A travel guide to Portugal
Portugal is with its beautiful mix of perfect beaches and picturesque town an amazing holiday destination. If you visit Portugal for the first time you will be surprised by the friendliness and hospitality of the people, the affordable and delicious food and wine, and the diversity of the country where it is easy to travel around in a few days.
THINGS TO DO
The charming old center of Porto, the vibrant old center of Porto, Ribeira is located next to the river Douro. The colorful houses, narrow streets, local restaurants, and typical boats give the area a picturesque sight. This characterful Cais de Ribeira was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Ribeira is the place to go when you are looking for many cute restaurants and bars or authentic souvenir stores.
Alfama is the oldest quarter of Lisbon and lies on one of the seven hills of Lisbon. The quarter is filled with romantic picturesque streets. It’s like a labyrinth of steep corners, small streets, and stairs. There are a lot of local bars where you can listen to traditional fado music every night. Fado is a type of music that originated in this quarter. In Lisbon there are a lot of tuk-tuks driving around, there is also a very fun way to explore the town.
PRAIA DA BORDEIRA IN THE ALGARVE
This is a secluded beach with soft sand on the West coast of Portugal. It’s a very spectacular spot because the beach is backed by giant dunes and hills. There is a calm lagoon created by a river at the end of the beach if you like still waters, but if you are a fan of surfing you can just go around the corner and surf the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
WHERE TO STAY
THE YEATMAN, PORTO
This hotel is situated above the Douro River and has glorious views over Porto’s old town. It has a reputation for being one of Europe’s most sophisticated five-star hotels. The hotel has a two Michelin-star restaurant with head chef Ricardo Costa.
OLISSIPPO LAPA PALACE - THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD, LISBON
This luxurious 5-star hotel was built in the 19th century and is nestled on a sub-tropical garden on a hilltop overlooking the Tagus River. It has a luxurious spa where you can relax. Very elegant rooms, an amazing restaurant, and 3 swimming pools.
WHERE TO EAT
CANTINHO DE AVILLEZ, PORTO
This restaurant is owned by a superstar chef, José Avillez. He has no less than five restaurants in Lisbon, and this is his first restaurant in Porto. It’s a casual and comfortable space with a home-style ambiance. It’s a traditional Portuguese kitchen with the inspiration of the chef’s world travels.
This is a fresh, organic, and produce-heavy restaurant that is injecting new life into the traditional neighborhood of Baixa. Their dishes are inspired by and made with national, seasonal, and fresh ingredients. They also have a wine list to go with the food with only organic, biodynamic, and natural wines.
WHERE TO SHOP
FREEPORT LISBOA FASHION OUTLET
This is one of the best fashion outlets in Lisbon, it’s a huge outlet center only a 30-minute drive from the capital city and has major designer brands like Dolce&Gabanna and Hugo Boss.
This is a luxury shopping at VILA VITA Parc in the Algarve. Here you can find top-of-the-line fashion, accessories, and jewelry in a casual and chic open-air plaza environment.
VIA CATARINA, PORTO
This is Porto’s most charming shopping center, it’s located along Rua de Santa Catarina. The fronts of the stores are replicas of the kinds of facades of typical old Northern Portugal shops.