Portugal Things to Do Tips by micas_pt Top 5 Page for this destination
Portugal Things to Do: 744 reviews and 1,155 photos
Setúbal is near Lisbon and it is a different option for a day trip. While in Setúbal you can stroll through the main street and see some interesting buildings. If you visit this city you should have lunch or dinner there as the fish and seafood are very good and fresh. All through the city you will easily find several options as there are loads of restaurants.
But my favourite "thing" in Setúbal is outside the city - the fabulous Arrábida: the hills and the beaches. The beaches are very good and some of them even allow interesting spots for scuba diving. And going up the mountain will entitle you a magnificent view over the ocean, the hills and the peninsula of Troia. The mountains are a protected area - mediterranean forest - and therefore construction is restricted. Don't miss a visit to the Convent built on the slopes of the mountain.
Vila Real, city centre
Vila Real is a quiet northern district capital. It is situated on the Douro region, which I find one of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal, apart from those by the coast which undoubtedly are my favourite.
The city itself, on my opinion, has not that much to offer compared to other northern cities which are “near” such as Amarante or Porto. But still, it is pleasant for a daytrip or as base to explore the Douro region, which was our case.
When in Vila Real, walk through the city center and enjoy the manor houses. The cathedral is also very beautiful to visit and just about 3km from city centre is the Casa de Mateus, an outstanding palace with beautiful gardens and with a long tradition in the arts of manufacturing jams and the famous Mateus Rosé wine. If you visit this house, don’t forget to buy jam, I highly recommend it – the jam made from pumpkin with nuts is fabulous!!
For further information see my Vila Real page.
When visiting Leiria be sure not to miss the castle, located on top of a hill overlooking the city, bathed by River Lis. Inside the castle you will find a Gothic style church.
Once in the city, visit the old city centre, walk through the narrow streets and observe the small houses and interesting architecture. The Sé (Cathedral dated from the 16th century) is remarkable as well as some other churches such as Igreja de São Pedro. There are also gardens in the city and pedestrian streets with a lot of commerce providing a wide variety of choices for some shopping or window-shopping.
Viseu has a beautiful old city centre. If visiting Viseu don’t miss the Sé (cathedral) and some nice churches spread through the city. A stroll along the city centre won’t let you down and will provide you with some great opportunities for shopping or window-shopping. Another interesting place to visit is the Museum.
Viseu has excellent gastronomy and wine since it is located on the centre of one of the most renowned wine regions in Portugal: Dão. Viseu is hot in the summer and very cold in winter, and during some cold winters you might get snowy days. This photo was shoot in the outskirts of the city some years ago on a very cold but sunny day after a snowy night.
São Miguel is the main island on this Archipelago (Azores). It is bigger than the others and it is where the head of local government is. It is a lush green island, with amazing hills and lagoons and beaches covered in dark sand (the islands are of volcanic origin).
When you get outside the villages you will notice that there are black and white cows on the green fields, making it almost a must see. I took loads of photos of these cows and I guess most tourists do.
Main attractions on this island are the lagoons and the scenic views from the hills and belvederes, the capital city Ponta Delgada and the Furnas - a kind of hot steam that comes from the ground. Those hot steams are due to volcanic activity underneath. If visiting Furnas be sure to local gastronomy and eat "Cozido" (for lunch).
Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo is a city full of history and majestic houses that came from the, once, flourishing commerce. This is a city by the River Lima and the sea, therefore the maritime commerce and sea activities such as fishing have played an important role in its economic activities and history.
For visiting take a stroll through the beautiful city centre and go up to Santa Luzia hill (5km off Viana do Castelo city centre) where you can visit an amazing Basilica (inspired in Sacré Coeur) and enjoy the magnificent views over the city and its surroundings, including the ocean.
For further information see my Viana do Castelo page.
About Braga it’s said to be the city with the youngest population in Portugal. It is a lovely city to visit, as it has a beautiful old city centre that can be visited according to 2 routes: the Baroque or the Roman. That means you will mainly visit Baroque buildings or Roman ruins according to the route you choose.
Just about 6km off the city centre, on top of a hill, there’s the sanctuary Bom Jesus, a majestic place to visit even for non-Catholics.
For further information see my Braga page.
