Welcome to Portugal! This small-but-mighty southern European nation has cities with plenty of charm and energy. From the vibrant capital city, Lisbon, to the ancient town of Porto and other cities like Coimbra and Braga, Portugal cities are filled with a mix of culture and history.
Whether you’re looking for nightlife in the towns like Faro or nature trails near Aveiro, Portugal has something for everyone. Plus, with its mild climate year-round, it’s a great place to enjoy sunny days at the beach or explore picturesque villages that dot the countryside.
Without further due, let’s dive right into our picks of the best cities to visit in Portugal!
Porto is the perfect destination for exploring and seeing Portugal’s most incredible sights. Make sure to visit the Clérigos Tower, which rises majestically above Porto’s old town. From up here, you can get breathtaking views of the city and its rooftops. Another must-see attraction is Livraria Lello, an old and beautiful bookstore that has been visited by JK Rowling and inspired the world-famous Harry Potter series.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a boat tour down Porto’s iconic Douro River – visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the city as they sail along its winding banks. No matter what you decide to do in Porto, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is packed with exciting tourist attractions. From charming cobbled streets to golden beaches and beautiful towns beyond, there’s something for everyone in central Portugal. Take a day trip to explore the stunning Sintra Mountains or visit Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery to experience some of Lisbon’s rich history.
When you’re ready for some fun in the sun, check out one of Lisbon’s many gorgeous beaches or sample delicious local cuisine before heading out for an evening of entertainment at one of its lively nightclubs and bars. No matter what your preferences are, central Portugal offers plenty of ways to make your vacation truly unforgettable!
Coimbra is one of the oldest cities in Portugal, with plenty to explore and enjoy. From its historic University of Coimbra, founded in 1290, to its beautiful parks and gardens, Coimbra has something for everyone. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll along the Mondego River or exciting nightlife around its cobbled streets, you’ll never run out of things to do in this city!
Take some time to explore incredible attractions such as Conímbriga Roman Ruins, the Cathedral of Santa Cruz, and the Machado de Castro National Museum. You can also participate in thrilling activities like whitewater rafting on the Côa River or horseback riding through rural villages. With so much fun to be had in Coimbra, you won’t want to miss out!
Leiria is an entire stunning city in northern Portugal (and one of my personal favorite Portugal cities). It has become an increasingly popular tourist destination due to its picturesque architecture, vibrant culture, and abundant attractions. Among the most impressive attractions in Leiria is the Convento de Cristo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site once home to the Knights Templar.
This sprawling complex offers visitors breathtaking views of the entire city and surrounding areas. Other must-see sites include the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria, which houses one of Europe’s finest art collections, and Castle Rock Park, which provides spectacular panoramas from its steep cliffs.
Funchal, the beautiful capital of Madeira, is an excellent destination for tourists. With its UNESCO World Heritage Site in the old town, visitors can explore its cobblestone streets and marvel at the stunning architecture. There are many museums to visit, too, including the Madeira Story Centre, which offers an interactive journey through time.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a cable car up to Monte Palace Tropical Garden for breathtaking views? The botanical gardens will also offer something unique with their selection of plants from around the globe. And if all that exploring has worked up your appetite, Funchal won’t disappoint, as it has some fantastic fresh seafood restaurants to choose from!
Guarda is located in the north of Portugal and has something for everyone! Tourists flock to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guarda’s Old Town, a preserved medieval village with beautiful cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and plenty of restaurants and shops.
Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the meandering paths of Serra da Estrela Natural Park, plus, there are nearby castles to explore, such as Castelo de Sortelha and Castelo de Marvão.
Aveiro, one of Portugal’s most beautiful cities, has plenty to offer regarding tourist attractions. You can explore the picturesque canals on a Rabelo boat tour or take in stunning views with a leisurely walk along the promenade.
Visit the iconic Academic Church, a late-Gothic structure that dates back to the 15th century, and marvel at its portico entrance with statues of 12 Apostles. If you’re looking for something more cultural, head to the Museum of Aveiro or catch a show at Maria da Fonte Theater. And don’t forget about all the delicious seafood restaurants!
Evora offers visitors a range of exciting attractions to explore. The city has ancient Roman walls that are still standing, as well as the remarkable 14th-century aqueduct and the UNESCO-protected Cathedral of Evora.
Visitors can also check out the Templo de Diana, an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Diana, or take in beautiful views from Giraldo Square. For a unique experience, take a walk through the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), built with skulls and bones taken from old graves!
Viana do Castelo has something for everyone! From its stunning beaches to its vibrant city center, visitors can experience a unique combination of urban and coastal attractions. Nature lovers are drawn to ecological parks.
At the same time, history buffs will love exploring the old town’s cobbled streets dotted with historical monuments. For an unforgettable experience, explore the winding River Lima in one of the traditional boats or take a stroll up Monte de Santa Luzia for incredible views over Viana do Castelo.
See more: Best Portugal’s National Parks
Welcome to Braga – the city of churches! If you’re looking for a fun-filled getaway, then look no further. From its Historical Center and historic streets to the unique attractions scattered throughout the city, there’s something for everyone in Braga.
Whether it’s a stroll through the beautiful Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary or a visit to one of the many churches within walking distance of each other, you’ll be sure to find something that sparks your interest here. And don’t forget all the great restaurants, bars, and shops that make Braga such an exciting destination!
