Top Things to do in Portugal for Every Kind of Traveller
Last updated on June 27th, 2023 at 01:54 am
Who cares about the list of “mandatory things” when it does not correspond to the desires of the traveler?
When it comes to things to do in Portugal, the places and impressions that should not be missed vary greatly depending on your preferences and travel objectives. To make such a list for someone, will be impossible.
I tried to dig up 29 destinations, 15 mentioned resources, and 12 photos to help you make a list of “must-do” things that will be perfect for you.
As a country rich in history, stunning nature, and modern entertainment, Portugal is an ideal place for a variety of travelers from all over the world. However, for every visitor, there are special reasons to fall in love with this small country at the very edge of Europe.
So let’s put aside the typical “business in Portugal”, which is based on the features of some average travelers and focus on what you expect from your trip. Just find the headlines that suit you best and get tips based on the experience of real travelers and the official tourism website of Portugal.
Let’s get to the best things to do in Portugal for every kind of traveler!
Related reading: The Best Beaches in Portugal for all Beachgoers
Lisbon is a “perfect match” for everyone
The easiest way to get started in Portugal is to land in Lisbon. Here, you can easily reach other parts of the country. However, make sure you get to know the city accurately before you leave! Lisbon is known as the place where nightlife and history blend together, so even the most sophisticated travelers can find many things to do in Lisbon.
The pleasure you will get from meeting Lisbon depends mostly on your informed choice of accommodation. The answer to the question of where to stay in the city should be perfectly suited to your needs.
This is so that the places you want to see and the things to do in Portugal are in your immediate vicinity. The general atmosphere of the area you choose to stay should be comfortable for you. This where to stay in Lisbon guide can help.
Once you get to Lisbon, check out some things that can be attractive to almost anyone. Some of the theses are listed below.
A Tram 28 ride through the Alfama area is a must of things to do in Portugal. The old yellow tram (known as the symbol of Lisbon) will take you to the area of the city where you can find it. For example, St. George’s Castle and Sé Cathedral, cozy little restaurants, and traditional Fado clubs, picturesque streets, and quaint shops. You can walk and enjoy the views or take sightseeing tours to find out what history lies beneath this place.
Belem Tower: visit to the Monastery of Jerónimos, the Monument of Discovery, and the Belem Palace (official residence of the President of Portugal). And after a long stroll through the sights, you can treat yourself to the national dessert “pastel de nata,” which has been served here at Belém since 1837. These and other national dishes can be found throughout Portugal.
Breathe the air in the spectacular Rossio Square and make sure you return to Lisbon. Rossio Square is a place where you will feel like a local, surrounded by atmospheric cafes and old buildings. This place may make you want to throw a coin in the fountain, as travelers traditionally do, signaling that someday they will return to a place they liked. Fortunately, there are two Baroque fountains on both sides of the square – both are worth seeing.
Once the coin is flipped in Lisbon, the journey through Portugal may continue.
Traveling With A Family Or The Most Relaxing Experiences
Portugal is a safe country with a mild climate and a wide variety of things to do in Portugal for the whole family, including kids. So let’s see what good options there are for travelers with a family.
The Algarve coast is an ideal place for sunbathing, golfing, and exploring marine life. In this part of Portugal, there are many family hotels, from luxury to inexpensive ones, where guests can fully enjoy the beach and observe flora and fauna of this area. The Algarve is also famous for its boat tours aimed at seeing dolphins and other marine life. If you or your children dream of swimming with dolphins – you can do it in Algarve!
Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for all ages. This Portuguese city boasts many castles and places to see in Portugal. However, when you’re traveling with children, pay attention to Quinta da Regaleira – children will enjoy exploring the secret tunnels and trails in its garden. After that, the whole family may find it interesting to take a tour to learn more about the legends of the castle.
Bicycle or donkey rides are activities found in most places in Portugal. Such trips are the best way to combine fun and learning by observing nature and the variety of landscapes at your own pace. Don’t worry – it’s very safe even with children and teenagers, thanks to the ever-growing number of cycling paths along Portugal’s coastline, in national parks, and forests.
To explore further:
The notes of the traveling family can also be useful, so here’s the story of Olivia and her trip to Portugal with her daughter and husband.
Romantic Places – The couple’s choice!
Portugal is known as the “land of romance” as it has something to offer for a couple in love. So what should you not miss out on if you’re looking for something romantic? Here are some things to do in Portugal for you and your loved one.
Madeira is an island for lovers. Madeira can be an ideal place for your honeymoon. Here you can enjoy the charming views, parks (such as Madeira National Park), dozens of restaurants, and cafes.
