Top tourist attractions in Portugal
Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Portugal. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Portugal section.
Curious if any of these place from Portugal made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
You can also view all tourist attractions in Portugal and other countries on our tourist attractions map.
Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. The tower was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and the 30 m, four storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.
Algarve International Circuit
The Algarve International Circuit, commonly referred to as Portimao Circuit, is a 4.692 km race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million, the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments. Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later. The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimao Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.
The Lisbon Oceanarium is an oceanarium in Lisbon, Portugal. It is located in the Parque das Nações, which was the exhibition grounds for the Expo '98. It is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.
Castle of São Jorge
The Castle of São Jorge is a Moorish castle occupying a commanding hilltop overlooking the historic centre of the Portuguese city of Lisbon and Tagus River. The strongly fortified citadel dates from medieval period of Portuguese history, and is one of the main tourist sites of Lisbon.
Pena National Palace
The Pena National Palace is a Romanticist palace in São Pedro de Penaferrim, municipality of Sintra, Portugal. The palace stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.
Queluz National Palace
The Queluz National Palace is a Portuguese 18th-century palace located at Queluz, a freguesia of the modern-day Sintra Municipality, in the Lisbon District. One of the last great Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, the palace was conceived as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, later to become husband and then king consort to his own niece, Queen Maria I. It served as a discreet place of incarceration for Queen Maria as her descent into madness continued in the years following Dom Pedro's death in 1786. Following the destruction by fire of the Ajuda Palace in 1794, Queluz Palace became the official residence of the Portuguese prince regent, John VI, and his family and remained so until the Royal Family fled to the Portuguese colony of Brazil in 1807 following the French invasion of Portugal. Work on the palace began in 1747 under the architect Mateus Vicente de Oliveira. Despite being far smaller, the palace is often referred to as the Portuguese Versailles. From 1826, the palace slowly fell from favour with the Portuguese sovereigns. In 1908, it became the property of the state. Following a serious fire in 1934, which gutted the interior, the palace was extensively restored, and today is open to the public as a major tourist attraction.
Casa da Música
Casa da Música is a major concert hall space in Porto, Portugal which houses the cultural institution of the same name with its three orchestras Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca and Remix Ensemble. It was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas with Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Arup-AFA, and was built as part of Porto's project for European Culture Capital in 2001 but was only finished in the first half of 2005 and immediately became an icon in the city. The Building engineers were Arup together with Afassociados. Inside Outside designed the large 13 curtains, ranging from 22mx15m to 65mx8m, and the gold leaf wood grain pattern on the large auditorium. Although the opening day concert took place on 14 April with Clã and Lou Reed, the building was inaugurated on 15 April 2005 by the Portuguese president. The Prime-minister and many other notable politicians and Porto society were present for the concert by the Orquestra Nacional do Porto.
The Estádio Algarve is an association football stadium between Faro and Loulé, in Portugal. The home teams are Sporting Clube Farense, who play in the Portuguese Third Division and Louletano Desportos Clube, who play in the Portuguese Second Division South. The stadium also hosts the final match of the Algarve Cup, a major annual international tournament in women's football. The stadium has a capacity of 30,002, and was built for the Euro 2004 tournament. Louletano and Farense are the stadium holders, similar to the Milan and Internazionale sharing of the San Siro. Apart from football, the stadium has hosted music festivals and concerts, and it was converted into a super special stage during the 2007 Rally Portugal, and reconverted again into a football pitch. The stadium was designed in the summer of 2000 to UEFA and FIFA standards by Damon Lavelle of Populous London. The design team included WS Atkins engineers and local partners including Marobal. The Stadium hosted the inaugural Algarve Challenge Cup tournament on 22 and 24 July 2008 that saw Cardiff City, Celtic, Middlesbrough, and Vitória de Guimarães in action. Cardiff City were the eventual winners of the tournament with victories over Celtic and Vitória.
