Must-see attractions in Portugal

  • Front view on the Basilica da Estrela from the streets of Lisbon timelapse hyperlapse, Portugal. Traffic on the street and blue sky
clube de futebol estrela da amadora

    Basílica da Estrela

    Príncipe Real, Santos & Estrela

    The curvaceous, sugar-white dome and twin belfries of Basílica da Estrela are visible from afar. The echoing interior is awash with pink-and-black marble,…

  • Tile detail in the Museo Nacional do Azulejo, Azulejos Museum.

    Museu Nacional do Azulejo


    Housed in a sublime 16th-century convent, Lisbon's Museu Nacional do Azulejo covers the entire azulejo (hand-painted tile) spectrum. Star exhibits feature…

  • Lisbon, Portugal - July 3, 2022: The Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) is a Roman Catholic church in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the earliest Jesuit church in the Portuguese world and one of the first Jesuit churches anywhere.
Lisbon, Portugal - July 3, 2022: The Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) is a Roman Catholic church in Lisbon, Portugal. It was the earliest Jesuit church in the Portuguese world and one of the first Jesuit churches anywhere.
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    Igreja & Museu São Roque

    Bairro Alto, Chiado & Cais do Sodré

    The plain facade of 16th-century Jesuit Igreja de São Roque belies its dazzling interior of gold, marble and Florentine azulejos – bankrolled by Brazilian…

  • The Coach of the Oceans (C) is pictured in the National Coach Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches) in Lisbon, Portugal on July 7, 2023. (Photo by Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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    Museu Nacional dos Coches


    Cinderella wannabes delight in Portugal's most visited museum, which dazzles with its world-class collection of 70 17th- to 19th-century coaches in an…

  • View to Ria Formosa Natural Park, Algarve, Portugal

    Parque Natural da Ria Formosa


    Encompassing 18,000 hectares, this sizeable system of lagoons and islands stretches for 60km along the Algarve coastline from west of Faro to Cacela Velha…

  • APRIL 19, 2017: Customers browse books inside the famous bookshop, Lello e Irmao (1906).
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    Livraria Lello

    Aliados & Bolhão

    Ostensibly a bookshop, but even if you’re not after books, don’t miss this exquisite 1906 neo-Gothic confection, with its lavishly carved plaster…

  • LISBON, PORTUGAL - JULY 16: Berardo Collection Museum on july 16, 2014 in Lisbon. The Berardo Collection Museum (in Portuguese: Museu Coleccao Berardo) is a museum of modern and contemporary art. ; Shutterstock ID 231970513; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

    Museu Coleção Berardo


    Culture fiends can get their contemporary-art fix at Museu Coleção Berardo, the star of the Centro Cultural de Belém. The ultrawhite, minimalist gallery…

  • Lisbon, Portugal - 12. October 2015. Interiors of the roofless Carmo Convent in Lisbon, ruined by the earthquake
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    Convento do Carmo & Museu Arqueológico

    Bairro Alto, Chiado & Cais do Sodré

    Soaring above Lisbon, the skeletal Convento do Carmo was all but devoured by the 1755 earthquake, and that's precisely what makes it so captivating. Its…

  • Lisbon, Portugal - July 30, 2023: Beautiful Church of Saint Dominic in Lisbon's old city.
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    Igreja de São Domingos

    Baixa & Rossio

    It’s a miracle that this baroque church dating to 1241 still stands, having barely survived the 1755 earthquake, then fire in 1959. Its sea of tea lights…

  • Capela das Almas door

    Capela das Almas

    Aliados & Bolhão

    On Rua de Santa Catarina stands the strikingly ornate, azulejo-clad Capela das Almas. Magnificent blue-and-white panels here depict scenes from the lives…

  • Serra do Pilar Monastery in Porto - Portugal; Shutterstock ID 268043069; Your name (First / Last): Lauren Gillmore; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online-Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: 65050/ Online Design /LaurenGillmore/POI

    Jardim do Morro

    Vila Nova de Gaia

    The cable car swings up to this hilltop park, which can also be reached by crossing the upper level of Ponte de Dom Luís I. Shaded by palms, these gardens…

  • Surfers heading out to the breaks off Praia do Guincho.

