The most affordable country in Western Europe, Portugal had risen to the top of many millennials’ travel bucket lists. The country is sheer magic. Large cities like Lisbon provide access to modern accommodations, while the Portuguese countryside is an enchanting array of valleys and hills. If the city doesn’t amuse you, take a boat to Madeira island where you can get lost in a misty forest. 

There’s so much to see and do in Portugal, you could spend an entire day in one place and still not see anything. Narrowing down your itinerary options can be difficult. So, here are 10 amazing things to see and do in Portugal that you don’t want to miss.

1. Visit Ponta de Piedade

Photo Courtesy of Artem Zhukov.

The best place to see the naturally formed Algarve coast, the cliffs at Ponta de Piedade are worth checking out on a trip to Portugal. The cliffs were formed from limestone that has been chipped away over time. The sea pillars and rock arches attract travelers from all over looking for a photo op as they descend the cliffs. The best way to view Ponta de Piedade is from a boat tour. There are daily boat tours that will take you around the headland to see its turquoise waters and golden-colored edges. For more adventurous travelers, you can kayak through the area, as well.  

2. Explore Majesty Sanctuary

If you travel to Lamego, Portugal, you’ll fall in love with the gigantic staircase at the end of a long, ancient street. At the top of the staircase sits a beautiful church and the entire feat took 100 years to construct. Decorative fountains, delicately crafted hedges, and colorful mosaics line the staircase as you ascend and the majestic Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios sits at the very top. Many travelers make a pilgrimage to the church each year and the incredible architecture is a true wonder. 

3. Wander Through the Colorful Streets of Porto

There’s plenty to see and do in the colorful streets of Porto, Portugal. A beautiful coastal city, Porto survived the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon. This gives the city an ancient, medieval touch to accompany its beautiful, multicolored walls. Porto is home to the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world and ‘São Bento’ Station, a place where over 20 thousand tiles tell the story of the city. Porto is best known for its wine and there are many wine tours to give you the ultimate Portuguese wine experience.

4. Get Lost on the Portuguese Walkways

For an epic walking adventure, you have to check out one of the many walkways strewn about the Portuguese countryside. These walkways combine nature with exercise and are embedded into the mountains and hillsides. Perfect for walking, hiking, or biking, these walkways are a great place to commune with nature while breaking a sweat. Some of the most scenic walkways are Ribeira de Quelhas, Tavora, and Fiaes.

5. Check Out a Historic Castle

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Sitting atop hills and stretching across valleys, ancient castles are an intricate part of Portugal’s history. There are a plethora of massive castles throughout the country and many have been turned into historical sites and monuments. Built during the eighth and ninth centuries, the Castle of the Moors is Portugal’s oldest preserved fortress. The National Palace of Pena is the country’s most famous castle and its colorful towers can be seen from miles away. Be sure to add visiting a few castles to your itinerary on your next Portuguese getaway.  

6. Eat and Shop in Lisbon

Sitting on seven hills, Lisbon is Portugal’s capital and one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. Wine seems to be flowing around every corner in Lisbon and, with the many museums, cafes, tourist-filled plazas, and high-energy nightlife spots, the city has risen as a favorite amongst travelers. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to poke your head in when exploring Lisbon. The city also has a bunch of beaches perfect for summer fun. 

7. Spend a Day in Sintra


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Once you’ve wrapped up eating and shopping in Lisbon, make your way over to Sintra. Considered the most beautiful city in Portugal, Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Places like Parque de Pena, the Initiation Well, and Monserrate Palace are a few gems worth checking out. The Valley of the Lakes below Pena Palace is also a beautiful natural landscape you won’t want to miss if you ever find yourself in Sintra. 

8. Walk Through the Fanal Forest

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get lost in the magical forest from Harry Potter, then a trip to the Fanal Forest should be at the top of your Portuguese itinerary. An unusual and mysterious place located on Madeira island, the Fanal Forest looks like something straight out of a fairy tale book. Vast spaces filled with misty fog, thick, green moss, and winding tree branches are what’s in store if you visit this forest. The Fanal Forest is one of Portugal’s most beautiful places and a must-visit for nature lovers and outdoor photographers. 

9. Vibe With Nature at Levada do Caldeirão Verde


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While you’re in Madeira, take some time to explore the Levada Do Caldeirão Verde. Originally used for irrigation purposes in the 18th century, the Caldeirão Verde is a true work of art. Many travelers come here to explore the inner depths of Madeira island and view the deep valley that leads to the São Jorge brook. The valley is full of beautiful, lush trees and greenery, waterfalls, and natural scenery that will make you feel as if you’ve been swept away to a faraway land. 

10. Visit Oceanario de Lisbon


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If you’re visiting Portugal with your children, you definitely have to stop by the Oceanario de Lisbon. An incredible aquarium, this attraction is family-friendly and a great place to check out some sea life. The creatures here are separated by region and you and your family can explore each one to see what sea animals dwell there. You’ll find sharks, penguins, otters, stingrays, and more swimming through the waters at this aquarium. Next time you’re in Lisbon, be sure to grab tickets to the aquarium.

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