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Top 10 Things to Do in Portugal Right Now- Places, Where to Stay (Our Free Guide)

Tags: portugal visit

Usually, decisions like traveling don’t pop up unbidden at 4 in the morning. “Let’s go to Portugal.”

No, this isn’t how it works. You probably spend long hours surfing the internet, capturing the most important information about the country, things you do in Portugal, places to stay, attractions you can hit up, and the best time to Visit.

Sometimes this information could be further than the truth, but that is not the case here. Our extensive list will hopefully be helpful for you when it comes to planning your vacation to Portugal.

Famous old historic tourist yellow street tram in Lisbon. Famous vintage tourist travel attraction. Colorful architecture city buildings street scene, Portugal.

Are you ready?

Why Portugal?

Stunning views, wonderful beaches, a rich history, a diversified culture, incredible hiking expeditions, lovely landscapes with natural scenery, oh my! It’s going to be an unforgettable vacation. Let’s say Portugal is the land of endless possibilities and opportunities that you’ve always wanted to visit.

While there are hundreds of easy top things to do in Portugal, you can be overwhelmed with many beautiful tourist destinations in the world. Yes, I totally agree that our planet is brimming with many stunning places you should not miss.

That is why I would like to share with you some compelling reasons to visit Portugal.

Traveling to Portugal is the best choice to you, Portugal, Pexhere

Our ultimate goal is to help you make your decision and book a flight to Portugal before you’ve even finished reading this article. (Kidding! Please read it all the way through; there’s a lot of useful information ahead of you.)

  • A beautiful sunset view from its coastline: Portugal has sandy beaches, the best in Europe ever.
  • Easy transportation to move around: it is so easy to travel around Portugal by the public transport network. Comfy and cheap. 
  • Clean and neat streets everywhere: Being in Portugal will give you access to a stylish walkway. Unlike any walking, you are about to stroll through historical streets; enticing pit stops to explore iconic buildings overall Portugal’s cities. So, grab your bike, skates, or sneakers and go for a nice walk every day.
  • Almost the entire year has been blessed with perfect weather:  Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is one of Europe’s sunniest cities. You also have a spot to visit at all times of the year. Discover the must-see historical sights in the winter. Grab your swimsuit and head to the beautiful beaches during the summer. I’ll leave you to get the inside scoop on everyday lifestyle in Portugal in the spring and fall.
One of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Portugal, Pixabay
  • Drink the greatest cup of coffee you’ve ever had: you couldn’t start your day without coffee, Okay who cares! We are already there. But in Portugal, you will kick start your day very right with excellent-quality coffee.
  • Visit small villages between urban areas: The savvy traveler is someone who is interested in the city’s culture so that he can learn something. If he went through all his life to know about it from books and articles, he would never find it out like someone who tried it out. This rich experience can be found in small villages around big cities.
  • Attend spectacular events: Portugal is the place to be engaged with traditional vibrant events throughout the summer months. If you are searching for great cultural festivals, don’t go any further.
Famous attractions in Portugal, Pexels

Connolly Cove Easy Bizzy Tips before traveling to Portugal

  • Don’t be concerned about a language barrier

People in Portugal speak Spanish. (Not really!) People in Portugal speak Portuguese. However, you don’t need to grab any dictionary with you. All young people can speak with a fantastic English accent.

Wander wherever you want; there will be someone who can understand you and guide you to your destination if you get lost.

  • Bring coins with you (It’s worth something here)

When it comes to money notes, don’t pay 500, 200, or even 100 euros. People don’t have change here. And you will never use them here. Portugal is a very affordable place, and your coins go a long way.

To make it easier when paying for something, search for ATMs and banks scattered all over Portugal and ask for small denominations. It’s advisable to have a 10 or 20 euro note.

Taxi is super cheep in Portugal, Unsplash
  • Take taxis and don’t worry about the fare

Combine your visit with nearby attractions or even go for distant tourist locations. There is nothing to worry about.

