Why is Portugal the Top Tourist Destination? Did you ever wonder why everyone is visiting Portugal? In 2017 alone, 23 million tourists have visited Portugal, and by 2019 the numbers are still rising! So what is the secret? Is it the beaches? The food? The historical monuments? The cities? The people? Well… There is no right answer to this question, but the truth is: tourists do love this country and we compiled a list of 8 reasons of why Portugal might be the all time top tourist destination of the world.
1. Exploring Lisbon
Tourists usually start their travel journey by exploring Lisbon. You see, flights to Lisbon are extremely cheap, starting as low as 12€, depending on the location of course. Lisbon is also one of the most historical cities of Europe. Sites like Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Praça do Comércio, Rossio and the Monument of the Discoveries are super popular destinations. While tourists enjoy their adventure through the old streets of the capital, they can also take the Lisbon tram 28, which makes the experience much more fun and enjoyable. Also, if you’ll be visiting the Belém area you should not forget to try the Pastéis de Belém, it’s a must! However, our personal favourite monument is the Cristo Rei Statue, with a view of the whole city of Lisbon and 25 de Abril Bridge that a lot of people mistake with the San Fransciso Golden Gates, don’t be that person!
2. The Romantic Porto
Porto is the ultimate city for wine lovers and romantic views. Situated on the north side of the Douro River, Porto’s most unique and popular sites are the: Bridge Luís I, Clérigos Tower, Porto Cathedral, Porto Wine Cellars and the São Bento Train Station. And for the Harry Potter lovers… Livraria Lello is a must see bookstore (JK Rowling once lived in Porto and it inspired the one in Hogwarts). If you ever visit Porto, you have to taste the wine from the local restaurants as it is perceived worldwide for its exquisite flavor and rich quality.
3. The weather and beaches
Portugal is known worldwide for its amazing weather, not to hot and not too cold, just perfect. Portugal is also known for its amazing, exotic and clean beaches. In 2017, Portugal was awarded a higher percentage of Blue Flag beaches than any other country in Europe. The Algarve alone has 86 awarded beaches and is the top 3 tourist destination inside of Portugal, specially in the summer. Algarve beaches like Praia da Marinha, Praia da Rocha and Praia da Falésia are the reason that tourists love to come here and enjoy their holidays. Outside of Algarve, we recommend you visit Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo in Sesimbra, Cabo da Roca, Peniche and, specially, Nazaré!
4. The Food and Culture
Portuguese people take food very seriously. It’s a must to be a good cooker and to always prepare a meal in time. Portuguese cuisine is considered amongst the most healthy. Almost every restaurant is a no disappointment and you don’t even have to break the bank to try one of the best cuisines of the entire world! Crazy, isn’t it. The national meals that we recommend you try are: Bacalhau, Cozido à Portuguesa, Leitão and Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato. Oh, and the coffee is so damn good, honestly!
One more city on the list that we think that makes Portugal the top tourist destination is Fátima. Being our lovely hometown, Fátima is arguably the most calming city in Portugal. It’s known for the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, and the history behind it is absolutely stunning. In the year of 1917 on the 13th of May, the three little shepherds named Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta saw a “lady dressed in white” while they were keeping their sheep in the shade of the holm oaks in the place called Cova da Iria. This place is now called the Chapel of the Apparitions. The lady in a white dress was the Blessed Virgin Mary and she said that she had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child of our century. “She appeared at a time when civilization was being punished by war and bloody violence. She promised that Heaven would provide peace to the whole world if her requests for prayer, reparation, and consecration were heard and obeyed.” “Fatima is today considered by many as the Altar of the World, where it smacks of promises and burnt candles and where millions of pilgrims flock, moved by the greatest force on earth: faith. Fatima, city of Peace. Land of Miracles and Apparitions”.
And we are very proud and happy to live here and experience the energy coming from the Sancturay of Fátima and all of the tourists that visit this beautiful place.
6. Medieval Sites
Do you like medieval sites like castles, monasteries, palaces, battle warriors, kings and queens and you watch a lot of medieval themed shows like, for example, Game of Thrones? Well, look no further. Portugal has thousands of castles and palaces scattered throughout the whole country. Remarkable places like the village of Óbidos is the absolute best if you would love to experience the life of a medieval population. In the portuguese cities and villages, there is also an organized medieval event, that usually occurs once a year where locals dress as medieval people and sell their medieval stuff on the medieval market that was placed in the old streets of their town! Isn’t that amazing? Places that we recommend you visiting are: Óbidos, Monastery of Batalha, Monastery of Alcobaça, Castle of Tomar, Castle of Guimarães, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga and the Castle of Pombal. We also recommend you visiting the Pena Palace of Sintra, absolutely gorgeous!
7. Portugal is extremely affordable (cheap)
Part of why Portugal is the top tourist destination is because it’s one of the most affordable countries of Europe to visit. And the value that tourists get is extremely high. Everything in Portugal is cheap, food, hotels, transportation and overall, most of the tourism services are cheap. You can have lots and lots of fun and enjoyable experiences without breaking the bank!
8. The safety and People
Portugal is, indeed, one of the safest countries in the entire world. In fact, it was listed as the third-safest country in the world in 2017 by the Global Peace Index. Portuguese people are very kind and genuine and will be more than happy to show you around and teach you some portuguese manners…haha! Overall, if you ever decide to visit this amazing country you will have a good damn time!
Portugal is the ultimate top tourist destination because of its overall uniqueness. Because of its amazing cities like Lisbon and Porto. The paradise-like beaches of Algarve and the surfers landmark of Nazaré. Portugal is also filled with amazing medieval sites like castles and monasteries. The Food is tasty, the people are lovely, the safety is good and the prices are low. This is everything a tourist needs to rank Portugal as the number 1 country to visit!
Where can I book my next tour in Portugal?
So you read the entire article and now you can’t wait to visit Portugal! Well, as a Travel Company – Mundo do Flamingo – that organizes tours, we offer you the following options: