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Top-rated tourist attractions & things to do in Portugal

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


Portugal
Lisbon cityscape with St. George Castle

Kayaking the Lisbon Coast. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon. Castelo de Guimarães and Silves Castle. These are just some of the places to visit and things to do in Portugal. Here are these and the others:


Kayaking the Lisbon Coast

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Kayaking the Lisbon Coast

You'll kayak the coast, picnic by the shore, then grab a snorkel to check out the colorful marine life; since many of the hidden beaches in Arrabida Natural Park can only be reached by water, exploring by kayak opens up a world that's inaccessible on a vehicle tour.


Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon

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Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon

The Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the late Portuguese Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was erected in the early 1500s near the launch point of Vasco da Gama's first journey, and its construction funded by a tax on the profits of the yearly Portuguese India Armadas.


Castelo de Guimarães

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Castelo de Guimarães

The Castle of Guimarães, is the principal medieval castle in the municipality Guimarães, in the northern region of Portugal. It was built under the orders of Mumadona Dias in the 10th century to defend the monastery from attacks by Moors and Norsemen.


Silves Castle

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Silves Castle

Silves may only be a small town, but there is a lot to see, and it is a great destination for a day trip. No other place in the Algarve can rival Silves' long and varied history, while the castle is a truly unique attraction of southern Portugal. Built on top of a hill, the imposing Silves Castle is Roman in origin, but it was the Arabs who built the magnificent castle we see today, between the 8th and 13th centuries.


Universidade de Coimbra

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Universidade de Coimbra

The University of Coimbra is a public university based in Coimbra, Portugal. It is Portugal's oldest and most important higher education and research institute, as well as being one of the oldest universities in Europe and the world still in operation. In eight main faculties, it allows for all academic career opportunities and provides training in a wide range of fields including natural sciences, engineering, pharmacy, law, mathematics, architecture, education, sports, psychology, social sciences and humanities.


Convento do Cristo, Tomar

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Convento do Cristo, Tomar

The Convent of Christ is a former Catholic convent in Tomar, Portugal. Originally a 12th-century Templar stronghold, when the order was dissolved in the 14th century the Portuguese branch was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ, that later supported Portugal's maritime discoveries of the 15th century.


Igreja de Santo António and the Museu Municipal, Lagos

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Igreja de Santo António and the Museu Municipal, Lagos

Founded at the beginning of the 18th century, the Church of Santo António suffered considerable damage in the 1755 earthquake, which led to its reconstruction in 1769. It is a church with a single nave, modest in size and with a simple façade, on which the main feature is an eye window with a border with seven shells.


Igreja de Santo António and the Museu Municipal, Lagos

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Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Lisbon Coast

The Palace of Sintra, also called Town Palace (Palácio da Vila), is located in the town of Sintra, in the Lisbon District of Portugal. It is a present-day historic house museum. It is the best-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal, being inhabited more or less continuously from at least the early 15th century to the late 19th century. It is a significant tourist attraction, and is part of the cultural landscape of Sintra, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga

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Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga

The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is a Portuguese Catholic shrine in Tenões, outside the city of Braga, in northern Portugal. Its name means Good Jesus of the Mount. This sanctuary is a notable example of Christian pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 meters (381 feet). It is an important tourist attraction of Braga. On 7 July 2019, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Sé (cathedral) and Roman Temple, Évora

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Sé (cathedral) and Roman Temple, Évora

The Roman Temple, over 2000 years old, is the ex-libris monument of Évora and is one of the most important historic ruins in the country. The Roman temple in Évora was built in the first century, during the time of Caesar Augustus. In fact, Évora is often called Portugal's “Museum City” because of its preserved architecture. Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to more than 2,000 years of history plus an escape from damage in the 1755 earthquake that nearly leveled Lisbon.


Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

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Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum houses one of the world's most important private art collections. It includes works from Ancient Egypt to the early 20th century, spanning the arts of the Islamic World, China and Japan, as well as the French decorative arts, Impressionist painting and the jewellery of René Lalique.


Côa Valley Archaeological Park

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Côa Valley Archaeological Park

The Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of the Côa Valley is an open-air Paleolithic archaeological site located in northeastern Portugal, near the border with Spain. In the early 1990s rock engravings were discovered in Vila Nova de Foz Côa during the construction of a dam in the Côa River valley. They include thousands of engraved rock drawings of horses, bovines and other animals, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years B.C.


Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon

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Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon

The Lisbon Oceanarium is an oceanarium in Lisbon, Portugal. It is located in the Parque das Nações, which was the exhibition grounds for the Expo'98. It is one of the largest indoor aquariums in Europe. The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of marine species, penguins, seagulls and other birds; sea otters (mammals); sharks, rays, chimaeras, seahorses and other bony fish; crustaceans and other marine organisms totaling about 16,000 individuals of 450 species.


Palácio da Bolsa, Oporto

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Palácio da Bolsa, Oporto

The Stock Exchange Palace is a historical building in Porto, Portugal. The palace was built in the 19th century by the city's Commercial Association in Neoclassical style. It is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square in the historical centre of Porto, designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Palácio da Bolsa is located beside the St Francis Church of Porto, which was once part of the St Francis Convent, founded in the 13th century.


Torre de Belém, Lisbon

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Torre de Belém, Lisbon

Belém Tower, officially the Tower of Saint Vincent is a 16th century fortification located in Lisbon that served as a point of embarkation and disembarkation for Portuguese explorers and as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. It was built during the height of the Portuguese Renaissance, and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30 metre (100 ft), four-storey tower.


Alentejo by Horseback

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Alentejo by Horseback

The Alentejo Coast of Portugal is an ideal destination for riding Lusitano horses while staying in outstanding accommodations. This point-to-point itinerary includes one day of riding on Costa Azul’s beaches, and the other days take you through the coastal mountains, affording beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Visit fishing villages and ride by flamingos as you enjoy the scenery from the back of a well-trained trail horse who will inspire your confidence.


Hiking the Gerês Mountain Range

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Hiking the Gerês Mountain Range

Peneda-Gerês Mountain Village and Wolf Trap Hiking Trail. Begin by exploring the picturesque yet authentic village of Germil in the foothills of the Amarela Mountains on this Peneda-Gerês National Park hiking trail. You’ll see evidence of age-old community farming practices and tiny terraced plots and vineyards surrounding the collection of granite cottages separated by narrow cobbled paths and lanes.


Torre de Clérigos, Oporto

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Torre de Clérigos, Oporto

The Clérigos Tower forms, together with the church , the architectural complex of the Clérigos Church and Tower and is located in the old town of the city of Porto , Portugal . Made of granite , the height of the tower exceeds 75 meters , which can be ascended thanks to the internal staircase with more than 240 steps. The Tower, as well as its church, is open to the public and allows visits, even at night.


Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon

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Castelo de São Jorge, Lisbon

Saint George's Castle is a historic castle in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, located in the freguesia of Santa Maria Maior. Human occupation of the castle hill dates to at least the 8th century BC while the first fortifications built date from the 1st century BC. The hill on which Saint George's Castle stands has played an important part in the history of Lisbon, having served as the location of fortifications occupied successively by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Moors, before its conquest by the Portuguese in the 1147 Siege of Lisbon.


Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra

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Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra

The National Palace of Mafra, also known as Convento de Mafra, is located in the municipality of Mafra, in the district of Lisbon, in Portugal, about 25 kilometers from Lisbon. It comprises a palace and a convent, in Baroque style, of Roman and Germanic influence, which is associated with a garden and the Tapada Nacional de Mafra. Work on its construction began in 1717 on the initiative of King D. João V., by virtue of a promise he had made on behalf of the descendants he would obtain from Queen D. Maria Ana of Austria.


Cross-Border Zipline, Alcoutim

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Cross-Border Zipline, Alcoutim

The company running this service ‘Limite Zero’, recommends customers to book the activity at least 24h before coming to the area; this way you make sure you can jump cross-countries and will make things go smoother as they will already have the equipment ready for you. Once in the platform you will get the equipment ready and they’ll explain the zipline procedure in order for you to be aware of all the steps of the jump. The zipline is 720 metres long and you’ll fly from one country to the other at a speed of 70 to 80km/h.


Paiva Walkways (Passadiços do Paiva), Arouca

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Paiva Walkways (Passadiços do Paiva), Arouca

Paiva Walkways are located on the left bank of the Paiva River, in Arouca municipality, Aveiro, Portugal. They are 8 km that provide a walk "untouched", surrounded by unique beauty of landscapes, in an authentic natural sanctuary along the brave waters downhills, quartz crystals and endangered species in Europe. The route extends from the river beaches of Areinho and Espiunca, lying between them, the Vau beach. A journey through biology, geology and archeology that will remain, of course, in heart, soul and in mind of any nature lover.


[From sources across the web]


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