When traveling to Portugal, there are some famous and meaningful landmarks in Portugal that you don’t want to miss. Here are some of the most popular and impressive Portuguese landmarks that are worth checking out when around the region.
From historical monuments and natural wonders, these landmarks are spread throughout the country. So whether you’re in Lisbon or Porto, there are some amazing sights to marvel at!
Most Famous Landmark In Portugal
The most famous landmark in Portugal is Castle São Jorge, a Portuguese castle in the city of Lisbon. This imposing structure has been standing since the 12th century, and offers stunning views of the city below.
The castle served as the royal palace of the Portuguese kings until the early fifteenth century. It then became a military fortress and prison. The castle was extensively damaged by an earthquake in 1755, but it was later restored.
Today, Castle São Jorge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lisbon, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the oldest structures in Lisbon Visitors to the castle can explore its many winding staircases and fortifications, as well as its beautiful gardens.
If you’re visiting Lisbon, be sure to make a stop at this iconic landmark! In addition, there are several other famous Portuguese landmarks in Lisbon that you won’t want to miss.
Lisbon, Portugal Landmarks
One of the most famous landmarks in the capital city is the Jerónimos Monastery. This monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the finest examples of Portuguese architecture from the Age of Discovery.
The monastery was built in 150; however, construction was interrupted due to financial problems and wasn’t completed until 100 years later.
Inside the monastery, you can see the tomb of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who was responsible for discovering a sea route from Europe to India. Visiting the Monastery is one of the most popular things to do in Lisbon.
The Belém Tower is a Portuguese landmark commissioned by King John II and built in the 16th century as a defense fortress to protect the city from invading pirates and ships.
The tower is also known as the Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Monuments of the Portuguese Discoveries”.
The tower features Manueline architecture, which is a popular Portuguese style during the Age of Discovery when Portuguese explorers were discovering new lands.
The Belém Tower is open for visitors to explore and climb to the top for panoramic views of Lisbon. There is also a museum inside the tower with exhibits about its history.
Praça do Comércio
The Praça do Comércio is a beautiful plaza to walk around and take in the sights of Lisbon. It is also a great place to people watch and enjoy the city life.
It is at the Tagus River estuary, and has an area of about 26,000 m2. The magnificent plaza was built between 1755 and 1775, and features marble statues and two large fountains.
The Praça do Comércio is a popular landmark in Portugal since it is a common meeting point. It is home to the Lisbon Tourism Bureau, the Rossio railway station, and the Paço da Ribeira (Ribeira Palace).
Sintra, Portugal Landmarks
Near Lisbon is another popular tourist destination, Sintra. This town is home to several palaces and castles, including the Pena Palace.
Pena Palace is a Portuguese national monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built in the 19th century as a summer retreat for the royal family and is now open to the public as a museum.
The Pena Palace is a mix of different architectural styles, including Gothic, Moorish, and Manueline. It’s also one of the most colorful palaces in all of Portugal, due to the many brightly-colored tiles on the exterior.
This Portuguese landmark was conceived by King Ferdinand II in the 1830s. Ferdinand enlisted the help of French architect Baron Haussmann and German artist Friedrich Ludwig von Schinkel to design a building that would befit his extravagant tastes.
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira was built in the early twentieth century by António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who was a very wealthy coffee producer. The palace is now open to the public as a museum.
One of the most beautiful landmarks in Portugal, Quinta da Regaleira is famous for its extensive gardens, which include caves, lakes, wells, and tunnels.
Cabo da Roca
Cabo da Roca is a cape marking the westernmost point in Continental Europe, and also the most westerly point in the European Union. The cape is about 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the city of Lisbon, and rises to an elevation of 440 metres (1,440 ft) above sea level. The name Cabo da Roca comes from the Portuguese word “rocas”, meaning “rocks”.
The cape has been an important landmark in Portugal since ancient times. The Phoenicians are known to have called it “Cape of Altar” because of its location near the sea route to India.
