The Best Cities to Discover in Portugal
We have already talked about the 10 most romantic places in Portugal and you certainly managed to find some of the most beautiful places in the country. Today we are not going to focus on Portuguese romantic cities, but on cities that represent and characterize the best of Portugal. Are you ready?
Both Braga and Guimarães are two imperative cities to understand the history and essence of Portugal. We put them together in a single topic because the ideal is visiting them together (it is worth to go through the 25 kilometers that separate these cities due to everything you will discover there).
Braga is one of the oldest Christian cities in the world (with more than 2,000 years of history!). Take the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary of Sameiro, the Cathedral of Braga and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus. Guimarães is known as "The Cradle of Portugal" - it was here that the first King of Portugal was born - and is famous for its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tomar truly is an artistic, cultural and historical treasure. Located in the district of Santarém, the city is very visited by those interested in History, given its deep connection to the Knights Templar. There, you can visit the Convent of Christ, founded by the Order of Christ, and declared World Heritage. Undoubtedly, a place where you can unveil some secrets of this military order so famous since the Middle Ages.
In Tomar, you can also admire the Church of St. John the Baptist (the Mother Church in Praça da República) which stands out for its portal with elements of Manueline architecture. You will be absolutely blown away!
Do you know Fatima, the city of the Three Shepherds? The city, located in central Portugal, is internationally famous for being one of the most important Catholic centers in the world. Whether you are religious or not, it is well worth discovering the Sanctuary of Fatima, which receives thousands of pilgrims every year. Its historical and cultural impact is the key to discover Portugal.
The story goes that it was here that the Virgin appeared to three young shepherd children in 1917. In the wide space of the Sanctuary of Fatima, spend some time to live the spiritual environment that is felt there... And take a close look at a fragment of the Berlin Wall, donated to the Sanctuary after its fall.
The land of the delicious Ginjinha! The charming medieval village of Óbidos is one of the greatest Portuguese jewels. The cherry liqueur (the Ginja), the narrow streets, the brightly painted houses, the flowers hanging delicately in the windows of the houses, the Castle and the Wall are just some of the obligatory points of passage on a visit to Óbidos.
Undoubtedly Óbidos could be included in the list of the most romantic places in Portugal. The perfect plan for a relaxed weekend away from the chaos of a bigger city.
Azores, Azores ... How can you be so magical? Probably the place in greatest contact with nature in Portugal. The island of São Miguel, in the Azores, is one of the most beautiful places in the country and of which the Portuguese are most proud. Full of dense vegetation, it represents the exponent of the natural beauty of the Azores. Venture out to discover the immense belvederes, trails, and lakes scattered around the island.
Enjoy visiting the capital of São Miguel, the city of Ponta Delgada, which perfectly combines Nature with History and Modernity. There are many activities and attractions waiting for you, in a visit that will certainly make you aware of the Portuguese essence.
You may have noticed that the big cities of Porto and Lisbon are missing. Well, it was intentional so that you could move away from these two great urban centers, in order to explore other cities in Portugal with a lot to offer to the most curious travelers. Now, you just need to decide the city you want to visit and organize your trip!