A 14-Day Portugal Itinerary
This 14 day Portugal itinerary will take through some of the country’s most important and beautiful landmarks, from North to South. This relatively small country offers some of the most interesting histories in western Europe. Its smaller cities and Atlantic ocean coastline offer plenty of options to perfectly fill 14 days in Portugal.
While visiting Portugal, you will have the opportunity to explore a unique landscape, the most beautiful UNESCO world heritage sites, and taste the delicious Portuguese food scene. Come with us!
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When to Visit?
Portugal welcomes you any time of the year! Yet, it is important to consider the seasons while planning your trip. Usually, the summer months are the busiest, especially in the sunny Algarve, in southern Portugal. As a result, hotel and flight rates are at their highest.
Contrarily, over the winter, there are fewer visitors, and the prices are more accessible. Although Portugal is one of the sunniest countries in Europe, it also rains during the winter.
We think the best time to visit Portugal is during the mid-season. In the spring months between April and June, or again in the Autumn, between September and October, you can enjoy warm weather and the best rates.
How to Get Around Portugal
Traveling in Portugal is simple. The country’s road system is well signposted, and you can get from North to South in a few hours by car. For these 14 days in Portugal, we recommend car rental. The road trip offers you the freedom to travel through the country and not be restricted by timetables.
As an alternative, you can use public transportation. The bus system connects the major cities. The intercity trains will take through the coastal towns and into the countryside. Public transport is a good option in Lisbon and Porto. This way, you can observe the cities’ landmarks and not focus on traffic.
Where to Stay
Portugal offers a variety of accommodations. It is easy finding a place to sleep no matter your budget. As mentioned earlier, seasons might affect hotel rates. Therefore, it is fundamental to compare prices.
While planning your Portugal itinerary, consider getting travel insurance. This way, you will be covered in case of medical assistance or urgent transportation back home.
Our Taste of Portugal 14-Day Itinerary
Once you begin to explore Portugal, you will not want to leave! Although it is a small country, 14 days will only show you part of this beautiful land. This itinerary will help you discover some of the best places and experiences. If you prefer a slower pace, we suggest you remove one location.
- In winter – skip the Algarve
- In summer – If you want some beach time, drop a day from the middle depending on your interests and add it to the end.
We will start our journey in the charming Porto, in the North of Portugal, and finish with a stunning seascape in the Algarve, to the South. You could easily reverse this to make sure you have the warmest weather when you arrive in the south.
Day 1 and 2: Porto
Porto is the largest city in northern Portugal. Over the centuries, royals and bishops moved into the city and established Porto as a political hotspot. In fact, scholars believe the word Portugal came from the city’s original name “Portucale”. In 1996, Porto’s historic center was declared a UNESCO heritage site.
Day 1: Explore Porto by Foot
Start at Torre dos Clérigos, a bell tower offering a panoramic view of the city.
Then explore the narrow streets as you walk to Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas, an example of Baroque architecture embellished with traditional Portuguese tiles. Between the two buildings, you will find Casa Escondida, the tiniest house in Porto. Move on to Livraria Lello, considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Its magnificent wooden staircase will take you into one of Harry Potter’s books.
At Avenida dos Aliados, you will find the most elegant buildings, including the city hall. Spend the afternoon on the waterfront either on a six bridges river cruise (Affiliate link) or sitting at a waterfront bar watching the world go by.
Spend the evening at the lively Taberna de Santo António at an outdoor table on the pavement. Traditional Portuguese dishes, a chocolate mousse to die for, and right on the Douro River make this a lovely end to your first day in Porto.
Day 2: Tasting the Portuguese Flavors
Begin your day at Mercado do Bolhão, Porto’s iconic fish and vegetable market. Opening daily at sunrise, you will find delicious food and authentic “Portuenses”, the city’s locals.
The historic building of São Bento Train Station will be your next stop. Inside you will unravel panels of traditional Portuguese tiles depicting the city’s history.
The Porto Cathedral, the city’s main church, Palácio da Bolsa, a stunning Neoclassic building from the 19th century, and the exquisite Chapel of the Souls (Capela das Almas) are some landmarks you do not want to miss.
Complete your visit with a wine tasting at the Port wine cellars while overlooking Douro River, D. Luis I Bridge, and the enchanting Porto landscape.
While visiting Porto, you must try a “Francesinha”. It is a local delicacy available almost anywhere in the city. Yet, you can find the best at Regaleira, the restaurant where the Francesinha first appeared.
Base: If you prefer not to drive, you can use Porto as your base for the northern portion of this Portugal itinerary and book day trips. We have some ideas here.
If you choose to drive, make sure your accommodation has parking or plan to spend one night in Braga.
Pick up your hire car tomorrow if you have chosen to drive.
Day 3: Day Trip to Braga
This ancient Christian city holds over 2.000 years of history. Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims all left their marks. However, Christians were the ones who stayed the longest. Throughout Braga, you will discover some of the oldest monuments in Portugal.
Today, Braga’s population is the youngest in the country, and the city is a technological hub.