Mafra National Palace
The Mafra National Palace is a monumental Baroque and Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery located in Mafra, Portugal, some 28 kilometres from Lisbon. The palace, which also served as a Franciscan monastery, was built during the reign of King John V, in consequence of a vow made by the king in 1711, who promised to build a convent if his wife, the Queen Mary Anne of Austria, gave him descendants. The birth of his first daughter, the princess Barbara of Braganza, made the king initiate the construction of the palace. It was conveniently located for hunting in the nearby forests, and was usually a secondary residence for the royal family. This vast complex is among the most sumptuous Baroque buildings in Portugal and one of the biggest buildings constructed in Europe in the 18th century. The palace was built symmetrically from a central axis, occupied by the basilica, and continues lengthwise through the main façade until two major towers. The structures of the convent are located behind the main façade. The building also includes a major library, with about 40,000 rare books. The basilica is decorated with several Italian statues and includes six historical pipe organs and two carillons, composed of 92 bells. With 40 000 m² it is one of the largest palaces in the world.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a museum in Lisbon, Portugal, containing a collection of ancient, and some modern art. The museum was founded according to Calouste Gulbenkian's last will, in order to accommodate and display Gulbenkian's art collection belonging now to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Convent of Christ
The Convent of the Order of Christ is a religious building and Roman Catholic building in Tomar, Portugal, originally a Templar stronghold built in the 12th century. After the Order of the Knights Templar was dissolved in the 14th century, the Portuguese branch of the order was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ, which supported Portugal's maritime discoveries of the 15th century. The Convent of Christ of Tomar is one of Portugal's most important historical and artistic monuments and has been in the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1983.
National Museum of Ancient Art
The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is an art museum in Lisbon, Portugal. The museum is also known as MNAA and as the Museu das Janelas Verdes due to the color of its windows. It is located in the Palácio de Alvor-Pombal, a former palace of the Count of Alvor, later purchased by the Marquis of Pombal.
Lisbon Zoo is the zoological garden of Lisbon, Portugal, founded in 1884. It was the product of the efforts of Dr. Van Der Laan, owner of the largest aviary in Portugal at the time, with the support of Bento de Sousa, Sousa Martins, and May Figueira. In 1905 it was transferred to the present location in Sete Rios, Lisbon. About 2,000 animals of more than 300 species are represented, as follows: ⁕114 mammals ⁕157 birds ⁕56 reptiles ⁕5 amphibians The mission of the Lisbon Zoo includes the conservation and breeding of endangered species, as well as scientific research, and educational and recreational activities. About 800,000 people visit the zoo annually.
Conímbriga is one of the largest Roman settlements in Portugal, and is classified as a National Monument. Conímbriga lies 16 km from Coimbra and less than 2 km from Condeixa-a-Nova. The site also has a museum that displays objects found by archaeologists during their excavations, including coins and surgical tools. A restaurant/café is in the museum, which also has a gift shop.
Dom Luís Bridge
Deck arch Bridge
The Luís I Bridge is a metal arch bridge that spans the Douro River between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At the time of construction its span of 172 m was the longest of its type in the world. The Government held a competition for the construction of a metallic bridge over the Douro River on a site that was adjacent to an existing bridge and would replace it. Téophile Seyrig had already engineered the D. Maria Pia Bridge project nearby, whilst working as a partner of Eiffel. He now took sole responsibility for the new, major Luís 1st Bridge. The construction was begun in 1881 and the bridge opened on 31 October 1886. ⁕Total length 385.25 m ⁕Weight 3045 tons ⁕The arch measures 172 m in length and 44.6 m in height Originally built to carry road traffic on both decks, at various times it saw trams on the upper and trolleybuses on the lower. The top deck is now occupied by Line D of the Metro do Porto and a pedestrian walkway. The bridge is often confused with the Maria Pia Bridge, built nine years earlier and located a kilometre to the east.
Vale do Lobo
Vale do Lobo is a golf resort located in the Algarve region of Southern Portugal. The resort has two golf courses, the Royal and the Ocean, and hosted the Portuguese Open in 2002 and 2003.
The Clérigos Church is a Baroque church in the city of Porto, in Portugal. Its tall bell tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, can be seen from various points of the city and is one of its most characteristic symbols. The church was built for the Brotherhood of the Clérigos by Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian architect and painter who left an extense work in the north of Portugal during the 18th century. Construction of the church began in 1732 and was finished around 1750, while the monumental divided stairway in front of the church was completed in the 1750s. The main façade of the church is heavily decorated with baroque motifs and an indented broken pediment. This was based on an early 17th-century Roman scheme. The central frieze above the windows present symbols of worship and an incense boat. The lateral façades reveal the almost elliptic floorplan of the church nave. The Clérigos Church was one of the first baroque churches in Portugal to adopt a typical baroque elliptic floorplan. The altarpiece of the main chapel, made of polychromed marble, was executed by Manuel dos Santos Porto.
Estádio dos Barreiros
Estádio dos Barreiros is a multi-purpose stadium in Funchal, Portugal. It is currently used mostly for football matches. It is the home stadium of Club Sport Marítimo and although much larger in its hey-day, the stadium can now hold 8,922 people. The stadium itself is rather distinctive in design and shape. Built into a Funchal hillside, the stadium offers outstanding views of the bay, city, and the rising Madeiran mountain's from its two "banana-shaped" stands that stretch the entire length of the field and curve around most of the running rack, but not entirely. The two stands are both all seated with the bancada nascente being totally uncovered and sufficiently smaller than the main bancada lateral. Because it has been built into the ground, the top of the main stand, complete with its roof is actually only at street level, which require walking down several stairways to reach the stand from the main road.
Reids Palace Hotel
Reid's Palace Hotel is a leading historic hotel located to the west of Funchal Bay in Madeira, in an imposing position looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel has beautiful sloping gardens.
Castelo de Guimarães, located in the city of Guimarães, Portugal, was ordered to be built by Dona Mumadona Dias in the 10th century in order to defend its monastery from Muslim and Norman attacks. Count Dom Henrique chose Guimarães to establish his court. The fortress, then over a century old, needed urgent renovation. The nobleman chose to destroy what remained from Mumadona's construction, while extending the area of the castle and adding two entrances. The castle became the official royal residence from 1139, when Portugal became independent from the Kingdom of León, until circa 1200. In 1836, a member of the Sociedade Patriótica Vimaranense defended the demolition of the castle, and suggested the use of its stones to pave the streets of Guimarães, as the fortress had been used as a political prison during the reign of King Miguel. However, this was never accepted. 45 years later, on 19 March 1881, the Diário do Governo listed the Guimarães Castle as the most unusual historic monument of the whole region of Minho. In 1910, the castle was declared a national monument. In 1937, the General Service for National Buildings and Monuments started its great restoration, which concluded with the inauguration of the castle's present symbolic status on 4 June 1940.
Palácio da Bolsa
The Palácio da Bolsa is a historical building in Porto, Portugal. The palace was built in the 19th century by the city's Commercial Association in Neoclassical style. It is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square in the historical centre of Porto, designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Tavira Island lies south of the town of Tavira, Portugal, just a few hundred metres off the coast. It is 11 kilometres long and varies between 150 m to 1 km in width. The island has 11 km of the best beaches in the Algarve, including areas where naturism can be legally practised. It is part of the Natural reserve of Ria Formosa. It is also popular among tourists, people that like to swim and bird watchers. Access to the island is by ferry from Quatro Águas, southeast of the city of Tavira, and also by a small floating bridge in the Santa Luzia/Pedras d'El Rei area, followed by a small train trip or by foot in a footpath parallel to the railway line.
Citânia de Briteiros
The Citânia de Briteiros is an archaeological site of Castro culture in the north-western Iberian Peninsula, significant for its size, urbanism, and architecture. Although primarily known for its remains of an Iron Age proto-urban hill fort, excavations at the site have revealed evidence of sequential settlements extending from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.
Castle of Silves
The Castle of Silves is a castle in the civil parish of Silves in the municipality of Silves in the Portuguese Algarve. Built between the 8th and 13th century, the castle is one of the best preserved of the Moorish fortifications in Portugal, the most important Moorish fortification resulting in its classification as a National Monument in 1910.
Church of São Francisco
The Igreja de São Francisco is the most prominent Gothic monument in Porto, Portugal, being also noted for its outstanding Baroque inner decoration. It is located in the historic centre of the city, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Castle of Paderne
The Castle of Paderne is a 12th-century fortification located in the civil parish of Paderne, municipality of Albufeira, in the Portuguese Algarve. Built 7.5 kilometres from the coast in the second half of the 12th century by the Berbers, it is just 82 kilometres from the resort town of Albufeira, along a bend in the Quarteira River. It is believed to be one of the original castles that occupy the shield of the Portuguese national flag.
The Seteais Palace is a neoclassical palace located in Sintra, Portugal. It is now a luxury hotel, restaurant and a tourist attraction included in the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Cathedral of Funchal
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Sé, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Funchal, which encompasses all of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The late fifteenth-century cathedral is one of the few structures that survives virtually intact since the early period of colonization of Madeira. The patron of the cathedral is Our Lady of the Assumption
Algar do Carvão
The Algar do Carvão is an ancient lava tube or volcanic vent located in the center of the island of Terceira in the Azores. It lies within the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo in the parish of Porto Judeu.
