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21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

For a small European country, Portugal packs quite a punch

Golden beaches, captivating cities, cobblestone villages and medieval castles – there’s literally so many incredibly astonishing places to visit in Portugal. Truth be told, its idyllic cinematic scenery, innovative art, succulent food and history are just the start. Even with its relatively small area, the options for things to do and places to visit in Portugal are simply endless. What’s more, it’s hands down one of the best value destinations in whole European continent. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, you’re bound to have the trip of a lifetime in this country.

Visiting the country soon, but don’t know where to go in Portugal? Wondering what to do in Portugal? Guess what? There are plenty of things you need to pack before you explore these places to visit in Portugal. In other words, you might have to use a large bag for your vacation and we’ve made things a little bit simpler on your end by rounding up the best and most beautiful places to visit in Portugal.

Here are the 21 Insanely Beautiful Places you wouldn’t want to miss when you set foot in Portugal:

1. Lisbon

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

There’s no better place to start your Portuguese adventure than in Lisbon. Overlooked often for its famous European cousins, Portugal’s capital specializes in calming tourists into its easygoing charm. Perched perfectly atop seven hills, it has lovely alleyways winding between splashy centuries-old buildings, making it one of the top places to visit in Portugal for photography junkies. The remarkable Saint George’s Castle is peeking out the city skyline, exuding a mystical old world feel to the thriving cosmopolitan city. And, amazingly, the village life here holds strong, in spite of the sleek modern buildings that are rising slowly throughout the capital.

But, there’s more to the city than chilling in cafes, while nibbling on custard tarts. As you explore the city, you’ll get to uncover a ton of mesmerizing attractions in Lisbon, such as the Oceanarium, Santa Justa Elevator, Tram 28, Alfama, Belem and Castelo do Sao Jorge.

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2. Sintra

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

They don’t call Sintra as one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Portugal for nothing. With its quirky mansions, historic castles and a heap of idyllic gardens, Sintra feels like a scene from a fairytale movie. From the medieval Castle of the Moors and the exquisite Monserrate Palace to the romantic Pena Palace, this city will delight your senses as well as transport your mind to fictional destinations, such as Westeros and Camelot. And to make things even better, it’s also a great destination for hiking.

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3. Douro Valley

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Want to see something really unique awe-inspiring? The Douro Valley – one of the oldest demarcated wine regions on earth – showcases amazing steep terraced vineyards carved magnificently into granite bluffs and mountains. Furthermore, the valley flaunts whitewashed estates as well as historic wine cellars that lure visitors from all over the world. Visit the valley for its premier wines, ports, excellent regional restaurants, postcard-worthy villages and winding picturesque roads.

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4. Azores

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Nestled in the middle of the Atlantic, this archipelago, made up of 9 volcanic islands, teems with adventures. In fact, this island destination has been labeled as the “Hawaii of the mid-Atlantic”. For the aquatic adventurer, the Azores offers opportunities for surfing, diving, sailing, world-class whale watching and other water sports. Additionally, it lets you try a ton of land adventures, like canyoning, hiking, biking and horseback riding. And for the daredevils, you may try paragliding here as well. To top it all off, the archipelago is an enticing wonderland of fantastical caverns and lively crater lakes that speak of its volcanic origin.

And, did I mention that it is home to 2 of the 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Portugal? Yep, a visit to the Azores is an opportunity to see a pair of iconic places to visit in Portugal and world heritage sites – the 3 biospheres (Corvo, Flores and Graciosa) and Pico’s vineyards.

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5. Cascais

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Cascais, once a quaint fishing village, is now a chic coastal resort, beloved for its adventure pursuits, water sports, sophisticated nightlife and glorious beaches. A favorite hub for artists, writers and artisans, Cascais will inspire you, and give you a fantastic vacation with its exquisite backdrop. Moreover, it flaunts an impressive art collection, displayed proudly in The Conde de Castro Guimares. To make your visit even more memorable, hit the smart new marina, brimming with yachts that glisten and shimmer in the bright sunshine.

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6. Guimaraes

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Looking for historic places to visit in Portugal? Then, make sure to include Guimaraes to your list of places to visit in Portugal! Nicknamed aptly as the “birthplace of Portugal”, this historic city is the first capital of the country, as well as the place where its first king ruled in the 12th century. With a visit to this city, you’ll get to lay eyes on the castle wherein the king and a ton of other important figures in the country’s history once resided.

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7. Sagres

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Overlooking some of the most dramatic scenery in the Algarve, this elongated, small village has an end-of-the-world atmosphere, with its wind-whipped, empty fortress set high above the ocean and sea-carved cliffs. Even with its connection to the rich nautical past of Portugal, there’s not much of historical appeal in town. Truthfully, its allure mainly lies in its sense of isolation and access to some magnificent beaches. Plus, the village has a mellow vibe, cheery bars and cafes, as well as a flourishing surfing culture. Outside Sangres, you’ll find the enchanting and stunning cliffs of Cabo de Sao Vicente.

