I had the opportunity to travel Portugal this fall with my cousin, and let me just say... it was AMAZING! Portugal ended up being one of my top 3 favorite countries in Europe just because of the culture; as well as beautiful landscapes. Every city was different than the other and was filled with a bunch of things to see and do. The locals here were all so nice and just wanted to help any chance they could. One more thing I loved about Portugal was THE FOOD! The food there was amazing here and they had many options for healthy food anywhere I went which was exactly what I wanted. In this blog post you can read about my Portugal itinerary, restaurant recommendations, where I stayed, and more!
Cities I visited:
Day 1-2: Porto, Portugal
Begin your week in the magical city of Porto! Porto is a very small and unique town that is definitely worth a visit. I really liked it here mainly due to the beautiful architecture and construction of their buildings . All the houses were uniquely made and it was unlike any other country I’ve seen. They have a little market as well that you could buy handmade souvenirs from that only cost one dollar. All souvenirs are made by very nice locals that you can speak too as well... keep in mind that most locals in Porto do not speak English! Down below are my recommendations on what to see in Porto
Where I stayed:
I stayed at Happy Porto Hostel whcih was nice, but I have others I would recommend... My top recommendations for accomdations would be Selina Porto, The Passanger Hostel, and Rivoli Cinema Hostel. These hostels are immaculate; insanely beautiful. My cousin got to party at Selina, which is the number one hostel in Porto and she fell in love! Though the hostel I stayed at was okay, it was the cheapeset hostel we could find. I highly recommend Selina and the others!
Top sights to see:
Livraria Lello (Rua de Santa Catarina, 428 Porto) This library is a must see, especially if you're a Harry Potter fan! The staircase inside is modeled after the novels since JK Rowling actually taught English in Porto!
Largo da Pena Ventosa
Dom luis I bridge Praia de Miramar, Gulpilhares (Gaia)
Vila nova de gaia
Ice cream place by livraria lello
Lazy restaurant for breakfast
Francesinha Restaurant (Francesinha are traditional Portuguese food)
Calem Wine Cellar Tour
Porto is very small and you’re able to see most things on your list in a day, but I definitely recommend going here mainly because of the beauty and the great architecture. Something cool you can see is the Harry Potter themed library which was frequented by JK Rowling. The line is very long at all times and it’s very hard not to get people in your photos so I recommend going right when it opens or as soon as it closes. Porto is also the best place to go to if you like wine! They have one of the best wine cellars here to check out and they do operate many tours off-season as well. My cousin loved that since she does love wine tastings and I did find it very interesting as well since Porto wine is very famous.
If you're in Porto make sure to go to Restaurant Francesinha and try the food there! Francesinha's a traditional food from Porto that was created in the 1950s. It's a sandwich served on a plate with thick slices of bread, ham, cheese, and steak. There a bunch of other ingredients as well which makes it really thick. Its definitely not healthy, but it tastes AMAZING! We got these the next night as well.
Another restaurant in Porto is Noshi; a restaurant with yummy healthy choices. I highly recommend this restaurant since they offered many choices and was really aesthetic! Its very Instagrammable.
Livraria Lello, Porto
Take a 45 minute drive to Braga; one of Portugal's oldest cities. Braga is also the third largest city in Portugal but not as crowded as Lisbon or even Porto. In my itinerary, we only had 5 days in Portugal in general; so we didn't get to see Braga but down below I put some of the sights to see there that were recommended to me!
Top sights to see:
Bom Jesus do Monte
Garden of Santa Barbara
Chapel of Sao Frutuoso
Praca da Republica
Arco da Porta Nova
Transportation from Porto to Lisboa: There are many ways to get from Porto to Lisboa, but the cheapest way is via bus. My cousin and I took a three hour bus for only 12 Euros! If you don't want to take a bus, you can also take a train or rent a car! The cities in Portugal are pretty close together which makes transportation very easy. Everything here is usually safe, the only thing you should be careful with is theft (no one will be violent though). Trains can be 50 Euros, sometimes more of less depending the time of year... but I highly recommend taking the bus.
Day 3-5: Lisboa, Portugal
Next, you go to Lisbon for three days! Lisbon was one of my favorite cities that I visited in Europe. I had an amazing time here and I could’ve definitely stayed here for longer. The people here were incredibly kind making it one of the nicest countries I’ve actually ever been to. Lisbon is very unique and it was different than any place I’ve seen. Lisbon is also known for not being as expensive as other countries which is some thing I looked forward to. I found a lot of things to do here as well as amazing photo ops.
Where I stayed:
I stayed at We Love F Tourists located on R. Dos Fanqueiros 267, 1100-239 Lisboa. I highly recommend this hostel! It was so much fun and decorated very nicely. The location was great; right in the middle of Lisboa, making everything walkable! The workers were so kind and they all want you to have the best time in their country! They carried our suitcases up four flights even though we offered to help... WHAT! So sweet.
