Portugal attractions

Top Choice Monastery in Batalha

Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória

The extraordinary monastery of Batalha was built to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota (fought just south of here). Most of the monument was completed by 1434 in Flamboyant Gothic, but Manueline exuberance s…
Top Choice Monastery in Alcobaça

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça

One of Iberia's great monasteries utterly dominates the town of Alcobaça. Hiding behind the imposing baroque facade lies a high, austere, monkish church (free entry) with a forest of unadorned 12th-century arches. B…
Top Choice Monastery in Tomar

Convento de Cristo

Wrapped in splendour and mystery, the Knights Templar held enormous power in Portugal from the 12th to 16th centuries, and largely bankrolled the Age of Discoveries. Their headquarters sit on wooded slopes above the…
Top Choice Monastery in Belém

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Belém’s undisputed heart-stealer is this Unesco-listed monastery. The mosteiro is the stuff of pure fantasy; a fusion of Diogo de Boitaca’s creative vision and the spice and pepper dosh of Manuel I, who commissioned…
Top Choice Palace in Sintra

Palácio Nacional de Sintra

The star of Sintra-Vila is this palace, with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish, whimsical interior, which is a mix of Moorish and Manueline styles, with arabesque courtyards, barley-twist columns and 15th-…
Top Choice Castle in Alfama, Castelo & Graça

Castelo de São Jorge

Towering dramatically above Lisbon, the mid-11th-century hilltop fortifications of Castelo de São Jorge sneak into almost every snapshot. Roam its snaking ramparts and pine-shaded courtyards for superlative views ov…
Top Choice Area in Alfama, Castelo & Graça

Alfama

Wander downhill (to save your legs) through Alfama's steep, narrow, cobblestoned streets and catch a glimpse of the more traditional side of Lisbon before it too is gentrified. Linger in a backstreet cafe along the …
Top Choice Museum in Lapa & Alcântara

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Set in a lemon-fronted, 17th-century palace, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is Lapa’s biggest draw. It presents a star-studded collection of European and Asian paintings and decorative arts.
Top Choice University in Coimbra

Universidade de Coimbra

Coimbra's Unesco-listed university, one of the world's oldest, was originally founded in Lisbon in 1290. It was subsequently relocated several times before being permanently established in Coimbra in 1537. Its showp…
Top Choice Church in Ribeira

Igreja de São Francisco

Igreja de São Francisco looks from the outside to be an austerely Gothic church, but inside it hides one of Portugal’s most dazzling displays of baroque finery. Hardly a centimetre escapes unsmothered, as otherworld…