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Towns & Cities

24 comments from other Portugalist readers

The following are just a few of the towns & cities around Portugal that have been featured on Portugalist.

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Last updated in May 2019.
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24 thoughts on “Towns & Cities”

Leave a comment or ask a question below. I try and answer all of them.
  1. We are a family of four and will be visiting the Algarve in July. We are looking for somewhere interesting to stay. Do you want to recommend us somewhere?

    • Hi Deborah,

      There’s an article on Portugalist that lists all of the hotels on the Algarve that either have great waterslides or are near a waterpark. Depending on how old your kids are, it could throw up some interesting accommodation options.

      I think Airbnb.com can be great for families as well, if you haven’t already looked at it. Although you won’t have facilities like waterslides, you do tend to get a lot more space and the ability to cook which can be very useful for families.

  2. Good day!
    We are looking for a flat for 6 months to stay, somewhere between Cascais and Sintra. Could you recommend some websites to search?

  3. Hi Mr. Portugal. We have four days after a river cruise. Should we do: Azores, Madeira, Lisbon, or a little bit of M and L? THANK YOU

    • I would choose the Azores over Madeira, but 4 days isn’t a lot of time and taking a flight to Madeira or the Azores is really going to eat into your travel time. I’d probably recommend staying on mainland Portugal and spending 1-2 days in Lisbon, seeing Sintra (at least 1 day) and then maybe Porto or, depending on how hot it’ll be, some smaller towns in and around the Alentejo.

  4. Good afternoon,
    I am an American citizen who moved to Pico Azores a year ago. The Azores is beautiful, but because it’s an island, there really isn’t much to do and when trying to purchase certain items, it is difficult. Getting anything shipped from America is expensive and the island just doesn’t offer much because of course, everything is shipped over from the continent. The Azores is more of a tourist destination and not a place to raise a family in my opinion. My husband is Azorean, and I am a legal permanent resident, my son has dual citizenship-USA and Portugal. We started a business on the island, but, honestly, we are thinking of relocating to mainland Portugal. I want to be close to a big city with more options, but don’t want an overpopulated area. My husband mentioned northern Portugal, but I prefer warm weather. I see a lot of articles on the Algarve, but know it’s very touristy. Are there other areas in Southern Portugal or maybe Central that you could recommend? We are not extremely familiar with Portugal so any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance for any advice or help you could give. Best wishes
    Jaclyn

    • Hi Jaclyn,

      Yes, I can imagine living in The Azores would be as you described.

      If you want to live near a big city, then Lisbon and Porto are the biggest. Lisbon has a population of around 500k and Porto has around half that. After that, the cities tend to be quite small. Faro, the capital of the Algarve, has a population of around 50k, for example.

      As for good weather, you will basically need to look at anywhere south of Lisbon. The Algarve has the best weather, but the cities are small and the coastal towns are touristy – especially in summer.

      So, I guess it really depends on what you mean by a big city. Lisbon is really the only big city in Portugal with good weather for most of the year (winters can be a bit damp) and, if you didn’t want to live in the city centre, you could consider living on the outskirts or in a small town nearby.

      Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any other questions that you have.

  5. Hi, I just found your site while searching on places Anthony Bourdain ate while he was in Porto. I’ve been in Portugal for 2 months. Thinking of hiking the Camino next. Any advice? Thank you!

    • Hey Suazanne,

      I haven’t actually done the Camino myself (yet), so don’t have too much info. I think most people start just slightly North of Porto rather than doing the whole route.

      Alternatively, the Fatima pilgrimage is slowly becoming more popular as well.

  6. Hello Mr Portugal

    We’re a couple hoping to do a last minute budget-as-possible beach stay in Portugal. Preferably somewhere with fewer tourists, if it is possible. We know that choosing a beach destination on a budget is not ideal in July – do you have any advice for helping us reach our aspirations? We’re open to renting a car.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Tom,

      Well, most of the international beach tourists will be heading to the Algarve at that time of year – especially the Central Algarve – so that’s probably where you’ll need to avoid. The West Coast of the Algarve doesn’t usually get too busy but, if you want to avoid tourists completely, head for somewhere up the country.

      As for doing it cheap, you would probably need to look at flights at Airbnb.com and booking.com. Sometimes you can find really cheap accommodation in somewhere like the Algarve, even though it’s one of the most popular destinations. The same goes for flights. Sometimes you end up finding really cheap flights to somewhere like Faro (the Algarve’s airport) even though it should be expensive then.

      I’d start with flights. The three airports to look at are Faro (Algarve), Lisbon, and Porto.

      For the Algarve, I’d consider the Western Algarve. If you fly into Lisbon, I’d drive south towards the Alentejo Coast. And, for Porto, I’d head a little further north towards says Viana do Castelo. Note: this part of Portugal doesn’t get as warm as the South.

      I’d love to hear how you get on, so please report back!

  7. We are planning a trip for Christmas time and would appreciate your recommendation as to which place/area to stay.

    • Hi Alcie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Well, the Algarve has the best weather but not a lot in terms of culture. Lisbon is a good compromise. It has a lot of things to see and do, and the weather is usually quite mild. For me, that would be my main focus.

      I also like Porto in December, although it’ll probably be quite damp and grey.

    • Hi Dom,

      I just haven’t managed to write up the content for it yet. I’ve just re-visited it and now have lots of new photos and tips so, hopefully, it’ll go up sometime in the next few weeks.

  8. Hi,
    We plan to go to Portugal last week of October and first of November.
    We past a week in Lisbon for sure, but we hesitate from Porto with the Douro and Algarve for the second week.

    What do you suggest to us?

    Cordially,

    • Hi Ginette,

      It depends on what type of trip you want (or feel like you need). Porto and the Douro for history and culture. The Algarve for beaches and sunshine (It won’t be super hot at that time of year in the Algarve, but it can still be pretty warm).

    • Hi Sal,

      I need to do a proper writeup on Coimbra.

      There were a few places that spring to mind. I remember enjoying the Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova, and wandering around the Repúblicas (student accommodation area). If you’re a history buff, I’d also recommend Conimbriga which has some interesting Roman ruins.

  9. We are a group of four with luggage and hand luggage. Wanting to travel from Porto to Ferragudo by van or a larger vehicle mid September. Could be a limo or private transportation company.

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