Must-see attractions in Portugal

  • Jardim Panorâmico

    Funchal

    Up a set of steps from the seafront, the terraced Jardim Panorâmico is a sun-catching spot ideal for a lazy afternoon with a book. It's also a superb halt…

  • Torre da Cadeia Velha

    The Minho

    Two crenellated towers (part of the fortifications made in the 14th century) face the river at the end of Rua Cardeal Saraiva. The Torre da Cadeia Velha…

  • Museu Alberto Sampaio

    Guimarães

    Built around the serene Romanesque cloister of Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, this museum has an excellent collection of ecclesiastical art and…

  • Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

    Machico

    The triangular, ochre fortress on the Machico seafront dates from 1706 and was built to protect the town from pirates. There's not much to see here save…

  • Museu da Miniatura Automóvel

    Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela

    Here's the deal: revheads (big kids and small) and keen collectors will love this, others might think 'meh'. Over 3000 miniature vehicles are on display…

  • Citânia de Santa Luzia

    Viana do Castelo

    Behind the Pousada do Monte de Santa Luzia are these ruins of a Celtiberian citânia (fortified village) from around the 4th century BC. You’ll see the…

  • Museu José Régio

    Alto Alentejo

    This small museum in poet José Régio’s former house shows his magpie-like collection of popular religious art, with around 400 Christ figures. There are…

  • Barroso Eco Museu

    Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês

    Just downhill from Montalegre's castle, this museum hosts exhibits that showcase regional history, rural traditions and folklore. There are also exhibits…

  • Engenhos da Calheta

    Madeira

    Calheta's old sugar refinery building starts as a half-hearted 'museum' and ends as a shop where you can buy the bolo de mel (molasses cake), molasses,…

  • Museu de Arte Sacra

    Mértola

    Housed in the former Misericórdia church, the Museu de Arte Sacra exhibits religious statuettes from the 16th to 18th centuries and several impressive…

  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Graça

    Sagres

    Within the Fortaleza de Sagres, this small whitewashed church dating from 1570 is a simple barrel-vaulted structure with a gilded 17th-century altarpiece…

  • Centro de Fotografia Georges Dussaud

    Trás-os-Montes

    This small museum is worth a visit just to see the evocative black-and-white photos of everyday transmontana people taken in the 1980s by French…

  • Casa da Inquisação

    Monsaraz

    Near the castle, this small two-storey museum touches on the Jewish presence in Monsaraz during the Middle Ages and the persecutions that unfolded after…

  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

    Machico

    The main church in Machico is one of the island's largest, reflecting the town's erstwhile status as Madeira's capital. The musty, ancient-feeling…

  • Igreja de São Vicente

    Trás-os-Montes

    Romanesque in origin but rebuilt in the 17th century, this church may have played host to a chapter in Portugal’s favourite (and grisliest) love story…

  • Castelo

    The Douro

    Climb the narrow, winding Rua do Castelo to this modest medieval castle, encircled by a clutch of ancient stone houses. Little remains here – just some…

  • Mosteiro de Santa Clara

    The Douro

    Peering down over the town centre and the Rio Ave, this imposing ex-monastery, founded in 1318, still has a severe-looking Gothic chapel, though the main…

  • Casa Cordovil

    Évora

    Among several elegant mansions around the Largo da Porta de Moura square (and contemporary with the strange-looking, globular 16th-century Renaissance…

  • Casa do Barco

    The Douro

    On the lower level of Vila do Conde's glass-box riverfront tourist office, this small museum offers up models, photo displays, old fishing gear and one…

  • Museu da Cultura Castreja

    The Minho

    The Museu da Cultura Castreja has important artefacts from various sites, housed in Sarmento’s 18th- and 19th-century manor house. It’s about 2km back…

  • CEAMA

    The Beiras

    This annex of the Museu Histórico Militar illustrates the construction of the fortress. However, you'll need to understand Portuguese to decipher the…

  • Chafariz da Rua das Taipas

    Miragaia

    One of Porto's handful of remaining public fountains, which were once a place to tap into fresh spring water and local gossip, the stone-carved,…

  • Casa da Cultura

    Alto Alentejo

    In a restored building, this cultural centre hosts changing exhibitions. You can also check out the rustic upstairs courtroom, dating from 1809, and there…

  • Igreja de São Francisco

    Guimarães

    This 13th-century church has a brilliantly gilded and ornamented baroque interior, along with a lovely Renaissance cloister and 18th-century azulejos …

  • Complexo Balnear Ponta Gorda

    Funchal

    This down-to-earth swimming and sunbathing area is located at Ponta Gorda, just west of Funchal. The pools, cafe bar, table tennis area and concrete …

  • Capela Nova

    Trás-os-Montes

    Northeast of the cathedral is the magnificently over-the-top baroque facade of this 17th-century chapel. Inside are fine, 18th-century azulejos (hand…

  • Termas Romanas do Alto da Cividade

    Braga

    These ruins of an extensive bathing complex – with an attached theatre – dating from the 2nd century AD, were probably abandoned in the 5th century. See…

  • Jardim de Santa Bárbara

    Braga

    This 17th-century square has narrow paths picking their way through a sea of flowers and topiary. On sunny days the adjacent pedestrianised Rua Justino…

  • Museu Relogio

    Évora

    This is one of two watch museums that houses one family’s extraordinary private collection (the other is in Serpa). You name it – if it ticks, chimes,…

  • Thatched A-Frame Cottages

    Madeira

    This group of A-framed cottages stands in the centre of Santana and houses the tourist office, among other things. More authentic examples in various…

  • Igreja da Misericórdia

    Faro

    The 16th-century Igreja da Misericórdia, opposite the Arco da Vila, was originally built in Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) style but is now nearly all…

  • Igreja de Santiago

    Tavira

    Just south of Tavira's castle is the whitewashed 17th-century Igreja de Santiago, thought to have been built where a small mosque once stood. The park…

  • Feira Internacional de Lisboa

    Parque das Nações

    Designed by Portuguese architects Barreiros Ferreira and França Dória, the striking, crystalline FIL is Lisbon’s premier venue for exhibitions and trade…

  • Sala de Armas

    The Beiras

    This small display of swords and muskets in the exterior entrance of the Portas de São Francisco is an annexe of the town's military museum, the Museu…

  • Serra de Água

    Madeira

    Jammed into the central valley that cleaves Madeira asunder, this picturesque village of 1000 souls is slightly off the beaten track. It's surrounded by…

  • Núcleo Museológico de Piódão

    The Beiras

    This tiny museum above the turismo displays reconstructions of typical rooms in local homes, complete with tools, pottery and furniture. There are also…

  • Museu de Arqueologia e Etnografia

    Setúbal

    This small, rambling museum showcases prehistoric, proto-historic and Roman collections as well as traditional artefacts of fishing, gathering and salt…

  • Praia das Adegas

    Odeceixe

    If you're not a fan of tan lines, head to secluded Praia das Adegas. Tucked 350m south of Praia de Odeceixe, it's one the Algarve's four official nudist…

More destinations you need to see