What to See & Do in Portugal?

Muslim Travel Blog, Portugal, See & Do

Do you want to see the best historic destinations in Portugal?

Explore these Beautiful Villages

Keep reading for a few ideas to explore one of the oldest countries in Europe and its many beautiful historic towns

Tomar, Portugal

Inside the Convento de Cristo in Tomar | © Pixabay
Who has a penchant for following the history of the Knights Templar? Anyone who thinks “me” should make a trip to Tomar, Portugal, a town that was once a sort of headquarters for this mysterious Catholic group. Visit the 12th-century Convento de Cristo (Convent of Christ), a medieval fortress and church where the local branch of the Templars met for religious mass and gatherings. Tomar is also the location of one of the best-preserved synagogues in Portugal in addition to many other Catholic churches dating between the 12th and 15th centuries, the 17th-century Pegões aqueduct, and the stunning park and gardens called National Forest of Seven Hills (a perfect spot for a stroll).

 

Coimbra

Coimbra is one of the oldest cities in Portugal. It also happens to be the home of the oldest university in the country, The University of Coimbra, also one of the oldest universities in all of Europe. Then there is the Biblioteca Joanina, a major attraction that has been listed among the most beautiful libraries in the world. Intersected with medieval, cobbled streets and filled with souvenir shops, Coimbra is a lovely spot to walk through and it is near many sightseeing opportunities that are considered “off the beaten path” like Conimbriga, excavated ruins that date back to the Roman occupation, as early as 139 BC.

 

Angra do Heroísmo

Angra do Heroismo - Portugal Muslim friendly TravelAngra do Heroismo early in the morning | © Roman Sulla / Shutterstock

The center of Angra do Heroísmo is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the role it played as a port of call and trading center during and after the Age of Discoveries. It is also the oldest continuously settled town in the Azores, located on the third largest island, Terceira (after São Miguel and Pico). Be sure to visit the 18th-century Praça Velha, the central town square surrounded by lovely churches, museums, hotels, and restaurants, and don’t forget to snap photos of the 16th-century town cathedral rimmed in peach-hued borders and the baby blue and white Igreja da Misericórdia (Misericordia Church).

 

 

Évora

Évora's Temple and ChapelÉvora’s Temple and Chapel | © Pixbay

 

Évora’s portfolio is an expansive one. It is the regional capital of Alentejo, Portugal‘s large, sleepy wine region and farmland where locals tend to move to the beat of their own drum. In the 15th century, Évora was the residence of many of Portugal’s royalty. It is a town that doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and triples as an open-air museum. Major landmarks include the Roman Temple of Diana, the medieval 16th-century Chapel of Bones, the 13th-century Cathedral, and the ancient Royal Palace of Évora, the latter reflecting Portugal’s very own Manueline architectural style.

 

 

Guimarães

Toural Square in the center of Guimaraes
Toural Square in the center of Guimaraes | © Saiko3p/Shutterstock

 

The town square in the center of Guimarães is so historic, you may feel like you’ve been transported through time while just standing there. Its 11th-century castle is where Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques, was born and for this reason, Guimarães has adopted a reputation as “the birthplace of Portugal”. In 2012, Guimarães was named the European Capital of Culture and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Medieval streets and palaces, religious museums, and Gothic monuments are just a few of the visual treats that are waiting.
More Info

Sintra

Sintra Da Pena Royal Palace Tour

Anyone who has heard of Sintra knows that it’s a lovely town filled with amazing buildings like the romantic, 19th-century Pena Palace. What they may not know is that it was once where many of Portugal’s royal family members and aristocrats lived or vacationed, attracted by the forested landscape and mild climate (hence the abundance of fascinating architecture and gardens). Most of the attractions are house-museums inside romantic and eclectic mansions, chalets, and palaces. Of course, there is also the medieval fortress, the Castelo dos Mouros, built in the 10th century by the Moors who once had control in Portugal.

 

 

Chaves

8581346008_981fb2e356_b
Chaves, Portugal | © Gabriel González / Flickr

In the 1st century AD, Roman settlers lived in what is now called Chaves, Portugal, a town close to the border with Spain in the Tras-os-Montes region. Left behind as a memento is an amazingly well preserved Roman bridge, connecting the two sides of town across the Tâmega River and which is still used. Early settlers are believed to have been attracted to Chaves for the local hot springs, providing some of the hottest, natural mineral water between Portugal and Spain. Today it is a town oozing in tradition and local culture, the landmarks include the medieval town square and castle and a 14th-century fortification that has been converted into a hotel.

