Best Cities to Visit in Portugal

Best Places to Visit in Portugal © Hugo Teles / Unsplash

From the bustling streets of Lisbon to the tranquil beaches of Algarve, Portugal unveils a mosaic of history, culture, and untouched beauty. Each city, with its distinct charm, paints a picture rich in heritage and modern allure.

Whether drawn to ancient landmarks, melodic folk tunes, or tantalising cuisine, there’s a slice of Portugal resonating with every traveller’s desire. Dive into a journey that spotlights some of this nation’s most captivating cities.


Lisbon, Portugal © Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash

Lisbon, blessed with around 300 sunny days annually, shines not just meteorologically but culturally as well. Boasting a rich tapestry of history spanning 2,700 years, it’s one of the country’s oldest cities, offering families a deep dive into a vibrant past.

As a culinary hotspot, Lisbon tantalises taste buds with its diverse and delicious dishes, ensuring a gastronomic adventure. By night, the city comes alive, offering a blend of lively entertainment suitable for all ages. With panoramic views from its many vantage points, Lisbon provides families with a blend of educational experiences and memorable moments amidst its sun-soaked streets.

The Algarve

Albufeira, Portugal © Dahee Son / Unsplash

Nestled in the southernmost region of Portugal, the Algarve stands as a favourite for many holidaymakers. Its coastline dotted with fishing villages, fresh seafood dishes, and the charming city of Faro all weave a tapestry of authentic Portuguese experiences. The cliff-backed beaches and quaint villages add to its magnetic appeal.

For those keen on a comfortable stay while soaking in the local culture, Premier Villas offers handpicked villas in Algarve and throughout Portugal. Whether diving into the local cuisine, relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, or exploring the rich history, Algarve is a destination that promises memories to cherish.


Porto, Portugal © Dominik Kuhn / Unsplash

Situated along the Douro River, Porto seamlessly marries history with contemporary charm. Renowned for its port wine, the city’s Ribeira District, one of Portugal’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, showcases cobbled streets and vibrant facades, echoing Porto’s storied past.

The double-decker Dom Luís I Bridge provides unparalleled views and is a highlight for many visitors. Beyond its architectural marvels, Porto’s culinary scene thrives, ranging from age-old taverns to modern dining spots. For travellers eager to immerse in a city with a rich heritage, scenic riverfronts, and tantalising cuisine, Porto is a delightful choice.


Sintra, Portugal © Renato Marzan / Unsplash

Sintra, located amidst the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, exudes fairy-tale allure. The town boasts pastel-coloured villas, lush gardens, and grand palaces that harken back to times of royalty. The Palácio Nacional de Sintra, recognised by its twin chimneys, exemplifies the area’s rich architectural history.

Unique to Sintra is its microclimate, which results in cooler temperatures and frequent mists, fostering verdant forests and a rich diversity of plants. Just a stone’s throw from Lisbon, Sintra offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, solidifying its position as a top Portuguese destination.


Coimbra, Portugal © Egor Kunovsky / Unsplash

Coimbra, often dubbed the ‘Oxford of Portugal’, stands proud as the country’s mediaeval capital. Positioned along the Mondego River, it’s renowned for its prestigious university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest academic institutions in Europe.

This historic seat of learning lends the city a youthful vibrancy, echoed in its lively cafes, music-filled streets, and annual student festivals. Beyond academia, Coimbra is rich in architectural wonders, with the Joanina Library and the Royal Palace standing as testament. As visitors stroll its ancient streets, they’re enveloped in a blend of tradition and modernity, making Coimbra a must-visit for history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike.


Evora, Portugal © Filipe Silva / Unsplash

Evora beckons travellers with its unique allure. Surrounded by ancient walls, this well-preserved old town offers a tangible journey through time, from Roman temples and Moorish arches to Gothic cathedrals. The thought-provoking Chapel of Bones adds another layer to the city’s distinct charm.

Located in the heart of the Alentejo region and recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Evora stands as a testament to Portugal’s rich history. Its serene ambience offers a stark contrast to the country’s bustling locales, making it a must-visit for those eager to experience both tranquillity and cultural depth in one destination.


Braga, Portugal © Alex Person / Unsplash

Braga, often referred to as the ‘Rome of Portugal’, resonates with religious significance and ancient splendour. As one of the country’s oldest cities, it boasts a plethora of centuries-old churches, the most notable being the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary with its iconic baroque stairway.

The city’s vibrant religious festivals, especially during Semana Santa, offer a captivating blend of tradition and celebration. Beyond its spiritual heritage, Braga is a lively urban centre with a thriving cultural scene, modern eateries, and shopping districts. For travellers, Braga presents a harmonious blend of historical depth and contemporary vibrancy, making it a standout destination in Portugal.

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