Top Things to do in Portugal – Sun Holiday Tours

Plan My Trip

  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Azulejos Tiled Building in Lisbon
  • Museu Nacional Do Azulejos, Lisbon
  • Torre de Belem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Pastel De Nata
  • Carmelite Convent in Lisbon
  • Pena Palace, Sintra
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Casa Serralves, Porto
  • Casa da Música
  • Douro Valley, Porto
  • Port Wine
  • Azores Waterfalls, Azores
  • Lady of Fatima, Portugal

Top Things to do in Portugal

We’ve been hearing all about it, and we’ve been seeing all about it! Portugal is a country that is gaining so much popularity on social media since many years now, and those inspiring travel pictures we keep scrolling through just pushed this destination to the top of our bucket list!

It’s time we turned left on the European continent and explored this beautiful country, which is quite small relatively to its fellow European neighbor countries, but definitely has it all! It comprises of seven regions, five on the mainland and two gorgeous island groups, but mostly, a one of a kind art scene, food that will make you feel hungry all the time, a nature that will keep you breathless, and most importantly really cool and friendly people! Oh, and did we forget to mention that Portugal just won Best European Travel Destination in the World Travel Awards 2018?

So, first stop, Lisbon, the city of seven hills – yes you heard us, seven hills, so get a comfortable pair of shoes because exploring this city is going to be quite the hilly ride! Also awarded this year’s Europe Leading City Destination, Lisbon has an enthralling architecture, at the same time modern, fresh and colorful, but with a baroque and gothic twist. The capital is loaded with beautiful tiled houses, and those tiles are one of the reason behind Lisbon’s beauty; they are not only so charming but they are also uniquely Portuguese, and there is even a museum called Museo Nacional Do Azulejo, dedicated to tile art from all around the country.

Nevertheless, there are so many centuries-old monuments and museums that you should visit while there. A must-see in Lisbon is the Carmelite convent, a monument that will keep you at awe for the first five minutes, especially if you’re an architecture fan. Also called the Convento Do Carmo, it was built in 1839, and surprisingly, it escaped full destruction during the Great Earthquake of Lisbon in 1755. This building has lost its ceiling, but somehow the arches holding the ceiling managed to stay intact, giving the convent a skeletal feel.

Another must-stop on your Lisbon list of things to do is Belem. Replete with the capital’s most iconic and important tourist attractions, many of which recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. The Belem district knows a lot of history, and the monuments found there are an important part of Portugal’s glorious path, during the Portuguese overseas colonial empire. On your itinerary, you should definitely visit the Mosteiro Dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belem, as well as other interesting contemporary museums like Museu Colecão Berardo. Plus, there are really good restaurants and wine bars in Belem, which have delicious dishes at a very good price (not to mention that all of Lisbon is really inexpensive compared to its fellow neighbor countries). Portugal has one of the best seafood cuisine, so think cod, shrimp or octopus, choose your pick. And of course, don’t forget to taste the famous Pastel de Nata, a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon, exquisite!

Another attraction that should be high on your Portugal itinerary, if not the first, because it is literally a dream, a never-seen-before kind of site, and it is located 30 km away from Lisbon, on top of a hill called Sintra. This place holds more than 12 unique heritage sites to visit up there, but mainly, a monument which is the perfect example of Romantic architecture probably in all of Europe, the Pena Palace, considered one of the Portuguese 7 wonders, and classified as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. This castle was a king’s dream, who fell in love with Sintra and the convent of Our Lady of Pena, which was demolished after the big earthquake; Don Fernando decided to reconstruct it into a castle that reflected his romantic soul, the Pena Palace. Almost surreal, vivid colors, yellow, orange, lilac, pink, this excursion to Sintra will definitely be a once in a lifetime experience.

Next on our list is Porto, Lisbon’s little sister in the north if Portugal. When we say Porto, we say Port wine, the country’s famous national wine, which originated from the city of Porto. But also, Porto is home to so many compelling attractions and it also has a contemporary captivating architecture: so many buildings you should visit like the Casa da Musica, the Serralves contemporary art museum, the Sao Bento Station and the Casa da Arquitetura.

From innovative architecture to landscape gardens in the city, head to the Douro Valley, one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cities and wine regions. It has a breathtaking landscape; you will never want to leave this place. It has everything for you to enjoy ‘the perfect weekend’: scenic first-class resorts, one-of-a-kind Port wine and delicious food. Who’s in for a cheese and wine night?

The Azulejo tiled architecture of Lisbon, the surreal village of Sintra, the wine and art scenes of Porto; these cities are just three little samples of what the rest of Portugal has to offer you. It’s a destination that can please any kind of tourist: from the gorgeous beaches in the south for the relaxed traveler, to the Sanctuary of Lady Fatima and the baroque churches for the spiritual kind, the fascinating fairy tale castles for the inspired ones and the Azores islands for the adventurer seekers. Portugal really earned this award and this country should definitely be on your bucket list – if it wasn’t already.