Portugal is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. With its stunning coastal scenery, vibrant cities, and rich history, it’s no wonder that Portugal is a popular tourist destination. Due to its low cost of living for high quality of life, Portugal is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. From the islands of the Azores to the streets of Lisbon, there’s something for everyone in Portugal. I have recently had the privilege of spending three months all over Portugal, and I definitely have my favorites. In this travel guide to Portugal, we’ll be going over all of the best places to visit in Portugal as well as some general information you should know before going. So, let’s get into this “Portugal must sees” list!
Top Picks for Best Place to go to in Portugal-My Portugal Must Sees!
In my personal opinion, Porto is the best place to go to in Portugal. As the second largest city in the country, Porto is one of my favorite cities in all of Europe. Porto is one of Portugal’s oldest cities, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. Situated on the Douro River, Porto is known for its stunning architecture, including the Porto Cathedral and the Palacio da Bolsa. Porto is also home to a number of bridges, including the Ponte Luis I bridge which spans the river. The waterfront has such an incredible energy, with many cafes and merchants along the promenade.
The city has a lively cultural scene, with many art galleries, museums, and theaters. Porto is also known for its delicious food, including fresh seafood and hearty stews. And of course, Porto is famous for its wine. Port wine is produced in the nearby Douro Valley, and many Porto cellars offer tours and tastings. You will not want to leave Porto without trying a tasing of the local Port wines. With its rich history, beautiful setting, and culinary delights, it’s no wonder Porto is one of the best places to visit in Portugal. This is on the top of the list for me on Portugal must sees. If you only have time to visit one of the places on this travel guide to Portugal, make it Porto!
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2. The Azores
The Azores are a stunning archipelago of nine islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and one of the most incredible places I have ever been. It’s been a few months since my trip to the Azores, and I still won’t shut up about it. Easily one of the best places to visit in Portugal, The Azores are known for their mild climate, as well as their dramatic volcanic landscapes. Across the nine islands, the landscape changes drastically between them. From hiking volcanic craters, kayaking in an old volcano, relaxing in a geothermal hot spring, or enjoying the lush forests of the islands, the Azores are an outdoor enthusiasts dreamland.
The islands are home to a diverse range of plant and animal life, making them a nature lover’s paradise. In addition to its natural beauty, Azores is also renowned for its friendly locals and traditional culture. From its volcanic hikes to quaint villages, the Azores are a truly unique destination that offers something for everyone. Not only is this one of my top Portugal must sees, the Azores are quickly becoming a popular world destination while still being somewhat unknown. So if you’re looking for the best place to go to in Portugal for an unforgettable travel experience, be sure to add the Azores to your list from this travel guide to Portugal!
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Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. Its history can be traced back to the early days of the Roman Empire. Today, Lisbon is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage. It is home to a number of historic landmarks, including the Torre de Belém and the Castelo de São Jorge. Lisbon is also a major center of commerce and finance, and its port is one of the busiest in Europe. The city is well-known for its excellent food and wine, and its relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere. With its beautiful setting and rich history, Lisbon is an ideal destination for travelers from all over the world.
I personally really enjoyed my month in Lisbon, since there is so much to see and do. The food scene in Lisbon is amazing, with every type of cuisine imaginable and it is all delicious. The city itself can be a little over-touristy in some areas, but if you know where to go then this is one of the best places to visit in Portugal. Most people come to Lisbon when they visit, as it is one of the most popular Portugal must sees. The city has a lot to offer visitors, with amazing culture and history. Plus, it is very easy to get around the country from Lisbon. If you are looking for convenience, then Lisbon may be the best place to go to in Portugal for you. No matter what, be sure to include Lisbon on your Portugal itinerary.
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Sintra is a town located in the Sintra Mountains of Portugal. The town is known for its many palaces and castles, as well as its lush gardens and parks. Sintra was once the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, and today it is a popular tourist destination. While most people only come to visit Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon, I highly suggest spending more than one day here. There is so much to see and do in Sintra that cramming it all into one day can be exhausting. The town itself is very beautiful and worth staying a few days.
Visitors to Sintra can explore the town’s numerous historic monuments, stroll through its scenic streets, or hike in the nearby mountains. Sintra is also home to a number of museums and art galleries, making it one of the best places to visit in Portugal for culture lovers. Whether you’re looking for history, nature, or art, Sintra has something to offer everyone.
