Beaches, rivers, mountains and architecture: Portugal is full of charms and, therefore, owns some of the most beautiful cities in Europe
When the subject is Portugal, certainly, the first things that come to people's minds is: a place full of culture, history and amazing landscapes. Because of this, it is not always an easy job to list the most beautiful cities to visit in the country, but we have separated some that are certainly worth visiting.
One of most beautiful cities in Portugal, Coimbra is well known for the renowned University of Coimbra – the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in all of Europe -, which gives the place a very university atmosphere. But it's not just students who seek out the region, no! Its privileged location, close to the sea and the mountains, added to its quality of life makes the city one of the most searched cities in Portugal.
Of course, the tour doesn't leave out the university; visitors to the campus and on-site facilities will be delighted by the students dressed in their traditional black capes. And since the subject is historic points from the city, walking through Baixa – as the historic part of Coimbra is known – and its narrow streets, full of old mansions, is one of the things tourists can't help but do. In addition to being a great place to buy good wines and handicrafts, it is also an option to taste regional cuisine and understand a little more about Portuguese culture.
The Schist Villages, a network of 27 villages, are an attraction that cannot be left out of the itinerary. The first thing the traveler should know before venturing out is: to reach the villages you need a car or a motorcycle; as they are small and located close to each other, in a few days it is possible to visit them and feel what life was like a few centuries ago. These treasures, full of history and tradition, can be found in Serra da Lousã – just 40 km from Coimbra -, in Serra da Freita, Serra da Estrela and Serra do Açor.
Owner of a historical, cultural legacy and a unique natural beauty, Keys is one of oldest cities in Portugal. In this way, those who visit the region guarantee that it is a trip full of surprises – always good ones, of course.
One of the best attractions of the city is Rua Direita, a place with several rustic houses full of colors and squares that draw the attention of tourists. Another important place is the Castle of Chaves, responsible for a long time for defending the border; there, the tourist has the opportunity to climb to its top and get a spectacular view of the city, with a panoramic view of the castle gardens, the mountains, the historic center and the river. Tâmega.
a visit to Church of Mercy of Chaves cannot be left out of a list of “what to do in Chaves”, a beautiful baroque church whose interior walls are lined with blue and white tile panels from the 13th century that tell the story of biblical passages. It is important that the tourist pays attention to all the details, as it is not allowed to take pictures, so it is important to record this complete visit in memory.
Most travelers don't spend many days in Évora, but what many do not know is that, in addition to being a city full of churches and historical monuments, there is also a lot to do in the region, so it is a place that deserves to be included in the itinerary of beautiful cities in Portugal.
A historic center that has the title of UNESCO World Heritage, certainly, cannot be left out of the trip itinerary. Surrounded by walls that are more than 500 years old, the place is well preserved and full of tourist attractions, such as the Avis Gate, one of the gateways to the wall that has survived over the years, for example.
With a perfect location to enjoy the city, the Diana's Garden is a place that makes the traveler feel truly in the capital of Alentejo. Next to the place, there is a viewpoint with a view of the city and also of the Silver Aqueduct, a work created in the 16th century and used to this day to bring water to the local population. The Sé de Évora, a Gothic-style cathedral, is also among the city's must-see attractions. Those who visit do not fail to go up on its terrace to contemplate the whole city.
Located in the middle of Serra da Estrela, the city is the perfect destination for tourists who enjoy places with good structure, but also with a rural air of Portugal. As it is a region that can be described as a “mountain village”, you can already understand why it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country.
THE Hell's Pit, for sure, is an attraction that needs to be visited. The place, marked by the variety of its vegetation, forms a natural waterfall of about 10 meters that, during the winter days, turns into ice, which makes the landscape even more beautiful. Nature lovers will fall head over heels in love with everything Manteigas has to offer, such as hiking on various trails and even ski slopes at certain times of the year.
Well known for being one of the largest centers of Catholic pilgrimage in the world, Fatima It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for anyone visiting Portugal, whether religious or not.
THE Basilica of the Holy Trinity, the largest Catholic temple on the planet with more than eight thousand seats, must certainly be the first place to be visited in the city. The Byzantine-style basilica is very modern and was built in 2007, as the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima, built in 1953, was no longer able to receive the number of faithful who passed through the place.
For those who want to know the place calmly, the tip is not to travel on the 13th of each month, because as the date marks the first appearance of the saint (which took place on May 13, 1917), there is a large concentration of faithful. these days around the city, increasing the movement. In fact, the place where this apparition took place, the Sanctuary of Fatima, is a mandatory stop for tourists because of its architectural beauty and, of course, religious value – it is important to inform that the place is considered sacred and destined exclusively for prayers.