Taxis here are super cheap, so you can have a rest or take a nap in the cab, and it’s still cheap ((Kidding again! Don’t ever sleep in any public transit.) Actually, spending a vacation in Portugal will be about 30% cheaper than a typical one in the US.

  • Have your breakfast in the hotel

It’s always better to have your breakfast in the hotel. As a result, ensure that your lodging package includes breakfast.

I guess it would be difficult to get out of bed in the morning looking for something to eat, and it may be even more difficult to begin your day without even taking a sip of your hot coffee.

  • Don’t use a map in your walkway

I think the best part of being on vacation in Portugal is to lose yourself in the paved alleyways, discover the hidden gems in the Portuguese streets, chat with locals (who are super friendly), and push the boundaries of being a tourist.

You are here to live like a local and soak up the whole experience.

A historic suburb in Portugal, Pexhere
  • If you don’t have a mobile SIM works fine aboard, don’t Fret

One of the secret tricks to tease people into visiting a place is to offer free Wi-Fi. And many Portuguese places understand this marketing principle.

That’s said, you can still be connected with your family, go live on your social media accounts, and post photos and stories on your Instagram account without even having a mobile SIM. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi.

  • You don’t need to pay any tip if you don’t want

Another really good thing about Portugal is that in Portugal’s traditions, they don’t tip waiters. However, as mentioned earlier, Portugal is a very affordable place where you can leave some money.

People will love you and appreciate it because they absolutely need it, and it’s a lovely gesture. The point is that if you don’t have change, you don’t have to pay anything.

So far, so good, right?

Now, let’s talk about the best places to visit and things to do in Portugal.

Make time to explore stunning architecture in Lisbon, Portugal, Pixabay

Top Things to Do in Portugal

  • Day Trip to Braga

Location: Northwestern of Portugal
How to get there: The best way to get to Barga is to take a train from Lisbon. The time between the two cities is around 3h and 45m for approximately $30.
Price: Free admission to almost all attractions
From impressive churches to vivid landscapes and fashion streets, Barga is deeply evocative of many things to do and places to see, which will tease the warmth of every person who comes here.

An amazing city of Barga, Portugal, Pexels
Why should you visit Barga?

Barga is one of the largest cities in Portugal, and it’s inland which means there are no nearby beaches. So, if all you want from your trip to Portugal is a sea view and some relaxation, don’t consider going to Braga.

Even so, there are many attractions and places that can spice up your vacation here, which makes this city a popular tourist destination in Europe.

The best part of visiting Barga is that there are many places to visit for free and you still enjoy your time the most. For instance, the pedestrian-only area dominates the city as it’s a fantastic area filled with gardens, cafes, fountains, shops, and plenty of sites to see.

Grab your walking shoes with you as you will go for a long time in this area to discover every nook and cranny, which will bring a whim to you. So, refuel your energy level and take a deep breath as you are about to see iconic buildings and savor the tastiest dishes in Europe.

Things not to Do:

  • Right off the bat, explore the must-see attraction, Elevador do Bom Jesus do Monte. Besides its history and stunning facade, the view from the summit will send shivers up your spine. Decent, clean, and extensive, it is enough to be there and appreciate its beauty.
  • Visit Praca da Republica; this place never makes or breaks. It always makes and helps you make most of your visit to Portugal. You can simply sit in the green spaces. It’s a place to people-watch and share intimate conversations while admiring the scenery.
  • Another cathedral built on the hilltop, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro, is another pretty place to visit in Barga. Most importantly, this church is not so famous as a tourist destination, so you will find it peaceful most of the time. Come here in the afternoon to admire the sunset scene. It’s a big deal!
  • Walking around Central Avenue Garden, it is easily digestible for most visitors to go shopping in the fashion street.
  • Add extra excitement to your journey and visit Braga cathedral, and don’t forget to take a picture of the Barga sign in the city center.