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5. Douro Valley
One of the top Portugal must sees has to be the Douro Valley. The Douro Valley is one of the most picturesque regions in Portugal. Located in the north of the country, the Douro Valley is known for its dramatic landscapes and its production of wine. The Douro River runs through the valley, and its banks are lined with terraced vineyards making it the best place to go to in Portugal for wine lovers. Visitors to the Douro Valley can enjoy wine tours, hiking, biking, and boating. There are also many opportunities to taste the local cuisine, which includes fresh produce, breads, and cheeses.
The Douro Valley is also a popular destination for hikers and cyclists as well, as there are numerous trails that wind through the region’s mountains and forests. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time in the Douro Valley, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its stunning scenery and plethora of activities, the Douro Valley is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Portugal. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Portugal on this travel guide to Portugal.
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6. Penacova/Coimbra Countryside
The Penacova region of Portugal is located between Lisbon and Porto in the country, known for its beautiful Portuguese countryside. The area is home to a number of small villages and towns, each with its own unique history and culture. Visitors to the region can explore ancient castles, visit traditional markets, and enjoy the stunning views of the valley. We spent a few days here in the Portuguese countryside and loved it. The area is so relaxing and beautiful. In addition to its natural beauty, the area is also home to a number of vineyards, producing some of Portugal’s finest wines. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an exciting adventure, the Penacova region has lots to offer.
Algarve is a beautiful and popular region located in the southernmost part of Portugal. Algarve is well-known for its stunning beaches, great weather, friendly people, and delicious food. Algarve’s coastline stretches for about 150 miles and there are many beach towns that are worth visiting, such as Albufeira, Lagos, Faro, and Tavira. People visit Algarve for many reasons, but some of the most popular activities include sailing, windsurfing, golfing, and simply relaxing on the beach. Algarve is one of the best places to visit in Portugal if you’re looking for a sunny and scenic vacation spot.
The Algarve region is another area that I sadly did not have enough time to visit during my stay in Portugal. I included it in this list of Portugal must sees because everyone I’ve ever met in this country says that the Algarve is a beautiful region to visit. This is the best place to go to in Portugal in the warmer months to enjoy the beach life. This area gets very busy during the summer months, as it is the Mediterranean coast of the country. No matter which of the many towns along the Algarve coast you visit, you will be sure to have a great time soaking up the sun and sand.
Madeira is a group of Portuguese islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Africa. Like the Azores, the Madeira islands are volcanic in origin, and are known for their lush, green landscapes. Madeira is a popular tourist destination, due to its mild climate, beautiful scenery, and abundance of outdoor activities. Madeira is also home to a variety of unique plant and animal life. The landscape of the Madeira islands looks to be very dramatic and impressive.
The Madeira Islands are a fascinating place to explore, and offer something for everyone to enjoy. Being so close to Africa, the Madeira islands offer many of the benefits of the warm climate while still maintaining Portuguese culture. While I have never personally been to Madeira yet, it is at the top of my list for Portugal must sees on my next trip back. I ran out of time this trip around, but Madeira will be my first stop the next time I decide to return to Portugal. Even without ever going, I can say that Madeira is one of the best places to visit in Portugal.
Travel Guide to Portugal General Information-Why Visit Portugal Must Sees?
If you are trying to decide on where is the best place to go to in Portugal for your visit, then you’ll probably want some general information about the country as well. Portugal is a very easy to navigate country with very friendly people. I found no trouble while I was there. Even if you don’t speak any Portuguese, the locals are all very friendly and willing to help you. Below is some general information to help you in this travel guide to Portugal. Be sure to read through them before visiting my picks above for the best places to visit in Portugal. Let’s get into it!
When is Best Time to Visit Portugal?
The best time to visit Portugal is during the spring and fall when crowds are smaller, prices are more affordable and the temperature is mild. This is typically referred to as the ”shoulder season”, where it isn’t peak season but is also not the off season. During these times of the year, you can often save money on things like accommodations and excursions. I spent my entire 3 months trip in Portugal during the spring and it was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold and the crowds were manageable. Since the weather in Portugal is typically mild year round, the spring and fall are definitely my choice for when is best time to visit Portugal.