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8. Lagos

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Itching to hit the beach? Why not include Lagos to your list of places to visit in Portugal? Home of some of Europe’s finest beaches, Lagos will sweep you away, with its water sports, surf spots and fabulous coastline that offers stunning views. For a memorable trip in Lagos, check out Praia de Odeceixe, Prai da Dona Ana, Meia Praia and Praia da Marinha.

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9. Albufeira

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Speaking of places to visit in Portugal for beach lovers, Albufeira is another destination that’s worth checking out in the country. With over a dozen different beaches to choose from, this Portuguese hub will totally quench your cravings for the beach. Hugging southern Algarve’s coast, this sweet vantage point highlights sparkling white Moorish houses with breath-snatching multi-hued cliffs. As an added bonus, it has old fortress remnants with a remarkable historical flair and modern amenities.

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10. Evora

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Evora is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Portugal for bona fide history buffs. Drenched in culture and history, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has a host of impressive historic sites, such as the Cathedral of Evora and the 2,000-year-old Templo Romano. Even better, it can be quite a mysterious Halloween destination, especially when you visit the Chapel of Bones, or also referred Capela dos Ossos. Known as one of the bizarrely wonderful places to visit in Portugal, this 16th century church has over 4,000 human skeletons inside and on its walls.

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11. Portimao

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

With its beautiful weather and calm weathers, it’s easy to see why Portimao is often billed as a sailor’s paradise. And, there are plenty of elite sailing international competitions that happen in Portimao, but you don’t have to be an experienced pro to set sail. Hop on the Santa Bernarda double-masted pirate ship, and cruise the coast on one of the most laid-back places to visit in Portugal. On dry land, you may please your palate with a succulent seafood meal, wander the photogenic Alvor boardwalk or zip around the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve’s go-kart track.

→ Score gorgeous bikinis for your Portimao getaway!

12. Obidos

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Searching for Instagrammable places to visit in Portugal? Romantic, picture-perfect and charming, Obidos is a great spot to bring a smartphone or camera, and make your Instagram page more lively and colorful. Not only does it boast striking castle walls, but it’s also brimming with souvenir shops and white houses that are framed beautifully in bright flowers. While exploring Obidos, don’t forget to savor Ginja de Obidos – a tasty cherry liqueur served oftentimes in small chocolate cups. With its labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and classic crenellated wall, it’s also one of the most romantic places to visit in Portugal.

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13. Porto

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

No list of the best places to visit in Portugal is complete without the inclusion of its 2nd largest metropolis – Porto. Humble yet opulent, the city is a wondrous blend of bustling metropolitan culture and old world charm, making it one of the most intriguing places to visit in Portugal. Declared as a UNECO World Heritage, this fashionable city will unleash your inner shutterbug with its ornate tiles, bell tower, colorfully picturesque houses, medieval winding streets and 14th century walls.

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14. Madeira

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Wondering where to go in Portugal for an unforgettable offbeat experience? Don’t forget to put Madeira to your bucket list of places to visit in Portugal! Praised for its natural wonders, this Portuguese destination beckons travelers with its extraordinary mountains and volcanic soil wherein anything grows. And clearly, the island offers tons of hiking opportunities through its lush landscape, like Verada do Areeiro – a hike between two peaks in Madeira. Another exciting experience in this destination is walking along the exterior of an irrigation system or a mountain. For foodies, the island has plenty of tasty treats in store for you as well, like the malasada, espetada and bolo de caco.

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15. Parque Natural da Arrábida

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Looking for a sure-fire bet? For years, Parque Natural da Arrábida has been one of the go-to places to visit in Portugal, and with good reason. Not only does it offer golden, clean beaches, but it also has chiseled cliffs and thickly green hills. In addition, it s a protected area blessed with a wealth of Mediterranean plants, including chamomile, thyme, lavender, strawberry, pistachio and olive.

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16. Viana do Castelo

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Viana do Castelo – Costa Verde’s majestic jewel – wows visitors with its alluring medieval center as well as lovely beaches just outside the city. Since the city played an important role in the Age of Discovery, expect to see dozens of historic sites in its medieval city center, like Manueline palaces and the neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia Sanctuary.

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17. Tomar

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Located at the heart of the country, Tomar is truly one of the most historic and eye-catching places to visit in Portugal. Normally, visitors in this city make a pit stop to the striking UNECO World Heritage site, Convent of Christ. If, however, you’re looking for a more quirky and unusual experience, make your way to Museo dos Fosforos – a one-of-a-kind matchbox museum that’s deemed as one of the world’s finest. Likewise, you may go to Castelo de Almourol, to get your castle fix and savor a dramatic Portuguese sunset.

