THREE MUST-VISIT CITIES TO GET A TASTE OF THE NATURE AND CULTURE OF PORTUGAL
Located on the Iberian Peninsula, the southern European country of Portugal lies beautiful with its beautiful landscapes, rich history and cultural heritage. Being located right on the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s natural landscape and culture have been influenced a lot by the sea. Blessed with its beautiful yet rugged coastlines, breathtaking beaches, clear water and incredible weather, the country witnesses hundreds of thousands of travellers coming on private tours to Portugal every year. And due to the cheap prices, Portugal vacation packages tend to be quite budget-friendly too. And the beautiful nature is not the only reason you want to travel to Portugal. The cities are culturally rich, cosmopolitan, yet they boast of architectures which date to the 1500s–1800s. Here are the top three cities in Portugal which you must visit if you want a beautiful vacation full of cultural experiences and wonderful natural landscapes.
Being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is one great city which you will instantly fall in love with. The city is rich with history, culture, awesome food and wonderful people. Situated on the west coast of Portugal, this old yet cosmopolitan city will win your heart in a heartbeat. With its beautiful juxtaposition of culture and history, Lisbon is one must-visit city if you want to truly explore the history and culture of Portugal. Visit Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to explore the art scene of modern Portugal. You will get to see over one thousand curated artworks of various renowned local and international artists, starting from Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and many more. Take a trip to the historic area of the city and check out the Castle of St. George, a castle which dates back to the second century.
To explore the early living styles in Portugal, ride the iconic old-fashioned trams which still run through Lisbon’s streets. Ride the famous Elevador de Santa Justa, a century-old elevator which used to be run off steam back in days. And for your share of the sheer natural beauty that Lisbon holds, you must visit one of the many gorgeous beaches of this city. Visit the Guincho Beach if you want to take a relaxing dip in the beautiful water. Head to Morena Beach to experience the fun side of Lisbon, or spend your time in Meco Beach if you want to spend some time away from the crowd, amidst peaceful nature.
Another city which you must travel to for culture and nature when you visit Portugal is Porto. Apart from being the second largest city in the country, Porto is a world heritage zone full of old winding streets and heritage churches and buildings which give you an old-world experience. This historic riverside city is one of the best places you can visit to get a taste of true Portuguese culture.
From Porto, you can travel to Douro Valley, which is located near the city. Douro Valley is home to the famous port vineyards of the region. The city of Porto is famous for its port wine, and a trip to Vila Nova de Gaia is mandatory when you visit this city. Learn the history of port wine and drink a glass or a few while you are here. You can also take a boat ride through the Douro River, and enjoy the gorgeous views. Catch a performance at Casa da Musica, if you want to experience the local music and theatre that Portugal Has to offer. Also remember to visit Neoclassical Palacio das Carrancas, which was the first national museum of Portugal.
To experience the old-school vibe of the city up-close, you need to visit Ribeira, the old town of Porto. Full of historic yet beautiful medieval streets and architectures, this area of the city will take you back to the past. You can have a taste of the local cuisine at one of the numerous local cafes, or take a ride on the characteristic boats that you will only find here. Do visit the São Francisco Church, the Baroque and Gothic-style interiors of which will surely blow you away.
The last city which you cannot miss during your Portugal trip for your share of cultural experiences is Coimbra. Housing the oldest university in the country, Coimbra is a city full of historic buildings and rich culture. Your first stop has to be the University of Coimbra. This World Heritage Site sits on top of a hill located right in the middle of the city. Explore the medieval citadel, climb 180 steps of a tower built in the 16th century to reach the highest point of the university and view the incredible vista of the city or visit the 17th-century ceremonial hall named ala dos Capelos while you are here. Biblioteca Joanina, a Baroque library which dates back to the 1720s, is another place which you cannot afford to miss while you are in Coimbra.