We spent two weeks traveling around Portugal, visiting Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon and Sagres, making sure to see as much as possible. Portugal surprised us as it’s not just a beach holiday destination, the country is full of charm, history, culture, delicious food and of course, the best Port! Here are 11 things you must do when visiting Portugal!
Go Port tasting! In Porto you can visit Taylor’s Port Cellar, Graham’s Port Lodge and lots more Port houses and in Douro Valley, you can visit the vineyards where Port originates
Taste some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste. Cervejaria Ramiro Restaurant where Antony Bourdain raved about often has a wait time but definitely worth a visit, if you can.
See where J.K Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter at the Livraria Lello bookshop in Porto. Classed as one of the most beautiful bookshops worldwide and the staircase is said to have inspired Hogwarts. Queues are big and you need to buy tickets.
Find a dining spot along The Cais da Ribeira riverfront – the heart of the city
Get the Gaia cable car down from the top of Porto (Porto is very steep) down to the riverfront
Watch a football match – we were able to watch Porto play which was really good fun.
Go on the most scenic train journey from Porto to Douro Valley which takes around an hour and a half. You’ll see a spectacular landscape of usteep hillsides covered with vines and quintas (wine producing farms)
Catch some of the best surfs at Sagres and enjoy some rest and relaxation
Spot the famous mustard coloured tram 28 in Lisbon
Try Pastéis de Nata (egg custard tart pastry dusted with cinnamon) in different spots including Lisbon, Porto and Belem (where they originated) and decide your favourite
Enjoy the tastiest yet messiest sandwich Francesinha which consists of bread, ham, fresh sausage, steak or roast meat, cheese, spiced tomato and beer sauce!
Admire the colourful streets of Lisbon whether that’s Pink Street (an Instagrammable street full of Lisbon’s nightlife) or traditional tiles on Retro Store a Vida Portuguesa or the pastel blue, pink and yellow houses that line Lisbon’s cobbled streets in Alafama
Visit the The National Palace of Pena in Sintra – a colourful castle, high up in the clouds (480m up!) a fairytale location
It’s a hike to get up to the Palace of Pena and I do recommend getting the tourist bus or as we did – a Tuk Tuk! The ride back down the steep hill was the funniest yet scariest ride I’ve ever had
Traveling around Portugal was such a great experience and I truly loved seeing all the different sides to the country. Have you visited Portugal before and what was your favourite part?