What are the best things to do in Portugal? Take a look at 24 Portugal attractions. We think they're the best of all. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Portugal, your essential guide for visiting Portugal.
01 - Chill out on Algarve beaches
The Algarve has some of Europe’s finest beaches. But few are more impressive than Praia da Bordeira. Discover Algarve as an all-year travel destination. Then see our roundup of best beaches in Portugal.
Chilling on Algarve beaches is one of the best things to do in Portugal
02 - Stay overnight in medieval Monsaraz
Many medieval houses in Monsaraz are now guesthouses. For an atmospheric stay try Dom Nuno. It's in the heart of the fortified hill town.
Hilltop Monsaraz is one of Alentejo's fortified medieval towns
03 - Cruise canals in Aveiro
Canals and lagoons define Aveiro. Sail them on a colourful moliceiro boat. Or book a moliceiro tour with local guides.
04 - Stroll through ancient Évora
Take a stroll round Évora. It's Portugal's golden-stoned university town. Don't miss the Roman temple, Moorish alleys and medieval walls. Or catch everything on a private walking tour.
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05 - Go mountain biking in the Algarve
You can cycle just about all of the Algarve coast. Alternatively, take a guided Ria Formosa tour by bike.
The Algarve coast is an undeniable Portugal attraction
06 - Gift yourself a trip to Óbidos
Visit the walled town of Obidos. It was once the traditional bridal gift of Portuguese kings. Gift yourself an overnight stay at Pousada Castelo de Obidos.
Walled Obidos was once the gift of Portuguese kings
07 - Journey along the Rio Douro valley
Catch a boat or train from Peso da Régua up the Douro valley. It's one of Portugal's loveliest journeys. Or take a Douro Valley wine trip with experts.
Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Portugal or Portugal Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Portugal expert.
08 - Visit Velha Universidade in Coimbra
Historic Coimbra boasts Portugal’s most famous university. It's also known for lively student nightlife. Check into Tivoli Coimbra at the heart of everything.
Estremadura is home to some of Portugal's most famous buildings
09 - See Mosteiro da Batalha in Estremadura
Explore extraordinary “Battle Abbey” Mosteiro da Batalha. It's one of Portugal's greatest architectural works. Book Mosteiro da Batalha tickets and skip the line.
10 - Kayak on the Mondego river
Kayak novice? The Mondego river is gentle enough for beginners. It's also enchanting. Still not sure? Take a guided Mondego River kayaking tour.
Even beginners can kayak on the gentle Mondego River © Techtonic/Shutterstock
11 - Get lost in the narrow streets of Alfama
Alfama is a village at the heart of Lisbon. And its steep, narrow streets deter most cars. Stay at Old Fence Studios for Alfama atmosphere.
Exploring Alfama, one of the best things to do in Portugal © S-F/Shutterstock
12 - Soak up the atmosphere of scenic Sintra
Hilltop Sintra is one of the most scenic towns in Portugal. Find it close to Lisbon and even closer to the west coast. Take a day trip to Sintra for the full effect.
13 - Immerse in nature at the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês is Portugal's only national park. Expect alluring trails, gushing streams and alpine scenery. Pousada Mosteiro de Amares sits on the park's southern edge.
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês © Armando Frazao/Shutterstock
14 - Don't resist Pastéis de nata
Pastéis de nata are irresistible. And one of Portugal's traditional delicacies. They're flaky custard tartlets. Best served warm, dusted with cinnamon and icing sugar. Try them at Lisbon's Antiga Confeitaria de Belém. They've been baked here for over a century.
15 - Marvel at the Mosteiro Palácio Nacional de Mafra
Gigantic monument to religious devotion? Obscene royal frippery? Visit João V’s mighty monastery in Mafra and decide. Or indulge in a private tour of the Palace instead.
The royal extravagance of Mosteiro Palácio Nacional de Mafra
16 - Visit Guimaraes
Portugal's first capital, Guimaraes is still beguiling. Look forward to cobbled streets and historic buildings. Or book EMAJ Boutique Hotel for an historic sleep.
Quaint Guimaraes, Portugal's original capital
17 - Watch dolphins in the Sado Estuary
Take a boat trip on the Sado Estuary. It's near Setúbal and prime dolphin spotting territory.
See dolphins up close in the Sado Estuary near Lisbon © Granadeiro/Shutterstock
18 - Stay up late to party in Lisbon
Legendary Lisbon’s nightlife begins in Bairro Alto. Stay at Akicity Bairro Alto Night and indulge.
Lisbon's party until dawn reputation is alive and well in Bairro Alto
19 - Take a walk to the Rota Vicentina
Walk to the Rota Vicentina. It's one of Portugal's best long distance paths. Look out for pretty villages, wild beaches and tall cliffs.
Rota Vicentina is one of Portugal's best long distance walks
20 - Experience the Knights Templar history at Convento de Cristo
Discover the Convent of Christ at Tomar. Once a stronghold of the Knights Templar, it's extraordinary. Want more depth? Take a Knights Templar day tour from Lisbon.
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