Where is the Best Place to Go in Portugal?

Portugal is a popular tourist destination as it has so much to offer. Whether you are looking to explore historical sights, lounge on pristine beaches or wander through beautiful national parks, there is something for everyone here. 

From grand castles to mediaeval towns and villages, there is so much to see and do in this stunning country, that it can be difficult to know where to start. 

Not only does Portugal have so many wonderful places to go, but the country also has several mouth-watering restaurants and vibrant bars scattered throughout the towns and cities. Lisbon and Porto, are probably a couple of places in Portugal that come to mind, whilst these are incredible areas to visit, it has so much more to offer. 

If you happen to find yourself in Portugal, you’re likely wondering where to go for all the best places. Keep reading as we have put together our top recommendations below so you can visit with all these amazing spots in mind.  

The Azores

To kick start our list, we had to include the nine stunning islands of the Azores. If you’re seeking some of the best natural scenery, volcanic landscapes and plenty of lush greenery, this is the place to go. 

The Azores are particularly popular among those looking for some of the best waterfalls in Portugal. There are many tours on the islands that will take you to some of the most impressive sites, with many led biologists and naturalist guides to tell you all about the natural wonders that lie here. 

For wildlife lovers, The Azores is a must. It is a hot spot to catch a glimpse of whales, and dolphins, as they pass through the island on migration routes each year. You can book whale and dolphin watching tours from the Azores where you will be taken to the best spots to see these beautiful sea giants.  

Whether you’re looking for quaint villages, green pastures, or dramatic landscapes, you will be sure to find it all when visiting The Azores. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places to go in Portugal.  


The next place on our list is Madeirã; a small island situated between Portugal and the Canary Islands. Here you will find narrow streets, floral squares and incredible viewpoints across the Atlantic. With cathedrals and fortresses to explore, you will find much to do and see in Madeirã.

Any wine lover will feel right at home in Madeirã, as it is renowned for its wine offering alongside its warm climate. The landscape on Madeirã comprises volcanic terrain and raw, rugged cliffs that tower over the island in the backdrop. 

When deciding to visit Madeirã, you must make the trip to Funchal, the vibrant capital of the island. Wander the historic streets and discover impressive monuments, alongside a plethora of colourful and exotic flora littered throughout the city. 

If you’re seeking utter tranquillity and seclusion, Madeirã is the place to go. The laid-back island atmosphere, stunning scenery and impressive landscapes make it an exceptional place to go in Portugal.  


The streets of Lisbon are brimming with stunning architecture that can be found at places like Sao Jorge Castle or Torre de Belem, as well as being scattered throughout the rest of the city. This vibrant capital is known for being one of the most beautiful and charming cities in Europe, so is definitely worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to Portugal. 

As you stroll through the cobbled streets in Lisbon, you will find yourself marvelling at the gorgeous mosaic-tiled plazas, magnificent castles and gothic architecture at every turn. 

Lisbon is also one of the best places to visit in Portugal for families, as there is plenty to see and do in this bustling city to keep the whole family entertained. Whether you choose to walk to the seven iconic hills for the best panoramic views of the city, wander around the white-domed cathedrals or visit one of the many museums, Lisbon won’t disappoint. 

Alongside its historical and cultural attractions, there are also many amazing bars and restaurants to choose from. Lisbon is famous for its lively nightlife; great for couples or anyone who enjoys partying whilst on holiday. 

It is worth noting that Lisbon is one of the most popular tourist places in Portugal, so if you plan on spending your time here sightseeing, you will want to book these sites in advance. The city becomes especially busy during the summer period, so for anyone hoping to escape the hustle and bustle, it might be best to visit Lisbon in spring or winter. 


Rivalling Lisbon is Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, and equally as popular as its opponent. This is a stunning coastal city, renowned for its impressive bridges and port wine production. 

Situated in the northern part of Portugal, Porto takes some walking around as much of the city is built on hilly terrain. However, this allows for incredible panoramic views across the rustic, colourful buildings below. When strolling through Porto, you will be met with authentic cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways, luring you to explore even more of this wonderful city. 

Make sure you check out the stunning port in Porto, here you will find incredible harbourside restaurants and bars. This is the perfect place to sit out and enjoy the many fine wines on offer. From here, you can also partake in several boat trips that will take you to the beautiful Duoro Valley, another part of Portugal that is well worth a visit. 