Climate in Portugal
Portugal is a country with a temperate climate, characterized by mild temperatures throughout the year. The average annual temperature is around 18ºC. The summer months (Jun-Sep) are usually the warmest, with temperatures often reaching 30ºC or above. The winters (Dec-Feb) can be cool, with occasional frost and average temperatures around 10ºC. Portugal generally has a lot of sunshine, even in winter, although rainfall is more common in spring and autumn. Fall (Sep-Nov) is often the wettest season. Overall, Portugal has fairly moderate weather conditions, making it a great destination for travelers looking to escape the extremes of other parts of Europe.
Tipping in Portugal
Tipping in Portugal is not as common as it is in other countries. However, there are still a few instances where tipping is appropriate. For example, most restaurants will add a service charge to the bill, but it is still customary to leave a small tip if the service was good. Tipping taxi drivers and hotel staff is also appreciated, though not required. In general, it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to tipping in Portugal. A few extra euros can go a long way in showing appreciation for good service. When in doubt, don’t ever be afraid to ask the service member if the service charge is included in the bill.
Currency for Portugal
The currency for Portugal is the Euro. ATM machines are widely available in Portugal, and credit cards are widely accepted. Travelers should be aware that some businesses may not accept foreign credit cards, so it is always best to have some Euros on hand as well. I never had any issues using my credit card for almost everything, but it’s always a good idea to have a little cash on hand in cash of emergencies. Overall, Portugal is a very tourist-friendly country when it comes to currency.
Cost of Living in Portugal
Cost of living in Portugal is relatively low compared to other Western European countries. This is one of the main draws for people wanting to relocate here. Renting an apartment in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, will set you back around $700 per month on average. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost around $30, and a cappuccino from a café will set you back $1.50. Transportation costs are also affordable, with a monthly public transport pass costing just $40. While the cost of living in Portugal is relatively low, it’s important to remember that salaries are also lower here than in other Western European countries. Especially coming from the United States of America like me, the cost of living in Portugal is very reasonable for the quality of life you get here.
Getting Around Portugal
Getting around Portugal is easy, thanks to the great public transportation options as well as well maintained roads. The bus and train service is reliable and affordable, making it a great option for budget-minded travelers. The metro system is most major cities of Portugal is incredibly clean and always on time. Car rentals are also relatively inexpensive, and there are plenty of reputable companies to choose from. Just be sure to brush up on your map skills before setting out, as Portugal’s winding roads can be challenging to navigate. But the roads themselves are newish with great infrastructure. With a little planning, however, getting around Portugal is a breeze.
Renting a Car in Portugal
Renting a car in Portugal is a great way to explore the country at your own pace. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before hitting the open road. First, most roads in Portugal are toll roads, so be prepared to pay for each journey. In addition, gas can be quite expensive, so it’s worth planning your route in advance to avoid any unnecessary detours. Car rentals on average are more affordable in Portugal when compared to many other places in the world though. With these things in mind, renting a car in Portugal is an excellent way to see all the amazing Portugal must sees on this list!
Portugal is a very safe country to travel to. The crime rate is low and violent crime is rare. Portugal is ranked as the 8th safest country in the world, and the 2nd safest country in Europe. Portugal’s cities are also safe, with Lisbon and Porto being ranked as the 2nd and 3rd safest cities in Europe, respectively. I never once felt unsafe during my entire time in Portugal. As you can see in this travel guide to Portugal, it is a great place to travel. If you’re looking for a safe destination, then definitely consider one of these best places to visit in Portugal on this list!
Travel Guide to Portugal: Best Places to Visit in Portugal Conclusion
In conclusion, no matter which of these best places to visit in Portugal that you actually decide to visit, you are sure to have a great time. As you can see in this travel guide to Portugal, it is an absolutely beautiful country with so much to offer. And there is something to offer travelers of all budgets. The nice thing about these Portugal must sees is that you can travel here very cheaply or be extravagant when desired. I know I have said it before, but the quality of life in Portugal for the cost is one of the best deals in all of Europe. You can live so nicely for a fraction of what you would spend in other Western European countries. No matter which of these Portugal must sees you actually visit, just go with the flow since it is all great anyways.
I hope that you found this travel guide to Portugal to be both informative and entertaining. I hope that this guide has helped you decide on the best place to go to in Portugal for your visit. If you did, please consider sharing this post with your friends and fellow travelers. Also, be sure to follow my e-mail list and social media to stay up to date with all of my travel content. Thank you so much for visiting this travel guide to Portugal. Enjoy these best places to visit in Portugal and have a great day!