Things to Do in Portugal

Have an amazing time in Portugal exploring the country’s many attractions and get to know its culture and history while doing so. Enjoy the various things to do in Portugal like visiting its many unique and different towns, witnessing a live fado performance, going on different walking tours like food tours, wine tours, etc., and many more.

When it comes to the best things to do in Portugal, the county’s nightlife and beaches are a must mention. Lagos is world wide famous for its gorgeous beaches with golden sands and glistening waters, also many people like to hop beaches when in Lagos and explore the coastline. The nightlife here is not just clubs, bars and parties but includes activities like stargazing and ghost tours. Take in everything that this country has to offer and have a great time experiencing these exciting things to do in Portugal.

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Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Housed within a 17th century palace, this museum is one of the most enlightening Portugal places to visit. It is located at the site of a former 16th century Carmelite convent and is one of the most important Portuguese museums today. The magnificent gardens overlooking the building is another important feature that attracts visitors here.

Estadio do Dragao Porto

Enjoy a tour of this all-seater football stadium in Porto, that is also the home ground of FC Porto since 2003. With a seating capacity of more than 50,000, this is the third largest football stadium in the country. This is also a prestigious UEFA category four stadium that holds several international club and national team competition matches.

SEA LIFE Centre Porto

This exotic aquarium located in Porto will give you an insight into the rich and exotic world of the creatures underwater. It is definitely one of the best places to visit in Portugal with a wide variety of interesting marine species that call it home. The aquarium is also popular for the environment and conservation education that they are spreading among the visitors who come here.

Monument Church Of St Francis

This is a beautiful church that was established by the Franciscan Order in 1245 but was later reformed after a massive fire destroyed part of it. While it was originally built in the Romanesque style of architecture, it was later transformed into a stunning example of Gothic architecture in Porto, with some elements of the Baroque style infused in it.

Botanical Garden of Lisbon

Discover this green lung in the city that boasts landscaped gardens with plants and trees from across the world as well as a bank of endangered and rare seeds. Counted among the best places to visit in Portugal, this sprawling garden houses more than 10,000 plants. The park has an enviable collection of subtropical vegetation, exotic plants, a butterfly greenhouse, and much more.

National Pantheon

This monument, which was constructed with an octagonal layout with a Greek cross as its central focus, took the longest to finish in all of Portugal. Visiting this pantheon will give you some great insights as it has the tombs and cenotaphs of some of the most notable or influential people in the nation's history, including explorers, presidents, poets, and even the Fado diva Amália Rodrigues.

Fatima Sanctuary, Portugal

Fatima Sanctuary, also called Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, is located in the municipality of Fatima, Portugal. The sanctuary is devoted to the Virgin Mary and is one of Europe's most popular pilgrimage sites. The attractions include several Catholic religious structures, out of which the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary comprises the main building. You can also explore the museum, the Chapel of the Apparitions and the Chapel of the Lausperene. 

Lisbon Cathedral

One of the most imposing religious landmarks of the city, this cathedral is part of Portugal’s early history. The grand old church that dates back to the 12th century has stood witness to various important events pertaining to the nobility and the elite such as marriages, baptisms, and such others. It resembles a fortified tower with massive gray solid walls and two imposing clock towers

Castelo Dos Mouros

This Moorish Castle is one of the most popular places to visit in Portugal that fundamentally served as a military fortification testifies to the presence of Islamic rulers in the country. It is believed that these were initially built during the eighth and ninth centuries and were later expanded. They look over the town of Sinatra and served as a watchtower thus standing guard to Lisbon and the surrounding region.

MAAT Museum

As the name suggests, this Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology primarily focuses on three important areas. The museum is known for hosting international exhibitions with works of contemporary artists, thinkers, and architects. Located west of the city center by the River Tagus, this museum is one of the best places to visit in Portugal.

Livraria Lello

The Lisbon Oceanarium is among the most exciting and best places to visit in Portugal with the entire family. It was originally constructed back in 1998 as the centerpiece of an ocean-themed world exhibition. Today it is a popular place of interest with its impressive futuristic architecture and innovative exhibits of the most exotic marine life.

Pena Palace

Located in São Pedro de Penaferrim, this Romanticist castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. It was completed in the mid 19th century and can be easily spotted from anywhere in Lisbon. It is also one of the top places to visit in Portugal for its splendid architectural features and vast forested park.

Porto Cathedral

Situated right in the historical center of the city, this Roman Catholic church is one of Porto’s oldest buildings as well as among the country’s most important Romanesque monuments. It is located next to the walls that served as a protection for the city once and from the outside, the building has the appearance of a fortress with battlements.

