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Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Portugal. #Top Attractions

Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Portugal. #Top Attractions

Discover Portugal on your next vacation! If you’re looking for the top attractions and fun things to do in Portugal, then look no further than Portugal. Scroll down, and you’ll find our top travel suggestions for Portugal for the best places to visit in Portugal. Wondrous Drifter is a Web 3.0 travel startup with ambitious goals to change the world.

25th of April Bridge

25th of April Bridge, Portugal

25th of April Bridge, Portugal / Susanne Nilsson / Flickr

Check out the best views of the city offered by this iconic bridge!

Unlike some suspension bridges, this one does not have a pedestrian promenade. Still, you can drive or take a train across it to enjoy the River Tagus as it flows beneath you.

A 45-month construction period was required to build the overpass. When the Salazar Bridge was inaugurated in 1966, it was named in honor of former Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. 

On April 25, 1974, the Carnation Revolution overthrew Salazar’s government and renamed the bridge on the 25th of April.

It was designed by the American Bridge Company, which was also responsible for designing the San Francisco Bridge. It is frequently compared to the latter and shares many similarities with it. 

The bridge is also notable for having Europe’s longest span, making it a unique attraction that visitors to Lisbon should not miss.

Address: Pte. 25 de Abril, Lisboa, Portugal

Bom Jesus do Monte

Bom Jesus do Monte, Portugal

Bom Jesus do Monte, Portugal / Marmontel / Flickr

Join the pilgrims as they make their way to this sacred historical site!

On a slope covered in verdant trees sits Bom Jesus do Monte, the largest of all the religious structures found in Portugal.

Pilgrims continue to make their way there from all over the country to worship at this location, which is situated six kilometers from Braga.

It features a grand stairway, the church of Bom Jesus, and numerous smaller chapels, fountains, and ornately carved scenes from the Bible.

This cultural environment evokes Christian Jerusalem by recreating a sacred mount that is topped with a cathedral. It is situated on the slopes of Summit Espinho, which overlooks the city of Braga in northern Portugal. 

In response to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the Catholic Church encouraged the construction of Sacri Monti (holy mountains) during the Council of Trent in the 16th century. 

The sanctuary was constructed over 600 years, primarily in the Baroque style. 

Stone steps measuring 116 meters in length and leading past 14 stations of the cross are climbed by pilgrims on their way to the top of the hill.

Allow your spirit to soar when you visit this place where you can discover significant pieces of cultural, religious, and architectural history.

Address: Estrada do Bom Jesus, Tenões, Portugal

Castelo de Guimarães

Castelo de Guimarães, Portugal

Castelo de Guimarães, Portugal / Vitor Oliveira / Flickr

Visit this castle, famed for being the birthplace of Portugal’s first monarch!

The town of Guimarães is well-known all over the world because it was the birthplace of Dom Afonso Henriques, the first monarch of Portugal.

It is usually regarded as the region closest to Portugal’s origins, with a startling infrastructure on many levels. First and foremost, because of its enigmatic roots. 

The castle did not exist at the time because it was not mentioned in a detailed document dated 950 that distributed goods amongst the Countess and her children. 

However, the castle is referenced in a donation to the Guimares Monastery at the end of the year. As a result, it is dated to the second half of the 10th century, when the count founded it.

It was formerly the capital of Portucale, Portugal’s historical name, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country.

In the tenth century, construction began on the castle, which has experienced minimal repairs since then.

Although most of the structure has been preserved, you can still see where Dom Afonso was baptized in the Sao Miguel Chapel and tour the Torre de Menagem in the complex’s heart.

With its rich mix of poetry, legend, and heroism, the castle is an excellent place to begin your journey through Portugal.

Address: Rua Conde Dom Henrique, Guimarães, Portugal

Arranging a trip to Portugal? View our noteworthy trip ideas for Lisbon and Porto. Explore the best things to do in Lisbon,Portugal and the best things to do in Porto,Portugal!

Castelo de Sao Jorge

Castelo de Sao Jorge, Portugal

Castelo de Sao Jorge, Portugal / Eric Borda / Flickr

Be amazed by this city’s skyline!

The Castelo de Sao Jorge sits atop a hill in Lisbon and overlooks the Baixa neighborhood.

The fortress was built in the 12th century under King Afonso Henriques and has been restored multiple times since then.

Much of the castle is now accessible to the public, and visitors can stroll along the historic ramparts and admire the magnificent turrets.

