Are you searching for the best cities in Portugal? Then look no further. After visiting the country multiple times we have compiled this list of cities in Portugal that we think should be on your bucket list. When most people think of Portugal you think of the stunning beaches of the Algarve or the historic capital of Lisbon, but there are a lot of other small towns and cities that make up this beautiful country.
In 1139, Alfonso Henriques declared himself King of Portugal. Since then, the country has grown into a gorgeous land of history and culture. Portugal covers 800 kilometers along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and boasts some of the best beaches in the world as well as a great mix of rugged and scenic landscapes. While most visitors spend their time on the mainland Portugal is also blessed with some beautiful islands off of its coast.
There is the Garden Isle of Madeira and the archipelago of the Azores, which are there to tempt you even more. In truth, Portugal has a little something for everyone and is much more economical than other comparable European Cities like Greece or Italy.
With so many incredible cities it can make it challenging to plan a vacation in Portugal. What cities in Portugal are the best ones to go to? What should you make sure to experience when you travel to Portugal? What are the best cities in Portugal for relaxation or history?
If you want to know where to go in Portugal, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the 5 best cities to travel to in Portugal in 2022.
No list of the best cities in Portugal would be complete without including the largest city in Portugal, Lisbon. If you don’t mind the crowds, then you should know that there’s a reason why Lisbon is quickly making its way to becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. It’s a beautiful city with phenomenal weather.
One of the things we love about Lisbon is it is a big city but it still has that small-town feel. Wander its cobbled streets and admire its beautifully painted buildings, that are tucked nicely among seven imposing hills.
If you’re into postcard-worthy scenery, and beautiful Gothic architecture you’ll find plenty of that here in Lisbon.
Furthermore, it’s so easy to fly in and out of, especially from the United States. You can spend days here enjoying the Cathedral, food market, or just exploring and enjoying the city’s architecture. And from here, you can easily go just about anywhere.
Porto is the largest city in Northern Portugal and one of the major cities in the country. Sadly, it gets overlooked as a tourist destination a lot in favor of Lisbon. However, it has just as much charm and character as Lisbon does.
Here you can explore historic streets and architecture. There’s also an excellent winery here for you to discover a new favorite from, or you can spend your time exploring the local churches.
Not to mention that if you’re planning to spend most of your trip in Northern Portugal, Porto is a great spot to set up base and take days from.
Sintra is the former favored summer residence of the Portuguese royal family and much of their nobility. For this reason, there are many gorgeous estates and castles to explore around this city.
The colorful Pena Palace and its adjacent park are absolutely worth exploring while you’re in the area. Nearby there is the Moorish Castle, so you might as well make your way there when you’re done.
Then you should also take the time to explore Quinta de Regaleira. Keep an eye on the weather, because you won’t want to miss the beautiful gardens. You don’t want to leave Sintra without checking out the beaches and the stunning coastline.
4. Alcobaca and Batalha
Alobaça and Batalha are both homes to monasteries that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Both of the monasteries are some of the oldest in Portugal and are rich in history. Alcobaça monastery was founded in 1153 and completed in the mid 13 century making it the oldest example of gothic architecture in Portugal.
The monastery in Alcobaça is home to the tombs of several members of the Portuguese royal family. Visitors can see these gorgeous places of rest when they come to visit.
Construction of the Batalha monastery began in 1386 to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. Part of it has still never been finished to this day.
An earthquake in 1834 led to the monastery being damaged and abandoned. A few years later, King Ferdinand II ordered its restoration, which was completed in the early 20th century. At that time, it was also declared a national monument.
Those who like to explore castles should make time to visit Leira. It sits between Porto and Lisbon. So if you’re planning a road trip across the country, this is a great spot to stop, stretch your legs, and get something to eat.
Take your time exploring the incredible castle here and enjoy the view of the entire city from the top of it. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the city like St. George´s Castle in Lisbon, it is a place that you should visit while you are in Portugal if you love history and architecture. Snap a few photos of this amazing site, and then you’re free to continue on to the next stop on your itinerary.