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Top 10 "must see" places in Portugal


The Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias asked local tour operators and travel directors to name 10 must see, places in Continental Portugal. 

Castle of Guimarães, monument to the creation of Portugal

The Castle of Guimarães speaks to the beginning of Portugal’s history and its fight to be an independent kingdom. King D. Afonso Henriques is said to have been baptized here. The city has plenty to visit: the historic center is classified as UNESCO’s Heritage Site, the Paço dos Duques and Monte da Penha are also good places not to miss.


The medieval village of Óbidos

The famous walled village of Óbidos with is its castle, walls and medieval village with ancient but well-preserved houses. But also the Porta da Vila, churches, aqueduct and sanctuary are must see locations. Recently, tourists have been attracted to the village thanks to its cultural events and festivals like the International Chocolate Festival, the Medieval Market or the Christmas Village.

Mosteiros dos Jerónimos

The Jerónimos Monastery is a monument wealth and glory that came with the Portuguese Age of Exploration. It is the trademark of the country’s capital city but in Lisbon the list of great sites to visit seems endless. Some of the highlights are the Tower of Belém, Castle of S. Jorge, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Elevator of Santa Justa, the Oceanário, Monument to the Discoveries, Zoo, Palace of Marqueses de Fronteira, Sé de Lisboa, Churches of S. Roque and S. Vicente de Fora, Museum of Coches, Museum of Ancient Art, The Arch in Rua Augusta or the National Pantheon, just to name some.

Mata do Buçaco Nation Forest

The National Forest of Buçaco is a protected area that was planted in the 17th century by the Carmelitas Descalços Order. Unique trees can be found there and you can visit the former Royal Palace (Palace Hotel Buçaco), the Convent of Santa Cruz, hermits, chapels, the military museum and many other attractions.

University of Coimbra, founded 1290

The University of Coimbra is one of the most ancient in Europe. It was created by D. Dinis in 1290, in Lisbon, and later transferred to Coimbra in 1537. The Biblioteca Joanina (1717) is one of the most spectacular rooms; other must-sees include the Chapel of S. Miguel, the medieval and academic prison or the University Tower. But in Coimbra there is much more to see: Sé Velha, Sé Nova, Tower and Arch of Almedina, Inquisition Yard, Monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Nova and Celas, Portugal dos Pequenitos, Santa Cruz Church – National Monument.

Beiras Coimbra - Largo da Universidade T09AQH04

Convent of Christ, Tomar – Templar HQ

The Convent of Christ is the main monument in the city of Tomar and it has been a World Heritage Site classified by UNESCO since 1983. It was created in 1160 by the grand master of the Templars. The church and nave in Manueline style are an attraction that reached its splendor in the one of the windows that has become a trademark for the Convent. The Fest of the Tabuleiros, which are decorated with flowers, bread and wheat, are another trademark in the region and happens each 4 years, in July.

Palace of Pena, royal wonder

The National Palace of Pena, one of the most important worldwide Romantic architectonic expressions in the 19th century, elected as one of the seven wonders of Portugal in 2007, is located in Sintra, World Heritage site by UNESCO. The village has much more to offer: Royal Palace of Queluz, Chalé da Condessa de Edla, Moorish Castle and Palace of Regaleira. There is also the Adraga Beach, elected by British newspaper The Guardian as the best beach in the country.

The Roman Temple of Évora, Rome calling

The Roman Temple of Évora is part of the historic center of the city and has been classified as World Heritage Site. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and a symbol of the roman presence in the Portuguese territory. Évora is also a city of fine cuisine and beautiful landscapes. The Cathedral, S. Francisco Church, Bone Chapel, Palace of D. Manuel and Convent of Loios are some of the many sights not to miss in your tour.


Dona Ana Beach, the best in Portugal

It is almost impossible not to mention the Algarve when you are talking about Portugal. And mention Algarve is to talk about beaches like the Dona Ana Beach, in Lagos. The Spanish edition of Condé Nast Traveller magazine classified it as the “most beautiful beach in Portugal”. Its turquoise waters that standout in the middle of the many cliffs are some of the reasons. But the coast in the Algarve is full of beaches that stand out not only for the temperature of its waters but also for the beauty of its sand beaches. Albufeira, Vilamoura, Portimão, Tavira, Olhão and Faro are some of the references not to miss.


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