Best Places to See in Portugal (with Photos)
Portugal is an incredibly picturesque country that every traveler should visit at least once in their life. It has delicious food, friendly people, and some of the most beautiful sights and vistas you’ve ever seen - once you go, you won’t ever want to come back.
However, planning a trip to a place like Portugal can be quite tricky, especially if you are new to traveling and don’t quite know where to get started. This handy guide will help you plan properly to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Read on for our tips for visiting Portugal.
The Best Time to Visit Portugal
The best time to visit Portugal is definitely during spring, between March and May when the country blossoms and wakes up after the cold winter. You could also take a visit in fall, around September and October, when the sun is still shining, the weather is mild, and most of the crowds are gone.
Portuguese summers, between June and August, can get very hot, particularly in the center of the country. Most Portuguese locals will make their way to the beach at this time when the weather is warmer than usual. Tourists are usually drawn by the sunny climate of South Europe.
Even though the winters are cold, they are still relatively sunny. While most beach resorts will be rather empty during this time, you can still explore the inland and city areas.
Best Places to Visit in Portugal
Portuguese tourism has been experiencing a wave of success, and despite how popular the destination is, it is still one of the least expensive. Here are some of the best places in the country to visit:
Madeira is a subtropical system of islands that has become one of Portugal’s most popular destinations for spending warm days at the sea during winter, hiking, and eating exotic food. Funchal, Madeira’s capital, has one of the best New Year’s Eve parties on the planet.
Visiting the main island, as well as the smaller islands around it, is always a great plan as well. Porto Santo is the place that pretty much all the beach enthusiasts go since it has one of Portugal’s most beautiful stretches of beach.
The second-largest city in Portugal, Porto, seems similar to the capital because of its colorful, old buildings that stretch across the hilly streets, and because they’re found next to major rivers. Porto shines with culture, though, where Lisbon is actually sunny.
There is no shortage of medieval palaces, gardens, and cathedrals, and the food is generally considered the best in the country. Porto’s vineyards form most of the Douro Valley near the city.
Portugal’s capital will always be at the top of travel itineraries. Most visitors cannot wait to experience the authentic pasteis de nata, explore the traditional mosaic walkways of Portugal, and try one of the various bacalhau dishes. Although the country is experiencing a surge in tourism, Lisbon is still one of the most serene and budget-friendly travel destinations.
Surfing is definitely one of Portugal’s main attractions, and the small fishing village of Ericeira has quite the reputation for its big waves. Getting there is also quite easy when traveling from Lisbon, and while it might not be that close to the capital, it is still one of the busiest beach towns in Portugal.
But, watching surfers while sitting on the cliffs that border the coast is not the only thing to do in Ericeira. The town’s restaurants are some of the best places to treat yourself to some delicious, fresh Portuguese seafood.
This is one of the best destinations to mix hiking expeditions, warm weather, trendy social scenes, and even trendier beaches. Many of the Algarve neighborhoods speak more English than they do Portuguese nowadays, making this destination one of the more travel-friendly places in the country.
When planning any kind of getaway, there are a couple of things that you should always keep in mind. You’ll want to make your holiday as comfortable as possible, and that’s not a difficult task when visiting a beautiful country like Portugal.
Portuguese is the national language of Portugal, but many locals are also more than capable of holding conversations in English.
As you might already know, Portugal is renowned for its delicious seafood. As such, you can expect to eat plenty of it during your time in the country.
- Caldo Verde, one of the most popular dishes in Portugal. This is a famous Portuguese soup.
- Bacalhau, Portuguese codfish. One of the most traditional foods in the country.
- Bifana, a traditional Portuguese pork sandwich. It is so popular you’ll find it everywhere in the country.
- Chicken Piri-Piri. Chicken covered in Peri-Peri sauce that is served with French Fries or chips and a small salad.
Like many other countries in Europe, Portugal’s currency is the Euro. A quick Google search will allow you to find a currency converter that you can easily use to convert your local currency into Euros.
Transport in Portugal is diversified and well-developed. The country has a 68,732 km network of roads, of which nearly 3,000 km are part of a 44 motorway system. The national railway system service is provided by Comboios de Portugal.
Portugal is part of the Schengen Agreement. That means that US citizens are allowed to enter the country for a maximum of 90 days for business or tourist purposes without the need for a visa. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months.
Where to Stay
Portugal has a wide variety of fantastic beachside hotels. Some of the most popular hotels in the country are the Rossio Garden Hotel, the Pestana Dom Joao II, the Lisbon Cheese & Wine Suites, and the Pestana Carlton Madeira.
If you’re looking for a warm, exotic getaway, then Portugal is the place to go. It has friendly people, stunning beach views, and some of the most delicious seafood you’ll ever taste. So what are you waiting for?