Viseu, Portugal, is a fantastic destination for those exploring Portugal’s rich culture and history. This charming city boasts stunning architecture, world-class eateries, and many attractions, making it an ideal tourist destination. From the historical Viseu Cathedral to the modern shopping centers, there’s something for everyone here.
The nearby Peneda-Gerês National Park offers nature lovers some of Portugal’s most beautiful hiking trails and wildlife experiences. Museum buffs will love exploring the Museu Grão Vasco, which houses one of Portugal’s most important collections of religious art from the 16th century. Foodies should be sure to try some local delicacies such as javali (wild boar)
Ponta Delgada is home to many tourist attractions, making it the perfect holiday destination. From stunning beaches to ancient churches and world-class cuisine, visitors will find plenty of things to explore and enjoy. For starters, Ponta Delgada’s historic center is filled with narrow cobbled streets lined by colorful buildings and numerous museums and galleries.
Along the coast, you can explore the volcanic islands of Pico, Corvo, and Faial, which offer spectacular views. If you’re a nature lover, visit the Terceira Island Nature Reserve, where you can spot different species of birds or participate in activities like whale watching or horse riding.
Faro is a beautiful coastal city with plenty of attractions to keep visitors entertained. The charming old town of Faro is filled with cobblestone streets, traditional architecture, and stunning ocean views. There are plenty of museums and art galleries to explore, plus restaurants serving up delicious Portuguese cuisine.
For outdoor activities, tourists can enjoy sunning on some of Portugal’s best beaches or take a boat ride to the nearby islands for more sightseeing. For those looking for a unique experience, something fun always happens at one of Faro’s vibrant festivals or events.
Santarem is the perfect destination for mainland Portugal tourists who want a bit of everything. Whether exploring the winding cobblestone streets in search of quaint cafes or marveling at the monuments and churches that dot the cityscape, there’s something to please everyone in Santarem.
The Portas do Sol Viewpoint provides spectacular views of the Tagus River and its two tributaries, while other popular attractions include landmarks such as St Stephen’s Church, Malaquias Palace, and Fonte Luminosa Fountain. When you’re done sightseeing, make sure to sample some delicious local cuisine nearby.
Castelo Branco is a great city to explore if you’re looking for a Portugal getaway! Located in the country’s central region, it is Portugal’s largest city and has plenty of attractions to experience.
From medieval architecture to stunning churches and museums, this city offers visitors an authentic Portugal experience. One of the most popular activities here is exploring the cobblestone streets, sampling local cuisine at restaurants and street markets, or taking panoramic views from one of its many lookouts.
Make sure you don’t miss out on visiting some of the top tourist attractions such as Portugal dos Pequenitos – a miniature Portugal created with several buildings modeled after iconic Portugal landmarks – or take a stroll through Largo da Portagem square, which was once the place for bullfights and royal processions.
Nazare is a beautiful Portuguese town located on the stunning Atlantic coast. Tourists can explore its many attractions, including Nearby beaches and spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean.
For a unique experience, visitors should take a breathtaking walk along the cliff-top pathways or dip in ‘Big Mama’ – one of Europe’s highest waves! Nearby, there are also some fantastic restaurants and bars to sit back and relax with friends while taking in the stunning vistas. Don’t forget to check out the town’s iconic lighthouse either – it’s an essential part of any trip to Nazare!
Cascais is a beautiful city located on the Portuguese Riviera near Lisbon and offers a variety of attractions for tourists. From beautiful beaches to stunning castles, Cascais has something to offer everyone. Explore the cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful architecture or take a relaxing stroll along the boardwalk.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy including surfing, hiking, and enjoying local cuisine at traditional restaurants. Take in beautiful views of the ocean and breathtaking sunsets.
Figueira da Foz is a beautiful city located in the western region of Portugal. It’s known for its stunning beaches, easy access to outdoor activities, and unique cultural attractions. From taking a leisurely stroll down the promenade to exploring ancient churches and beautiful gardens, there’s something for everyone here.
There are plenty of fun things to do, like paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing at Praia de Buarcos or experiencing the lively local nightlife in Figueira da Foz City Center.
Guimaraes is a city in Northern Portugal rich with ancient streets and exciting tourist attractions. It’s full of historical sites, like the ancient walls that have stood for centuries, and modern attractions, like its lively nightlife scene.
There are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in, such as horseback riding, hiking, biking, and more. For those looking for unique experiences, numerous cultural festivals exist annually.
Sintra is located in central Portugal near Lisbon and has been designated as one of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1995 due to its architectural and natural beauty.
Popular attractions include the colorful Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle), Sintra National Palace and Park, Monserrate Palace and Park, and Palacio de Seteais, among other historical monuments. There are also several hiking trails through the woods of Sintra. The area around Sintra has a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters.
See more: Best Attractions in Sintra
The best time to visit Portugal is during the summer months from June to August. This is when temperatures are mild and the days are longer, allowing for plenty of beach days and outdoor activities. It’s also peak tourist season in Portugal so there will be lots of fun events and activities to enjoy.
According to those who have visited, the most beautiful part of Portugal is its stunning coastline. With its breathtakingly blue waters and picturesque villages, it’s easy to understand why this is one of the most beloved parts of the country.
Lisbon is busting with tourists! It’s the most visited city in Portugal, receiving more than 6 million visitors a year. Whether you’re looking for culture-filled streets, delicious seafood dishes and picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon has it all and more!