The Torre de Ulisses, for instance, is equipped with a camera that projects images from the city onto the castle’s walls. 

Inside the walls, there is a museum with a display of Lisbon’s history as well as the Torre de Ulisses (the Tower of Ulysses). 

The former Torre do Tombo, which now contains a camera obscura with a gigantic periscope that allows you to experience a 360-degree panoramic view of the city in real-time, is named for the city’s illustrious founder.

The views extend all the way down to the ocean are just some of Lisbon’s most beautiful sights you should see!

Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal

Convento do Cristo

Convento do Cristo, Portugal

Convento do Cristo, Portugal / Vitor Oliveira / Flickr

Want to know the origins of the Knights Templar? Explore this place to answer your questions!

The Convento do Cristo is situated in Tomar, which is a charming place in the riverside town.

It was built around 1160, and it was utilized by order of the Knights of the Templar, which is why the décor has Masonic elements.

The Templar Castle and the Convent of the Knights of Christ are unique monuments in the history of the western world and were designated as world-historic sites by UNESCO in 1983. 

This massive architectural complex, which was initially used for Roman worship, depicts seven centuries of Portuguese history and holds various key mementos of pivotal times in the western world’s history.

The Charola, which is the original church and is covered in Christ’s emblems, is located in the convent’s heart.

Moreover, you’ll find the Manueline window that was sculpted by one of Portugal’s famous sculptors. It is another notable feature of the convent that you might want to check.

Find out more about this place that is covered in splendor and mystery.

Address: Convento de Cristo, Tomar, Portugal 

Furnas Lake

Furnas Lake, Portugal

Furnas Lake, Portugal / David Stanley / Flickr

This is an absolute must-see for fans of dark, ethereal volcanic landscapes. 

Furnas Lake is a crater lake famed for its blue waters tinged with green that rest atop hills covered in mud volcanoes and hot springs. Lagoa das Furnas is one of Sao Miguel’s three principal crater lakes. 

The main attraction of visiting the caldera lakes in the Azores is the breathtaking scenery, but the Furnas lake also has a unique attraction, which is the Portuguese stew prepared in pots dipped in naturally boiling caldeiras (hot springs), then buried and left for many hours. 

Around noon, the employees may be seen digging up the food-filled pots from the ground. The stew has a distinct flavor, but it’s well worth a try!

This is one of the best places to visit in the Azores, where you can hike through the calderas or take to the river and try canoeing, allowing you to get up close and personal with the stunning multi-colored waters.

Address: Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Igreja de Santo Antonio and the Municipal Museum

Igreja de Santo Antonio and the Municipal Museum, Portugal

Image for illustration purposes only

Discover the archaeological and cultural memorabilia of Portugal!

The Dr. José Formosinho Museum, of which the Church of Santo António is a component, is open to the public. 

There are archaeology and ethnographic exhibits here, as well as a religious art area, including, among other things, a 17th-century alabaster statue of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Piety). 

The Municipal Museum in Lagos houses archaeological finds from Portugal’s Algarve region, as well as cultural artifacts such as arts and crafts and even a model of an Algarve hamlet, so visitors can picture how things could have been in the past.

One of the Algarve’s great creative treasures may be found inside the church: a superb ensemble of Baroque gilded woodcarving by Gaspar Martins and Custódio de Mesquita, which includes the carved covering of the side walls and the lower choir, in addition to the main altarpiece.

A dado of Baroque tiles, a number of 18th-century paintings depicting Santo António’s miracles, and a series of sculptures, including one of Santo António on the altarpiece, are among the works of art.

The Opus Vermiculatum Roman Mosaic and the Igreja de Santo Antonio, adorned with gilt, are worth seeing!

Address: R. Gen. Alberto da Silveira 1, Lagos, Portugal

Matosinhos Beach

Matosinhos Beach, Portugal

Matosinhos Beach, Portugal / Vitor Oliveira / Flickr

Looking for a place to play some ball games? Why not try it on the beach?

Matosinhos Beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand surrounded by a promenade located to the north of Porto, making it Porto’s main beach.

It’s a pleasant enough stretch of fine sand, backed by apartment buildings, an esplanade, and a slew of little cafés. 

In the summer, something is always going on at the beach, and the lifeguard service ensures that bathing is safe.

