Top 30 Things To Do In Portugal - Updated 2021

things to do in portugal

Visit Portugal, a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula. It is renowned for its beautiful beaches, cuisine, medieval castles, cobblestone villages, long summers, and friendly and hospitable people making it a popular tourist destination. Lisbon is its capital and economic and cultural center. Being a developed country, it has a high-income, advanced economy and high living standards. Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe without much change to its borders since 1139. It has plenty of prehistoric sites and remnants from the Roman Empire. Fun fact - Portugal is home to the world’s oldest bookstore, Livraria Bertrand, which dates back to 1732. Also, the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon which is 10.7 miles (17.2 kilometers) long is the longest bridge in Europe. For a country that is abundantly blessed with such attractions and with an amazing cultural heritage, planning a trip here is a must-do. Scroll down to read more on things to do in Portugal.

1. Taste local wine at Calem wine cellars (from USD 26.15)

things to do in portugal | taste local wine at calem wine cellars

Fado is an iconic symbol of Portuguese culture. This 55-minute tour allows you to get a glimpse of this amazing performance. Start by visiting the Cálem wine cellars in Porto to learn about ancestral traditions. Listen to Fado which is a symbol of Portuguese traditions. Relish the tastes of a white and a special reserve port wine served during the performance. The Fado performance features both male and female voices accompanied by traditional Portuguese guitar and classic guitar. Fill your soul with music and enjoy the tasty wines.

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

Duration: 75 minute

526 reviews

2. Enjoy a game of volleyball at Matosinhos Beach

Beach volleyball  - SURFJOINT 2014
Source: Photo by user Cowork Klitmøller used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Matosinhos Beach is renowned for its very long and wide beach with beautiful and soft golden sand. Head out to this beach which is easily accessible by public transport with your friends. Indulge in a little friendly competition on a game of beach volleyball and see who amongst your friends emerges the beach volleyball champion. You can also go surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Marvel at spectacular sunset views. This is a fun and exciting way to relax and, at the same time, keep fit.

Matosinhos Beach

Address: Av. Norton de Matos, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal

Website: Matosinhos Beach

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

3. Marvel at the architecture of Jerónimos Monastery (from USD 11.37)

things to do in portugal | marvel at the architecture of jerónimos monastery

This tour starts at The National Museum of Archaeology at Praça do Império. Get to learn about the important history of Jerónimos Monastery as you admire its 16th-century architectural style. It is a significant monument for Portuguese identity and culture. Commissioned in 1496 by King Manuel I, this monastery was later donated to the monks of the Order of St. Jerome where it got its name. In addition, you can also visit the monuments of Vasco da Gama and Luís de Camões.

Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery Entrance Ticket

865 reviews

4. Ride the biggest waves in the country at Praia do Norte in Nazare

Praia do Norte beach - High waves - Nazaré - Portugal
Source: Photo by user Luis Ascenso used under CC BY 2.0

Visit this beach in Nazare that is known for its great surfing conditions and giant breaking waves caused by the presence of the underwater Nazaré Canyon. It was even listed on the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest waves ever surfed. Experience the adrenaline rush and excitement as you ride these big waves. Let the daredevil in you come out as you have immeasurable fun. This is definitely not for the faint of heart. You also get to admire the amazing scenery of the beach and ocean.

Praia do Norte in Nazare

Address: Rua 31 de Janeiro, Nazare 2450-065, Portugal

5. Groove to the tunes at Incognito

Incognito is the place to go when you are looking for a unique clubbing experience. It has no name on the door and you have to ring a bell to be let in. Once inside, enjoy non-mainstream music ranging from 80’s synth pop, new wave, Indie, and post-punk, depending on the DJ. Get on the small dance floor and dance the night away to your favorite tunes. It wouldn’t even matter if the dance floor is crowded as you will be having too much fun to notice. Enjoy tasty drinks from the bar. Incognito guarantees an amazing night out.


Address: R. Poiais de São Bento 37, 1200-346 Lisboa, Portugal

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 11pm - 4am (closed from Sun - Tue)

6. Soak in the breathtaking views from Cabo de Sao Vicente

Cabo Sao Vincente
Source: Photo by user Marlis Börger used under CC BY-ND 2.0

How cool is it to go to the point that is considered to be the southwestern tip of Europe? From here, marvel at the amazing scenery of the cliffs that rise nearly vertically from the Atlantic to a height of 75 meters (246.1 ft) and the water in the ocean splashing below. The cape is also home to vast marine life and birds such as kites, rock pigeons, and storks nesting on the cliffs. View the red lighthouse at the end of the cape which is 24 meters (79 ft) high and has a small museum with replicas of 16th-century cartography. To top it all off, catch the most amazing sunset views from this great vantage point.