 

Braga

 

Braga is a city that meets many superlatives. It is home to the third largest metropolitan area after Lisbon and Porto and the oldest archdiocese in Portugal (originating in the 3rd century). Braga is one of the oldest cities in the country. Conversely, it has one of the youngest spirits in Portugal and is home to 2 universities and multiple other educational centers. Visit Braga to tour the Sé Cathedral, dating back as early as the 11th century making it the oldest cathedral in the country and one that showcases Renaissance, Baroque, Moorish, Manueline, and Gothic architecture. Then there is the stunning Bom Jesus do Monte, a hilltop sanctuary that attracts many visitors every year with its views and religious significance. Downtown, you’ll find no shortage of cafés, shops, restaurants, and bars, so there is plenty of socializing to enjoy in between sightseeing.

 

 

Cascais

Cascais - Portugal Muslim friendly tour

Fishing boats at anchor Lisbon Cascais historical harbour | © PJCC / Alamy Stock Photo

 

Cascais is a beautiful resort town just an hour from Lisbon along the coast. It is also a Portuguese town with a unique heritage that blends the country’s maritime history with its role as a vacation destination for many of Europe’s wealthy families. Visit Cascais for the beach but also tour the local museums showcasing the wealth acquired by Portuguese aristocrats, like the seaside Museu dos Condes de Castro Guimarães. Highlighting the area’s modest fishing past is the Museu do Mar. Then stay to walk along the stunning coast and enjoy fresh seafood from one of the many seaside restaurants.

 

 

Ponte de Lima

23899941936_c44b67b0f1_b

Downtown Ponte de Lima | © Travelholic Path / Flickr

This list would not be complete without mentioning the absolute oldest settlement in the entire country. Ponte de Lima, named after the bridge that crosses the Lima River, is a charming village in the Minho region of Portugal, located north of Porto in northwest Portugal. The downtown is decorated with eye-catching manor homes, ancient yet well-preserved buildings, and stunning gardens. It is also a town with one of the most interesting stories steeped in superstition, stemming from early Romans in Portugal. It was believed that the river would cause total amnesia to anyone who touched it, leading to the Roman bridge that still stands today. Ponte de Lima is also in the center of the Vinho Verde wine region, and visiting the local vineyards is a popular activity for visitors.

Other articles you may like

Tourism Measures during the Covid 19 pandemic in Spain

Measures to reduce the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2 Guidelines and recommendations to be applied by the tour guides in order to minimise the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in their activity.    COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus; a...

What to Do and See while visiting Seville?

What to Do and See when visiting Seville?   The city of Seville boasts a rich history of over 2,200 years with numerous civilisations and eras behind its name. Several well-preserved historic sites such as the Alcázar, Torre del Oro, City Hall, Palace of San...

Da Pena Palace & Sintra National Park

Park & National Palace of Sintra (Portugal) The Palace of Pena stands atop a rocky peak, which is the second-highest point in the Sintra hills (the only place higher than the palace itself is the Cruz Alta, 528 meters above sea level). The palace is situated in...

Costa Brava: A route through its wild coast of Catalonia

These are some of the most beautiful places in Catalonia (Spain) where travelers can explore old fishing villages by the sea and medieval inland towns.

Find Halal Food

Please don’t be one of those people who travel to Paris, Tokyo, or Nairobi and spends the entire trip eating at McDonald’s. How are you going to enjoy an authentic travel experience if you don’t eat what the locals eat? That gets a bit tricky when you’re on the hunt...

The rise of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula

The rise of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula (Hispania) In the year 711 Muslim forces, following the orders of the governor of Africa, Musa ibn Nusayr, and under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad, crossed the straits of Gibraltar and defeated the army of the...

The Roman Theatre of Málaga

The Roman Theatre of Málaga is located on the west slope of the Alcazaba hill. Built during the reign of Augustus, it was used until the 3rd century. It is a mixed construction, using part the slopes but there is also an artificial terrace stands support the stands....

What to Do and See while visiting Malaga?

Must-Visit attractions in Málaga   Málaga is home to some of Andalusia’s greatest historical monuments, such as the Moorish Alcazaba fortress and the stunning Roman amphitheater. But that’s not all: from a restaurant where you can eat kangaroo while enjoying live...

Gardens of Al-Andalus: A way of live

Since the arrival of Islam as a religion in the 7th century C.E., Gardens have been described as a metaphor of Paradise or al-janna (the garden). Every time heaven is mentioned in the holy book of Quヴげaミ, there is a description of flowing water and fruit bearing...

Al Andalus Live Museum at Calahorra Tower

Located inside the Calahorra Tower, opposite the Great Mosque, at the end of the Roman Bridge. Its aim is to provide a recreation of the Cordoba of the period between the 9th-13th centuries, at a time of brilliant cultural, artistic and scientific achievement. Its...

