There’s nothing better than stretching your legs along a warm shore and dipping your toes in cool water while eating filhós after spending a day frolicking in Portuguese beaches. The thought alone is heavenly, but if you’re soon planning a trip to Portugal and want to make it your best one yet, then here are the 5 best things to do in Portugal:
1. Visit the Oceanario de Lisboa Aquarium
If you’re bringing along children or are just simply fascinated by the sea, then visiting the Oceanario de Lisboa/ “The Lisbon Oceanarium” Aquarium in Lisbon is going to be a memorable experience. The Oceanario de Lisboa has a large exhibit of hundreds of marine animals and species, including penguins, seahorses, sharks, seagulls, jellyfish, sea corals, sea anemones, starfish, manta rays, sea otters, sea snails, cuttlefish, octopuses, squids, and more.
Location: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº, 1990-005 Lisboa, Portugal
Why This Is One of the Five Best Things to Do in Portugal: While visiting any oceanarium or aquarium might sound normal to you, what makes Oceanario de Lisboa an absolute gem is that it houses the Ocean Sunfish, a feat on its own because of the marine fish’s extremely challenging and specific caring and living requirements.
READ MORE: 9 Inescapable Destinations in Portugal
2. Spend A Few Nights in Wooden Cabins At Furnas Lake
The Furnas Lake is a geothermal crater pool popular among locals for its bubbling cerulean-green water and a famous hiking spot. Staying in a wooden cabin just along the lake is an unforgettable experience and if you’re looking for the best, then try Forest Living, a property of over 100 acres of hiking trails, woods, swimming pools, and fruit gardens.
Location: Sao Miguel, east of the active volcanoes, Azores
Why This Is One of the Five Best Things to Do in Portugal: Okay, so staying in a cabin by the lake may not sound that new, but trust us, staying by the Furnas Lake is an experience you’ll be begging to repeat once you try it. The Lake is one of the prettiest in Portugal.
3. Marvel At the Architecture of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
A gorgeous monastery in Lisbon, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few rare examples of Gothic Manueline architecture in Portugal. This one’s for the architects and literature lovers because this monastery dates back to the 1500s.
Location: Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Why This Is One of the Five Best Things to Do in Portugal: The western wing of the monastery has Lisbon’s Maritime Museum and neighbors the National Museum of Archaeology-it’s a history buff’s sacred treasure!
4. Stroll Through the Madeira Botanical Gardens
Oh, you’re absolutely going to love flora and fauna at the Madeira Botanical Gardens, which houses indigenous flora, succulents, medicinal, industrial, agro-industrial, and all sorts of lovely plants. A colorful walk, the Madeira Botanical Garden will fix any blue in your mood.
Location: 9060-345 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Why This Is One of the Five Best Things to Do in Portugal: If you’re a bird lover, then you’ll surely line up for the exotic collection of around 300 birds that the Madeira Botanical Gardens has. We’re talking parrots, cockatoos, doves, macaws, loriinis, etc.; truly exquisite!
5. Go Wine Tasting At Porto
Here’s a brilliant excuse to juice up on your trip to Portugal: go wine tasting at Porto, the gorgeous Portuguese city where you’ll find hundreds of places offering fruity and balanced wines to taste. It’s an extremely popular activity and will surely get you geared up for the day.
Location: Ribeira, Portugal
Why This Is One of the Five Best Things to Do in Portugal: Wine tasting is probably the most common thing to do in Portugal, but if you need a reason, the country offers brilliant wine tasting tours and often serves complimentary drinks too!