The Top Ten Rated Tourist Attractions in Portugal
Portugal is steeped in history with medieval villages, impressive towns, and famous cities where beautiful palaces, castles, museums and monasteries are just waiting to be explored.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon
Vasco da Gama, discovered the sea route to India in 1498 and to honour this victory, King Manuel I commissioned this monument which is now one of the country’s most symbolic and adored structures.
Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon Ulrika
This is definitely Portugal’s most popular and family-friendly attraction and is one of Europe’s largest oceanariums, accommodating a huge display of fish and marine animals. A vast central tank is visible from different levels, containing shark, ray, and other amazing deep sea wonders!
Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Lisbon Coast
This is the best-preserved medieval royal palace in Portugal and is situated in the heart of Sintra. It boasts amazing state rooms outlining the history of Portugal’s rulers, who lived here from the 15th to the late 19th century.
Torre de Belém, Lisbon
This is one of Portugal’s beloved monuments; it stands as a symbol of the Age of Discovery and the voyages of exploration that occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries.
It was completed in 1521 as a fortress to defend the approaches to the River Tagus and the huge tower is symbolic of military architecture.
Convento do Cristo, Tomar
Towering over the charming riverside town of Tomar, this outstanding castle overlooks the river Nabão. It was built in 1160 as the headquarters for the Knights Templar and is one of Portugal’s most important historic attractions.
Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga
This is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country. It comprises of a stupendous Baroque Escadaria (stairway) and the church of Bom Jesus. This magnificent complex also features various chapels depicting amazing sculptured scenes from the Passion of Christ.
Universidade de Coimbra
This is acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The historic buildings of the old Coimbra University surround a beautiful cloistered square, the Paço das Escolas. The Alta and Sofia wings of the university were once a royal residence. There is a superb Biblioteca Joanina, an elegant library designed in 1717 by King João V.
Museum Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
The museum boasts a collection of over 6,000 art pieces, belonging to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, who was an extremely wealthy Armenian oil magnate who donated his priceless items to the Portuguese nation upon his death in 1955.
Castelo de Guimarães
This is where Portugal’s first monarch, Dom Afonso Henriques, was born in 1110. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its vast collection of historic monuments located all around the old town centre.
Torre de Clérigos, Oporto
This is one of Oporto’s defining landmarks and it languishes 75 meters over the old town. The slim tower was built in the 18th century by Nicolau Nasoni and emits a gallant sense of refined elegance.