The old Mosque of Cordoba

The Medieval Mosque of Cordoba Córdoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is a stunning monument to the two religions and cultures that have shaped Andalusia: Islam and Christianity. A Renaissance church squats right on top of what was once the most important mosque in the Islamic...

The Golden Tower of Sevile (Torre del Oro)

The Torre del Oro is one of Seville’s most recognisable landmarks, means the gold tower. It dominates the Guadalquivir river banks and it’s probably one of the most photographed sights of the city. You can enjoy some spectacular views from the top so bring your camera...

Top Five Islamic Heritage Site in Seville, Andalusia

  Seville, top travel city in Andalusia The travel giant Lonely Planet announced in 2018 the quintessentially Andalusian city of Seville as its top travel city. Home of the flamenco, bullfighting, tapas, and over 500 hundred years of Muslim history. So here are our...

Andalusia: Explore The Greatest Spain Islamic Heritage

Andalusia: Explore The Greatest Spain Islamic Heritage   Spain today is a country with a majority population of Christians. But a lesser known fact is that Muslims conquered and ruled a region of the country called Andalusia or Al-Andalus, at the time, for...

The Giralda Tower of Seville

The Giralda Tower, located in Seville, is a brick tower on the northeastern side of the Seville Cathedral and was originally the minaret of a mosque constructed by the moors between 1184 and 1198, at the height of Almohad power. Today, standing 104 metres tall, the...

Muslim Travelers in La Alhambra of Granada, Andalusia Spain

Muslim Travelers in La Alhambra of Granada, Andalusia Spain

The 10 Best Halal Restaurant in Paris

Looking for a good halal restaurant in Frankfurt? Planning a trip to Paris? Wonder where to find Halal restaurants in Paris in between all that sightseeing? Cuisine from India to Japan, Kebabs, mezze, sushi, tandoori chicken and couscous. Here a selection of the 10...

The Giralda Tower of Seville

The Giralda Tower, located in Seville, is a brick tower on the northeastern side of the Seville Cathedral and was originally the minaret of a mosque constructed by the moors between 1184 and 1198, at the height of Almohad power. Today, standing 104 metres tall, the...

Andalusia, South Spain

Mausoleum in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun

Mausoleum in Moulay Idriss Zerhoun [at_icon icon="td-marker-location-2"] Moulay Idriss, Morocco, North Africa The Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss is Morocco's most important pilgrimage site, and the town is swamped every August during the annual moussem to venerate it;...

Chefchaouen

Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif, Chefchaouen is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world. While tourism has definitely taken hold, the balance between ease and authenticity is just...

Spanish Paella, delight with this Halal recipe

Spanish chef, Omar Allibhoy shares his quick and easy recipe for paella. For this recipe in full check out Tesco Real Food http://tes.co/paella

Top 20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit

Top 20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit Madrid might not have the status of Rome or Paris in terms of sights, but the Spanish capital is a pleasure to explore. From historical gems and world-class art, to an incredible food scene and picturesque parks, we take a...

Portugal in a Week: The Perfect Guide

Do you only have one week to explore Portugal? Our recommendation is to see as many sides of this beautiful country as possible, by starting at the Algarve and making your way north to Porto. Although one week isn’t enough time to dig deep into the culture or head off...

Cordoba capital of the Roman Hispania

Roman Cordoba was founded by General Claudio Marcelo between the years 169 BC and 152 BC, and he settled, as we will see in the section dedicated to urban planning, opposite the part of river Guadalquivir where it is no longer navigable. The settlement had an...

Gardens of Al-Andalus: A way of live

Since the arrival of Islam as a religion in the 7th century C.E., Gardens have been described as a metaphor of Paradise or al-janna (the garden). Every time heaven is mentioned in the holy book of Quヴげaミ, there is a description of flowing water and fruit bearing...

Carmen de los Martires gardens

Carmen de Los Martires The hidden gardens of Alhambra   Carmen de Los Martires is a 19th-century construction made up of a palace building and vast gardens; a French Baroque garden with a large pond, which has a statue of Neptune in the center and is surrounded...

The old Madrasah of Granada a House of Science

Built by Yusuf I in 1349, the Madrasah of Granada was the first university of Al-Andalus Located in the heart of Granada, in Oficios Street, is the only Nasrid building that remains in the heart of Granada. Until the 15th-century in the area was located the main...

Mosques to visit in Spain

Mosques to visit in Spain By Sakina Kamrudeen | 15, Nov, 2017 Spain has a long and colourful history, having first been conquered by the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages, when in the 8th century, Spain became a part of the ever-expanding Umayyad Caliphate. Although...

