If you are looking for a holiday destination in Europe for 2024, consider one of these five beautiful cities in Portugal!
This country has everything you can possibly need, from rich history and diverse landscapes, to amazing food and plentiful activities. The best part about Portugal, however, is its selection of fascinating cities, each with its own charm. So, without further ado, let’s look at five of our favourites!
It would be a crime not to start this list with Lisbon – Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. It offers a vibrant mix of old-world charm and contemporary culture, making it the perfect city to start with. Stroll through the narrow, cobblestone streets of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest district, where the melancholic tunes of Fado music fill the air.
Visit the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage sites that showcase Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. For a taste of modern Lisbon, explore the bustling Chiado and Bairro Alto districts, renowned for their quirky shops, vibrant nightlife, and stunning rooftop bars.
Next up, a short 3-hour train ride can get you from Lisbon to Porto – Portugal’s second-largest city and one of the most popular. Porto is famous for its numerous bridges and port wine production.
The city’s historical centre, Ribeira, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its colourful houses and narrow streets. Take a stroll along the Douro River, enjoy a traditional Rabelo boat tour, and visit one of the many port wine cellars for a tasting experience!
In between the two cities lies Coimbra, a riverfront destination in central Portugal. The city is known for its historic university, one of the oldest in Europe, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a definite must-visit, especially for its grand library, the Biblioteca Joanina.
After that, you may wander through the city’s narrow lanes, explore the ancient cathedrals, and enjoy the vibrant student atmosphere. Coimbra also offers a rich musical tradition, being the birthplace of Fado de Coimbra.
If you are not looking to stray too far away from Lisbon, Sintra is a brilliant day-out destination. Nestled in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, the picturesque town is known for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture and historic estates.
Visit the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, a mediaeval royal palace, and the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira with its gothic façades and beautiful gardens. The highlight is the colourful Palácio da Pena in São Pedro, a Romanticist castle on a hill, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Évora, a charming city in the Alentejo region, is a testament to Portugal’s rich history. Its well-preserved old town centre, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a Roman Temple, mediaeval walls, and a labyrinth of quirky streets.
The Cathedral of Évora and the haunting Chapel of Bones are notable landmarks to visit. Évora is also a gateway to the Alentejo region, famous for its lush vineyards and distinct cuisine.
All in all, Portugal’s beautiful cities offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, where the past and the present work together beautifully. Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins or savouring the local cuisine, these gems will provide an enriching experience to a wide variety of interest and tastes.