THE Ourem Castle, built during the Middle Ages, is another postcard of the city, so much so that it is considered one of the most beautiful in Portugal. Located just 11 km from Fátima, the place allows tourists to get an idea of what architecture was like at the time of its construction.
The third largest city in Portugal, Braga draws the attention of travelers because of its rich history, architectural beauty, unique cuisine, nature and unforgettable tours. An example of this is the Cathedral of the Cathedral of Braga, the oldest in the country, which draws attention due to the different styles of its construction – which makes its architecture so rich and exclusive.
But it is at the top of a hill where you can find the main attraction of the region: the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte. Tourists face a staircase with 670 steps to see the beauty of the place up close and enjoy the view of the city.
When you think of Portuguese sweets, it is impossible not to remember sweets with eggs, after all, these delicacies are a tradition in the country. the pudding Abbot of Priscus, one of the best known recipes, is a typical dish of Braga, whose secret recipe has nothing to do with sweets, but with bacon, which makes its confection unique.
A mix between tradition and modernity: this can be summed up Guimarães, known as the birthplace of Portugal, because it was where the first king of the country was born. Despite being a small city, it is full of churches, monuments, museums, squares, medieval streets and tours for tourists, which makes the destination highly sought after by all visitors.
As almost all attractions are concentrated in the historic center of the city, the traveler has the possibility to see everything on foot, without worrying about renting a vehicle or needing public transport. THE Guimarães Castle, an iconic building for the city and the whole country, can be a great starting point for the tour, because until you get to the center, you can also get to know the Palace of the Dukes.
The cobblestone streets, tiles, Gothic buildings and traditional houses make tourists travel through history. For those who want to enjoy a few days of rest in the region, but do not miss out, you cannot miss visiting the Multipurpose Pavilion, a place where shows, concerts and popular manifestations take place, or enjoying the end of the day in a square, maybe there is a festival with artists from the region going on. As for the tourists who like adventures, it is possible to practice rappel, trekking or simply take a cable car ride Penha Mountain.
Angra do Heroísmo
Although many people have never heard much about Angra do Heroísmo, the city was extremely important to the history of Portugal, so much so that it was even the capital of the country. Like other Portuguese cities, the place is a result of its exuberant nature, but also for its contrast with the dark stone used in the constructions.
The historic center of the region, UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, it houses the beautiful Church of Mercy, construction of Baroque style that stands out in the region. Another place that stands out is the Church of the Most Holy Savior of the See, considered the largest church in the entire Azores archipelago, where Angra do Heroísmo is located.
For those who do not give up direct contact with nature on their travels, visit the Praia de Angra, where it is possible to swim and contemplate Monte Brasil.
THE portuguese capital It is, in fact, an exciting destination and should be on everyone's list of “places to visit”, especially Brazilians because of their ties to the country, after all, the Portuguese tell part of Brazil's history.
One of the most famous symbols of the city, the Belém Tower, is one of the most visited places by tourists because of its beauty – both exterior and interior – and history – since it was from there that Portuguese navigators set out in search of new maritime routes. Those who go up to the tower's terrace can enjoy a privileged view of the Bethlehem and also the famous Tejo River.
Other great attraction of Lisbon and the Commerce Square, or Terreiro do Paço, as it is also known by many; quite simply, one of the biggest squares in all of Europe, it houses a variety of charming buildings and the triumphal arch Rua Augusta, one of the postcards of the region. If you want to feel like a “true Portuguese” just take an afternoon to have a coffee, watch the sunset and, of course, take some pictures of this unforgettable trip. To have a privileged view, just climb the Arch and, that's it, close the visit with a golden key.
Incidentally, the Augusta Street It is a great place to visit for travelers who want to buy gifts and souvenirs to take home or simply eat a delicious dish typical of the region. And since it's all about cooking, don't leave the capital of Portugal without trying some typical snacks, such as pipis (delicious chicken giblets in tomato sauce), bait with potatoes (a dish of pork liver sautéed with garlic and white wine) and, of course, snails.
Who knows Harbor guarantees that traveling to the city can be considered love at first sight and it is no wonder, as Portugal's second largest city is full of tourist attractions and the right destination for anyone visiting the country.
