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9 Best Cities in Portugal To Add to Your 2023 Itinerary

Tram in Lisbon, one of Portugal's most visited cities (photo: Paulo Evangelista)

Portugal seems to have been grabbing the headlines recently with its stunning coastal scenery, rich history, and amazing food; there’s a lot to love. And while Lisbon and Porto often steal the spotlight, Portugal is filled with charming cities and towns waiting to be explored. 

Once the Portugal bug has bitten you, it’s difficult to leave. That happened to me nearly five years ago, and I’m still here.

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal in 2024, check out some of my best cities in Portugal. Let’s dive in! 

Cities in Portugal

1. Lisbon

Tram in Lisbon, one of Portugal's most visited cities (photo: Paulo Evangelista)
Tram in Lisbon (photo: Paulo Evangelista)

The capital of Portugal and the largest city in the country, Lisbon offers first-time visitors the perfect introduction to Portugal’s appealing mix of modern vibrancy and old-world charm. 

The hilly terrain makes for a challenging walk, but if you burn enough calories, you can feast on local treats like the pasteis de nata or custard tarts guilt-free.

Legend has it the monks of the Jeronimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon, created the original recipe, which hasn’t changed much to this day – perfect with a cup of coffee!

Take a tram ride around the city, or what I like to do is rent one of the little electric scooters to get about more quickly. Packed with restaurants and bars that are open late into the night, Lisbon has something for everyone. 

My Tip: Take a few hours to learn about the 1755 earthquake that rocked the city at the Quake Museum.

2. Porto

Colorful buildings in Porto, one of the best cities in Portugal (photo: Ekin-Fidel Tanriverdi)
Colorful buildings in Porto (photo: Ekin-Fidel Tanriverdi)

Another gem not to be missed is the city of Porto. Built along the banks of the Douro River, Porto enchants visitors with its postcard-worthy scenery and port wine culture. 

Cross the iconic double-decker Dom Luís I Bridge for picturesque views and take a tour of the port wine cellars to get a taste of this fortified wine straight from the source. 

Browse the shops and cafes of the Ribeira district or catch traditional music at Casa da Música concert hall. 

One of my favorite things to do is grab a bite and drink and people-watch at the Aduela—a relaxed hangout and the top place to head on a sunny afternoon. 

My Tip: Head to the Instagram-worthy Livraria Lello bookstore to mooch around and buy some books for your trip.  

3. Coimbra

Convent ruins in Coimbra, Portugal (photo: Mágui de Almeida Carreira)
Convent ruins in Coimbra (photo: Mágui de Almeida Carreira)

Get a taste of student life in youthful Coimbra, home to Portugal’s historic University of Coimbra – It…

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