    Praia do Guincho


    The long, wild Praia do Guincho is a surfer's and windsurfer's paradise (the site of previous World Surfing Championships) with massive crashing rollers…

  • Igreja do Carmo exterior

    Igreja do Carmo


    Dating to the late 18th century, this captivating azulejo-covered church is one of Porto’s best examples of rococo architecture. The tiled panel on the…

  • Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro


    This great museum is a highlight of central Portugal. Housed in a 12th-century bishop's palace, it stands over the city's ancient Roman forum, remains of…

  • Aliança Underground Museum


    Between Aveiro and Coimbra, in the village of Sangalhos in the Bairrada wine-producing region, this magnificent place is part adega (winery), part art…

  • Palácio Nacional da Pena


    Rising from a thickly wooded peak and often enshrouded in swirling mist, Palácio Nacional da Pena is a wacky confection of onion domes, Moorish keyhole…

  • Historic Centre

    The Beiras

    The entrance to the fortified village is a grand Gothic gate. From the square inside, a cobbled lane leads up to the heart of the village, with a…

  • Fisgas de Ermelo


    Just north of the town of Ermelo, on the N304 between Vila Real and Mondim de Basto, is a turn-off to the dramatic Fisgas de Ermelo waterfalls. From this…

  • Sé Velha


    Coimbra's 12th-century cathedral is one of Portugal's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The main portal and facade are particularly striking,…

  • Casa Museu Passos Canavarro


    Right by the Portas do Sol and sharing some of the same privileged views, this is a unique place to visit for lovers of art and beauty. The historic house…

  • Mercado dos Lavradores


    Built in 1940 by architect Edmundo Tavares, Funchal's art deco market is one of its top attractions as well as still serving as the island's best fresh…

  • Zona Velha


    Once a run-down area between the Mercado dos Lavradores and the Fortaleza de Santiago, in recent years the 'Old Zone' of merchant's houses and 19th…

  • Museu Grão Vasco


    Adjoining the cathedral, the granite Paço de Três Escalões (Palace of Three Steps) was originally built as the bishop’s palace. It's now a splendid museum…

  • Catedral de Viseu


    Viseu’s cathedral is a striking hybrid of architectural styles. Originally built in the 13th century, it now has a 17th-century Mannerist facade and a…

  • Museu da Ciência


    Coimbra's science museum is wonderful, with everything from kid-friendly interactive machines to early scientific instruments, fossils and skeletons. The…

  • Museu Regional de Beja

    Baixo Alentejo

    Beja's must-see attraction is set in a 15th-century Franciscan convent and the backdrop to an unlikely romance between a nun and soldier that inspired…

  • Mata Nacional do Buçaco

    The Beiras

    Sprawling out from the Palacio do Buçaco, this aromatic forest is littered with crumbling chapels, fountains, ponds and exotic trees. There is a network…

  • Castelo


    This russet-coloured, Lego-like castle – originally occupied in the Visigothic period – has great views over the town and surrounding countryside. What…

  • Museu dos Descobrimentos

    The Beiras

    Reason enough for a visit to Belmonte, this fabulous museum is dedicated to Portuguese seafaring and the discovery of Brazil by local-born explorer Pedro…

  • Funchal

    Funchal's 16th-century cathedral once oversaw the world's largest diocese – all of Portugal’s overseas territories from Madeira to Brazil to Angola – and…

  • Cais Palafítico da Carrasqueira

    The Alentejo

    Built in the 1950s and 1960s, this ramshackle, zigzagging, interlocking pier on wooden stilts is one of Europe's last surviving of its kind. At sunset, it…

  • Praia Formosa


    Anyone who says Madeira has no beaches should hop on bus 1 or 43 to the boulders and browny-black sand of this wild strand in Funchal's western suburbs…

  • Praia de São Jacinto


    Sandwiched between crashing Atlantic breakers and endless sand dunes, this magnificent beach forms the western flank of the São Jacinto nature reserve. To…

  • Igreja de São Lourenço de Matos

    The Algarve

    This baroque masterpiece was built on the site of a ruined chapel after locals, while digging a well, implored Saint Lawrence for help and then struck…

  • Muro de Óbidos


    Óbidos' dramatic, fully intact Moorish wall imposingly surrounds the historical centre of town and stretches in a completed loop of 1560m, all of which…

  • Jardins Botânicos da Madeira


    One of the island's top tourist attractions, Madeira's famous botanical gardens are a must for most visitors. Extending over 80,000 sq metres, the gardens…

  • Pereira D'Oliveira


    Run by the fifth generation of the D'Oliveira family, this is Funchal's most easily accessible wine experience. Anyone can enter the strongly aromatic…

  • São Salvador do Mundo

    The Douro

    A series of small chapels dotting the hillside, São Salvador do Mundo makes for a stunning diversion between Pinhão and Foz Côa. Follow the signs to these…

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