90 things to do in Portugal

I’m deeply in love with Lisbon, and Portugal in general, and the people who know me know this very well. I lived in Lisbon for four months in 2012 and had the opportunity to happily travel  across the country (read my guest-post on The Well Travelled Postcard). I went back for a week in May 2013 and I spent a weekend there this year in July, as a winner of Be Our Guest competition promoted by Visit Portugal. It seems that I can’t help going back.
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Memories and experiences mean a lot: that’s why I have created a list of 90 things to do in Portugal,and some of them go beyond traditional tour guide advice.

Tell me how many of these you have done! If your experiences are not so many, start to plan your next travel now! 😉

90 things to do in Portugal

LISBON & AROUND

  1. Get a tan in the kilometres of golden sand of Costa da Caparica.
  2. Lose yourselves in Alfama, one of the oldest parts of Lisbon. No maps: if you go up hill you will end up by the miradouros, if you walk down hill you will arrive to Largo do Chafariz de Dentro by the Museum of Fado.
  3. Drink a morangoska preta in Bairro Alto (Lisbon) and enjoy the movida. (This is my favourite cocktail. It’s made of fresh strawberries and black blueberry vodka).
  4. Listen to some excellent fado in the small bars in Alfama.
  5. Use the efficient metro to travel from the Lisbon and Porto airports to the city centres.
  6. Enjoy the sunset over the river while sipping a cocktail in the bars by the Docas de Alcântara (Lisbon).
  7. Go to the Book Fair that takes place in Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon (May-June).
  8. Take a picture with university students in their traditional uniform (Coimbra/Porto/Lisbon).
  9. Wear trekking shoes in order to survive a wet calçada (pebble street).
  10. Buy huge amounts of fresh and tasty strawberries from the peddlers (Lisbon).
  11. Walk from Cascais to Boca do Inferno.
  12. Fall in love with the Manueline architecture of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém.
  13. Walk along the coastline from Estoril to Cascais.
  14. Watch movies outdoors. During the summer, screens are placed in some of the public parks across Lisbon.
  15. Dance forró like in Brasil in Avenida da Liberdade (Lisbon).
  16. Go to the cinema during one of the many themed festivals; Lisbon has a lot to offer!
  17. Take a picture of yourself with the azulejos saying Boa viagem, Lisboa espera por ti (Have a nice trip, Lisbon is waiting for you).
  18. Lisbon has around 50 museums. Pick one to visit during rainy days.
  19. Eat a huge (vegetarian) hot dog in I Love Hotdogs close to Parque da Estrela – Lisbon.
  20. Listen to live music in one of the bars in Bairro Alto.
  21. Try a pastel de feijão (bean pastry) in the small bar in Rua do Salitre (Lisbon).
  22. Get into street art! Find out where huge murals cover buildings in Lisbon.
  23. Buy fripperies in Feira da Ladra, on Saturdays morning in Lisbon.
  24. Celebrate Santo António in Lisbon and watch the parade along Avenida da Liberdade (June).
  25. Fall in love with Lisbon from its miradouros.
  26. Realise that all the metro stations of Lisbon are different.
  27. Eat in the “illegal” Chinese restaurants and have a look at the mall in Martim Moniz (Lisbon). It seems to be in China for real.
  28. Listen to jazz music in the city parks during the summer in Lisbon (OutJazz event).
  29. Buy beer and lupin beans (imperial e tremoços) in the kiosks of Avenida da Liberdade and Principe Real.