Top things to do (template)

Our work 01 Curabitur aliquam justo ex, ac varius sem facilisis a. In vel felis eros. Fusce ipsum enim, ultrices at ante sollicitudin, faucibus hendrerit nunc. Nullam tempor nulla eu imperdiet interdum. 02 Curabitur aliquam justo ex, ac varius sem facilisis a. In vel...

Andalusia: Explore The Greatest Spain Islamic Heritage

Andalusia: Explore The Greatest Spain Islamic Heritage   Spain today is a country with a majority population of Christians. But a lesser known fact is that Muslims conquered and ruled a region of the country called Andalusia or Al-Andalus, at the time, for...

Top Spanish Souvenirs in your Spain Holidays

Top Spanish Souvenirs in your Spain Holidays Spain is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations and is home to incredible architecture, history and beaches, as well as some distinctly unique souvenirs. From handmade fans and flamenco guitars to Esencia de...

The Castle of Gibralfaro in Malaga

An impressive well-preserved 10th-century Islamic fortress   The magnificent Castillo de Gibralfaro sits on a high hill overlooking Malaga city and port and dates back to the 10th century.  The hill where the Gibralfaro is situated forms part of the Montes de...

5 ideas for a road trip around Spain

5 ideas for a cool road trip around Spain Planning a road trip to Spain? great idea! it is an excellent way to explore the country’s unique natural and cultural heritage as well as savor its delectable cuisine at every pit stop. Here are the best road trips through...

Get prayer times and qibla direction while traveling

Get In-flight prayer times and Qibla direction for your next flight In-Flight FAQs How to perform prayers on an airplane? Performing your prayers (Salah/Namaz) while on an Airplane is not that easy as most Airlines do not provide such facilities.   The following...

Places You Have To See when visiting Portugal

Places You Have To See when visiting Portugal Portugal is a gorgeous country to explore and much more than cork products, gorgeous sea and yummy port that it has become famous for. It’s one country that just seems to draw me back time and time again with shed loads of...

Casa Mila “La Pedrera” Anthoni Gaudi’s House

Casa Mila "La Pedrera A masterpiece by architecture Gaudí Barcelona, Spain Everything in this building is curved and undulating. Its originality and the techniques used in its construction are surprising throughout. This is one of the best-known works of the architect...

What to Do and See in Cordoba?

Cordoba is a city in Andalusia, Spain. Formerly one of the world's most populated countries, after a sharp decrease in population during the Renaissance, it is now a moderately sized city and is an Unesco World Heritage Site. Human inhabitation of Córdoba can be...

Must-Visit Attractions in Granada

Wonder What to See & Do in Granada?     Granada has one of the most fascinating histories and cultures in all of Spain. As you’d expect, then, the city is packed with attractions and monuments to explore – from the great Alhambra fortress and old Moorish...

Palace of Maximianus Herculeus

The first news mentioning possible remains in the area go back to 1922, when, due to a reform in the railway system, Joaquín María de Navascués found the cryptoportico - of which up to 18 metres of its inside silting were excavated - and one of the buildings related...

Top 10 things to do when visiting Cordoba, Andalusia

Top 10 things to do when visiting Cordoba, Andalusia Boasting a fascinating and multi-faceted history, Córdoba is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. From its iconic Mosque-Cathedral to the beautiful flower-adorned patios open to the public every...

The old Mosque of Cordoba

The Medieval Mosque of Cordoba Córdoba’s Mosque-Cathedral is a stunning monument to the two religions and cultures that have shaped Andalusia: Islam and Christianity. A Renaissance church squats right on top of what was once the most important mosque in the Islamic...

Top 20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit

Top 20 Madrid Attractions You Need to Visit Madrid might not have the status of Rome or Paris in terms of sights, but the Spanish capital is a pleasure to explore. From historical gems and world-class art, to an incredible food scene and picturesque parks, we take a...

The Roman Theatre of Málaga

The Roman Theatre of Málaga is located on the west slope of the Alcazaba hill. Built during the reign of Augustus, it was used until the 3rd century. It is a mixed construction, using part the slopes but there is also an artificial terrace stands support the stands....

El Retiro Park, green oasis in the heart of Madrid

Covering over 125 hectares and comprising more than 15,000 trees, El Retiro Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city

Muslim Travelers top destinations in Spain

Muslim Travelers top destinations in Spain Officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe; the world’s most popular tourist destination. Below are some of the popular cities for you to plan your next Halal...

The 10 Best Halal Restaurant in Paris

Looking for a good halal restaurant in Paris? Planning a trip to Paris? Wonder where to find Halal restaurants in Paris in between all that sightseeing? Cuisine from India to Japan, Kebabs, mezze, sushi, tandoori chicken and couscous. Here a selection of the 10 best...