Top sights to see:
Pink street (Baixa) go rlly early
Rua Da Silva
Arco da Rua Augusta (wake up early)
Elevador da Buca
Santa Just a Lift (5 Euros)
Belem tower (ride the 15)
Jeronimos Monastery (long dress)
The Carmo Convent
Casa do Alentejo
LX factory (bookstore)
Lisboa is also known for its animated nightlife! If you're a party person then you're going to have the BEST time here. My hostel and I went out on a pub crawl one night and it was insane! There were thousands of people out crawling the streets of Lisbon, partying everywhere and making new friends! My cousin went out way more than I did and I can tell you that she fell in LOVE with the nightlife! If you travel here without friends, don't worry because your hostel will definetly have activities and pub crawls that will allow you to make multiple new friends!
Baxia Pink Street, Lisboa
Restaurant Recommendations: Lisbon is filled with amazing restaurants at every corner. I didn't get the chance to try out all of them, but I got a lot of them down. I'm a huge foodie and I wrote down some of the best restaurants I went too! The restaurants down below are all pretty healthy and very aesthetically pleasing. They're all decorated very nicely and the food is top tier!
Flaura and Fauna (sometimes full, very popular and very good)
Lazy (amazing atmosphere, great choice of food)
Nicolau (amaziiing menu and atmosphere but I didn’t get to eat here since I didn’t have time)
Palacio Chiado (a giant gold lion floats above you as you eat)
Oak berry for açaí bowls
On our second day here, our hostel arranged a group trip for use to see the famous Sintra! Arranging a trip with your hostel is the cheapest option you have to see Sintra since it includes multiple other locations as well as the ride there and back. Sintra is a mountain town about an hour away from Lisbon. It is a must see in Portugal and it does take a little while to explore. IT'S A HIKE TO GET UP! We were panting hahahh. The hike up was definitely worth it though!
Sights to see in Sintra:
Quinta da Regaliera
Sintra National Palace
After walking around Sintra for a couple hours, our group later drove around fifteen minutes to Cabo Da Roca. This is a must see since it is the Westernmost point of all of Europe! The ocean views here are incredible and its a huge photo op.
After taking many photos at the westernmost point of Europe, our group drove 25 minutes to the town of Cascais where we spent the rest of the day. You can save Cascais for the third day, but since our group included this we went the same day! Cascais is a beachy costal resort town where many people go on vacation. It was beyond stunning here, and theres many places to take a dip in the water!
Finally, we ended the day back in Lisbon!
After a long day yesterday, we spend day three back in Lisboa. Take this day to really explore the city and do all the things you couldn't do the first day!
Ride the famous Tram 28 from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique pr go to Cascais if you didn't have time to do it on day 2.
Other things you can do is go to Mercado de Alvalade Norte Market / Time out Market.
Tip: Buy a Lisbon Card if you plan on taking a lot of transport. The lisbon card is 21.63 for 24 hours and gives you unlimited metro, bus, trams and free admission to all the towers.
Transportation from Lisbon to Lagos: Again, there are many transportation methods in order to get to Lagos, but the cheapest is by bus! My cousin and I took the bus to Lagos for only 10 Euros and the trip was a total of 3 hours.
Day 5-7: Lagos, Portugal
The final stop on your Portugal trip is the beachside town of Lagos. Lagos is a must see that is located in the Algarve. There are a lot of things to do in Lagos town, but if you want to see even more beautiful beaches, giant caves, and a ton of photo ops, I recommend renting a car and going down the coast. The Algarve is filled with places to see… but Lagos is definitely beautiful too if you only have one day. We chose to spend two here but we didn't have time to rent a car so we stayed in the town.
Where I stayed:
I stayed in Banana Beach Hostel located on R Da Sra Da Luz 146, 4150-059. This hostel was located in a great location and a three minute walk to the beach. The hostel has a dog name Bowie who was so cute! Everything from the Hostel was walkable and they arranged a kayak tour for us as well. Super clean hostel who was very helpful as well.
Top sights to see:
Lagos Román bridge
Kayak through the Bengali Caves
Tivoli Lagos hotel
Lagos old town
Praia da Albandeira
Praia did tres irmaos
A lot of these sights are a little far from the actual town of Lagos and so I recommend renting a car to get to these. You can also take buses to each as well! The sights are huge photo spots as well and so make sure to bring your camera!
Pearl Restaurant on Saturdays has GREAT vibes ! They have a DJ with live music and a small dance floor... theres not much food unless you like Oysters! Famous for their oysters which they make right in front of you.
Nah Nah Bah restaurant has the best burgers... the burgers are HUGE. They have the cutest Menus as well.
Green Room has the best Mexican food.
Garden Restaurant has incredible decor but it gets busy.
That Concludes My One Week Portugal Itinerary!
I hope this blog helped you construct your Portugal itinerary! Portugal was definitely in my top three European countries that I visited and I just know you're going to love it there!