Things not to Do:
  • Barga has its own airport, but we recommend just taking the train from Lisbon. It’s not a long journey, just 3 hours, and you can save the fight ticket price. Plus, you will enjoy your trip by watching dramatic views from your window seat.
  • When visiting Elevador do Bom Jesus do Monte, don’t start from the top of the cathedral. Start from the bottom and ascend the stairs. It’s a good exercise, and you will be rewarded with a fantastic view.
  • You don’t have to rent a car while visiting Barga; it’s not a huge city, and parking in the town is pretty hard to find, and most of the lots are paid.

Pro Tip: Transportation is readily available and reasonably priced in this area. Numerous buses will take you back to your accommodation, whether in Barga or elsewhere in Portugal.

  • Get Straight to Lagos

Location: Southern Portugal’s Algarve
How to get there: The best way to get to Lagos is to take a train from Lisbon. The time between the two cities is around 3h for about $20.
Price: Free admission to almost all attractions; however, if you want to try out some fun activities here, the cost to spend a day in Lagos is about $100.

Charmful and poignant, they are the perfect words to describe Lagos, an area of life, relaxation, and love. Located in Algarve, Lagos offers a unique ambiance that touches your soul with its fantastic weather, breathtaking scenery, and pretty cool strolling tour.

 Lagos has fended off modern and fancy urban sprawl, preserving its untouched beauty. That’s what drives us to put this gorgeous city on your bucket list.

Beautiful coves of Lagos beaches, Portugal, Unsplash
Why should you visit Lagos?

Simply walking around the side of Lagos’ beach will provide you with the best view ever of the city. Let a fresh breeze blow your hair, breathe in deeply and be enchanted by Lagos’ ever-changing beauty.

Lagos offers a broad spectrum of lovely cafes with a picturesque setting overlooking vibrant districts and a blue river.

Are you coming with your partner? Well, Visiting Lagos is, without a doubt, the best decision you’ve ever made.

You can even propose to your girl in Ponta da Piedade while walking along with the city at night. Very romantic that she would never say No. (Trust me!)

However, you have to come here early in the day to enjoy some private time with your partner away from the masses, especially in the summer. It’s a popular tourist attraction in the city.

Things not to Do:
  • Visit the Lagos Castle and travel through the town’s maze of narrow lanes and cobblestone streets to reach the old quarter.
  • Have a break at one of the laid-back local restaurants or cafes and escape from crowds.
  • Take in the splendid views from Ponta da Piedade or take a short boat trip to explore the great coves and caves along the coastline, the most popularly known in Lagos.
  • Go shopping at market stalls and some fresh products in the old district if you are interested.
  • Go to Praia Dona Ana beaches and swim between large pillars of rocks. It’s a divine corner in Lagos.
Things not to Do:
  • Don’t eat bread or butter or olive served as appetizers before meals if you don’t need them. It’s not free, and you have to pay for them. And, instead of paying $6 – as advertised on the menu, you will be charged more than $14 for these starters.
  • Don’t get into the ocean until you’ve checked to see whether there’s any seaweed on the beach since it could damage your foot.
  • Don’t go to Lagos’ beaches in the summer, partially on weekends. I know the water here is something you should not miss in Portugal, but believe me, beaches turn to be jam-packed, and you will never find it even interesting.


Pro tip: A late culture is so common here; People in Lagos begin their day early in the morning and go into the night. You can go to the mall till midnight and see a movie at 2:00 a.m. If you are a night owl, you will have a good time in Portugal, especially in Lisbon.

  • Head to the most-visited spot: Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Location: Praca do Imperio Belém, Lisbon
How to get there: Take a line 15 tram and get off in Mosteiro Jerónimos, just a few minutes walk from the tram station.
Price: Around $14 for all your tours, including museums next to the monastery
Among the most intriguing things to do in Portugal, Lisbon is home to the most impressive cathedral and monastery in Europe, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.