Cabo de Sao Vicente

Address: Estrada Cabo de Sao Vicente | En 268, Sagres 8650-390, Portugal

7. Take a look inside Palacio Nacional de Sintra, the oldest palace in Portugal (from USD 119.36)

things to do in portugal | take a look inside palacio nacional de sintra, the oldest palace in portugal

Go on this eight-hour tour that includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. Your guide will take you through the National Palace of Queluz and Pena in the Sintra Municipality and Palacio Nacional de Mafra. Here, you will discover the history, culture, and architecture of Portugal. Learn about stories, myths, and legends from your private guide. Visit the park and see spectacular monuments. This tour is a haven for the history lovers or anyone interested in learning about the culture in Portugal.

Lisbon: Royal Palaces Tour

Duration: 8 hour

8. Visit Torre de Belém (from USD 20.46)

things to do in portugal | visit torre de belém

Within three hours, embark on a walking tour of the historic Belém neighborhood. Explore Lisbon’s maritime history by seeing military outposts, modern symbols, and gorgeous squares. Marvel at the amazing Manueline architecture of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Enjoy a pleasant walk beside the River Tagus and discover one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal at Torre de Belém. Tour the main street, Rua de Belém, which features buildings that are 160 years old. Taste the traditional and delicious Pastel de Belém egg tart from the famous pastry shop, Fabrica de Pasteis de Belém.

Belém Lisbon 3-Hour Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hour

17 reviews

9. Check out Oratory of the Templars rotunda at Convent of Christ in Tomar (from USD 167.0)

This full-day tour that takes approximately nine hours starts with a Lisbon hotel pick-up and ends with a drop-off. Head to Convento de Cristo where you can explore it and other stunning monuments. Gain insight from your guide about the powerful Knights Templar who were in power during the 12th to 16th centuries. Explore highlights including Castle of Ourem, Pegões Aqueduct, St. Mary of the Olive Grove Church in Tomar, and, in the summer, Castle of Almourol. This tour is flexible and gives you ample time to go have lunch and for shopping. Your very knowledgeable guide will enlighten you about the various sites throughout the tour.

The Templars Private Tour from Lisbon

Duration: 9 hours

5 reviews

10. Delve into Christian heritage at Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga (from USD 419.0)

Discover the rich culture of Guimarães and Braga on this tour that takes approximately nine hours. Get picked up by your expert guide from your Porto hotel and travel for 45 minutes in an air-conditioned minivan. Arrive at Guimarães Old Town and learn about the city while marveling at the modern art and culture scene. Visit Guimarães Castle which is the birthplace of the first king of Portugal, Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, and Cathedral of Braga. Get to learn about Christian heritage at Braga, one of Portugal’s main religious centers. Admire the Romanesque, Manueline, and Gothic architecture and the various religious images. The tour then ends with a drop-off at your hotel.

Private Tour: Guimares and Braga Day Trip from Porto

Duration: 8 hours

12 reviews

11. Wander around the lovely Biblioteca Joanina library at University of Coimbra (from USD 62.52)

wander around the lovely biblioteca joanina library at university of coimbra

Enjoy a ride from your hotel to Palácio do Buçaco which has breathtaking gardens with Neo-Manueline features decorated by tile panels, frescoes, and paintings. Explore the city of Coimbra which has one of the oldest universities in the world. Visit the Baroque library that houses over 300,000 books and rare manuscripts from all over the country. After lunch in a highly recommended downtown tavern, go to the old cathedral and admire its Romanesque architecture. Other highlights include Convent of Santa Clara and Quinta das Lágrimas, Portugal for the Little Ones theme park, Mondego River, and Choupal National Forest. This tour takes eight hours.