Braga Old Town
Old Town Braga is an open-air museum for architecture enthusiasts. Your starting point will be Arco da Porta Nova, one of the city’s medieval gates. However, the current architectural style dates from the 18th century.
Moving up Rua do Souto, you will find Braga’s Cathedral, a Baroque and Gothic church from the 11th century, Igreja da Misericordia, where you can observe the impressive gilded-wood carving on the altar, and the Chafariz do Castelo, an iconic Braga landmark.
At the nearby Jardim Santa Bárbara, you will be taken back in time. This beautiful garden belonged to the medieval palace, where you can see some arches still standing. You can also explore Torre de Menagem, the remains of the ruined Braga Castle.
Your journey will end at Bom Jesus do Monte, also known as Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This catholic monument, on top of the hill, exhibits panoramic views of the breathtaking landscape.
Day 4: Day Trip to Guimarães
In the 12th century, the political and military decisions taken in Guimarães forged a new kingdom. The words “Aqui nasceu Portugal” inscribed into the ancient city walls mark the birthplace of this country.
Portugal’s Medieval Capital
Guimarães Castle will be your starting point. This monument is open every day and offers a staggering view of the city.
Within walking distance, you can visit the Capela São Miguel, a small stone chapel, the Paços dos Duques, a stunning ducal palace, and the statue of D. Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king.
Following the Rua de Santa Maria, you will get to Guimarães historical center. In 2001, this area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At Largo da Oliveira, you can explore the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, a stunning church from the 10th century. Outside, there is the Padrão do Salado, an iconic landmark. Cross the arches over to Praça de Santiago, and you will find lovely cafes.
Finally, get on a cable car up a steep hill to reach Penha, the highest in Guimarães. Besides the breathtaking view, you will find a chapel surrounded by well-preserved forests, gardens, and a mysterious moving rock called “Penedo que abana”!
Before leaving Guimarães, you must visit Supremo Gosto Coisas Doces. This local pastry shop bakes and sells the famous “Pastel de Guimarães”, a unique pastry you cannot find anywhere else in Portugal.
If time is tight and you can find day tours that include both Braga and Guimaraes in a single outing.
Day 5 and 6: Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal. The weather and the land’s geography gather the perfect conditions to produce the best wines worldwide.
Douro Valley: Stunning Views and Exquisite Wines
Settlers in this part of Portugal sculpted the steep hills along the Douro River to accommodate the vineyards stretching as far as the eyes can see.
A Douro River cruise is the best way to explore this beautiful landscape. A key spot to see in the region is the charming city of Lamego. The city is graced with beautiful old buildings and plenty of places to try authentic Portuguese food.
During your visit to Douro Valley, you must have a port wine tasting. Between Peso da Régua and Lamego, there are several wineries. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about the wines produced here, you can book a tasting tour and dinner.
Driving your rental car through the narrow roads along the river bank is also an option. At Peso da Régua, you can visit the Douro Museum and explore the history of this region. We recommend Quinta do Vallado for a glass of one of their awarded wines. Another option is Quinta da Pacheca. Besides their award-winning wines, you can sleep inside an old wine barrel!
Base – if you prefer to spend the night in wine country we suggest the town of Lamego.
- Lamego Hotel & Life is 800 meters from the center of Lamego but has its own orchard and vineyard, indoor pool, Nordic bath, training room and offers spa treatments and regional cuisine.
- Six Senses Douro Valley sits on a hill with views across the terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley. Contemporary interiors of wood and stone and an enormous Wine Library, woods, organic gardens, and meditation and spa areas are situated on 8 hectares.
Day 7 and 8: Coimbra
Coimbra, located in central Portugal, is known as “University City” since it is the oldest university in the country. In 2013, they declared this building a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Exploring the Student’s City
Coimbra’s Old Town hides narrow cobbled streets filled with fascinating buildings. The Arco and Torre de Almedina will take you back in time to the Muslim occupation, while the Casas de Fado will offer you a glimpse of the city’s bohemian life during the 19th century.
Because of its historical relevance, you must visit the university building. You will be stunned by its architecture! If you are a book lover, then you will find paradise inside the Biblioteca Joanina. This library holds over 60,000 volumes covering all topics on theology, philosophy, and law.
Outside Coimbra, take a day trip to explore Quinta das Lágrimas, an enchanting estate where a Portuguese king and a Spanish maid lived a forbidden love affair.
- Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas – Small Luxury Hotels is a recently renovated historic medieval palace. Botanical gardens, a spa, two restaurants, a golf driving range, and a 9 hole course are just some of the luxury appointments of this world-class property.
- Hotel Oslo is a very popular and well-reviewed mid-range hotel in the center of Coimbra. It is only 50 meters from the train station and well located for exploring.
Day 9 and 10: Lisboa
Welcome to Portugal’s capital! Since its foundation by the Phoenicians, Lisbon was the home of several peoples over the centuries. However, the city’s political relevance grew during the Portuguese nautical explorations. Since they made here most caravels, this was the place to be if you were looking for an adventure at sea.