This magnificent facade will take you by surprise, featuring decorative details and an excellent structure bounded by a spacious outdoor hall to hang out and have sublime moments further away from the city’s bustling.

Stunning architectural art in Poarugal, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Pexhere

Why should you visit Mosteiro dos Jeronimos?

The best thing you can do here is to check the craftsmanship that went into creating this masterpiece.

The Jeronimos Monastery is one of the most significant ecclesiastical buildings in the city, giving you insight into the amazing style of Manueline and Gothic architecture.

 Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was an area that a number of monks used for recreation and to have fun somehow.

That’s why the whole monastery is overflowing with meditation rooms and areas where monks can practice their rituals without being disturbed.

 Here, you can see the twelve confessional rooms symbolizing the 12 apostles in the Cristian belief.

 You will find many chapels along your way inside the monastery, and don’t forget to visit the tomb of Vasco de Gama and the most recognizable Portuguese poet, Luis de Camoes. With their lovely decoration, these graves are works of art in and of themselves.

Things to Do:
  • It’s absolutely worthwhile to visit, providing you with an ultimate pleasure while discovering all pieces of art, colorful tiles, perfectly crafted wooden furniture reflecting the Renaissance carpentry during this era.
  • Go far beyond simply venturing into the chapel and visit other nearby churches and monuments around the location.
  • Visit the permanent exhibition inside the monastery, which will provide you with more key information about the story of the sanctuary and the region of Belém.
  • Visit the Archeology Museum and the Navy museums adjacent to the Jeronimos Monastery.
  • Pay a visit to the church of the Jeronimos Monastery, located in the southern door of the monastery, which will help you know more about the royal family; king Sebastian, Afonso I, Manuel I, and more.


Things not to Do:
  • Don’t wait in long queues to buy your ticket. Instead, you can purchase it online or use a ticket machine. It’s pretty easier than these endless lines.
  • Don’t come here late if you want to pay for a tour guide. You will find out that most tourist groups have already completed their tour right here.
  • If you want to visit the monastery, you don’t have to adhere to a stringent dress code; but, you must wear below the knee if you’re going to attend the church.

Pro tip: If you are looking for free things to do in Portugal, simply visit only the church or monastery that admission is always free! Another golden piece of advice, if there are too long queues at the entrance, go straight to the Belém Tower and the museums, and come here again. See, no lines at all.

Plan to Visit the Largest Indoor Aquarium in Europe: Oceanário de Lisboa

Location: Esplanada D. Carlos I Doca dos Olivais, Lisbon
How to get there: A 9 minutes’ walk from Oriente tram station
Price: Around $23
Built to strengthen our relationship with ocean creatures, Oceanário de Lisboa Or Aquarium Lisbon served as an exhibition grounds for the Expo 1998.

This beautiful underwater wonderland should not be missed while visiting Portugal. It will enable you to see a variety of species. Not just that, but the entire facility is tailored to meet all visitors’ aspirations.

Scenery of Lisbon. Panoramaview of Alfama old town district on cloudy day, Lissabon, Portugal. Red-white colored.
Why should you visit Oceanário de Lisboa?

Oceanário de Lisboa is the best place for a family vacation in Lisbon. I don’t know if it would be a good or bad thing for you, but your kids are unlikely to leave this place quickly, and they will love every fish here. And be prepared to answer their tricky questions.

Additionally, TripAdvisor’s most visited places in Portugal, all reviews are super positive, with most of them writing something along the lines of,” I have never been somewhere so interesting and have been waiting to go here. We loved it and will definitely go back.

To ensure you will see all the partitions of Oceanário de Lisboa, it’s better to get to the aquarium in the morning once it opens. Also, avoid getting here on weekends.

And it’s also a great idea to look at the hanging map appearing in the entrance to set up your approach; which section you should check first – the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Antarctic, and Atlantic.