Coimbra is an amazing city in the centre of Portugal. I would say that Coimbra is Portugal's third city. It is traditionally associated with students since Coimbra's universities have a long tradition and the ambience and celebrations that take place in this city are deeply associated with students' daily life.
In the city centre you may visit some beautiful monuments and buildings, such as churches, and on the outskirts there are also some “not to miss” such as the Roman Ruins in Conimbriga. If you are traveling with children you should visit Portugal dos Pequenitos, a park where there are replicas of Portuguese houses and monuments made in small size - children can actually go inside those small houses.
Évora is outstanding city, classified by Unesco as World Heritage site. As you walk through the city centre, inside the castle, you breathe history!! Everywhere you look there’s something worth watching in detail.
Main attractions are Diana’s temple (Roman ruins), the Giraldo square (Moorish influence), the Sé (cathedral), the Igreja de São Francisco (church with a chapel made of human bones, be careful before visiting as this might be strange for some people more sensitive), the city museum, the castle’s walls (Roman and Medieval) and aqueduct. On the outskirts of the city there are several megalithic stones monuments.
Évora can be quite hot during summer months and somewhat cold during winter. The food in this city is fabulous, so don’t expect to diet while there. There’s so much to see that you should be prepared for walking the narrow cobbled, and sometimes steep, streets.
For further information see my Évora page.
You shouldn’t leave Portugal without visiting at least one beach in Algarve. There are several areas in Algarve, some more touristy than others, some more posh and some are still fortunately not spoilt. If you are looking for:
. beaches and nightlife: go to Portimão and Vilamoura areas
. quieter beaches: go to Lagos or Tavira area or get in a car and drive outside main villages
. posh Algarve: Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura area
. good seafood and fresh fish: all the Algarve coast
. windsurf: Sagres
The more you approach Sagres, the colder water will be. On the opposite, the more you approach Vila Real de Santo António the warmer and calmer water will be.
For further information see my Sagres and Lagos pages.
More Reviews (83)
- See All Calçada
- See All Vila Nova de Cerveira
- See All Surf and Windsurf
- See All Comfortable
micas_pt's Related Pages
Portugal Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Portugal in my heart"
- "Portugal my lovely country"
- "Wonderful Portugal"
- "Portugal by Car"
- "Portugal - Country of Batles"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Portugal
- Hotels in Portugal
- Transportation in Portugal
- Nightlife in Portugal
- Restaurants in Portugal
- Shopping in Portugal
- Warnings and Dangers in Portugal
- See All...
Explore the World
- Kwa-Chaneng Hotels
- Wisteria Island Hotels
- Gabon Hotels
- New Paltz
- Elephant Island Hotels
Badges & Stats in Portugal
- 635 Reviews
- 844 Photos
- 22 Forum posts
- 27 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (38)
Have you been to Portugal?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Portugal
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Portugal Intro, 97 reviews, 95 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Dominican Republic Intro, 42 reviews, 85 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cáceres Intro, 35 reviews, 66 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Guimarães Intro, 28 reviews, 64 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Mexico Intro, 45 reviews, 46 photos
- Vila Real Intro, 26 reviews, 62 photos, 5 travelogues
- Amarante Intro, 30 reviews, 58 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Óbidos Intro, 34 reviews, 35 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Serra da Estrela Intro, 34 reviews, 34 photos
- Bratislava Intro, 32 reviews, 32 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (44)
Top Portugal hotels
- Albufeira Hotels
- 360 Reviews - 664 Photos
- Lisbon Hotels
- 5119 Reviews - 12617 Photos
- Funchal Hotels
- 500 Reviews - 1020 Photos
- Porto Hotels
- 991 Reviews - 2484 Photos
- Alvor Hotels
- 126 Reviews - 363 Photos
- Cascais Hotels
- 449 Reviews - 2294 Photos
- Faro Hotels
- 230 Reviews - 766 Photos
- Lagos Hotels
- 244 Reviews - 621 Photos
- Tavira Hotels
- 194 Reviews - 385 Photos
- Estoril Hotels
- 61 Reviews - 351 Photos
- Ponta Delgada Hotels
- 117 Reviews - 310 Photos
- Quarteira Hotels
- 24 Reviews - 62 Photos
- Portimão Hotels
- 66 Reviews - 241 Photos
- Pinhão Hotels
- 56 Reviews - 190 Photos
- Praia da Rocha Hotels
- 31 Reviews - 70 Photos