Much like Lisbon, you will also find historic cathedrals, monuments and mediaeval structures throughout the city, perfect for anyone hoping to soak up the culture here. Whatever part of Porto you choose to visit, you will be sure to get an authentic feel for what Portuguese cities have to offer.


We have already mentioned the incredible historical sightings in both Lisbon and Porto, but for those seeking to uncover some of the best histories that Portugal has to offer, Faro is unmatched. This is certainly one of the best places to visit in Portugal, due to its impressive vistas, old-world aura and ancient buildings. 

There are even more cobbled streets to discover, alongside a mediaeval centre and a 13th-century cathedral in Faro. The white buildings situated beside the water give it a crisp and clean feel and offer a different aesthetic to that of Lisbon or Porto’s classic colourful buildings.

Faro is known for being an amazing day trip for those staying in Albufeira, Vilamoura or Quarteira, due to its proximity to these popular holiday destinations. The thing that sets Faro apart from other popular towns in Portugal is that it offers a distinct and authentic atmosphere of Portuguese living. Unlike other popular tourist spots, it displays a relaxed environment, great for those who want to explore at their own pace.  


Sintra is well-known for its fairytale-style castles, enchanting gardens and uniqueness that sets it apart from other popular places in Portugal. Here you will find colourful fortresses perched atop hills, appearing almost as high as the clouds. The dramatic scenery, rugged, hilly terrain and lush greenery are just some of the things that make Sintra so impressive.

Being just 45 minutes from Lisbon makes Sintra an easy place to go, especially if you’re staying in the capital and fancy a change of scenery or a day trip. The town has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its incredible structures and ancient 19th-century Romanticist architecture.

The town is perched within the Sintra Mountains, making it appear like something out of a storybook. Its surrounding mountainous scenery and raw, natural beauty make it somewhere that should be on your holiday itinerary when visiting Portugal. 

The Algarve

The Algarve is undoubtedly one of the nicest places to go in Portugal due to its stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and rolling sand dunes. There are also numerous amazing villas in this part of Portugal, the perfect place for those who want to spend their time here unwinding and relaxing in the most peaceful of settings.

For those looking for the best places to surf in Portugal, The Algarve won’t disappoint. Head to Praia do Amado, one of the country’s renowned surfing spots with multiple international bodyboarding and surf competitions being held here. This is also a great destination for families as there are numerous rock pools and sandy dunes, perfect for a wholesome day at the beach. 

If you’re seeking more of Portugal’s stunning outdoor scenery, Praia da Bordeira is a great option. The dramatic limestone cliffs and a large stretch of golden sand make it a stunning location to enjoy some time on the sandy shore. 

Holidaymakers hoping to spend their time in Portugal soaking up the sun and gorgeous weather often head to The Algarve. Its beautiful coastline, family-friendly beaches, water parks and stunning landscape make it the perfect destination for families to enjoy a lovely summer break.  

After you have spent some time relaxing by the sea, be sure to check out the amazing town of Lagos in The Algarve. This alluring place brings an old-world charm, alongside several 18th-century houses. As you stroll through the narrow alleys and cobblestone streets, you will find many amazing bars and restaurants, the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink or two!

Serra da Estrela

After exploring the many authentic towns and cities, or perhaps lounging by the beach, you might be wondering if there is much to do in Portugal for outdoor enthusiasts. That’s where Serra da Estrela comes in. 

The Parque da Serra da Estrella is an outdoor lover’s paradise, full of the highest mountains in Portugal, rugged scenery and a huge network of hiking trails. Even the most adventurous of holidaymakers will be impressed here. 

With more than 1,000 square metres of the park to explore, you will find something new to see at every twist and turn. From rocky meadows to fast-flowing rivers and expansive lakes, there are so many natural wonders at Serra da Estrela that you might find yourself needing more time here. 

Climb the Torre, the country’s highest peak that sits at an impressive 1,993 metres. After reaching the summit, you are met with the most incredible panoramic views across the Serra da Estrela, with mountainous landscapes wherever you look. 

Serra da Estrela is the ultimate playground, perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in the stunning outdoors and appreciate some time away from the tourist crowds that many of Portugal’s popular cities bring. 


After reading through our recommendations of the best places to go in Portugal, we hope that you can now visit this beautiful country with all the best spots in mind. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach, strolling in historical towns, or partying in vibrant cities, you will be sure to find something for everyone here. 

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore some other great destinations in Europe, we have many travel guides that will provide you with all the information you need.

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