Matosinhos is also the most consistent surf spot in Porto as there aren’t many rocks on the beaches towards Foz, and the harbor wall at the northern end can provide wind protection. 

The waves are less powerful here because of the gently sloping sand, making it suitable for all levels of surfers.

That’s why locals frequent this beach, especially during the summer months when lifeguards are on duty, making it a suitable choice for families with young children who can bathe safely. 

Soccer and volleyball are popular beach activities, and there are other water sports to choose from.

You can even go surfing here when the swell is good!

Address: Avenida General Norton de Matos, Matosinhos, Portugal

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Portugal

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Portugal / Jeff P / Flickr

Admire the beauty of this monastery!

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, which is located in Lisbon, is one of Portugal’s most important structures.

A tiny hermitage dedicated to Santa Maria was established by Infante D. Henrique in 1452 on the site where the Jerónimos Monastery now stands, near the old Belém shoreline. 

The Holy See accepted King Manuel I’s wish to build a magnificent monastery there at the beginning of the 16th century, and it was donated to the Order of the Friars of St. Jerome. 

This monastery is the most impressive Portuguese monastic ensemble of its period and one of the principal European cathedrals. It is the epitome of Manueline architecture and is inextricably related to the Discoveries.

There are also beautiful cloisters and monuments such as Vasco de Gama’s tomb and the great Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes’ mausoleum.

Take a moment to appreciate the church and monastery, which were built in the Manueline style and feature ornately decorated interiors, particularly in the South Portal area.

Address: Praça do Império, Lisboa, Portugal

Mosteiro Palacio Nacional de Mafra

Mosteiro Palacio Nacional de Mafra, Portugal

Mosteiro Palacio Nacional de Mafra, Portugal / Pedro / Flickr

Go for a day trip to the magnificent National Palace.

The Mosteiro Palacio Nacional de Mafra, which was built in 1717, was intended to be a traditional monastery with a modest basilica.

The project got increasingly ambitious as a result of the riches that were abundant in Portugal at the time, and it became a sumptuous Baroque-style palace.

During the years 1806-07, King Joo VI lived here, but in 1808, he escaped to Brazil ahead of oncoming French forces.

He fled with the majority of the household goods, so all of the priceless treasures.

You’ll discover a lot of recreations of the chambers that formerly stood at this renowned tourist site, thanks to the resources which have been left behind.

Aside from the castle, the monastery’s rooms and halls, as well as the magnificent basilic.

Nonetheless, all of the corners of the monastery are accessible to the public.

You may take a tour of the castle, monastery, basilica, and adjoining church, and there is even a marble-lined library with more than 40,000 books!

Read books or admire its architecture, either way, you’ll surely love your time in the Mosteiro Palacio Nacional de Mafra.

Address: Terreiro D. João V, Mafra, Portugal

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Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal / Shadowgate / Flickr

Get ready to explore masterpieces from the ancient Egyptians to the 20th century as you start on a 5000-year art adventure. 

The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, one of Lisbon’s most well-known museums, houses 6,000 objects that once belonged to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, an Armenian national who lived in Portugal and left his art collection in the museum before his death.

The Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian Collection is one of the world’s most important private collections, and the museum is one of Portugal’s most well-known. 

The collection’s artworks demonstrate the high aesthetic sensibility and artistic excellence that influenced their acquisition. 

With the help of the top experts, Calouste Gulbenkian was able to select the best, resulting in a one-of-a-kind collection of works that visiting the museum is an amazing experience.

You can expect to find an outstanding collection that spans 4,000 years and includes artifacts from the Oriental, Classical, and European periods.

Roman medallions, Rembrandt and Turner paintings, and furnishings from the reigns of Louis XV and XVI are among the highlights.

Don’t forget to take a look at the incredible collections that are housed in this wonderful museum when you visit this neighborhood!

Address: Av. De Berna 45A, Lisbon, Portugal

Oceanario de Lisboa

Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal

Oceanario de Lisboa, Portugal / puffin11k / Flickr

Have a break and observe the marine life.

The Oceanário, which opened in 1998 and was the highlight of the XXth Century’s last World Fair, “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future,” forever connects Lisbon to the oceans. It is committed to educating the public about marine conservation.

Visitors are encouraged to discover intriguing facts about the oceans and, more significantly, how to make decisions in their daily lives that actively promote environmental protection while going through magnificent and captivating exhibits.

