55 Places to Visit in Portugal, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Tourist Places to Visit in Portugal

Experience a wide array of breathtaking experiences and sightseeing that this country has to offer by touring some of the best places to visit in Portugal. Despite its tiny size, Portugal packs a punch when it comes to tourist attractions and interesting things to see. From gorgeous beach resorts and lush national parks to quaint towns and villages, the diversity in points of interests is mind boggling. Portugal shares its borders with Spain, occupies part of Iberia, and has a long coastline with the Atlantic Ocean. It is tucked away in the western part of Europe which gives it much of its appeal.

There are various places to Visit in Portugal including churches, cathedrals, museums, palaces, and much more. Some of the most important cathedrals that are not only important places of worship but also have deep historical significance include the Lisbon Cathedral, the Porto Cathedral, and the Basílica da Estrela. The National Pantheon can also be visited for its spiritual value as it was once a church but today houses the tombs of famous personalities.

There are several places in Portugal that can be visited with kids and family such as the Lisbon Zoo, the SEA LIFE Centre Porto, MAAT Museum, Oceanário de Lisboa, and the Botanical Garden of Lisbon among various others. They are not only places that are preserving the natural splendor of the region but have great educational value as well. 

Here are some of the best places to visit in Portugal:

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The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is indeed one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities of Europe. Nestled over a series of hills, Lisbon is located near the mouth of River Tagus. It is definitely a place that is inevitably linked with the sea. Plucky navigators embarked from here in the 15th and the 16th centuries to chart new lands and sail the unknown waters. The legacy of this Golden Age of Discovery defines the majority of the heritage and culture of the city.   

Lisbon is a vibrant and colorful destination. Famed for its sunny and warm disposition, the city is endowed with a wealth of world-class museums, historic monuments and a host of other interesting places to see.

You can explore the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, take a stroll on the riverbank promenade or wander through the verdant gardens and parks. In fact, to make the most of your holiday in Lisbon, you ought to enjoy it just like the locals do. If done right, you’ll quickly fall for the beguiling charm and the welcoming character of the city. So, pack your bags and let yourself unwind and relax in the comforting atmosphere of Lisbon.

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Leiria is a small city in Portugal that is also considered to be one of its secret treasures that is known for its historical heritage as one of the first cities that was occupied by the Moorish invaders in the 10th century. It is located in the Leiria district, which is in the central region of Portugal, midway between Porto and Lisbon. Being in close proximity with the beach, the city has a wonderful landscape that attracts several families to spend quality time in its beauty. The city boasts a medieval castle which is also a UNESCO heritage site apart from several other churches, museums, as well as sandy beaches.One of the main reasons why tourists throng to Leiria is because of its shopping and dining scene. You can enjoy the best ‘migas’ here which is a delectable local dish made of cornbread and spinach.

Some of the major places you can visit include the Leiria Cathedral which is a national monument, the Leiria Museum which houses ceramics and artifacts from the Iron Age, as well as the Monastery of Batalha. You can go shopping at one of the four main shopping areas, the Rodrigues Lobo Square, Sant’Ana Square, Castle district, and riverside district. As the city lies on the western coast of the country, it experiences a mix of Mediterranean and Atlantic weather. Winters here are mostly cool, humid, and wet while the summers are quite warm, sunny, and dry. Winter temperatures range between 15 °C and 7 °C on average while in the summers temperatures are usually between 27 °C and 15 °C.

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Madeira is a region in Portugal which comprises of four naturally beautiful islands, located off the Northern coast of Africa. It is famous for its unique happy and positive charm, amid a sub-tropical beach climate. It is a place boasting about high cliffs, pebble beaches, green and rugged mountains and volcanoes, amid which you can enjoy amazing locally made wine. This place is nothing but a really tempting destination to stay, with a local market, Wineries, beautiful cathedrals, vibrant beaches and a relaxing atmosphere, Madeira is indeed a destination which will give you a complete detox from all your worries, hectic lifestyle and mood swings. You will enjoy each and every moment spent on these beautiful island and rejuvenate your mind body and soul like nowhere else.

