Portugal is a beautiful country with charming cities that people love to visit. It might not be a big country, but it is diverse in culture, landscapes, and people. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, in southwestern Europe, Portugal is one of the oldest countries in the world. With this in mind, here are 10 beautiful cities in Portugal that you should visit.
As the capital city and the biggest city in Portugal, Lisbon is always interesting to visit and has many lovely places to see, so it must definitely be on your list when visiting the country. Lisbon offers culture, history, nightlife and food, what more do you need?
Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and one of the Iberian Peninsula’s major urban areas. Summer is a great time to visit and you are sure to love this city immediately. Don’t forget to visit the Ribeira district and Luiz I bridge, as well as the Casa da Música concert hall, Porto City Hall, Porto Skyline, and much more.
Braga was founded by the Romans in 279 BC and it is an ancient town in northwest Portugal, recently announced Best European Destination to visit in 2021. The city is also known as “Portuguese Rome” due to its many churches and religious heritage. There is a lot of impressive architecture to see in Braga, both historical and modern, and plenty of places to visit.
Sintra is a civil parish in the municipality of Sintra, Lisbon District. The most famous tourist attraction is the colourful Palácio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace) and the more classical Quinta da Regaleira, but there is plenty to do and see in Sintra besides these so be sure to explore.
Évora is beautiful city and a UNESCO World Heritage site that was originally founded by the Romans. The Diana temple is the most well known tourist spot in this city but there are several other places you can’t miss, like the Praça do Giraldo, The Bone Chapel and the Jardim Publico, among others.
Óbidos is a municipality in the Leiria District of Portugal and historically was presented to the Queen of Portugal on her wedding day. The tradition started with Queen Urraca in 1214 and continued until the 19th century. Óbidos is magnificent to visit, with all its traditionally painted houses, narrow-cobbled streets and the impressive castle. The city is also home to the famous Praia D’el Rey golf complex, one of the top golf resorts in Europe as well as the Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort.
Coimbra it home to the country’s oldest and most prestigious university. In this fabulous Portuguese city you can spot several monuments displaying the splendour of Romanesque art, and there are also some great museums to visit. In summer, the view of the city from the Mondego river is also a nice way to enjoy Coimbra.
Aveiro is located on the west coast of Portugal and set along a lagoon called Ria de Aveiro. The city is known for its canals, filled with colourful boats or barcos moliceiros which are traditionally used to harvest seaweed. Some people also refer to Aveiro the ‘Venice of Portugal’.
The city of Elvas is located in the district of Portalegre in Alentejo and is among the finest examples of intensive usage of the trace italienne or star fort in military architecture. It has been a World Heritage Site since June 2012 under the site name Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications. There are several historical monuments you can visit, including Santa Clara square, Amoreira Aqueduct, Elvas Castle and the monument commemorating the 1659 Battle of the Lines of Elvas, plus many more.
Lagos is located at the mouth of Bensafrim River along the Atlantic Ocean, in the Barlavento region of the Algarve in southern Portugal. A popular tourist destination, the city is always bustling in summer as people arrive for their summer holidays. Lagos is one of the most visited cities in Portugal because here you can find everything; beaches, rock formations (like Ponta da Piedade), bars, restaurants, hotels, a renowned vibrant summer nightlife, historic centre of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. You name it, Lagos has it.