    90 things to do in Portugal

    90 things to do in Portugal

  30. Eat a queijadinha in Sintra.
  31. Avoid the many drug dealers in Chiado and Bairro Alto at night.
  32. Eat true Indian food at the Radha Krishna Hindu Temple. Remember that parts of India belonged to the Portuguese empire and this is why there’s a long standing Hindu community in Lisbon.
  33. Take a nap in the shade of trees in Jardim da Estrela (Lisbon).
  34. Eat a pastel de nata with cinnamon.
  35. Go to Oriente to see the longest bridge in Europe! The Ponte Vasco da Gama is 17km long!
  36. Get enchanted by Sintra.
  37. Dance until the sunrise at K-Urban Beach (Lisbon).
  38. Sing out at Rock in Rio (Lisbon).
  39. Buy organic fruit and vegetables at the small Saturday morning market in Príncipe Real, a chic area of Lisbon.
  40. Learn that “a glass of beer” in Porto is said fino and not imperial as in Lisbon.
  41. Browse a book in Bertrand (Lisbon), the oldest bookstore in the world – 1732.
  42. Bite a pão de deus, a sort of sweet and soft bread with a coconut flavour. You can find it in Padaria Portuguesa.
  43. Walk on the carpet of wisteria that in the spring covers all the pavements of Lisbon.
  44. Enter into the bar/restaurant Martinho da Arcada to see where Pessoa used to sit and drink a cup of coffee.
  45. Find stores that sell licor de merda (literally “shitty liquor”) and drink it!
  46. Drink a beer in the historical Cervejaria da Trinidade (Lisbon).
  47. Survive a taxi ride in Lisbon.
  48. Go shopping until midnight in the mall Colombo in Lisbon.
  49. Climb down the stairs of the initiation wells of Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.
  50. Spend the night in Bairro Alto and end up in the clubs of Cais do Sodré.
  51. Stop by Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, and try to take a picture while blasts of wind make it very difficult to hold and focus your camera.
  52. See Lisbon from the height of the Cristo Rei (be careful: the wind is really strong!).
  53. Find out that, in reality, the tower of Belém is quite small.
  54. Eat chocolate at Claudio Corallo’s shop in Príncipe Real.
  55. Be able to avoid spits: a disgusting habit of older people in old worker neighbourhoods.
  56. Support your national team watching football matches on the screens at Praça de Touros of Campo Pequeno (Lisbon).
  57. Drink in small bars such as Os Amigos da Severa in the Mouraria area.
  58. 90 things to do in Portugal

    90 things to do in Portugal

    REST OF PORTUGAL

  59. Visit the scary Capela dos Óssos in Évora.
  60. Take a 6 hour train trip along the Douro valley.
  61. Visit the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha. They are wonderful; indeed they are in the Unesco Heritage list.
  62. Go back in time by attending the Medieval Fair in Óbidos in July.
  63. Admire the azulejos in the train station of São Bento in Porto.
  64. Take a boat trip to the caves in Lagos.
  65. Immerse (at least your feet) in the freezing ocean at Praia da Barra, next to Aveiro.
  66. Go to Livraria Lello, the most famous book store in Porto, and get mad because you are not allowed to take pics.
  67. Be happy with plain toast with salted butter.
  68. Drink a ginjinha in a glass made of chocolate in Óbidos (then eat the glass!).
  69. Enjoy the summer in Lagos.
  70. Visit the romantic centre of Guimarães.
  71. Learn that bread and cheese on the tables are not included in the price.
  72. Celebrate São João in Porto (June).
  73. Take a trip on a moliceiro, one of the traditional boats in Aveiro.
  74. Finish a whole francesinha in Porto (Sacrilege! You can also find a vegetarian version of this dish!).
  75. Take a tour in the wine cellars of Porto.
  76. Be brave enough to eat ovo mole in Aveiro.
  77. Visit the sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga.
  78. Take a picture of yourself with Aqui Nasceu Portugal sign in Guimarães.
  79. Be surprised by the amount of objects made of cork; including umbrellas. Portugal is one of the major cork producer in the world.
  80. Buy either a necklace or earrings in the shape of the heart of Viana do Castelo.
  81. Visit the University of Coimbra, the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe.
  82. Walk the trekking path to get to Ponta da Piedade from the beach Praia do Camilo (Lagos).
  83. Get crazy in the Queima das Fitas parade in Coimbra during the first week of May. I didn’t go there myself, but all my friends highly recommend.
  84. Listen to students playing and singing Coimbra Fado which is closely linked to academic traditions.
  85. Drive to the Arrabida Natural Park. Enjoy natural surrounding and the wonderful beaches.
  86. Chat with Australian tourists who you find spread all over the Algarve.
  87. Get to know the tragic love story of Dom Pedro and Dona Ines. A sort of Portuguese Romeo and Juliet.
  88. Eat in a small tasca, a typical restaurant, and avoid touristic places.
  89. Don’t be a stereotypical tourist that speaks Spanish thinking is Portuguese. It’s kind of annoying and they are two different languages!
  90. Find out that Portugal is the oldest state in Europe.
  91. Learn that beers are rivals. Sagres is from the south and Super Bock from the north.

What would you suggest to do?

 

90 things to do in Portugal

90 things to do in Portugal

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