Bolsa Palace

This national monument is located in the historic center of the city and has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was built by the Porto Commercial Association where the ruins of the Saint Francis Convent lay. Today it is used for welcoming eminent state dignitaries including monarchs, presidents and ministers from various countries across the world.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima

Sintra National Palace

Popularly known as the Town Palace, the Sintra National Palace is a historic house museum today and one of the most attractive places to visit in Portugal. It is one of the most well preserved royal palaces from the medieval era in Portugal. It is the country’s most lived-in royal palace which also showcases minimalistic Gothic designs alongside highly adorned state rooms. 

The Azores
Making for one of the most mesmerizing places to see in Europe, The Azores is a spectacular archipelago sheltering a total of nine picturesque islands. Considered to be a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this beautiful subtropical chain of islands is home to age-old fishing villages, virgin landscapes, volcanic mountain summits, and bubbling hot water springs.

Lying off the Portugal coast, this place is famous for its plethora of brilliant spa retreats that offer the most tranquil massage treatments with volcanic stones and essential oils. Encircled by azure oceans, The Azores showcases excellent dining experiences, serving the most delicious seafood platter.

Foodies visiting this place must also try their hands at the traditional geothermal cooking and taste the globally famed and locally produced Azorean white wines. While you are at The Azores, do not forget to shake a leg to the enthralling Fado music at one of the dazzling local pubs.

Best time: June to September.
Belem Tower

Originally built as a defense for the city, the Belem Tower was later transformed into a lighthouse and then a customs center. It is also one of the best places to visit in Portugal to witness the incredible Manuelino style of architecture by famous architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda. Built between the years 1514 and 1520, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lisbon Zoo

The Lisbon Zoological Garden is considered to be one of the most important of its kind in the entire continent and is certainly one of the best places to visit in Portugal. Opened in the late 19th century, the Lisbon Zoo is home to more than 2000 animals from nearly 350 different species. The zoo also has a wide array of enjoyable activities to keep visitors of all ages engaged.

Oceanário de Lisbon

The Lisbon Oceanarium is among the most exciting and best places to visit in Portugal with the entire family. It was originally constructed back in 1998 as the centerpiece of an ocean-themed world exhibition. Today it is a popular place of interest with its impressive futuristic architecture and innovative exhibits of the most exotic marine life.

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Portugal Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Portugal?

1. Kayak through the Bengali Sea Cave: Benagil Sea Cave is the most famous grotto in southern Portugal with its mesmerizing natural skylight through the eye and beautiful white sands and glistening water on the inside. Going on a two hour long Kayak or SUP tour and enjoying your time exploring this beautiful sea cave is one of the best things to do in Portugal. 

2. Listen to a live fado performance in Lisbon:
Fado is a traditional music genre of Portugal that is listed in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity. It is basically melodious songs accompanied by strumming of guitars or mandolins. You can find people enjoying this art form at different fado houses of the Lisbon city like Baiuca, Adega Machado, Cafe Luso and many more.

3. Surf the giant waves in Nazaré: 
Nazare, a village popular for giant Atlantic waves attracts surfers from all around the world to try surfing these waves. This goes without saying that the waves here are for experts only and beginners are not encouraged to take part in it. Also while you are in Nazare, don’t forget to get a beautiful view from the lighthouse of Sao Miguel Arcanjo Fort.  

4. Join a Portuguese food tour in Lisbon: A food tour in Lisbon is one of the best ways to explore the cuisine, culture and history of Portugal. There are many options to choose from when looking for a food tour in Lisbon, which take you from popular restaurants and cafes to offbeat eateries only locals know about. Try delicacies like Bacalhau, caldo verde, sausage and kale soup, or Pastel de Nata and many more while exploring the food capital of Portugal.

What are the most romantic things to do in Portugal for couples?

1. Walk hand-in-hand through Alfama’s cozy streets: With its narrow streets, stone staircases, melodious fado music and amazing wine, Alfama is a scene from a romcom movie. Enjoy your walk with your partner while admiring the beauty of Alfama and you can also buy trinkets and souvenirs from the many cute little shops here.

2. Take a Port Wine Cellar Tour & Tasting: Porto is famous across the world for its Port Wine and what better way to celebrate romance than toasting a glass of wine. There are many places you can try the Port, but Graham is most recommended by locals. Due to its location you get to enjoy wine with great views of the city and river, and you can even book one of the vintage rooms for a more private and romantic experience. 

3. Go Stargazing in Monsaraz: Stargazing is one of the most romantic things to do in Portugal. The Alentejo region of the country is included in UNESCO’s starlight tourism destinations, and the town of Monsaraz near this region with no light pollution makes the experience magical. You can easily observe the constellations and many celestial bodies even with your naked eye and if you are lucky, you can even see the Milky way. 

4. Walk the Medieval Walls of the Moorish Castle in Sintra: Life your royal dreams while visiting the Moorish Castle in Sintra as you stroll around with your partner’s hand in yours. This castle gives you a private experience with fewer visitors and spectacular views of the Sintra mountain range. Click pictures with your loved ones and watch a beautiful sunset from here before heading back.

What are the things to do in Portugal at night?

