No matter where in Portugal you are, these are the things you should always do.
The Ultimate List
Further along this page you´ll find all "Best of Portugal" lists we have made for you. But before you dive in, we have to give you the ultimate Portugal list. Regardless of the region you're in, these are the things that you should absolutely do to get that real Portugal vibe:
1. Taste local sweets
Although the custard cake "pastel de nata" has gained most fame outside of Portugal, every region, city or even village has its own local specialty when it comes to sweets. Find a local "pastelaria" (bakery) and taste as much as you can!
2. Discover the local legend
The Portuguese are great in preserving stories from long ago. The country is filled with legends and tales about kings, princesses, fearless warriors and talking animals. You will probably stumble upon a statue, symbol or sign telling the local story yourself, but if not: ask for it at the nearest tourist office.
3. Hit the beach
No, it's not only the Algarve that has great beaches. Literally all seven regions of Portugal have a phenomenal coast. No stay in this country will be complete without dipping your tow in the Atlantic Ocean.
4. Visit the market
A great place to meet the locals is visiting a market, which will never be far away. It's very common for the Portuguese to buy their vegetables, fruits, fish and meat here. Discover new smells, flavours and foods (and don't forget they're usually only open in the morning).
5. Go wine tasting
You all know port wine, but have you tried the other Portuguese wines? It's a shame they're so little known outside of Portugal, because they're delicious! Every region has it's own grapes and traditions. Find the nearest winery and taste!
6. Listen to fado
Although the official fado cities are Lisbon and Coimbra, you can go and see a fado performance anywhere in the country. You can choose a big concert by famous fadistas or find something smaller and more intimate.
7. Eat something from the grill
What's that smell? It's the delicious aroma of barbecue. The Portuguese love preparing their meat, fish and vegetables on the charcoal grill. They do it in their own homes, but you will find a lot of restaurants that offer grilled foods as well. The nicest are the ones that prepare it right in front of you on the terrace!
8. Visit a sanctuary
The Portuguese are almost exclusively Catholic. Although religion is loosing its importance in every day life, the country is still filled with chapels, monasteries, churches and shrines.
There are very special religious places spread throughout the country: bone chapels in the south, impressive sanctuaries with baroque staircases in the north, and huge monasteries - filled with symbolism - in the center.