From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

Duration: 8 hour

7 reviews

12. Admire beautiful artifacts at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (from USD 14.0)

Skip the long queues with a pre-booked admission ticket and explore Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in approximately 45-120 minutes. Choose between a guided or self-guided tour. Admire displays of ancient and modern art pieces including rare Egyptian and Greco-Roman art. The collection is categorized into two: the founder’s collection which has over 6,000 works of art acquired in life by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, and the modern collection which has over 10,000 modern and contemporary Portuguese works of art. A haven for art lovers, this museum is considered as one of the best museums in Portugal.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum Admission Ticket

Duration: 45 to 120 minutes

12 reviews

13. Spend a quiet afternoon at Livraria Bertrand in Lisbon

Lisbon Travel 2011 (5900155724)
Source: Photo by user bm.iphone used under CC BY 2.0

Visit Livraria Bertrand which is the oldest bookstore in Portugal and the world as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016. It was opened to the public back in 1732. The interior is truly beautiful with all the walls covered with shelves. Enjoy exploring this peaceful and quiet space as you check out its collection. The books are mainly in Portuguese and range from culinary, fiction, science, biographical, to photography. You can also find a small selection of books in English, from classic works to contemporary bestsellers. You will definitely find something for you.

Livraria Bertrand

Address: R. Garrett 73-75, 1200-203 Lisboa, Portugal

Website: Livraria Bertrand

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

14. Try canoeing at Furnas Lake (from USD 35.0)

Spend two hours observing nature as you canoe across Furnas Lake. Your guide will take you to the fumaroles, a point where the water is hot as a result of the heat from the volcano. The locals use this heat from the lake to make a tasty stew. Admire the breathtaking scenery in the area as you relax and unwind. This is a tour that offers you a truly remarkable experience.

Canoeing at Furnas Lake

Duration: 2 hours

2 reviews

15. Discover the flora and fauna of the region at Peneda-Gerês National Park (from USD 113.68)

discover the flora and fauna of the region at peneda-gerês national park

Admire the beautiful nature found in this national park on this tour that takes 11 hours. After being picked from your hotel by your guide, head to the scenic trails in the park that go through the lush woodlands. Take in the beautiful scenery of the flora and fauna, stunning landscapes, mountains, remains of ancient settlements, and a Roman road as you enjoy hiking. Jump into the clear and fresh waters of the mountain waterfalls for a swim or soak in the hot springs. A lunch of delicious treats is also provided. This tour is what you need to get to appreciate nature at its finest.

Peneda-Gerês National Park Full-Day Tour

Duration: 11 hour

27 reviews

16. Catch a glimpse of dolphins at Sado Estuary (from USD 699.0)

Go on this tour that takes you through Sado Estuary within three hours. In the company of an expert marine guide, listen to in-depth commentary about the dolphin’s biology and behavior and their habitat. Go swimming, snorkeling, or bask in the beautiful beaches of Praia de Galapos as you soak up the sun. You will also get to meet the Bottlenose dolphins and watch them play in the water. Admire these beautiful and social creatures as you enjoy amazing views.

Dolphin Watching Tour

Duration: 3 hours

5 reviews

17. Taste one of the best egg tarts at Pastéis de Belém (Lisbon)

Pastel de Nata Pastéis de Belém (3780458880)
Source: Photo by user Yusuke Kawasaki used under CC BY 2.0

Visit this large bakery cafe that serves Portuguese baked goods. Their most famous confectionery is the Pastéis de Belém which is an egg tart. Starting with a careful choice of ingredients that are made through artisanal processes, this bakery ensures that the end product is a scrumptious egg tart served when still warm. Enjoy the delicious treat that will leave you craving for more. The long but fast-moving queue you might find will definitely be worth the wait.

Pastéis de Belém

Address: R. de Belém 84-92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal

Website: Pastéis de Belém

Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)

18. Take an olive oil tasting tour in Evora (from USD 93.0)

Meet your guide at your Central Lisbon hotel and enjoy a drive across Vasco da Gama Bridge on Tagus River and the beautiful countryside of Alentejo. Learn about the cork and olive trees, vineyards, and produce in the region. Explore the city of Evora as you learn about its history and culture and see highlights such as the Church of St. Francis in its splendid Gothic-Manueline style, Chapel of Bones, Roman temple remnants, the palace of King Manuel, and the Cathedral of Évora. Explore the streets in Giraldo Square alone as you shop and eat lunch. Later, go to a specialist shop and taste five samples of olive oil flavors. The tour then ends with a ride to Almendres Cromlech stone complex and a drop-off at your hotel.

Lisbon to Evora Small-Group Day Trip with Olive Oil Tastings

Duration: 9 hours

170 reviews

19. Indulge in a food tour in Lisbon and learn more about Portuguese gastronomy (from USD 45.0)

For all the food lovers, which is basically everyone, this is the tour for you. Taking approximately two to three hours, you will have a taste of Portuguese cuisine. Savor various traditional treats at bars and restaurants and experience their art of eating. Eat finger foods, small plates, and drink traditional Ginjinha liquor. This tour will help you learn about Portugal’s food culture from your knowledgeable local guide, in addition to the delicious treats you will have.

