Planning your excursion in Portugal then here are the best places to visit in Portugal as a First-Time Visitor.
Portugal remains one of Europe’s major touchpoints for tourists looking to explore the ancient enclaves of the beautiful continent. On a first-time visit to Portugal, you are immediately presented with its natural scenery, breathtaking landscapes, sprawling beaches and rich gallantry of local cuisines, and ancient architecture.
Naturally, the capital city, Lisbon, would get the most love, but there is more to this country than its highbrow urban centres. To truly enjoy a memorable experience in Portugal, you may want to include the less-known historical sites in your itinerary. Every region has its unique selling point, so it’s left for you to discover what each has in store for first-time visitors.
But if you want to soak up Portugal in its grandeur, you need not second-guess anything. Portugal, as a whole, is a pageantry of nature, culture, and history in one beautiful ball pack! For the avid explorer at heart, we have compiled 5 of the best places to visit in Portugal as a first-time visitor. Leggo!
Places to Visit in Portugal
The first place most of the Portugal tours start is in the gracious city of Porto. Yes! Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city to Lisbon, the capital city. Sitting just at the shorelines of the Douro river, Porto is the nesting place of the famous port wine. With a picturesque ambience, Porto is a deeply-rooted in rich cultural heritage.
From its architectural masterpieces to historical landmarks such as the Clerigos Tower, you will surely get a panoramic experience of the city. Speaking of landmarks, Porto holds the record of housing one of the world’s most attractive bookshops, which is certainly something to see on your time down there. Come sundown, and you may want to pack things up at one of the city’s luxurious cafes—most notable—the Café Santiago.#
One good idea would be to rent a car in Lisbon and then go on an excursion to explore entire Portugal.
To get a taste of Portugal at its elemental level, you should check out Faro, Algarve’s grand capital. Faro is best explored from an elevation, usually on a transfer bus or an aircraft. The old city is a collection of crusty, stonewashed structures and rooftops. Historians and tourist buffs have described Faro as Portugal personified with an array of ancient memorabilia.
Some of these include its medieval buildings and streets, including the landmark 13th-century cathedral sitting majestically in the city centre. Inside this cathedral, you will find its ancient embellishment still in top form from quality azulejo tiles to its brow-raising towers. Your trip wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t make it south to the city’s exotic beaches. Faro is, in summary, the major highlight for many first-time visitors to Portugal.
Regarded as one of the most underrated cities in Portugal, Coimbra is sited just at the train track between Porto and Lisbon. Surprisingly, Coimbra was Portugal’s capital city before it was moved to Lisbon. At once, Coimbra is immediately refreshing with its touch of history and class. The city is most notable for a host of things, including being home to one of Europe’s oldest universities.
Although a fully functional city, Coimbra has the laid-back vibe of a communal settlement. To truly bask in its ancient splendour, take a trip to some of its historic sites, starting with its popular Baroque-style library, the Biblioteca Joanina. You will be greeted immediately by its exotic interiors and antiquities. Follow closely with a date with nature as you explore many of its gardens and open parks. Coimbra is also home to a vibrant scene of cultural festivities, enough to hold you spellbound during your stint here.
Cascais is a small coastal town located near Lisbon most notable for its large fishing trade. It is the perfect place to unwind from the buzz of the city and enjoy the scenes from the Atlantic coast. Very easy to access, it is a great place for a small family to take a grand tour and chill for a couple of days before returning to the city.
Just like many of Portugal’s cities, Cascais is also bubbling with nature, culture, and preserved history. There is no shortage of side attractions to keep you busy down here.
Lastly is the beautiful village of Obidos, every tourist’s primal vantage point. Here you will find many side attractions not common in most parts of Portugal. Obidos is a typical village but bubbling with loads of fun stuff that you can get lost in for days just trying to take in the sights. The busy streets here at Obidos are where the action is.
Come December, you will be treated to its iconic Christmas village festival. Indeed, the village is home to a large number of theme festivals including the International Chocolate Festival held around spring every year. There’s also Obidos’ special medieval fair—one of Portugal’s largest— held every summer.
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As a first-time visitor, Portugal will undoubtedly leave you spellbound at all times of the year. Simply book a tour and start exploring some of the country’s ancient hidden treasures. They are never in short supply!
That was our in-detail post about Best Places to visit in Portugal as a First Time Visitor. Do let me know if you are planning to visit some other country in Portugal which is not a part of this list.