Things to Do:
  • Watching all these various ocean species and reading the description of each fish behind the water tank. 
  • Watching the movies, reviewing relevant information about the ocean and why it’s so important to keep these animals alive help us to maintain our ecosystem balanced. 
  • Enjoy some divers’ performance inside the tanks. And have an excellent picture with him. 
  • Observing the cutest and funny animals ever, penguins. 
  • Check all outdoor areas and enjoy checking a diverse selection of marine life.
Things not to Do:
  • There are some uncovered pools filled with salt water to let visitors interact with the animals. Keep your children away enough to not end your itinerary there in disaster. 
  • When taking pictures, avoid using flashes. It, as well as selfie sticks, are prohibited. 
  • Inside the aquarium, don’t let your phone call. Turn it into silence to not irritate other visitors.

Pro Tip: If there are crowds gathered around any of the tanks here, bypass it to avoid wasting time waiting for them to disperse. If you’re interested in seeing a variety of sea creatures, you can return to check it out later.

Let’s Relax, Recharge, Refresh: Amarante

Location: Northern Portugal
How to get there: The best option is to take a train from Lisbon. It will take 3h for around $30
Price: Almost all attractions give you exclusive free admission 

Let’s get our adrenaline level pumping and experience something very varied; let’s head to Amarante.

Located in the northern part of Portugal, Amarante is a haven for twentieth-century artists, providing them with a beautiful setting to let their minds roam and produce masterpieces.

The city of natural heaven, Amarante, Portugal, Unsplash
Why should you visit Amarante?

You have a strong reason to be excited about visiting Amarante. Being here is literally like being in the heart of paradise.

Beautiful colorful facades, historical churches, and exquisite brigades, tourists come across the town to discover its beauty without one minute of feeling bored.

It seems that no expenses were spared in producing everything here at its finest.

Like Portugal is known for its dramatic architecture dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and its splendid beaches decorated with coves and crystalline water, Amarante is known for its hiking trails and the iconic bridge of Ponte de São Gonçalo.

Then, head to Igreja de São Gonçalo church which is looming the skyline of the city, located close to the bridge.

It’s a noteworthy small town for a one-day trip, but you are probably not able to immerse yourself in its delicate collection of art.

 Things to Do:
  • Stop for a while on Ponte de São Gonçalo and take lovely photos with this epic bridge.
  • Visit Convento de Sao Goncalo church and admire its facade entirely made of perfectly carved stones with its spectacular red domes exemplifying 16th-century style and an exquisitely decorative interior.
  • Shop for souvenirs and some traditional products for very affordable prices.
  • Visit the Museu Municipal Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso for modern art.
  • Have a walking tour at Parque Florestal de Amarante, a large park with many walking and tracks for walking or cycling.
Things not to Do:
  • If you want to go there for relaxation, don’t go to Amarante in the first week of June. There is an annual festival with a fertility theme. So don’t panic if you see a sweet pastry shaped like male genitals.
  • Don’t go to Parque Florestal de Amarante without asking locals about the availability of the park. Sometimes there is some construction and maintenance work that hinders you from having an excellent and peculiar tour.
  • Leaving your walking shoes at home is a huge mistake. You will need it in Amarante a lot. It’s all about a walkable tour.

Pro Tip: Prepare to watch the sunset from Ecopista, do Tâmega or rent a bike and ride the entire route. Although the path is only 3 kilometers long, you will get a whole different experience while exploring small communities and an old railway line.

Heal yourself and Go to: Albufeira

Location: Southern Portugal’s Algarve
How to get there: It’s just two hours away from Lisbon, and the best choice is to take a train for around $25.
Price: Almost all tourist spots give you special free admission, but you have to plan to spend around $100 for other expenses such as food and entertainment, or if you want to stay here for a night.

Featuring sparkling white beaches, mountains, and water coming together to create artistic scenery and the sun blazing the sky with unbelievable shades of lights before leaving, Albufeira is one of the sought-after destinations in all of the world.