Lisbon History and Food Tasting Walking Tour with Wine

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

24 reviews

20. Spend a relaxing time at Gulbenkian Park in Lisbon

Gulbenkian Park (41569385295)
Source: Photo by user Mike Steele used under CC BY 2.0

Spread over an area of 7.5 hectares (19 acres), this park offers a truly beautiful spot to relax and unwind in. It features one large lake and another smaller one within it, lawns manicured to match the natural landscape, stream inlets crossed by small bridges, irises planted along the stream, and scenic strolling paths. Marvel at the amazing views of the lakes and the water birds, the natural vegetation, gardens, and the statues and sculptures as you take a leisurely stroll in the park.

Gulbenkian Park

Address: Av. de Berna 45, 1050-078 Lisboa, Portugal

Website: Gulbenkian Park

Opening hours: 8am - 7:30pm (daily)

21. Shop at the largest Primark store in Portugal at Colombo Centre

Centro Com. Colombo - Lisboa
Source: Photo by user Portuguese_eyes used under CC BY 2.0

Hope on a bus or train that will drop you right outside the building. This mall has over 340 stores, over 60 restaurants, 8 movie theaters and an IMAX, outdoor garden, a children’s playground, and a bowling alley. Enjoy shopping at the largest Primark store in Portugal. The store features fashion accessories, home décor, home improvement and garden, and women, children, and men’s fashion. Having more stores than most shopping malls in Portugal, you will definitely not miss what you want. Enjoy the best shopping experience at this mall.

Colombo Shopping Centre

Address: Av. Lusíada, 1500-392 Lisboa, Portugal

Website: Colombo Shopping Centre

Opening hours: 9am - 12am (daily)

22. Enjoy a fun-filled day at PortAventura (from USD 83.0)

Have fun at this theme park which is one of the largest in Europe. Spread across five distinct zones that portray different parks of the world; Mediterrània, the Far West, Mexico, China, and Polynesia, this park features numerous water and thrill rides, shows, and attractions. Feel the adrenaline rush as you ride on any of the jaw-dropping roller coasters. The Shambhala is one of the highest roller coasters in Europe at a height of 256 fee (78 m) and the Furius Baco is an acceleration ride that runs at 84 miles (135 km) per hour. Kids are entertained at the SésamoAventura area by their favorite Sesame Street characters. This is a fun-packed and adrenaline-pumping joint for the entire family.

Costa Dorada PortAventura Theme Park Day Trip from Barcelona

Duration: 12 hours

43 reviews

23. Check out some of the best sports cars at Ferrari Land in Tarragona (from USD 92.08)

check out some of the best sports cars at ferrari land in tarragona

This tour that takes 12 hours gives you the best of Ferrari Land and PortAventura. At Ferrari Land, enjoy 16 different attractions of varying speeds and skill level. Marvel at Europe’s tallest and fastest vertical accelerator. Get into a race car and enjoy a thrilling ride on the 570-meter (0.4 mi) track. Experience authentic F1 driving in the eight simulators. Shop for exclusive Ferrari brand products at a store located here. This tour also includes dining on Italian cuisine in an authentic trattoria, having fun at PortAventura theme park, and exploring recreations of the facades of Colosseum, Scala, and Campanile of San Marco.

PortAventura and Ferrari Land: Full-Day Trip from Barcelona

Duration: 12 hour

101 reviews

24. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Confeitaria da Ponte in Amarante

Estamos presentes na XIV edição dos Doces Conventuais de Amarante; 10-11-12 de Maio nos Claustros da Igreja de S. Goncalo.

Posted by Confeitaria da Ponte on Friday, 10 May 2019

Indulge your sweet tooth cravings at Confeitaria da Ponte which is a pastry shop in Amarante. It serves an enormous variety of Portuguese pastries including products such as tibia, bacon of heaven, bean cake, cream pastry, caroca, sugar slices, croissant, eggs bundle and palmiers. Everything is deliciously prepared. Sit at the terrace overlooking the river, bridge, and church and enjoy the finger-licking pastries. With a wide variety to choose from, you will be spoiled for choice.

