Must-see attractions in Portugal

  • The Unfinished Chapels - Capelas Imperfeitas of the Batalha Monastery. Portugal. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    The extraordinary monastery of Batalha was built to commemorate the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota (fought just south of here). Most of the monument was…

  • Aerial view of Alcobaca Monastery in Alcobaca, Portugal

    Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    One of Iberia's great monasteries utterly dominates the town of Alcobaça. Hiding behind the imposing baroque facade lies a high, austere, monkish church …

  • Gardens and exterior of the Convent of Christ (Convento de Cristo), UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tomar, Ribatejo, Portugal, Europe

    Convento de Cristo


    Wrapped in splendour and mystery, the Knights Templar held enormous power in Portugal from the 12th to 16th centuries, and largely bankrolled the Age of…

  • The Jeronimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery is located in Lisbon, PortugalThe Jeronimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery is located in Lisbon, Portugal
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    Mosteiro dos Jerónimos


    Belém’s undisputed heart-stealer is this Unesco-listed monastery. The mosteiro is the stuff of pure fantasy: a fusion of Diogo de Boitaca’s creative…

  • Palace of Sintra (Palacio Nacional de Sintra) in Sintra in a beautiful summer day, Portugal; Shutterstock ID 570271885; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Travel 2018

    Palácio Nacional de Sintra


    The star of Sintra-Vila is this palace, with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish, whimsical interior, which is a mix of Moorish and Manueline…

  • Lisbon, Portugal, The Castelo de Sao Jorge
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    Castelo de São Jorge

    Alfama, Castelo & Graça

    Towering dramatically above Lisbon, these mid-11th-century hilltop fortifications sneak into almost every snapshot. Roam its snaking ramparts and pine…

  • August 22, 2017: People stepping to the sidewalk in order to let the street car pass in the streets of Lisbon.
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    Alfama, Castelo & Graça

    Wander downhill (to save your legs) through Alfama's steep, narrow, cobblestoned streets and catch a glimpse of the more traditional side of Lisbon before…

  • Lisbon, Portugal - December 4, 2022: National Museum of Ancient Art, Portuguese national art museum.
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    Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga


    Set in a lemon-fronted, 17th-century palace, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga is Lapa’s biggest draw. It presents a star-studded collection of European…

  • Coimbra

    Universidade de Coimbra


    Coimbra's Unesco-listed university, one of the world's oldest, was originally founded in Lisbon in 1290. It was subsequently relocated several times…

  • Decorated interior of church museum of Saint Francis (Igreja de Sao Francisco) in Porto, Portugal.
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    Igreja de São Francisco


    Igreja de São Francisco looks from the outside to be an austerely Gothic church, but inside it hides one of Portugal’s most dazzling displays of baroque…

  • PORTO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 22, 2013: Art deco villa in Serralves Gardens in the city of Porto, Portugal; Shutterstock ID 335447633; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights


    Foz do Douro

    This fabulous cultural institution combines a museum, a mansion and extensive gardens. Cutting-edge exhibitions, along with a fine permanent collection…

  • Roman temple of Diana, Evora, Portugal

    Templo Romano


    Once part of the Roman Forum, the remains of this temple, dating from the 2nd or early 3rd century AD, are a heady slice of drama right in town. It's…

  • Coimbra, Portugal - July 16, 2019: The Johannine Library (Portuguese: Biblioteca Joanina) is a Baroque library situated in the heights of the historic centre of the University of Coimbra University

    Biblioteca Joanina


    The university's baroque library is Coimbra's headline sight. Named after King João V, who sponsored its construction between 1717 and 1728, it features a…

  • Se Cathedral in Porto, Portugal


    From Praça da Ribeira rises a tangle of medieval alleys and stairways that eventually reach the hulking, hilltop fortress of the cathedral. Founded in the…

  • Regaleira Estate, Sintra

    Quinta da Regaleira


    This magical villa and gardens is a neo-Manueline extravaganza, dreamed up by Italian opera-set designer, Luigi Manini, under the orders of Brazilian…

  • National Museum Soares dos Reis located in the ancient Carrancas Palace, in Porto, Portugal; Shutterstock ID 233117197; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights

    Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis


    Porto's best art museum presents a stellar collection ranging from Neolithic carvings to Portugal’s take on modernism, all housed in the formidable…

  • Porto, Portugal - August 25, 2020: Nations Courtyard at Stock Exchange Palace in Porto, Portugal.
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    Palácio da Bolsa


    This splendid neoclassical monument (built from 1842 to 1910) honours Porto’s past and present money merchants. Just past the entrance is the glass-domed…

  • Jardins do Palacio de Cristal, Porto, Portugal ; Shutterstock ID 233117089; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights

    Jardins do Palácio de Cristal


    Sitting atop a bluff, this gorgeous botanical garden is one of Porto's best-loved escapes, with lawns interwoven with sun-dappled paths and dotted with…

  • JUNE 7, 2015: exterior of the House of Music concert hall (Portuguese: Casa da Musica) in Porto, designed by Rem Koolhaas.
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    Casa da Música


    At once minimalist, iconic and daringly imaginative, the Casa da Música is the beating heart of Porto's cultural scene and the home of the Porto National…

  • Detail of Sao Bento Train station in Oporto. The first train arrived here in 1896, but the building (designed with a French Renaissance touch) opened in 1903.; Shutterstock ID 7016608; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights

    São Bento Train Station

    Aliados & Bolhão

    One of the world's most beautiful train stations, beaux arts São Bento wings you back to a more graceful age of rail travel. Completed in 1903, it seems…

  • Tram on line 28 in Lisbon, Portugal
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    Tram 28E

    Alfama, Castelo & Graça

    Don't leave the city without riding popular tram 28E from Largo Martim Moniz. This rickety, screechy, gloriously old-fashioned ride from Praça Martim…

  • Lisbon, Portugal - May 26, 2013: Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint or Belvedere in Bairro Alto District. View of the Baixa and Alfama District and Castelo Sao Jorge aka Saint George Castle
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    Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

    Bairro Alto, Chiado & Cais do Sodré

    Hitch a ride on vintage Ascensor da Glória from Praça dos Restauradores, or huff your way up steep Calçada da Glória to this terrific hilltop viewpoint…

  • Benagil Caves


    One of the Algarve's – and Portugal's – most emblematic sights, this huge natural seaside cave has a hole in its ceiling through which streaming sunlit…

  • Miradouro Ribeira d'Ilhas


    If you dropped dead of a heart attack a moment after ogling this jaw-dropping view above Ribeira d'Ilhas and Alibabá beaches – and the surfers tackling…

  • Miradouro do Sítio


    As you exit the funicular at the top of Promontório do Sítio, make a quick left and walk 50m to the Sitío viewpoint – an outstanding aerial view of Nazaré…

  • Roman ruins (House of fountains), Conimbriga

    Conímbriga Roman Ruins

    The Beiras

    Set in the lush countryside southwest of Coimbra, this is Portugal’s largest and most impressive Roman site. Ancient Conímbriga was an important city in…

  • cathedral of Braga, Portugal; Shutterstock ID 93397054; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial ; Full Product or Project name including edition: Cities app


    Braga’s extraordinary cathedral, the oldest in Portugal, was begun when the archdiocese was restored in 1070 and completed in the following century. It’s…

  • Vila Real, Portugal - 13 August 2019: Reflection of villa in front of entrance of Mateus Palace in Vila Real, Portugal; Shutterstock ID 1541661125; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

    Casa de Mateus


    Famously depicted on bottles of Mateus rosé, the 18th-century Casa de Mateus is one of Portugal’s great baroque masterpieces – probably the work of…

  • Santuário de Fátima

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    It's difficult to believe that a century ago, this was rocky pastureland outside an insignificant village. This vast complex is now one of Catholicism's…

  • Quinta das Cruzes


    Now a museum, the Quinta das Cruzes is a quintessential old Madeiran manor house complete with gardens and a private chapel. Originally the home of João…

  • Bombarral, Municipality of Obidos, Portugal

    Bacalhôa Buddha Eden

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    What have the Taliban got to do with a rural winery 12km south of Óbidos? Well, when they blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, the…

  • LISBON, circa 2017 - Wide establishing shot of Palacio Fronteira Palace, aka Palacio dos Marqueses de Fronteira, one of the hidden gems of Lisbon, Portugal, dating from 1671..; Shutterstock ID 781758556; your: Alex Howard; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira POI

    Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira


    This 17th-century former hunting pavilion is in the Benfica neighbourhood. Italian Renaissance influences are blended with Portuguese-inspired blue-and…

  • LISBON, PORTUGAL, June 20/2018: Silhouettes of visitors in the Oceanario de Lisboa.
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    Oceanário de Lisboa

    Parque das Nações

    The closest you’ll get to scuba diving without a wetsuit, Oceanário is mind-blowing. With 8000 marine creatures splashing in 7 million litres of seawater,…

  • Downtown of Faro with Se Cathedral in the morning with orange tree in the foreground, Algarve, Portugal
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    The centrepiece of the Cidade Velha, the sé was completed in 1251 but heavily damaged in the 1755 earthquake. What you see now is a variety of Renaissance…

  • Famous arch at the Praca do Comercio, Lisbon, Portugal

    Praça do Comércio

    Baixa & Rossio

    With its grand 18th-century arcades, lemon-meringue facades and mosaic cobbles, the riverfront Praça do Comércio is a square to out-pomp them all…

  • EVORA PORTUGAL- October 20, 2015:The Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), Church of St. Francis.The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones; Shutterstock ID 530589013; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial ; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Europe 2017

    Capela dos Ossos


    One of Évora’s most popular sights is also one of its most chilling. The walls and columns of this mesmerising memento mori (reminder of death) are lined…

  • Barcelos, Portugal - August 23, 2012: A man is cutting bacalhau during the market day. Bacalhau dishes are very common in Portugal.; Shutterstock ID 241520329; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Travel 2018

    Feira de Barcelos

    The Minho

    The largest, oldest and most celebrated of the Minho's markets is the Feira de Barcelos, held every Thursday in Barcelos on the banks of Rio Cávado…

  • Castelo Dos Mouros, Sintra, Portugal

    Castelo dos Mouros


    Soaring 412m above sea level, this mist-enshrouded ruined castle looms high above the surrounding forest. When the clouds peel away, the vistas over…

  • Dom Luis I bridge, Porto, Portugal.

    Ponte de Dom Luís I


    Completed in 1886 by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the bridge’s top deck is now reserved for pedestrians, as well as one of the city’s metro lines; the…

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