What to see in Portugal

Portugal Attractions

Sightseeing in Portugal is a privilege and joy to those who've sampled the country's warm climate, charming ports and friendly people.

Portugal's prodigious sailors have historically chartered course for every foreign shore on the planet. But today, the country has an altogether new focus - drawing the world to her shores. Marketing itself as 'Europe's West Coast', everything from the hot springs of the Azore Islands to the cultural sights of Lisbon to the haven of Madeira has been revamped. Portugal is the 7th most peaceful nation in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, making its many marvellous sights safe to explore and discover.

Portugal is known for its seafaring history and continued legacy as a coastal paradise: jet skiing, diving, swimming and sailing all await new visitors. The Estoril Coast is comprised of a set of pristine blue-flag beaches ready, ideal to rest some aching limbs after a gorgeous hike through the country's natural beauty. While the sea will always be Portugal's first love, the country does also boast great sites such as the Sintra-Casais Natural Park, a World Heritage Site, and Lisbon, a cosmopolitan and metropolitan capital city to rival the likes of Madrid and Paris.


The oldest part of Lisbon, the Alfama quarter sprawls down the hillside from below the Castelo de São Jorge. It retains much of the traditional colour and atmosphere from the days when it was…

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Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto district is, like the Alfama, an historic enclave dating back to 1513. It is reached via the Santa Justa Elevator, a structure reminiscent of the Eiffel tower in Paris, from the lower…

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Castelo de São Jorge

The walls of Castelo de São Jorge sit atop a hill guarding the Tagus, dating from the Moorish occupation in the 10th century. But the site has been a fortress for centuries, possibly from 500…

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In 1917, the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared above an oak tree and spoke to three peasant children in the valley of Cova da Iria, 79 miles (127km) north of Lisbon. The children claimed to have seen…

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Frederico de Freitas Museum

Named after the Madeiran lawyer who amassed the fascinating collections on display, the Frederico de Freitas Museum in Funchal houses a vast array of decorative pieces. Turkish, Moorish and North African…

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Funchal Cathedral

In the heart of the historic section of Funchal stands the Sé do Funchal, the most impressive of Madeira's religious edifices. From outside, the simple rough white stucco and brownish basalt…

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The historic town of Guimarães is regarded as the birthplace of Portugal. Here, in 1128, Afonso Henriques became the first king of the country which was still largely under Moorish control.…

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Jerónimos Monastery

One of Portugal's most iconic tourist sights, the Jerónimos Monastery is an absolute must-see attraction for visitors to Lisbon. A stellar example of Manueline, also known as Portuguese late-Gothic…

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Lisbon Oceanarium

Marketed as the second best aquarium in the world, the world-class Lisbon Oceanarium is the most impressive achievement of EXPO '98, which used to be an abandoned waterfront. The centrepiece of the…

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Monument to the Discoveries

One of the most famous sights in Lisbon is the imposing Padrão dos Descobrimentos, situated on the riverbank along Avenida de Brasilia in the district of Belém. Designed to commemorate…

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Tower of Belém

Belém Tower, also known as the Tower of Saint Vincent, is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belem in the municipality of Lisbon. The tower was built in the 16th…

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Our Travel Expert

Steve Masters first visited Portugal in 1989 and, later, lived in Porto for several years before returning to the UK. He speaks the language and is well versed in the culture of Portugal. He currently works on behalf of Rocha Brava, a holiday resort located in the Algarve.

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