Fort of São João Baptista
The Fort of São João Baptista, also known as the Fortaleza do Monte Brasil and Fortaleza de São Filipe is a historic fortress and defensive emplacement, located in the civil parish of Sé, municipality of Angra do Heroísmo in the Portuguese island of Terceira, archipelago of the Azores.
The Ourém Castle is a Portuguese castle in Ourém, Santarém. It has been listed as a National monument since 1910.
Nogueira da Silva Museum
The Nogueira da Silva Museum is located in Braga, Portugal. The museum consists of the legacy bequeathed by the entrepreneur Nogueira da Silva to the University of Minho. In his philanthropic activity and enthusiasm for antiques and works of art, he accumulated an invaluable collection which included many rare pieces of furniture, paintings, and sculptures from various periods and styles. The museum comprises significant renaissance pieces, Portuguese painting, 17th furniture, ceramics and creations in ivory, silver and religious art. In addition to the art collection, the legacy included the magnificent building, in the centre of Braga with beautiful gardens of French inspiration.
Arco da Porta Nova
The Arch of the New Gate, is a Baroque and Neoclassical arch, designed by André Soares in the late 18th century, in the civil parish of Sé, municipality of Braga, in northern Portugal. The triumphal arch which decorates the western entrance to the medieval wall of the city, was opened in 1512 and traditionally used to present the city's keys to dignitaries and celebrities.
D. Diogo de Sousa Museum
The D. Diogo de Sousa Museum is located in Braga, Portugal. The Museum was founded in 1918 and moved to the new house in 2007 June 29. The Museum is housed in a specially designed building in the center of what was the Roman City of Bracara Augusta. Its collection mostly comprises items from excavations that took place in Braga with a vast chronological and cultural period, from the Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages.
Cinema Museum of Melgaço
The Cinema Museum of Melgaço is a museum dedicated to Cinema in Melgaço, Portugal. The collection comprises machines and objects from pre-cinema times, original posters in canvas, photographs and diverse documents. An exhibition illustrates the path cinema has taken throughout its history. The collection of the museum was donated by the film lover Jean Loup Passek. The museum opened at June 3, 2005.
The Museum Medina is located in Braga, Portugal, in the same building of the Pius XII Museum. The collection comprises 83 oil paintings and 21 drawings of the painter Henrique Medina. Among the collection there are many portraits, still life and landscapes. The museum was inaugurated on 21 June 1984, and was donated by the artist himself. Henrique Medina was born in Porto where he graduated in art. He also studied in Paris, Rome and London. His work is represented in many different museums in Portugal and other countries.
Sé de Faro
Cathedral church of the Algarve
Stringed Instruments Museum
The Stringed Instruments Museum in Portuguese: Museu dos Cordofones is located in Tebosa, in the surroundings of the city of Braga, Portugal dedicated to traditional Portuguese String instruments. The collection features Portuguese instruments from the Middle Ages through to modern times, some have fallen into disuse. In the exhibit are Cavaquinhos, Portuguese guitars, Mandolins, banjos among others. The museum open in 1995.
Geraz do Lima Carriage Museum
Geraz do Lima Carriage Museum is a museum in Geraz do Lima, Viana do Castelo, Portugal dedicated to Carriage. It contains equine-related artifacts and artwork, as well as over 50 antique horse-drawn carriages from Europe and Americas.
Episcopal Palace of Braga
The Archiepiscopal Court or the Old Archbishop's Palace is a palace in Sé, district of Braga, Portugal. The Palace is a set of three different buildings with distinct characteristics and time periods. The Eastern wing
The Cathedral Treasure or Sacred Art Museum is a museum incorporated in the Braga Cathedral in Braga, Portugal. It comprises five collections: Treasure, Carving, Statuary, Azulejos and Bells.
Pius XII Museum
The Pius XII Museum is located in Braga, Portugal, in the same building of the Museum Medina, as the name from the Pope Pius XII. The collection of the museum comprise Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Bronze age implements, Pre-historic and Luso-Roman pottery. In the museum is a Peristyle part of a Roman Villa in the original location.
Forte de São José, Funchal
This fortification holds the dubious claim to fame of being the last place where a death sentence was carried out in Portugal. In this case, Madeira was occupied by the British under General Beresford (later Duke of Wellington) and the prisoner was an English soldier.