Porto, Portugal Landmarks
If you’re traveling north from Lisbon, be sure to stop by the city of Porto. Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city, and is famous for its port wine.
Palácio da Bolsa
One of the most popular Portuguese landmarks in Porto is the Palácio da Bolsa. This 19th century Neo-gothic building in the center or Porto served as a stock exchange until recently.
This palace traces back to the 1800s, when it was serving as the home of the Portuguese Stock Exchange. Now it is open to the public as a museum. This is one of the many beautiful palaces in Portugal well-known for its stunning architecture.
Dom Luis Bridge
The Dom Luis Bridge is a steel arch bridge in operation since 1886. The bridge crosses the Douro River and it is the longest bridge in Portugal.
The bridge was named after King Luis I of Portugal. The design of the bridge comes from Gustave Eiffel, who is also famous for designing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Just outside of Porto is the Douro Valley, which is famous for its vineyards and wineries. A popular way to explore the Douro Valley is by boat, so be sure to check out some of the river cruises that are available.
If you’re looking for a natural wonder to see in Portugal, the Douro Valley is home to the Foz do Douro, or the Mouth of the Douro. This is where the River Douro meets the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset. One of the most impressive natural landmarks in Portugal.
Clerigos Church And Tower
The Clerigos Church and Tower in Porto is from the 18th century and it is one of the most famous landmarks in the city.
The imposing tower is 76 meters high and offers a great view of the city. The corresponding church is also a beautiful historic monument. It is easy to drop by and visit, so don’t miss it if you are in the city.
São Bento Train Station
The São Bento Train Station is a 1961 train station with Gothic Revival style architecture. Its interior features 20,000 azulejo panels by painter Jorge Colaço, illustrating scenes from Portuguese history.
The train station is a National Monument of Portugal since 2002. You can find it in the historic center of Porto. The train station has services from the following rail operators: CP (national), Renfe (international), and Fertagus (commuter).
One of the most popular things to do in Porto is to visit the Train Station and admire the beautiful artwork that is so representative of the traditions.
Other Landmarks In Portugal
Coimbra University is one of the oldest universities in Europe and it is located in Portugal. The university was founded in 1290 and it is one of the most prestigious Portuguese universities.
The university has a rich history and it has been associated with some of the most famous people in Portugal. Some of the notable people who have attended Coimbra University include King Manuel I, King John III, and Pedro Álvares Cabral. Certainly a meaningful historical landmark of Portugal.
The university is also home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Portugal.
Alcobaça Monastery, Alcobaça
The Alcobaça Monastery is a Portuguese monastery in the town of Alcobaça. It was founded by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques in 1153. The monastery stacks on the remains of an old mosque from the time of Moorish occupation.
Alcobaça Monastery soon became one of the most important monasteries in Portugal and it still retains its importance today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Alcobaça Monastery is a good example of Gothic architecture. Its most famous feature is the tombs of Pedro I and Inês de Castro, which are some of the most romantic tombs in the world.
The Óbidos Castle, Obidos
The Óbidos Castle is in the municipality of Óbidos, central Portugal. The castle was constructed in the 12th century by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques. It is actually on an artificial hill made out of rubble and earth.
The castle was reconstructed and extended during the reigns of Kings Sancho I and Afonso II. It was during this time that the castle’s keep, chapel and walls were built. The castle passed into the hands of the crown after King Denis, who conquered it from the Moors in 1290.
The Portuguese kings used the castle as a royal residence until King Manuel I donated it to his wife, Queen Maria of Aragon, in 1511.
Capela de Ossos, Evora
The Capela de Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is a small chapel in the city of Evora, Portugal. The building is from the 16th century and is now a popular tourist attraction. It is one of the most intriguing landmarks in Portugal. The chapel contains the skeletons of over 5,000 people, which are now the walls and ceilings decorations.
