While Portugal has always been a popular vacation destination, it has for many years stood in the second row behind coastal countries like Spain, Greece and Italy. In recent years however, the country in the far southwestern corner of Europe has taken large steps forward on the popularity scale. To those who have visited the country, this hardly comes as a surprise. Portugal has beautiful cities, many pretty coast areas with great beaches and lots of sceneries that invite outdoor fans to go out and explore.

Portugal has long been a country mired in financial crisis, but it has since dug its way out of it. Partly, this has been achieved by climbing the popularity ladder in terms of tourism. Today, the country no longer only thrives on travel to its coastal areas, but also experienced a notable uptick in city breaks and has explored new avenues such as ecotourism.

The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region bordering the Atlantic Ocean, continues to be the main tourist draw of the country, welcoming millions of visitors every year. Other Portuguese coastal regions, for example those in the Southwestern Alentejo region, are slowly catching up.

While these areas are mostly summer destinations, the two largest cities in the country draw visitors year-round. Lisbon, the capital, features a lot of historical attractions and entices with its beautiful townscape. Porto, the center of Portugal’s Northern half, dazzles with its impressive location at the banks of the river Douro.

Other sites of interest in Portugal include Sintra, a town with numerous palaces and castles. Off the mainland, the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also popular with travelers.

PopulationAreaCurrencyEU memberSchengen area
10,600,00092,212 km²Euroyesyes

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