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9 of the Best Cities to Visit in Portugal

Ishwari Pamu Aug 28, 2019
A relatively small country, it has a lot in store for its visitors. From port wine, humongous plates of seafood, fado music, historic cities to bookstores and libraries that are just drop dead gorgeous, Portugal is like a breath of fresh air.

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Lisbon

The capital city of Portugal, despite the boost in tourism is quite affordable to explore and must be on everyone’s itinerary. While growing as a metropolitan city, it has managed to preserve its old-world charm.

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Amalfa, the oldest district in Lisbon, full of pastel-colored houses, Moorish style buildings and narrow cobblestone streets, is an absolute delight to explore.

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Porto

A city that gave the world port wine! It’s the second largest city in the country. Endowed with a beautiful waterfront, it’s characterized by colorful houses, narrow streets laid in stone, much like Lisbon.
Though Lisbon and Porto have a lot in common, Porto radiates with culture and what’s said to be the most delicious cuisine in all of Portugal; not to mention one of the world’s oldest bookstores, the Livraria Lello, the one that inspired J.K. Rowling while writing Harry Potter series.

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Madeira

Think glistening stretches of sand, clear blue waters, subtropical climate, rugged cliffs covered in lush greenery, exotic food, vast stretches of vineyards and Madeira wine, that’s the city of Maderia.

Sintra

With palaces, majestic castles, mansions and villas sitting on tall mountains and cliffs surrounded by stretches of forests, Sintra is like a fairytale that came to life.

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Óbidos

Surrounded by castle walls, the city flaunts white-washed medieval-style houses lined with the brightest colored flowers, a labyrinth of stone-laid streets and souvenir shops waiting to be explored.
The smell of old books is woven in the very identity of the city; a slice of heaven for bibliophiles, you’ll find centuries-old buildings turned into bookstores at every turn you take.

Braga

The third largest city in Portugal, Braga is known for the legendary Bom Jesus Sanctuary 17-flight stairway and the church sitting at the end of it, 18th century palaces, mansions and Neoclassical churches.

Nazare

A detox from the busy life in the city, this beach town is an ultimate getaway with a laid-back atmosphere where you can spend your days by the beach and relax as you watch the waves come and go.

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Algarve

If you want to enjoy an authentic Portuguese experience, Algarve is the perfect coastal retreat.
Faro, Algarve’s capital is an underrated and a tranquil town with balmy Mediterranean climate, lagoons and great food.

Coimbra

Home to the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest operating universities in the world, this city has more tourists visiting it than any other city in the country.
Biblioteca Joanina, one of the most spectacular libraries in the world, is definitely worth visiting.