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Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languagePortuguese
Area91.982 km²
Population10,145,066  (2021)
Currencyeuro  (EUR)

Cities in PORTUGAL

Albufeira Lisbon Porto

Popular destinations PORTUGAL

AlgarveAzoresCosta de lisboa
Costa verdeMadeira

Vacations and Sightseeing

Nazare beach, PortugalNazare beach, PortugalPhoto: Alexey Komarov CC 4.0 International no changes made

Tourism is of increasing importance to the Portuguese economy. Between 10 and 20 million people visit Portugal every year. This is of course very good for the economy, but it does make Portugal dependent on this sector.

The mild climate, the historical monuments and the unique character of the country make Portugal an attractive tourist country. Portugal is also one of the cheaper countries in Europe. The price level is below the level of the European Union. Portugal has different types of accommodation, from campsites and simple shelters to 'pousadas' (usually state-run old castles or palaces).

The Algarve, Lisbon and Porto are frequently visited.

Albufeira seaside resort on the Algarve in PortugalAlbufeira seaside resort on the Algarve in PortugalPhoto: Lele3100 CC2.0 Generic no changes made

The Algarve is the most visited region. Mass tourism has not left this province untouched. Yet there is also much to enjoy here and there is a beautiful and quiet hinterland. Many caves can be found in Albufeira and the surrounding area. It is highly recommended to visit one of these caves during your stay in Albufeira. There is the 'Gruto do Xorino' which is a rock formation located next to the beach Praia do Tunel in Old Albufeira. Here the Moors hid from the Christians. You can go here by boat and try to spot dolphins at the same time. Falesia beach is also recommended. It is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in all of Portugal and all facilities can be found there. Albufeira's Falesia beach has even been awarded the Blue Flag for the cleanest and safest beaches in Europe. The Albufeira Archaeological Museum is located in the town's old town hall, near the clock tower. The museum has a number of rooms with a collection ranging from prehistoric times to the 17th century. The museum thus provides a picture of the history of Albufeira through the centuries. The Archaeological Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Alfama district in Lisbon, PortugalAlfama district in Lisbon, PortugalPhoto: Thomas CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Lisbon is the starting point for trips to the coastal towns (with good beaches) around the mouth of the Tagus, including Cascais and Estoril. Baixa, the "lower town", is the center of Lisbon. Here is the Rossio, the main square of the city for centuries. Praça dos Restauradores is almost attached to Rossio's main square. The very large square Praça do Comércio, located on the Tagus, was the royal residence until Portugal became a republic in 1910. To the east of the center is the Alfama, an old working-class district. With its many steep streets, stairs and alleys, it is an important attraction. Several fado houses can be found in Alfama. These are small restaurants where traditional fado is performed. In this fado neighborhoods such as Alfama, Bairro Alto and Mouraria, but also Lisbon and Portugal are frequently sung about. Tram line 28 meanders through the district, on which very old tram equipment runs. This tram line is widely used by tourists, but is also still important for opening up the district. The city's most famous and oldest church, Lisbon Cathedral, is also located here.Porto, PortugalPorto, PortugalPhoto: Abhijeet Rane CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Porto is beautifully situated on the steep banks of the Douro. Porto, also known as Oporto, is the second-largest city in Portugal after the capital Lisbon and also the second-largest urban area in Portugal. The Porto wine is the famous Portuguese wine from this area. Porto has impressive wine warehouses. The tip in Porto is therefore to visit the Port cellars. You can take a tour of one or more of the renowned Port houses, such as Calem, Taylor's, Sandeman and Dow or one of the lesser-known houses. The tour also always includes a tasting. The historic center of Porto was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The protected area has both a wider zone and a narrower zone consisting of the medieval town surrounded by the 14th century Romanesque wall.

Coimbra, PortugalCoimbra, PortugalPhoto: Kimble Young CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Between Lisbon and Porto are Coimbra (old university city), Nazare and Fatima (pilgrimage) as the most famous places. North of Porto are seaside resorts such as Póvoa de Varzim and Viana do Castelo. Inland are Braga and Guimarães, where the first king of Portugal, Alfonso I the Conqueror, was born in 1109.


Champion,N / Portugal

Dominicus, J / Portugal

Encarta, Encycloprdie

Keuning, T / Portugal

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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