…

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Updated: 01/06/2015, EliasZanetti
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EliasZanetti on 11/15/2013

Thank you very much Tolovaj for your kind words!! I totally agree with you that ''not so known'' places and not so obvious travel destinations sometimes can be such beautiful surprises. Faro i think that is one of them,such a wonderful place to visit than not so many travellers are aware of...

Tolovaj on 11/15/2013

Faro is completely new name to me. I am not much of a traveler but in my experience many less known cities often hide many precious treasures, sometimes they offer even more than capitals and other big names. Thanks for the hints and great photos to improve my view on the rainy morning.

EliasZanetti on 10/31/2013

Thanks Allen!

Allen fletcher on 10/31/2013

I like your post. Nice photography and amazing sites you have capture. Love to go there

EliasZanetti on 10/24/2013

Thank for your comment Jo. I remember a post of yours about the days you spent there.

EliasZanetti on 10/24/2013

@ologsinquito, AbbyFitz, jptanabe: Portugal is such a great place and a worth visiting destination! Hope you'll make it there one day!

jptanabe on 10/24/2013

Never been to Portugal, but these photos make me want to go!

JoHarrington on 10/23/2013

I've been on that beach in Faro and I can confirm that it is stunning. :)

AbbyFitz on 10/22/2013

I've always wanted to go to Portugal. My best friend in high school's mother was Portuguese. She made it sound wonderful and so did you!

ologsinquito on 10/22/2013

Hi Elias, you've thoroughly sold me on Portugal. Someone I know who went there also said that the people are so nice.

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