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18. Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

You can’t leave Portugal without a visit to its one and only national park – Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês. Covering three mountain ranges, the park has a plethora of exciting activities in store for outdoor connoisseurs, such as bird watching, hiking as well as snapping photos of its eye-catching flora. And, even if you’re not much of a nature lover, there are still a lot of things you can do in this part of Portugal, like wandering through the castles from the Megalithic period, walking an ancient Roman pathway and catching wild Garrano ponies that roam freely.

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19. Marvao

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Marvao is absolutely one of the most visually appealing places to visit in Portugal. With its narrow lanes, surrounding countryside and whitewashed house, Marvao is a gorgeous and lavish retreat with views to die for. To make things even better, the village has a marvelous castle and a bunch of low-key restaurants and guesthouses.

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20. Aveiro

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

With a network of photogenic canals and humpbacked bridges, it’s no wonder they call Aveiro as the “Venice of Portugal”. A prosperous town with an energetic youthful buzz, Aveiro has a mishmash of awesome sights as well, including the Santo Antonio Park, Aveiro Museu, Convento de Jesus, Aveiro Cathedral, Fisherman’s Wharf and Sao Goncalinho Chapel.

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21. Braga

21 Insanely Beautiful Places To Visit In Portugal

Braga is an elegant Portuguese city with ancient narrow lanes and a splendid medley of baroque churches and plazas. The perpetual bell chiming is a sweet reminder of the age-old devotion of Braga to the spiritual world. The city’s religious festivals, especially the elaborately staged Holy Week (Semana Santa), are well-known throughout the country.

But, there’s more to Braga than its religious festivals and historic sites. After all, it has an upscale old city center that’s jam-packed with top-notch restaurants, trim boutiques, lively cafes and low-key bars that cater to students from the well-known Universidade do Minho. As a matter of fact, the city is so young and vibrant that is was named as the European Youth Capital in 2012.

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To make sure you enjoy your activities in Portugal, and discover the other lovely places in this destination, start planning your trip with Trekeffect!

Share Your Travel Experiences With Us

We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the article? What did you find most interesting and do you have any of your own experiences you can you share with us to make this article even better? Let us know in the comments!

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20 comments


  • Illona Hansen

    I had a real blast exploring Portugal, last year. Compared to other countries in Europe, Portugal is indeed a little small. But, that’s what makes the country great since you can explore tons of places to visit in Portugal on a short span of time. Also, I think Portugal deserves more love. It’s rather underrated, honestly.


  • Penelope Smith

    Travelers should start paying attention to Portugal. It’s simply fantastic and beautiful. Although it’s not as well-known as Spain or Italy, it definitely is a beautiful that should be on your bucket list.


  • Mia Borg

    Porto is an Instagrammer’s dream. Went there a year ago, and had a lot of fun snapping photos while wearing stylish clothes. It’s certainly the place for photography in Portugal, as far as I’m concerned.


  • Mareike Gruber

    They were spot on when they call Aveiro as the Venice of Portugal. The arched bridges and canals does exude a sophisticated ambiance. Personally, I think it’s a better and less crowded alternative to Venice. Simply a must see for me!


  • Maja Silva

    I think Portugal is a safe destination for female solo travelers. I traveled there solo, and I must say it’s safe and friendly for female solo travelers.


  • Lillian Korhonen

    A can’t-miss destination in Europe! Portugal has everything: great food, terrific locals and loads of amazing sights.


  • Autumn Rossi

    Azores is a slice of heaven on earth. The views are heavenly and jaw-dropping!


  • Arianna Johansson

    Lisbon is just amazing. It’s friendly for travelers, relatively inexpensive, and has a lot to offer to travelers. Furthermore, it’s a great base to other places to visit in Portugal.


  • Oliver Jensen

    Great list! I’m bookmarking this page for future references. I’m planning to hit all these places to visit in Portugal!


  • Abella Novák

    There are numerous good reasons to visit Portugal. The weather is perfect, the people are uber friendly and the atmosphere is hip and cool.


  • Michalina Gray

    That picture of Madeira was exactly what I saw as the sun was about to set. It’s definitely one of the most mesmerizing sights on my trip to Portugal.


  • Andrew Martin

    I’m pumped up to go to these places to visit in Portugal. Hoping to see them all next year.


  • Serenity Foster

    I love Portugal! There’s nothing quite like it. In my book, it’s a place that should be on your travel bucket list.


  • Xander Morgan

    Thank you for featuring Sintra. It’s a great place that should get some love and attention. It’s one of the most underrated destinations in Europe.


  • London Williams

    I went to Tomar, expecting nothing, and was blown away by its immense beauty. Tomar is a photographer’s nirvana.

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