Portugal is a small country located in the southwestern part of Europe, with a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes that attract millions of tourists every year. It is a country that offers an amazing blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication, and it is home to some of the most incredible attractions, such as the historic cities of Lisbon and Porto, the sun-kissed beaches of the Algarve, and the lush wine regions of Douro and Alentejo.
If you are planning a trip to Portugal in 2023, this ultimate travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most out of your trip.
Getting There And Around
Portugal has several international airports, with the main ones located in Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. Depending on your point of origin, you can choose from several airlines that offer direct or connecting flights to these cities.
Once you arrive in Portugal, you can easily get around the country using public transport, such as trains, buses, and metro systems. Portugal has a well-developed transport network that covers most parts of the country. However, if you want to explore some of the more remote areas, it is advisable to rent a car.
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is known for its historic architecture, vibrant nightlife, and incredible food scene. Some of the top attractions in Lisbon include:
This iconic tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit attraction in Lisbon.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jeronimos Monastery is a masterpiece of Manueline architecture and is one of the most impressive buildings in Portugal.
The oldest district in Lisbon, Alfama is famous for its narrow streets, traditional houses, and stunning views of the city.
One of the largest aquariums in the world, the Lisbon Oceanarium is home to a wide range of marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea otters.
Time Out Market:
This food market is a must-visit for foodies, offering a wide range of local and international cuisines.
Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and is known for its historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also famous for its wine, with several wine cellars located in the city. Some of the top attractions in Porto include:
A cruise on the Douro River is a great way to explore the city and its surroundings. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the city’s colorful buildings and historic landmarks while sipping on a glass of port wine.
This Romanesque cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Porto and offers stunning views of the city from its terrace.
This beautiful bookstore is famous for its intricate architecture and is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s description of Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter.
Casa da Música:
This iconic concert hall is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture and hosts a wide range of musical performances throughout the year.
São Bento Station: This historic train station is famous for its beautiful azulejo tiles, which depict scenes from Portugal’s history.
The Algarve is a popular tourist destination in Portugal, known for its stunning beaches, beautiful golf courses, and luxury resorts. Some of the top attractions in the Algarve include:
Praia da Rocha:
This beautiful beach is one of the most popular in the Algarve, with its stunning rock formations and crystal-clear waters.
Ria Formosa Natural Park:
This beautiful natural park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 200 species of birds found in the area.
This marine park is a great place to see dolphins, seals, and sea lions up close, as well as enjoy water slides and other attractions.
Algarve International Circuit:
This world-renowned racing track hosts several motorsports events throughout the year and is a must-visit for racing enthusiasts.
This luxury marina is a great place to enjoy a meal, do some shopping, or take a boat trip along the coast.
The Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its wine production, particularly port wine. Some of the top attractions in the Douro Valley include:
There are several wine tours available in the Douro Valley, where you can visit some of the most famous wineries and taste their wines.
A river cruise on the Douro River is a great way to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Douro Valley, with its terraced vineyards and historic towns.
Peso da Régua:
This charming town is the heart of the Douro Valley wine region and is home to several wineries and wine museums.
This beautiful palace is located near Vila Real and is famous for its beautiful gardens and Baroque architecture.
This picturesque town is located on the banks of the Douro River and is home to several wine estates and historic landmarks, such as the Pinhão train station, which is decorated with beautiful azulejo tiles.
Sintra is a picturesque town located just outside of Lisbon and is known for its beautiful palaces and gardens. Some of the top attractions in Sintra include:
This colorful palace is a masterpiece of Romantic architecture and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Quinta da Regaleira:
This beautiful estate is famous for its ornate gardens, underground tunnels, and mysterious wells.
This ancient castle dates back to the 8th century and offers panoramic views of Sintra and its surroundings.
This beautiful palace is a blend of Gothic, Indian, and Moorish styles and is surrounded by lush gardens.
Sintra National Palace:
This historic palace is located in the center of Sintra and is famous for its unique chimneys and beautiful azulejo tiles.
Food and Drink
Portugal is famous for its delicious cuisine, which is heavily influenced by its coastal location and the use of fresh seafood. Some of the must-try dishes in Portugal include:
This traditional Portuguese dish is made with salted cod and is served in a variety of ways, such as grilled, baked, or fried.
These grilled sardines are a popular street food in Portugal and are served with bread and a salad.
Arroz de Marisco:
This seafood rice dish is a staple in Portuguese cuisine and is made with a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, clams, and mussels.
This hearty sandwich originated in Porto and is made with layers of bread, ham, sausage, and steak, topped with melted cheese and a spicy tomato sauce.
Pastéis de Nata:
These delicious custard tarts are a national icon and can be found in bakeries throughout Portugal.
Portugal is also famous for its wine production, particularly port wine. Some of the top wine regions in Portugal include:
This region is famous for its port wine production and offers stunning landscapes and vineyards.
This region is known for its red wines, particularly the full-bodied and spicy Alentejo wines.
This region is located in the north of Portugal and produces a light and refreshing wine that pairs well with seafood.
This region is located in central Portugal and is known for its full-bodied red wines, made with indigenous grape varieties.
Portugal offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Some of the top places to stay in Portugal include:
Pestana Palace Lisboa:
This luxurious hotel is located in a historic palace in Lisbon and offers stunning views of the city and the Tagus River.
Six Senses Douro Valley:
This five-star hotel is located in the heart of the Douro Valley and offers stunning views of the vineyards and the river.
Belmond Reid’s Palace:
This iconic hotel is located in Madeira and offers beautiful gardens, a spa, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
This four-star hotel is located on the Algarve coast and offers stunning sea views and direct access to the beach.
This budget-friendly hostel is located in the heart of Lisbon and offers comfortable dorm rooms and private rooms.
Portugal is a wonderful destination that offers something for everyone. From stunning beaches to historic cities, delicious cuisine to world-renowned wine, Portugal has it all. With this ultimate Portugal travel guide for 2023, you have a comprehensive resource to help you plan your trip to this beautiful country. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Portugal’s charms are sure to captivate you. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Portugal. With its warm hospitality and endless attractions, Portugal is sure to exceed your expectations and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.