1. Lisbon: 547,631
Lisbon is the largest city in Portugal. You can easily visit it by purchasing a daily pass on its metro system. But you’ll want to stay in this large city at least for a few days as it has so many to offer.
Castelo de São Jorge is an interesting stop, but you’ll have to climb up a hill to visit it from within.
Then, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos monastery is worth visiting as a symbol of the voyage Vasco da Gama’s pioneering trip to the West Indies.
The Oceanário de Lisboa is also an aquarium worth visiting. Far from Portugal’s classic architecture, this is one of the most avant-garde aquariums in the world.
For cities that are still rather small, these largest municipalities in Portugal have plenty to offer.
The history of the country is impressive and steeped in the interest of discovery and the appreciation for the finer things of life. Part of this charm is still present in these cities.
2. Porto: 237,559
A warm climate, low prices, and easy accessibility from Europe by airplane make Porto one of the best city-break destinations in Portugal.
The second-largest city in Europe always sees an influx of tourist over the weekend or during weeknights when one of its multiple football clubs play in a European competition.
The local food and wine scene also see a number of tourists only coming to indulge in the best the city has to offer.
3. Vila Nova de Gala: 186,503
This city is an excellent tourist hotspot as it’s quite easy to reach from Porto. You can start your visit at the Dom Luis I Bridge. This metal-made bridge is on almost all Portugal postcards so you need to see it in person.
But you also need to visit the famous Port, a popular loading and unloading wine port. This is where the famous brandy-fortified wine was transported from.
4. Amadora: 175,135
Portugal is a country with many unique attractions. In a very small space, you can move from one city to another to see all types of marvels. In Amadora, the country’s 4th largest city, you can see the Aguas Livre Aqueduct.
Built hundreds of years ago, this aqueduct still runs water and it can be one of the most photographed attractions when you visit this city.
5. Braga: 143,532
Braga is another interesting city in Portugal. The 5th largest city in the country, it is known for its unique football stadium that has been built into a giant rock.
But the city itself offers plenty of other Christian attractions for tourists. Braga cathedral built-in 1500 is one of the main attractions here. But many Instagram fans head over to Bom Jesus de Monte.
Located just a few minutes out of Braga, this cathedral is completed by the Baroque Escaderia, a labyrinth-style staircase built from solid materials that have stood the test of time
6. Coimbra: 143,396
Coimbra is known for its friendly residents and the vast choice of different attractions for a city that is not too large by European standards. You can walk from one attraction to another in this 140.000 people city.
Velha Universidade de Coimbra holds a special place in the heart of the city. Sé Velha, the old fortified cathedral isn’t too far either.
Praça do Comércio is a good shopping destination but it can also be the place where you spend the evening simply relaxing and admiring the relaxed atmosphere of Coimbra.
7. Funchal: 111,892
Funchal is one of the most beautiful and underrated cities in Portugal and in Europe. It’s the official capital of Madeira Island and it represents one of the best tourist destinations for fun in the sun.
You need to visit its Levada Walks if you like trekking. But the Botanical Garden of Funchal also looks spectacular as the flowers, plants, and trees overlook the sea. If you feel like the best way to see Funchal is from above, you’re in luck.
There’s a good chance you can hop on the Teleferico de Funchal to view the city from above on almost any day.
8. Almada: 101,500
Almada is Portugal’s 8th largest city. It’s known for being the home of the world’s second-largest Jesus statue after the one in Rio de Janeiro. The statue in Almada measures 80 meters in height.
But you can also admire all types of other engineering achievements in the city. For example, you can visit and photograph the famous 25 de Abril Bridge.
It has been built a few decades ago and it has been one of the top 50 largest in the world ever since. But you’ll notice just how similar it is to the Golden Gate Bridge as this one has been made by the same company.
9. Setúbal: 90,640
The small municipality of Setubal is known for its Monastery of Jesus’s religious attraction. The architecture of this monastery is interesting, but with inspiration from other 16th century houses of worship.
But as almost anywhere in Portugal, the sun and the beach are always worthy attractions. In Setubal, you can consider the Praia de Tróia. You’ll have to catch a ferry to its peninsula but the sights alone are worth the trip.
10. Agualva-Cacém: 81,845
This small city surprises most visitors with just how many attractions it offers given its small size. Quinta da Regaleria is an incredible estate built by a local rich man that you can visit. You won’t see anything like it anywhere else in the world.
Castelo dos Mouros and Sintra National Palace are top places to visit as well. The Belém Tower is also a short drive away offering an incredible UNESCO-worthy sight.
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