Despite being one of Europe's smaller countries, Portugal boasts a surprisingly extensive array of captivating destinations to explore. Renowned worldwide for its high-end cuisine and captivating nightlife, Portugal's major cities and charming towns offer a diverse experience. Whether it's the stunning beaches and fishing villages along the west coast or the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the south, the country has it all. However, crafting the perfect Portugal itinerary can be challenging with so many options.
There is no dearth of well-kept secrets or hidden gems in Portugal. Tighten your seat belts and get ready for a roller-coaster ride to explore some of the most stunning places in Portugal.
Looking to plan an unforgettable trip to Portugal? This southern European gem offers many attractions for all types of travellers. Whether you seek sun-soaked beaches, captivating castles, or vibrant cities, Portugal has it all! Whether you prefer a quick tour or a relaxing summer escape, here are the top places to explore in Portugal!
Legend has it that Vasco da Gama spent his final night in prayer at the site where the Monastery now stands, inside the smaller Santa Maria church, before embarking on his momentous voyage to India, making it one of the must-visit historic sites in Portugal. It was customary for monks to care for departing sailors the night before their journeys. Commissioned by King Manuel I, the Monastery commemorates Vasco da Gama's return from India. Constructed in the Manueline style, blending Gothic architecture with maritime motifs, the Monastery took a century to build and is now approximately 500 years old.
What's more captivating than breathtaking city views? Savouring those vistas while relishing an ice cream or a delightful glass of wine. At Castelo de S. Jorge, you get to indulge in both pleasures! Unwind on cork seats, basking in the sunshine and delightful chats after exploring the castle. Alternatively, treat yourself to ice cream with peacocks and other feathered friends in the serene gardens, basking in the lovely ambience. It's a blissful experience you've truly earned!
Monserrate Palace, a grand and enchanting villa, features a captivating blend of architectural styles, including rotundas, towers, arabesque cut-outs, and Moorish-inspired plasterwork. The palace boasts a central fountain, while its sprawling English gardens are a delight to explore. Surprisingly, during World War II, this seemingly idyllic place served as a hub for espionage activities in Portugal, adding a fascinating layer to its rich history.
As the largest aquarium in Europe, its size alone leaves a lasting impression, despite the unassuming exterior. The true wonder lies within, featuring a vast central aquarium that forms the heart of the entire exhibition. Stepping inside, one feels transported to the open ocean, surrounded by massive curved glass panels providing a remarkably realistic swimming experience amongst many fish species. Once you have explored the oceanarium, step out and enjoy traditional food of Portugal at the nearby restaurants and eatouts.
Step into the world of media and journalism at the News Museum, where interactive exhibits unravel the history of news reporting. Delve into the art of storytelling and uncover the impact of media on society.
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Step into a realm of enchantment at Sintra National Palace. Its fairytale-like architecture, blending Gothic, Manueline, and Moorish styles, evokes awe and wonder. Wander through opulent chambers adorned with intricate tiles and marvel at the regal history within its walls. Immerse yourself in a world of magic and beauty, where every corner tells a captivating tale.
Evora Cathedral is a grandeur of Gothic architecture, a majestic masterpiece in Évora. Admire its intricate façade and awe-inspiring interiors, where time stands still. Be transported to a bygone era of spiritual grandeur and artistic finesse as the cathedral's presence reverberates with a sense of divine magnificence.