1. Visit the Ponte De Dom Luis I Bridge: The Ponte de Dom Luis I is a double deck metal bridge that connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Visiting this stunning piece of architecture is one of the most recommended things to do in Portugal at night owing to the mesmerizing views of sea, boats and city lights.

2. Party all night at the Strip: The Strip is a road that stretches from Monte Choro to Areias de Sao Joao and is swarmed with nightclubs and bars. This is the best place to enjoy a nightlife in Portugal with the cheapest drinks, all day parties and delicious english breakfasts. 

3. Visit Baixa Bar: Visit Baxia Bar for the best custom cocktails and great services. This bar offers the safest nightlife experience in Portugal with dance, fun, drinks and food all at its best. Baixa bar is amongst the few places frequently visited by the locals making the experience here so special. 

4. Take a Ghost Tour: Have an unforgettable night as you take a ghost tour in Lisbon with the guide telling you all about serial killers, unsolved cases and local horror stories. One of the most popular Ghost tours is Lisbon Mysteries- Untold Stories, learn about the spooky history of Lisbon and visit places like cemeteries and old buildings. The tour will also take you through Chiado and the cursed Church of Sao Domingos. 

What are the things to do in Portugal with kids?

1. Enjoy the beaches in Lagos: Kids love beaches and luckily Lagos in Portugal is home to many sandy beaches with a lot of water sports activities and relaxing opportunities. The little one’s can enjoy swimming, building castles and even learn to surf while you sunbathe. 

2. Ride a tuk- tuk: You should definitely let your kids try a tuk- tuk when in Portugal and let them have the experience of a lifetime. You can easily find them in the city of Lisbon, Porto and Sintra. 

3. Explore the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira: Quinta da Regaleira is one of the most beautiful Castles of Sintra and one of its main features is the gardens that this place hosts. Kids will love exploring the secrets of this garden, the tunnels, the hidden passageways, waterfall and the 27m deep well with staircase.

4. Visit Costa Nova: Costa Nova is the most colorful town of Portugal with bright striped houses lining the streets. Your kids will definitely love this picturesque town that looks like a scene from a story book.

What are the best things to do in Portugal with family?

1. See local marine life at Lisbon Oceanarium: Visiting Europe’s largest indoor aquarium, the Lisbon Oceanarium, with your whole family to see the local marine life is one of the best things to do in Portugal. It will take you around two hours to witness the various fishes, sharks, otters, birds, amphibians and invertebrates this aquarium has on display. 

2. Come to face to face with wildlife at Jardim Zoológico: Jardim Zoologico is a zoo situated across the Sete Rios train station that will keep your family entertained during the visit with special exhibitions, special feeding times and the many species it offers. You will also get to know about conservation of plants and natural habitats of different species while visiting this zoo.

3. See Pink Flamingos in Ria Formosa Natural Park: 
Looking at the flamingos in Ria Formosa Natural Park at the marsland and saltwater lagoons and looking at the pink sight in front of you is one of the best things to do in Portugal. Kids will definitely be thrilled to see these birds and you can click beautiful family photographs with flamingos in the background to take home as a souvenir.

4. Explore Dinosaur footprints up close: 
This is one of the best attractions of Portugal which lets you witness the footprints of dinosaurs up close. Visit the Pegadas de Dinossáurios in the Serras de Aire E Candeeiros National Park and take a walk on the wooden footpath along the trail of actual footprints left by dinosaurs.

Where to go shopping in Portugal?

1. Feira da Ladra: Feira da Ladra is one of Lisbon’s hidden places with cheap antique items including vibrant clothes, books, handmade goods, military objects, ancient coins and many more. This flea market’s name translates to “Thieves’ Market’, but it's just a name and is open from dawn to afternoons on every Tuesday and Saturday. 

2. LX Factory Sunday Market:
LX Factory is home to many start-ups and restaurants, and considered a paradise for art lovers with upcoming artists showcasing their works here. You can visit this place for a shopping spree on Sundays and get everything you need from local clothes and jewelry to food and amazing music. 

3. Colombo Mall:
It is one of the largest malls of the country with beautiful exteriors and interiors. If you want to experience luxury shopping then visit this mall and explore the 340 shops it houses.  You can find everything here, from clothes, footwear, accessories, etc. to delicious food and refreshing drinks for when you get tired from shopping. 

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Portugal Things To Do Reviews

Zakariya Yunus
Reviewed: 01 Jul 2023
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Giselle Perera
Reviewed: 08 Jan 2023
Todo muy bien, el monasterio es bonito y vale la pena visitarlo por dentro. 
Giselle Perera
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Reviewed: 11 Oct 2023
Ticket delivery was fast and very good.
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Ka Yip
Reviewed: 05 Sep 2023
Good CS! Thanks!
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Romeo Boschiroli
Reviewed: 24 Aug 2023
Great booking service from thrillophilia
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Reviewed: 24 Jun 2023
Pas d attente, bonne expérience

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