The aquarium is home to a wide range of animals as well as four distinct ecosystems that reflect the Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctic, and Indian oceans, respectively.

Sharks, rays, sea otters, and penguins are just a few of the creatures that may be found here. 

If you are traveling with children, the oceanarium in Lisbon is one of the best sites to visit in the city, as it is a great place for families!

Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos, Lisboa, Portugal

Palacio da Bolsa

Palacio da Bolsa, Portugal

Palacio da Bolsa, Portugal / Vitor Oliveira / Flickr

Would you believe that this palace was once the location of the Stock Exchange? Discover the palace and its fascinating past as you wander through it!

This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that local businessmen around the 19th century erected, and you can expect exquisite galleries and lavish furnishings.

Inside this neoclassical National Monument, you’ll find the Pátio das Naçes (Courtyard of the Nations), a wide central courtyard encircled by a glass structure that lets in plenty of natural light.

Following that, you’ll ascend an outstanding marble and granite staircase to see the Golden Room, which is covered in gold leaf, the General Assembly Room, which is decked in wood, and other magnificent rooms until you reach the Palace’s highlight, the Arab Room. 

The ceremonial celebrations are hosted in this 300-square-meter room decorated in the Moorish style and inspired by the Alhambra.

A visit to its former stock exchange building is highly recommended for those interested in the history of the city of Oporto.

Address: R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal

Palacio Nacional de Sintra

Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Portugal

Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Portugal / Guillén Pérez / Flickr

Catch the uniqueness of this royal medieval palace with your own eyes!

The National Palace of Sintra is located in the picturesque center plaza. It is immediately identifiable due to the gigantic circular chimneys that emerge from the top.

The modern Palace of Sintra is the result of the amalgamation of several royal palaces. 

This is a collection of structures that have been created, added to, and changed throughout many centuries, with the exact date of the country’s oldest palace still a mystery.

The palace, which dates from the 14th century, holds the distinction of being Portugal’s oldest palace still standing.

It is divided into numerous ornately designed floors, each with a different theme, and one of the most notable features is the Sala dos Brasoes, which is the main hall crowned with a gleaming dome.

Don’t forget to take a look at the 72 heraldic shields that are displayed in this exhibit on your visit!

Address: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, Sintra, Portugal

Ribeira District

Ribeira District, Portugal

Ribeira District, Portugal / Terry Kearney / Flickr

Make sure to take a break and visit some of the historical cafes and colorful merchant houses that are located in the area.

When you go to Porto, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to check out the Ribeira District, which is the city’s oldest neighborhood.

The region, which overlooks the beautiful River Douro, is known for its fine dining options and fun nightlife.

Cais da Ribeira, the Ribeira District’s main street, is lined with pubs, restaurants, and attractive landmarks such as fountains. 

At night, this portion of the town comes alive and is a great place to spend your evenings. 

Ribeira is full of traditional restaurants with bustling terraces where you can sample some of Portugal’s delectable traditional foods while taking in views of the Dom Luis I Bridge and Vila Nova da Gaia’s illuminated dungeons.

There is also a huge party where people celebrate by apparently hitting anyone over the head with plastic toy hammers.

This is the place to go if you want to party till the wee hours of the morning, especially if you’re here for the Festival of Saints.

Address: Ribeira, Porto, Portugal

Silves Castle

Silves Castle, Portugal

Silves Castle, Portugal / Pat Neary / Flickr

Feel a magical vibe when you pay a visit to this spectacular castle perched at the top of the hill!

Silves Castle, in Xelb, was once the capital of the Moorish Algarve. The Moors, who ruled the Al-Gharb (Algarve) region from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries, pitched Silves’ red sandstone fortress, which dominates the town. 

During this period, Silves (then known as Xelb) grew in importance as a trade and cultural center, as well as the capital of the Al-Gharb.

If the castle appears to be in good condition, this is due to substantial repairs in the twentieth century, which have resulted in it being the best-preserved medieval castle in the Algarve. 

The inside isn’t particularly interesting, though the Cisterna Grande, a vaulted cistern (supposed to be haunted), is a stunning example of 13th-century engineering.

Although the Crusaders eventually took it, the castle would have stood here to guard the territory against outsiders.

The structure is noteworthy for its architecture, which is composed of red sandstone, and it is also the site of the Medieval Festival, which takes place every August.

Climbing up the small alleyways to the castle and seeing the panoramic views from the battlements is now a highlight of any visit to Silves. 

