From Lisbon to the Algarve: Everything You Need for a Week in Portugal

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Curated By

Laura Tye

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  • Portugal

  • Lisbon

  • Family Travel

  • Active Travel

  • City Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Food

  • Local Culture

caves
Curator’s statement

Portugal is an incredible European Destination. Having the shortest flight from the US (hello less jet lag) across the Atlantic, Portugal makes a great option for a week long trip. It's full of unique architecture, amazing food, very easy to get around and almost everyone we met spoke English!

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Portugal

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Memmo Alfama Hotel Lisboa

Experience the allure of Lisbon from the Memmo Alfama Hotel, where contemporary elegance, breathtaking views of the historic Alfama district and warm Portuguese hospitality combine to create an unforgettable stay in the heart of the city.

Sul Villas & Spa

Stunning coastal Azores hotel with minimalist design that frames the nature.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

White Exclusive Suites & Villas

A sleek lovechild of two hoteliers looking to build a sanctuary of tranquility at the edge of the Atlantic.

Fora Perks
  • €25 hotel / resort credit.

  • Complimentary welcome treat and drink on arrival.

  • Upgrade, based on availability.

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Things to do in Portugal

cable car in colorful city

With a week in Portugal, we recommend splitting your time between Lisbon and the Algarve. Three nights in Lisbon and 4 in the Algarve make a perfect blend of city time, exploring and relaxation.

Lisbon

Take a ride on tram 28 - The first thing you'll notice when you arrive in Lisbon is the adorable trollies that run throughout the city! Tram 28 is especially well known because it runs through many of the most notable sites and beautiful neighborhoods in Lisbon and gives you a great overview of the city.

Visit the Afalma Neighborhood - This is the oldest part of Lisbon and oozing with charm and history! Get lost wandering the streets and just exploring this beautiful place!

Take a Tuk-tuk ride - If it's not trollies that people are using for transportation here it's tuk-tuks! You'll see them all over and it's super easy to hop on one and go wherever you like! The drivers can be incredibly knowledgable on history and fun facts of Portugal too!

Spend a day in Sintra - Without a doubt you can't visit Lisbon without a day trip to Sintra! Located about 30 minutes north of town, Sintra is a charming mountain town filled with ancient castles, palaces and gardens. My biggest recommendation for Sintra is to hire a guide ahead of time! You will get so much more out of your tour and they know all the best ways to skip the long lines!

Algarve

Vist Lagos - This charming seaside town can't be missed! With delicious restaurants, wonderful shopping, live music and epic ocean views it's the perfect spot to spend a day or base yourself for several days in the Algarve!

Bengali Cave - Probably the most photographed spot in all of the Algarve the Bengali Cave is a must see. While it can be accessed by boat, we recommend taking a kayak tour instead. This gives you more time inside the cave for swimming, exploring and photos! We took the sunrise tour to beat the crowds.

Ponta da Piedade - You've probably seen photos of these iconic cliffs jetting out across the Atlantic. This is a must see spot in the Algarve. There are hiking trails for several miles down the coastline or if you'd prefer to see them from the sea you can take a boat or kayak tour.

Places to eat & drink in Portugal

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Time Out Market (Lisbon)

A definite must stop in Lisbon! A food hall concept with some of the best restaurants in Lisbon all under one roof!

Ponto Final (Lisbon)

Without a doubt one of the most iconic spots in Lisbon! Located directly on the water this spot is perfect for watching the sunset and eating authentic Portuguese food. To get there you will need to take a ferry ride so plan ahead. Trust us it's worth the extra trouble!

STO Mercearia (Lisbon)

An old fashioned market located in downtown Lisbon. Buy food to go or eat inside, this is some of the most authentic (and well priced) food you can find in Lisbon!

Pasteis de Belem (Lisbon)

You can't leave Lisbon without a stop here for the most famous pastry in Portugal! Pastel de Nata is a delicious custard tart pastry and this spot definitely serves the best of the best! Go early because they get crowded!

Repolho Gastrobar and Garrafeira (Burgau)

Authentic Tapas in a charming space, this is a must visit near Lagos. Friendly staff and incredibly fresh food, try as much as you can, it's all delicious!

Luca's Rooftop Restaurant

Some of the best seafood you can find and an amazing rooftop ocean view! We can't recommend this place enough!

Trattoria Vecchia Milano

The pride the owner takes in this restaurant is apparent from the minute you sit down and he comes to greet you with wine samples! Great service and authentic Italian food.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Angela Huang Walsh’s guide, 10-Day Glorious Autumn Itinerary in Portugal: Porto, Lisbon & Sintra.

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Travel Advisor

Laura Tye

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.