why visit portugal
There are many reasons to visit this peaceful and safe corner of Europe!
Continental Portugal has eighteen districts, all rich in heritage, culture, and gastronomy. The following points are the best known and visited places of the country, all with their own curiosities and charms.
Click to find out more about each place:
A lively city, one of the oldest in the country, and is teeming with young people who study at its universities. The Braga Diocese is the oldest in Portugal and, in the Middle Ages, the city even competed with Santiago de Compostela in power and importance. One of the “Camiños de Santiago” passed through here.
Known as the cradle of Portugal is one of the oldest cities in Portugal, a symbol of the nation, a place rich in history, and compulsory to be included in any cultural route in Portugal. Located in Braga district, Guimarães is one of the most important historical cities of the country and its historical center is considered World Cultural Heritage, making it definitely one of the largest tourist centers in the region.
Its streets and monuments breathe history and delight those who visit it.
The Douro Valley could as easily be called the “enchanted valley”, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer. Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (also known as Port wine), produced on its hillsides, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter.
None will leave you indifferent.
Charming Portuguese town that makes for an enjoyable, alternative tourist destination. Aveiro is crossed by canals and along these waterways colorful and traditional fishing boats sail. As Aveiro has both canals and gondolas the town is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of Portugal”. Perfect place for a day trip!
The medieval capital of Portugal for over a hundred years, and site of the country’s greatest university for the past five centuries, Coimbra wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity. Its atmospheric, beautiful historic core cascades down a hillside in a lovely setting on the east bank of the Rio Mondego: it's a multicolored collage of buildings spanning nearly a millennium. Another historical place not to miss.
Former seat of the Order of the Knights Templar, Tomar is a city of great charm for its artistic and cultural wealth, whose greatest expression is in the Convent of Christ, simply one of the most beautiful medieval Castles and also of the chief works of the Portuguese Renaissance.
Magnificently sited on a series of hills running down to the grand Tagus River, Lisbon is one of the world's most scenic cities. Unexpected beautiful views are found at every turn down its colorful, picturesque streets, and especially from strategically-placed viewpoints or terraces at the top of each hill – a captivating recipe crafted over centuries. An ancient and modern city to discover at every step!
One of the best-preserved medieval Portuguese cities, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, Évora’s narrow, winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: an elaborate medieval cathedral and cloisters, also the cinematic columns of the Tempo Romano, near the intriguing Roman baths. Any cultural tour not passing through Évora is incomplete!
Algarve is the most important tourist region of Portugal and one of the most important in Europe. With an extension of more than 200 km of sandy beaches, beaches are considered the best of Portugal and it has a wide range of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, apartments, and hotels. The temperature of the Mediterranean climate, characterized by pleasant and short winters, long hot and dry summers, warm and calm waters that bathe its south coast, its natural landscapes, historical and ethnographic patrimony, and the delicious and healthy gastronomy are attributes that attract millions of people every year.