Address: R. do Castelo, 8300-135 Silves, Portugal

The Treasures of Evora

The Treasures of Evora, Portugal

The Treasures of Evora, Portugal / Patrick Nouhailler / Flickr

Prepare to be blown away by history that stretches all the way back to the Romans!

The Romans established Evora around 57 BC, making it a historically significant city.

Also, the Roman temple, which was built during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, is still evident.

After the Roman invasion, Evora was recaptured by Christian armies, which explains the presence of the Se.

By 1204 it had been completed and sanctified as a Romanesque-Gothic-Baroque masterpiece.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site and this hidden gem are located in the rural Alentejo region. 

Before reaching the city walls, you travel through landscapes dotted with olive orchards, wide-open plains, and historic stone cottages. 

With around 22,000 hectares of vineyards, Alentejo is also known as one of Portugal’s largest wine districts, with wine production dating back to primeval times. Make sure to try their wine!

Address: Evora, Portugal

Torre de Belem

Torre de Belem, Portugal

Torre de Belem, Portugal / Robert Pittman / Flickr

Be impressed with the breathtaking views of Lisbon and the surrounding area from the top of this tower! 

The Torre de Belem, which was completed in 1521, is located in Lisbon’s Belem area. 

The stronghold was built to protect against an assault via the Tagus River, and it is considered a master class in how to construct an effective fortress.

It served as a ceremonial entryway to Lisbon as well as a location of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers. 

This tower is a symbol of Portuguese identity and a symbol of a country shaped by its proximity to the sea and the marine discoveries of new lands throughout history.

The tower has a lovely front and is fashioned in the Manueline style; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which explains everything there is to know about its splendor. 

By portraying the royal coat of arms, the armillary sphere, and King Manuel I, Order of Christ Cross, he desired the Belém Tower to serve as a permanent reminder of his great reign.

A splendid sight to see! Make sure to look for the nautical details cut into the stone, such as ropes and an armillary sphere! 

Address: Av. Brasília, Lisboa, Portugal

Torre de Clerigos

Torre de Clerigos, Portugal

Torre de Clerigos, Portugal / Gregorio Puga Bailón / Flickr

Climb the 200 steps and have a good sense of heights!

The renowned Torre de Clerigos is Oporto’s most recognizable landmark, which dates from the 18th century and is formed like a needle, soaring 75 meters above the city.

The church’s front facade, with its shapes, domes, and spires deserving of careful attention, displays its highly intriguing and magnificent baroque finishing. 

The interior includes only one nave, which is made of granite and marble and decorated with baroque sculptures, showcasing the architect’s talent. The polychromatic altarpiece by Manuel Porto stands out in the main church.

The tower, which protrudes from the top of the western side of the church and is made of granite, is what distinguishes this structure. 

A series of rhythmic stages is established on its way to the circular clock house, its crowning feature. 

The baroque ornamentation is subtle and has a lovely lightness to it.

It’s well worth the effort to see Oporto and the River Douro from the top of the hill to view the stunning scenery!

Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, Porto, Portugal

Universidade de Coimbra

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal / Leandro Neumann Ciuffo / Flickr

Have you ever been to a place that looks like it came straight out of a Harry Potter movie? If you haven’t, it’s time to check out this university with a combination of a church, a palace, and the intense vibes of Hogwarts!

Since it was first established in 1290, the University of Coimbra has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 

You can tour numerous parts of the building, including the Paco das Ecolas central area and the Alta and Sofia wings, which were once part of the royal home.

The university is one of the world’s oldest continuously operating universities, as well as the oldest in Portugal, and it has had a significant impact on the development of higher education in the Portuguese-speaking world.

It relocated several times until settling in Coimbra permanently in 1537. 

Lus de Cames, Portugal’s national poet, Pedro Nunes, several statesmen, prime ministers, and presidents of Portugal, as well as Nobel Prize laureate António Egaz Moniz, are among Coimbra’s graduates.

Visitors should also pay a visit to the Biblioteca Joanina, a beautiful library founded in 1717 and adorned in a sumptuous style.

Amazingly, visitors are allowed to climb the clock tower, which was built in the 18th century, so you should come and check it out for yourself!

Need more convincing to travel to Portugal, right? Hop over to reasons to visit Portugal at least once in your lifetime here

Address: Pátio das Escolas da Universidade de, Coimbra, Portugal