Nowadays, Lisbon is a vibrant world capital, enchanting visitors of all nationalities. After exploring the city life and its secrets, you will also feel at home! You could easily spend a few more days here if time allows.
Getting around inside Lisbon is smoother by public transit. The Lisboa Card is a prepaid system that allows you to use all public transport, except for taxis or Uber. It is easy to use and will save you some money!
Day 9: Admiring the National Monuments
Torre de Belém will be your first stop. This tower’s purpose was to protect the city against invaders. Nowadays, it is one of the city’s iconic postcard pictures.
Nearby, you can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a sculpture celebrating Portugal’s most famous sailors, and the Rosa dos Ventos, a world map designed with the traditional Portuguese pavement.
Take tram 15 to Belem – it’s a 30-minute trip that allows you to see a little of the local neighborhoods along the way. Join the tram at Praça da Figueira or Praça do Comércio. The tram costs about €3.00 or free with the Lisboa Card.
Once you have finished exploring the key sites in Belem, stop at the Pastéis de Belém, the home of Pastel de Nata and one of the most popular places to try this local favourite. Every day, they bake between 20,000 and 40,000 tarts each day. Grab a seat, order a coffee and try to stop at one.
Lisbon City Center
Back in the center of Lisbon, it’s time to visit the capital’s key sites
Terreiro do Paço, also known as Praça do Comércio, was the royal palace for over 200 years. Today is a Lisbon landmark that holds government buildings. While wandering around, you will notice the Arco da Rua Augusta. This impressive arch will take you into the city center, where you will find the Santa Justa Lift, an outdoor lift built to help locals move through the city.
Nearby there is Chiado, the oldest commercial area in Lisbon, and “A Brasileira” coffee shop, known to be the favorite place of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. You can even take a picture having coffee with his statue!
Day 10: Exploring Authentic Lisbon
At the highest hilltop sits the São Jorge Castle. This medieval castle offers an astonishing view of the entire city.
From there, you can see your next stop on this itinerary. Lisbon’s cathedral is the city’s main church. It was built in the 12th century and refurbished many times since then.
Alfama and Bairro Alto
Within a few steps, you can explore Alfama, the authentic neighborhood where Faro was born. Besides enjoying Portuguese tapas while hearing a local Fado singer at a local restaurant, you can also discover the history behind this music genre at the Fado Museum.
Head to Bairro Alto for dinner and perhaps enjoy a night of Fado.
Lisbon is the home of the famous “Pastel de Nata”. Before leaving towards your next destination, make a short stop at “Pastéis de Belém” or “Fábrica da Nata” pastry shops. You will not regret it!
See our detailed guide to 3 days in Lisbon for more detailed advice. We have also shared our thoughts on the best neighborhoods to stay in Lisbon.
Day 11 and 12: Sintra
Sintra is an idyllic village lost among secular trees and buildings worthy of fairytales. Between the 18th and the 19th centuries, the rich and famous built unique Romantic-styled palaces you will find nowhere else.
An overnight stay lets you appreciate the town before the hoards of visitors arrive on day trips. However, if time is tight, a day trip to Sintra is still an excellent option.
Journey Through Sintra, Portugal’s Most Romantic City
Inside Sintra’s old town, you can explore the village’s ancient origins. The Sintra National Palace is the main building in the historic center. If you look up, you will notice some massive rocks. You will have the impression they will roll down the hill. Rest assured you are safe! These rocks are the foundations of the Moorish Castle, the oldest monument in Sintra.
Hiding inside a luxurious forest, you can explore Quinta da Regaleira Palace or Monserrate Palace. However, the most iconic landmark is the colorful Pena Palace. This Romantic-styled palace is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.
- Lawrences Hotel – the only 5-star property in the Sintra city center and is perhaps the most charming of its hotels with a special and welcoming atmosphere and impeccable service.
- Chalet Saudade – just 100m from Sintra’s bus and train stations Chalet Saudade, a lovingly restored guest house offers single rooms, suites and even family suites.
- Villa Estefânia– just 8 minutes walk to the National Palace and views to the Moorish Castle. The studios here have a kitchenette making them great for a longer stay.
Day 13 and 14: Algarve
The southern region of Portugal holds a spectacular seascape with beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs, perfect for a beach vacation. If you are visiting the Algarve region in summer, please book your accommodation well in advance.
Roaming along a rugged shoreline and famous beaches, the Algarve coast stretches for over 300 kilometers. However, in the port town of Lagos, you will find the best beaches for a relaxing end to your trip to Portugal.
Besides visiting the historic town center, you can enjoy the Ponta da Piedade Caves, the Dona Ana Beach, and Camilo Beach. The towering cliffs and panoramic views will leave you breathless.
If you wish to explore Lagos’ surroundings, then try the fishing towns Praia da Luz or Burgau. These charming villages offer you stunning beaches where you can recover from a Portugal trip.
We recommend visiting the Caves of Benagil while you are in the Algarve.