You must have seen people swimming on beaches, jumping into waters from high cliffs, enjoying on cruises and casinos and clicking pictures against the backdrop of beautiful and colorful building. Well, you will be able to do all of this over here and have a trip which is fulfilling in each and every aspect. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book your tickets right away so that you take your first step towards the best vacation of your life.

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One of the glittering gems in the crown of Portugal’s most beautiful cities, Sintra has also been recognized by UNESCO for its beautiful landscape and history. It is located on the foothills of the Serra de Sintra hills.
The city is extremely beautiful with its houses painted in a palette of light pink and ochre with bright splashes of yellow in between. It seems like a picture straight out of a fairytale book set in the ancient Castelo dos Mouros.

The main town is dominated by sights of the iconic building of the Palácio National with its massive twin chimneys looming over the surrounding lands. The Palácio da Pena is another important monument perched high atop a hill that was used as a summer retreat by the country’s royal family in the 19th century. There are several interesting activities that you can enjoy in Sintra, especially hiking through its natural trails.

You can go up the mountainous roads for a breathtaking view of the region especially across the Atlantic coastline and distant Cascais from amazing vantage points. The summers in SIntra are warm, dry, and mostly clear while the winters are wet, cold, and usually cloudy. The city is quite windy throughout the year with the temperatures varying from 48°F to 79°F. The average temperature seldom goes below 42°F or above 89°F.

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One of the grandest cities of Portugal, Braga is located in the north of the country and is one of the most important religious and commercial centers here. 
The city exudes spectacular beauty with an old world charm and historic splendor with handsome mansions, breathtaking churches, and magnificent palaces dotting the entire city. Apart from the 18th century architectural beauty the city also has a number of lush green parks and gardens.

One of the main attractions of the city is the 11th century cathedral of Braga, the Se, which bears testimony to the fact that this continues to be the ecclesiastical capital of Portugal. Once you are at the central square of the city, you can experience a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with quaint cafes housed under the arcades. You can also see the remnants of the original fortifications of the city in the adjoining 14th-century Torre de Menagem.

You can also visit the Bom Jesus do Monte, a famous religious sanctuary when you are in Braga and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens surrounding the area. The climate is Braga is quite pleasant throughout the year with the temperatures typically varying from 42°F to 80°F. It hardly ever drops below 34°F or soars above 91°F. The summers here are short, dry, and warm, with the skies remaining mostly clear while the winters wet, cold, and partly cloudy. 

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Porto is located on the north west of Portugal and is a coastal city. It is popular for its bridges, production of port wine, medieval districts; cobble stone streets, churches, baroque style architecture, culture, discoveries, history, culture, and cuisine. You can take a stroll along side the River Douro also known as the River of the Gold and get a bird’s view of the city in helicopter tours. There are many scenic landscapes for hiking and nature walks. You can also take a cruise on this river and enjoy the scenic view of the city. There are also beaches which face the Atlantic Ocean.

There are trade routes and adventure tours which depict the treasures of this country. Porto is a busy industrial and commercial centre. The climate of this city is semi Mediterranean. Winters are humid and mild hot. Porto has always been a trader’s city. Residents of this city are known as Tripeiros. Portuguese locals lack social graces and more informal in their mannerisms. The communication of the locals is more direct and informal and should not be considered rude. It is their normal way of communication. You can take an international flight to the Aeroporto do Porto airport. Within the city you can travel in car, metro, bus, taxi, boat, helicopter, and the cable railway system. Visit this city for its more than a century old history, take walking tours, and cruise up the River.

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Cascais is one of the most charming and traditional Portuguese fishing towns that has developed into a resort town over the years. It is located along the Lisbon coastline with Sintra lying to its north. Cascais is an attractive, stylish, and sophisticated town that has historically served as a summer retreat of the Portuguese royal family. Today you can witness a beautiful blend of its rich heritage and modern amenities. The city is dotted with quaint cobbled streets, lavish villas, fascinating museums, imposing forts, as well as livery restaurants and bars that keeps the overall atmosphere here buzzing.

