The Top Ten Most Beautiful Towns and Cities in Portugal

Portugal is a beautiful and fascinating country with charming towns influenced by a rich and historic past. Here are 10 unmissable towns and cities to visit in Portugal:

Angra do Heroísmo

Angra do Heroismo is one of the main settlements of the Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This town is the oldest in Portugal and steeped in history. In the town centre is the 18th-century Praça Velha, a beautiful old square that has various narrow streets and quaint alleys going off in different directions to amazing palaces, churches and forts.

Aveiro

This gorgeous town is known as the ‘Venice’ of Portugal due to the stunning network of canals that travel through the town. All the streets are adorned with glorious examples of Portuguese architecture. It is a walker’s haven – with cute bridges and courtyards. In the centre is the famous Cathedral of Aveiro.

Coimbra

This charming town houses one of Europe’s oldest universities and is situated on the picturesque banks of the Mondego River and is built in stages down the hillside towards the water. It is crammed with architectural buildings, from Renaissance and Baroque cathedrals to beautiful palaces. The university is the highlight of the town and its college dates back to the 16th century.

Évora

The town is exceptionally well-preserved and you can still see some of the original medieval city walls and the remains of the Roman Temple of Évora. There are narrow bustling streets and winding lanes lined with ancestral white-washed houses and beautiful trees.

Guimarães

This beautiful town was awarded UNESCO World Heritage due to its well-preserved architecture dating back to the Middle Ages and mainly for the important role it played during the formation of the Portuguese nation. The town is dominated by the monumental Guimarães castle.

Monsaraz

Close to the Portuguese-Spanish border, is this delightful hilltop village surrounded by the original medieval walls. The surrounding region is as impressive as the town itself, with stunning Mediterranean scenes of lush green hills, olive groves, and the Guadiana River that flows past the Spanish border.

Óbidos

Another scenic hilltop town on the west coast of Portugal that was once a small Roman settlement. The entrance to the town is through a unique tiled and colourful city gate. The town itself is surrounded by the original medieval walls. There are cobbled narrow streets that travel up to the impressive Moorish castle which overlooks the town.

Porto

This is the second largest city in Portugal and today. It has still managed to retain its historic atmosphere with its colourful buildings and crumbling medieval churches. However, deep underneath some areas of the town lie large cellars storing the city’s most famous export – delicious port wine!

Sintra

Nestled in the foothills of the mountains and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is this picturesque town. Even though quite small – It is home to various castles and palaces. On the summit of the hill lies the Castle of the Moors complete with turrets and battlements.

Tavira

Situated on the popular Algarve coast, Tavira is unique due to its unspoilt historic architecture which is displayed throughout the town. There are quaint white-washed houses and a beautiful seven-arched Moorish bridge which links the two parts of the town. It also has a soft, sandy beach leading to the Atlantic Ocean.