Cabo da Roca
Just a few kilometers from Sintra, you will find wind cliffs that are considered the “end of the world.” You will also find the oldest Portuguese lighthouse there, which was opened in 1772.
Alto Duru Wine Region
The Alto Duru Wine Region is a place with a long tradition of couples’ hospitality. Here they are invited to taste some of Portugal’s most famous wines while relaxing in the country’s relatively isolated region. If you are looking for more wine-growing destinations, the Reguengos de Monsaras, Alentejo, and Évora are also worth exploring.
Jardins do Palácio does Cristal
Jardins do Palácio does Cristal is a phenomenally beautiful park in the hills of Porto. The Douro River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, it offers spectacular sunsets surrounded by 19th-century fountains and peacocks wandering through the diverse flora of manicured gardens.
Active Tourism – Make It Adventurous!
Portugal has always been attractive to active travelers and extreme lovers. If you are one of them, check out the list of adventurous things to do in Portugal.
Surf anytime, anywhere, any place you can while in Portugal! The country’s climate allows surfers to conquer waves 365 days a year. The variety of beaches and natural conditions explain why everyone from beginners to professionals from all over the world come to the Portuguese coast.
Parachute jumps in Alentejo. This is the perfect way to get a thrill and see the beauty of Portugal from a height of 13,500 feet in the air. Skydiving is quite safe, if instructors guide you, so all you have to do is enjoy the view and the adrenaline rush.
Canyon riding is suitable for everyone on the Flores Archipelago or the Azores Islands. It’s no big deal – jump in the stream of water and let it take you down the mountain. There are courses adapted for beginners that will teach you how to do it safely.
Places For History and Culture Enthusiasts
Since Portugal has been inhabited for thousands of years, it has been one of the dream places for anyone with an interest in history and culture. The list of such interesting places in Portugal is endless, but let’s keep it short and focus on the museums, galleries, and castles you might want to visit.
If you want to spend your journey walking around museums, then Lisbon is the destination for you. There you can find: the National Tile Museum (you will soon notice an abundance of blue and white tiles, as you wander around ancient monuments and even recently built ones all over the country), the National Museum of Ancient Art, Museu de Marinha (historical perspective on maritime achievements in Portugal); Museu do Fado (dedicated to the musical traditions of the Portuguese language); Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (an exquisite range of artworks).
There are also unusual museums scattered around the country, such as the CR7 Museum – Funchal (dedicated entirely to the football star, Cristiano Ronaldo); Museum of Phosphorus – Tomar (the largest collection of matchbox designs in Europe); Museum of Mechanical Music – Pinhal Novo (exhibition of mechanical musical instruments).
Modern art lovers are also likely to travel to Portugal as the country boasts dozens of world-famous art galleries. For example, Museu Nacional de Arte contemporânea do Chiado (contemporary art); Galeria underdogs in Lisbon (city art collection); Galeria 111 (new voices of the industry).
You don’t have to be crazy about history to enjoy Portugal’s historical sites. Some of them include The Tower of Belem, The Castle of the Moors, The Castle of Guimaraes, The Castle of Almurol, The Castle of Tomar, The Castle of Obidos, The Bell Tower, The Castle of Evoramonte, and The Castle of Viana do Alentejo.
Things to Try For Youngsters
There are many things to do in Portugal that can interest young visitors (except adventure and extreme activities).
Portugal offers a wide range of cultural, religious, and music festivals throughout the year. If you are planning your trip in 2020, check out the 9 stunning music festivals in Portugal.
Dance the night away at Lux Fragil, Portugal’s most famous nightclub and the largest of its kind. DJs from all over the world are honoured to perform at this particular club. If you can’t make it there, you may be interested in other pleasant places where nighttime can’t stop dancing: Club “Ministerium”; “Lust in Rio”; “Docks”; and “Musicbox”.
Attending a football match in Lisbon is a unique thing to do in Portugal not only for fans, but also for those who know little about football and its rules. The country of Cristiano Ronaldo during the championship is becoming a place where you can feel the changes in the atmosphere and where you cannot help but fall in love with this popular game.
To sum up on things to do in Portugal
With all its sights and scenery, Portugal is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It has a lot to offer and a chance to find a place in your heart, whether you are a traveler with a family or a brave young explorer, a history buff, or a hopeless romantic. Love for Portugal can unite many different people from all over the world. Are you going to be among them?
Make sure you have a list of things to do that meet your expectations, not a list that has been done for the average tourist long ago.
Do not let your trip become something “average” as a result of fulfilling some cliché recommendations.
As much as possible, make your trip memorable and exceptional.