One of the main attractions of the city is its beautiful beaches, especially the Portuguese Riviera, Praia da Conceicao, Praia da Duquesa, as well as the more untouched Serra de Sintra coastline that lies towards the north of the city. It is known for its stunning natural beauty as well as its provisions for surfing. Other prominent attractions include the Castro Guimaraes Museum, the Parque Marechal Carmona, the Cabo de Rocha which is the most western point of mainland Europe, the exquisite 19th century villas and mansions. 

There are a variety of activities that you can enjoy in this vibrant city such as surfing in the beaches, visiting the palaces, watching the sunset at Cabo da Rocha, going hiking or cycling through the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, and much more. 
The weather here during the summer season is warm, dry, and mostly clear while the winters are cool, wet, and partly cloudy. The temperature mostly fluctuates between 51°F and 79°F and does not usually go below 45°F or above 89°F.

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Popularly known as the ‘Venice of Portugal’, this city is located in the country’s Beira Litoral region which lies by the edges of a criss crossing system of coastal lagoons. This area also features a large number of canals that have become a popular sight here. It is on the coast of Portugal, 55 km south of Porto. Aveiro is an attractive city whose image is predominated by the picturesque gondola-like boats called barcos moliceiros.

These traditional boats were used to harvest seaweed once upon a time but today serve as sightseeing vessels that easily navigate the narrow channels of water. The city is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture that you can see lining the waterside with several shops, galleries, houses, and restaurants. There is also a museum that is dedicated to this 20th-century decorative style called the Museu Arte Nova.

One of the best ways to spend time in this city is by exploring its various museums, especially the Museu de Aveiro which will give you a broader idea about the rich cultural heritage of the place. It is housed in the 5th-century Convento de Jesus and exhibits a fascinating collection of artifacts related to Santa Joana, a daughter of King Afonso V who lived in the convent for several years until her death. You can also visit the Vista Alegre porcelain works that showcases fine craftsmanship and is renowned all across the world. Weather in Aveiro is quite temperate and oceanic where the summers are quite pleasant, warm and sunny while the winters are mild and rainy. 

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Other Attractions

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Military Museum of Porto is among the most unique Portugal places to visit that features a large collection of light arms, military equipment, army uniforms, as well as a wide array of heavy artillery. It also features armaments, cannons, vehicles, and much more. What makes the museum distinct is its marvelous collection of miniature figures of soldiers from various armies across the globe.

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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.

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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.

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The Royal Basilica and Convent is one of the biggest neoclassical monuments of Lisbon as well as the city’s most eye-catching landmark. The basilica was built in the second half of the 18th century to fulfill a vow by Queen Maria I whose tomb also lies within the monument alongside a spectacular Christmas manger that comprises over 500 figures.

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Explore the ruins of this Gothic church that are a poignant reminder of the massive 18th century earthquake when this was the largest church in Lisbon. The place where the main altar once was, there is now a small archaeological museum which houses a collection of tombs, statuary, ceramics, and mosaics. There are several other noteworthy pieces that are preserved here making it one of the important Portugal places to visit.

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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.

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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.

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Built between 1735 and 1748, the Clérgios church has been constructed in a Baroque style of architecture. The Clérgios tower stands on top of the church making it one of the most notable monuments in the city. The complex was commissioned by the Brotherhood of the Clérigos in the Old Town in an area where executed prisoners were buried. 

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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

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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. 

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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.
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Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima

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People Also Ask About Portugal

  1. What are some of the best places to visit in Portugal?

    Pena Palace: If you're planning a trip to Portugal, don't miss the chance to visit the stunning Palacio de Pena, located in the picturesque town of Sintra. This colorful and eclectic palace is a must-see attraction, known for its unique blend of architectural styles and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. 

    Belém 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

    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. 

    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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