Amazing Portugal’s beaches, Pexels
Why should you visit Albufeira?

The party never stops here, with its blonde sand beaches, tranquil blue waters, and vibrant nightlife. In Albufeira, all roads lead to the beach, which is why people come here all the more.

Besides its stunning sandy beaches, the city has historical colonies pouring out the stories of the Ancient Empire of Roma and some traces of Portuguese royal kings. Many factors can contribute to this city being the top tourist destination because it has something for everyone.

Furthermore, If you are a foodie, Albufeira offers lip-smacking multiple cuisines. So buckle up because your vacation will be filled with adventure and merriment.

We will go first to a waterpark, Zoomarine Algarve, home to many fun activities running from a fantastic dolphin show, many water rides fit to all ages, and an aqua museum.

Need to know more, well continue reading to explore things you can do in Portugal and specifically Albufeira.

 Things to Do:
  • Enjoy summer vibes in Praia Sao Rafael, featuring a stunning view of the water framed by rocks. And don’t go further before the sunset. The sky turns to a reddish hue. It’s the perfect time to unwind.
  • Pay a visit to Zoomarine Algarve for around $28, which offers endless of most special activities, such as a great water park, watching movies about the life of sea turtles, and of course interacting with the dolphins.
  • Visit the Muzu Archeologico museum embracing many miniature sculptures, beautiful paintings, and pieces of artwork representing the ancient history of Italy and other monuments of Islamic eras.
  • Take part in some adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities at Parque Aventura, where tickets cost around $28 on average. This location is for everyone who appreciates the park’s thrilling course, including a challenging monkey bridge, a rope walk, and other attractions.
  • Don’t miss out exploring Albufeira’s Igreja Matriz, a dainty white-washed church that is an important place of Albufeira’s heritage.
 Things to Do:
  • Don’t have your meal in Zoomarine Algarve; the food is not good at all. You can bring some snacks with you if your children are striving.
  • Don’t go to Albufeira after the high season; most of the facilities do not work at all unless you want to get some relaxing time in natural beauty.
  • Don’t miss out on checking Largo Eng. Duarte Pacheco if you want to pick up some souvenirs from handicraft shops which sound like an open art gallery.

Pro Tip: If you get enough stretching on beaches and want to spend a day close to nature in a quiet place, go to the Krazy World. It’s a theme park offering a zoo filled with birds, dogs, cats, goats, and elegant. It’s kind of like a large wilderness park with a rural backdrop that offers a calm atmosphere for its visitors.

Marvel at Park and National Palace of Pena

Location: Estrada da Pena, Sintra
How to get there: Get the bus number 434 or 516 and depart at the Palacio de Pena bus stop, just a few minutes’ walk to get to the palace. Or take a train for just $3.
Price: Around $9
Have you ever dreamed of going to Disneyland, but it didn’t work out? Or you already have been there, but it didn’t satisfy your expectations?

I am sure that the Park and National Palace of Pena will work at their best. Not about racing or riding or any of these activities, It’s about being in a sprawling park with a colorful palace.

Incredible tourist attraction in Portugal, National Palace of Pena, Pixabay
Why should you visit the Park and National Palace of Pena?

On a high hilltop, the Park and National Palace of Pena stand like a safeguard of Sintra. It’s a magical and romantic palace with a fairytale atmosphere.

Offering better leverage than any other royal castle, The charming hilltop town, Sintra, delivers spectacular sights peppered with ritzy castles that date back hundreds of years.

Once you arrive at the Rossio station, look up right here. The castles are showing up on the highest top of Sintra. Please keep in mind th

This post first appeared on Travel Blog, Culture And Travel Vlogs From ConnollyCove, please read the originial post: here

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Top 10 Things to Do in Portugal Right Now- Places, Where to Stay (Our Free Guide)


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