In the past, there were too many bones in the cemeteries around Evora, and they decided to use them to decorate the chapel. The bones were collected from local cemeteries and arranged in decorative patterns on the walls and ceilings.
The Capela de Ossos is near the entrance to the University of Evora.
Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga
The Bom Jesus do Monte is a religious landmark in the city of Braga, Portugal. It is a Portuguese national monument and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country.
The site features a monumental stairway that leads up to a shrine dedicated to the crucified Jesus Christ. The shrine is located at the top of the hill and features stunning views of the city below. The Bom Jesus do Monte was built in 1711 and underwent a major renovation in 1882.
The religious landmark in Portugal attracts millions of visitors each year and is an important part of Portuguese culture and history.
Convento do Cristo, Tomar
The Convento do Cristo in Tomar is a Portuguese landmark that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent was founded in the 12th century by the Order of the Knights Templar.
The historical landmark features Gothic-style architecture and has been well preserved over the years. The convent is also home to the tomb of Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese prince and explorer who was instrumental in launching Portugal’s Age of Exploration.
Guimarães Castle, Guimarães
Guimarães Castle is a Portuguese landmark in the city of Guimarães. The castle traces back to 10th century, credit to the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques. it is one of the most important castles in Portugal.
Guimarães Castle played an important role in the Portuguese Reconquista, and was used by the Portuguese kings as a royal residence. It underwent a major renovation in the 18th century and it is now a popular tourist attraction.
Natural Landmarks In Portugal
Benagil Cave, Algarve
The Benagil Cave is a natural wonder in the Algarve region of Portugal. The cave is famous for its impressive and unique rock formations, as well as its stunning natural beauty. You can access the cave by boat, and tour around its many passages.
The Benagil Cave was formed over millions of years, and it is estimated that the cave has been around for at least 135,000 years. The cave was first discovered in the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that it began to be explored and charted.
The cave became popular with tourists in the 1970s, and it has since become one of the most touristic landmarks in Portugal.
Pico Mountain is in the Portuguese island of Pico in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the highest mountain in Portugal and one of the highest mountains in the Atlantic Ocean.
Pico Mountain has a height of 2,351 meters. The mountain is a stratovolcano resulting from several eruptions of lava and ash. The first eruption of Pico Mountain is about 200,000 years ago. The name “Pico” basically means peak in Portuguese.
The mountain is a popular tourist attraction and has many hiking trails. There are also a few small villages on the mountain. The village of Achada is at the foot of the mountain and the village of Santa María is on the summit.
This natural paradise that has so much to offer is one of the things that Portugal is famous for.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Peneda-Gerês National Park is one of the largest and most beautiful nature reserves in
The Peneda-Gerês National Park is a Portuguese national park that in the Norte district of Braga. It has been in operation since 1971, and has an area of 712.48 km². The park’s name comes from two of its mountains, Peneda and Gerês. The park has diverse wildlife, which includes wolves, wild boars, and Iberian lynxes.
The park is also home to a number of villages, including Montalegre, Chaves, and Vila Real. These villages are famous for their traditional architecture and folk traditions. The village of Soajo is particularly notable for its stone houses and the annual festival.
Ria Formosa Natural Park, Faro
The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a beautiful and serene place in the municipality of Faro, Portugal. The park comprises of a series of lagoons, marshes, and mudflats with sandbars and islets segmenting them.
The park is famous for its diverse birdlife, with over 260 different species observed. Some of the notable bird species include flamingos, black-winged stilts, Kentish plovers, and little egrets.
The Ria Formosa Natural Park was established in 1960 and was later declared a national park in 1987. The park is open to the public all year round and admission is free. There are several walking trails for exploration by nature lovers.
Visiting Portuguese Landmarks In Portugal
Portugal is a country rich in history and culture, and its landmarks reflect that. From historical monuments to nature wonders, there is something for everyone.
These are just some of the famous landmarks in Portugal. While they serve as pointers and inspiration, definitely dive deeper into wherever you are going to uncover what the region has to offer!