Despite the city being full of streets on slopes, tourists always like to go for walks, after all, you can get to know a lot about the region and appreciate a little bit of its architecture with buildings in various styles (ranging from Baroque to belle époque). Right in the heart of the city, the Sé Cathedral is an obligatory stop, as in addition to being one of the main and oldest monuments in Portugal, it is also one of the most beautiful and unique buildings in the whole of Europe.
THE Clerigos Tower, one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, cannot be left out of the itinerary, do you know why? After the traveler has gone all the way up the tower, which is 76 meters high, and is surprised by the 49 bells that form a large carillon, he will be faced with a magnificent view of the entire city. One hell of a reward!
And, of course, it could not be otherwise, one of the essential tours in Porto is to visit a cellar, or rather, a warehouse to understand the entire production process of one of the most famous wines in the world, Port wine, and taste a few glasses. to get to know the taste of the place.
It is impossible to talk about this city without mentioning the gastronomy, one of the reasons that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Among the regional and truly Portuguese dishes, we highlight codfish à Gomes de Sá (a recipe prepared with black olives, potatoes, onions and eggs), papo de angel (a delicious dessert traditionally made in the city's convents with sugar, egg yolks and a delicious syrup) and francesinha (a savory dish that contains various meats, bread, cheese and is known especially for the flavor of its sauce).
Imagine a medieval city? so it is Óbidos. The historic center, surrounded by the walls, is full of charm and, for sure, this is one of the reasons that attracts so many travelers to the region. Whether in spring, summer, autumn or winter, strolling through the ancient streets of the region is a unique experience at any time of year, as it is like traveling back in time and getting to know a little more about what life was like in ancient Portuguese civilizations.
THE Óbidos Castle, built in the 13th century, is the city's main tourist attraction. Currently, the place has become one of the most luxurious inns in the country and aims to make its guests have the experience of living a true night of king and queen.
Another place that cannot be left out of the itinerary is the Church of Santa Maria. The city's main church, the Renaissance-style building has been restored several times since its construction – in the 12th century – and draws attention, mainly, because of the oil paintings that decorate its walls and the hand-painted tiles with floral motifs.
The historic downtown buildings, the colorful boats and the regional cuisine make aveiro one of the most authentic regions of Portugal! As the city is small, it is even easier to explore everything it has to offer, whether by public transport, car or even on foot.
Have you ever heard of “moliceiro boats”? This is how the boats that circulate in the Ria de Aveiro. And one thing is certain: no one can visit the city without living the experience of riding a moliceiro. The route with the boats is made by four channels and it is possible to enjoy all the beautiful view of the city and, of course, relax a lot; this is one of the reasons why the region is considered the “Portuguese Venice”.
In aveiro tourists have the opportunity to taste the best flavors of Portuguese gastronomy, so they cannot miss trying some traditional dishes, such as the eel stew, the famous Aveiro soft eggs and the classic cod – which in the region can also be found with some variations, such as roasted, grilled, with potatoes, among others.
capital of Wood Island, Funchal is a city that deserves to be visited not only for its regional beauties and warm residents who love to receive tourists, but mainly for being the ideal place to start your visit in the region.
For those who can't do without a walk in the middle of nature, the Ponta do Sao Lourenco It's a great starting point to start this adventure. In addition to taking a tour through a region that has one of the most incredible views in Europe, the traveler can contemplate the landscape and the sunrise of the Ponta do Rosto viewpoint, one of the mandatory stops for anyone visiting this island.
who arrives at funchal, quickly fell in love with the local nature and of course all the gardens. You Palheiro Gardens it is among the most famous for its location – in the hills – and for the wide variety of plants.
Although they are the best known cities in Portugal, the country's charms go far beyond Lisbon and Harbor, therefore, it is important for the tourist to venture out to discover some of the treasures of the Lusitanian lands, such as sintra. The city is filled with a lot of history, architectural monuments and natural beauties, so much so that it is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
THE Pena National Palace erected on top of Sintra's Mountain is an example of Portuguese romantic architecture. As the region is visited at different times of the year, the tip is to avoid this tour on rainy days, since the palace is located in an upper part of the city, so strong winds and rain can harm visitors.
Considered the most western point not only of Portugal, but across Europe, the Cabo do Roca attracts, especially, travelers seeking natural landscapes; in addition to all the magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean, the visit to the place also helps to better understand the entire history of the Portuguese and their skills as navigators.
The local cuisine is an attraction in itself! After a walk, it is worth trying a delicious cheesecake sintra (egg pastries with cottage cheese). Surely, a new world will open before your eyes with each bite. Did you like these suggestions about Portugal? Access our guides and find other tips to enjoy your trip around the country even more.
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