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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for Points of Interest in Portugal – Set Up Port in Portugal
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Points of Interest in Portugal – Set Up Port in Portugal

One of the most romantic countries in the world, Portugal's breathtaking scenery and olden cities offers a strange sense of escape and belonging. Here's a list of the best places to see in Portugal.

1

Coimbra

By Mondego River, at the heart of Portugal, lies the dreamy city of Coimbra. Once the capital city of Portugal, Coimbra is the perfect mix of old and new, a feeling achieved by the presence of countless medieval churches and streets and the young students of the University of Coimbra – one of the oldest universities in Europe. The best way to explore Coimbra is to actually get lost in it, the city is packed with historic attractions that are great fun to discover. Don't miss attractions like Igreja de Santa Cruz (Monastery of Santa Cruz), the Roman ruins at Conimbriga, Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery and Se Velha (old cathedral), as well as the Machado de Castro National Museum, and the Joanina Library and absolutely stunning Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, when visiting!\

2

The Algarve

Look no further than the Algarve for Paradise, complete with, serene, sweeping olive groves and wild, magnificent beaches decorated with dramatic cliffs to picturesque towns, a fascinating history and mouthwatering cuisine. The Algarve seems almost lost in time; its capital, Faro, looks almost exactly as it did during the 18th century, and the charming city of Lagos and the town of Sagres, located to the east, date as far back as Roman times are a picture of antiquity. The region is also home to the 15th century fortress, Fortaleza de Sagres, the ancient and historic Sao Vicente and the impressive, medieval red sandstone castle, the Castle of Silves.

3

Lisbon

Portugal's capital city, Lisbon, is an enchanting mix of brightly coloured neighbourhoods, gothic cathedrals, quaint, little shops, charming alleys, fantastic bridges and traditional Fado music that wraps itself around the city in a homely embrace. The vintage trams of the capital, such as the famous Tram 28, winds along Lisbon's main attractions, historic quarters, gardens and, most importantly, its steep hills and is the best way to experience the historic city. Don't miss Alfama, the city's oldest district, where St. George's Castle, is located. Many hotels in Portugal, such as those founded by Tivoli Hotels and Resorts, offer guided walking tours through the city's emblematic streets.

4

Porto

The bustling city of Porto, which stretches along the hills overlooking Douro River, is the birthplace of Port Wine. Porto's Cais da Ribeira – the city square located at the riverfront – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a picturesque mix of century old buildings and granite and tile homes, and narrow, ancient streets. The Ribeira is a cheerful place filled with buzzing live music and bars, restaurants, cafes and street vendors selling delicious food and drink. The 'caves' of Vila Nova de Gaia – linked to Porto via Ponte Dom Luis an impressive, metal bridge – where the world-famous port wine is stored and aged, is a fascinating place to call, especially for wine lovers.

5

Sintra

On the foothills of Sintra Mountains, just a day's trip from Lisbon is Sintra Town. The lush hills, strewn with royal retreats, gorgeous villas and literal castles and palaces, gives the small town a very fairytale-esque feel. Pena's Palace, the summer royal retreat of the Portuguese royal family, built in the mid-1800s, is a feast for the eyes. Its fantastical architecture, quite similar to Germany's Neuschwanstein, is augmented by the stunning forested parkland, brimming with exotic flowers and trees, that surround it. Sintra is also home to the Monserrate Palace – a palatial villa with striking subtropical gardens – and the Castle of the Moors which stands atop the city's tallest hill. Sintra isn't all about palaces and verdant hills either, some of Portugal's most beautiful beaches, including Adraga Beach and Ursa's Beach, are located here.

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