Confeitaria da Ponte

Address: R. 31 de Janeiro 186, 4600-043 Amarante, Portugal

Website: Confeitaria da Ponte

Opening hours: 8:30am - 8pm (daily)

25. Climb the iconic needle-shaped Torre dos Clerigos in Oporto (from USD 6.82)

climb the iconic needle-shaped torre dos clerigos in oporto

Admire the Baroque-style architecture of Clérigos Church. At your own pace, climb up 225 steps to its bell tower referred to as Torre dos Clérigos, which is seen from various points in the city. The bell tower is one of the city’s characteristic symbols. Marvel at panoramic views of Porto from this vantage point. Proceed to the exhibition space in the Clerigos building and see the Irmandade dos Clérigos and Christus Collection with artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Porto: Torre dos Clerigos Entrance Ticket

Duration: 30 minute

813 reviews

26. Explore the hidden cave beaches of Algarve (from USD 68.21)

explore the hidden cave beaches of algarve

This three-hour boat tour from Portimão to Leixão do Submarino takes you through the top Algarve beaches and caves. Relax on the scenic boat ride that takes you through historic sites, Ferragudo fishing village, a castle, and old fortress as you go into the open sea. See towering cliffs and pristine beaches. At the caves, stop to capture those amazing shots for your Instagram or collection. Then, head out to a secluded bay where you can spend some time swimming or exploring a deserted beach. Feel the adrenaline rush on the high-speed return trip as you take in views of the coastline.

Algarve: Finest Caves and Beaches Tour from Portimão

Duration: 3 hour

12 reviews

27. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lisbon from the 25th April Bridge (from USD 22.0)

enjoy breathtaking views of lisbon from the 25th april bridge

Get on board an open-top bus at its terminal in Marques de Pombal Square in Lisbon. Enjoy a ride across 25th April Bridge. Visit Christ the King monument on the other side of the river and enjoy spectacular views of Lisbon. The statue of the Cristo Rei was built as a symbol of the Portuguese prayer to God to deliver them from World War II.

25th April Bridge & Christ the King Open-Top Bus

18 reviews

28. Encounter marine life at Oceanário de Lisboa (from USD 51.0)

encounter marine life at oceanário de lisboa

Get picked up from your central Lisbon hotel, cruise terminal, or Lisbon Airport by your guide in an air-conditioned minivan. Start by going to Oceanário de Lisboa which is home to diverse marine life such as sharks, sting rays, and tropical fish and also learn about marine biology. Next, enjoy panoramic city views of the lush green vegetation during a cable car ride over Parque das Nações. Enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch before going to Quinta Pedagógica where you will see a small farm with animals and gardens. Finish your tour at Lisbon’s greenhouses which feature plant species from around the globe. The tour then ends with a drop-off back at your hotel.

Private Tour: Hidden Lisbon with Oceanário de Lisboa

29. Explore the spectacular landscape of Serra da Estrela (from USD 113.3)

explore the spectacular landscape of serra da estrela

This nine-hour tour starts with a pick-up by your guide in a comfortable and luxurious vehicle. Head out to Serra da Estrela Natural Park which is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and extraordinary beauty. It is also rich in historical and culinary information. Next, visit a bread museum and a traditional cheese factory where you can sample delicious local cheeses. See the Torre and enjoy sledding and snowboarding in the snow. The tour then ends with a drop-off. This is an amazing way to explore Serra da Estrela in all its splendor.

Serra da Estrela: Tour from Porto

Duration: 9 hour

3 reviews

30. Explore Guimaraes Castle, the birth place of Portugal's first emperor (from USD 74.0)

Go on this tour that takes approximately nine hours. Get on board an air-conditioned coach in central Porto and travel for one hour to Guimarães. Here, admire the candy-colored houses and monuments as you walk down the cobbled streets. Explore Guimarães Castle and Paço Duques de Bragança. Proceed to Braga and see landmarks such as Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary and Sé Cathedral. This tour takes you through the two most beautiful cities of Northern Portugal. At the end of the tour, you will be given a ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of Porto.

Porto to Guimaraes, Braga Day Trip with Sightseeing Bus Tour

Duration: 9 hours

7 reviews

Explore Portugal to get a mix of medieval and contemporary

Whether its the medieval castles and royal palaces, cobblestone villages, buildings with unique architecture, scrumptious cuisine, beautiful flora and fauna or amazing beaches, this country has a lot to offer. Discover its hidden gems using our list of things to do in Portugal.

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Herine is from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. As a travel enthusiast, she always takes interest in learning about and visiting new places. She has traveled to many places within the country,...Read more

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