One week in Portugal

One Week In Portugal Itinerary

Do you dream of your next destination, imagining a great mix of culture, history, good food and natural beauty? If yes, then let me introduce Portugal a little better! I’m quote certain that after this guide, you will start planning for one week in Portugal right away!

Portugal has recently become a popular summer destination, almost as much as Italy, France and Spain. And that’s not surprising! The Land of Fado offers rich historical stories, many cultural sights and excellent cuisine.

Our full guide covers:

  1. Basic Introduction
  2. Where to stay in Portugal
  3. How to get around
  4. What to see in Portugal
  5. Things to do in Portugal
  6. Tickets you have to buy before – must read
  7. Food and Restaurants
  8. Day Trips from Portugal
  9. Itinerary for Portugal
  10. Packing List
  11. City Map

The country is perfect for planning a trip with your friends, family, or significant ones, offering plenty of opportunities for an immersive cultural experience.

Still having second thoughts? Stay tuned as I uncover more about The Land of the Setting Sun!

1. Basic Introduction

I would like to start my one week in Portugal guide by providing essential information you should know before setting off on your trip.

Currency: EUR (€)

Language Spoken: Portuguese

Population: 10.3 million

Known for: Port Wine; Beautiful Beaches; Historic Sites

Accommodation: hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and vacation rentals

Find more details in our where to stay in Portugal section below.

Public Transport: metro systems, buses, trams, and suburban trains

More under how to get around.

Safety: safe destination for tourists

City name: Lisbon

Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.

2. Where to stay in Portugal

Before you think about all the things to do in Portugal, you have to figure out where you will stay first. The country offers plenty of locations you can pick from- from Lisbon (its capital), and the romantic Sao Miguel island to the relaxed Porto, the historical Sintra or the natural Madeira. Whatever you decide, you won’t go wrong. However, if you plan on coming here as a couple, I kindly recommend San Miguel. This area is known for having the best beaches, and if you book near Lagos, you will get to enjoy your first-morning coffee with a beautiful view of nature and the steep Madeira.

Although it can be difficult to decide on one location where you can spend your time during your one week in Portugal, I managed to hand-pick the best cities to include in your itinerary. If you are a dynamic traveller like me, I recommend you consider the following:

2.1 Where to stay in Lisbon

If I had to single out one place to stay during your one week in Portugal, it would be the dreamy capital, Lisbon. Of course, you shouldn’t miss out on other attractive destinations, but Lisbon makes a great starting point for visiting Lagos and Sintra and finally reaching Porto. In addition, the capital is one of the most walkable cities in Europe. You won’t need a car to explore its charming neighbourhoods as trams are frequent and efficient.

Apart from the stunning street art and the world-class nightlife, you will also like the opportunity to taste one of the most delicious traditional treats, including pasteis de nata or baccalao.

As for the best places to stay during your 1 week in Portugal, here are my honest recommendations:

Beautiful Gloria, Sao Vicente

An excellent family apartment for 4 people, Beautiful Gloria offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a beautiful living room overlooking the garden. Only 6 kilometres from the airport, this location is excellent for getting to the airport, and you have a direct bus line to the centre.

Book Beautiful Gloria here

Your private room at Beautiful Gloria -120m2 with AC and garden

Empire Marquês Hotel, Santo Antonio

The 3-star Empire Marquês Hotel is decorated in an elegant style, offering a buffet breakfast and a stable WIFI connection. It is a great option for solo travellers, as well as for couples. The airport is only 7 km away, and the hotel offers a paid airport shuttle.

Book Empire Marquês Hotel here

Your personal space at Empire Marquês Hotel

Holiday Inn Express, Avenidas Novas

Superb hotel with a city view and a charming garden. It offers fully equipped rooms for two, in which you’ll also find a coffee machine. Holiday Inn Express is located in an urban environment, 36km away from the airport.

Book Holiday Inn Express here

Enjoy your stay at Holiday Inn Express Porto City Centre, an IHG Hotel

2.2 Where to stay in Porto

The next city worth adding to your one week in Portugal itinerary is Porto. This is a place to which you would like to return again and again. Porto is a perfect walkable urban centre with incredible hillside architecture. The Baixa district is the most impressive, home to many cosy cafes and restaurants. Also, don’t forget to visit the historic Ribeira and enjoy a perfect tranquil city break.

The most famous landmark, especially among young book and movie lovers, is the famous Livraria Lello, the inspiration for the library in the favourite Harry Potter movie. While you’re here, save some energy and head to the non-classical Balsa Palace; enjoy the rest of the Gothic architecture or the nearby sandy beach at sunset. If you plan on staying here longer, make time for a day trip to the Douro Valley, the birthplace of the famous port wine.

Acta The Avenue, Bonfim

Acta The Avenue offers bright rooms with a small terrace, private bathroom and kitchen. This place definitely deserves each of the 4 stars it has. The location is perfect, right next to the metro station, and 1.4 km from the central train station. Each room can accommodate 1 to 2 guests, and the hotel has the best rating from couples who have stayed there for their 1 week in Portugal.

Book Acta The Avenue here

Have a great time at Acta The Avenue

HF Tuela Porto, Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos

HF Tuela Porto is a modernly decorated hotel in bright colours. The staff is highly professional and polite, and the buffet breakfast and lunch will leave you speechless. The location is excellent, 3 km from the historical part of the city, a 15-minute drive to the airport, and only a few minutes’ walk to the place where you will have the most beautiful panoramic view, Crystal Gardens.

Book HF Tuela Porto here

Your own bedroom at HF Tuela Porto

Holiday Inn Express Porto City Centre

Part of the Holiday Inn chain, Holiday Inn Express Porto City Centre is also highly recommended. It is located in an urban neighbourhood with a beautiful city view, 15 minutes from the famous Clerigos Tower and 700 meters from the city’s heart. Metro and train stations are 1 km away. All rooms have capacity for 2 to 3 people and are rated with the highest rating for a two-person stay. Besides, the fact that you won’t have to spend a fortune to stay at this hotel makes it an ideal choice for your one week in Portugal trip.

Book Holiday Inn Express Porto City Centre here

Make yourself at home at Holiday Inn Express Porto City Centre, an IHG Hotel

2.3 Where to stay in Faro

Faro consists of 3 separate islands that captivate with their splendour. If you are a first-time visitor, I highly recommend staying in the Old Town. Located near Faro Marina, this place is excellent for those who enjoy a variety of water activities. Ria Formosa Natural Park and Faro Beach await nature lovers with open arms.

Faro is also a great starting point for exploring the entire Algarve. In addition, it is cheaper than the capital, Lisbon, making it perfect for your for your 7 day Portugal itinerary. Although you might hear some rumours about the safety of this place, Faro is generally safe. However, as with any other tourist destination, taking care of your personal belongings is advisable.

Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto

Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto is painted in orange tones, and the outdoor swimming pool is something guests really admire. All rooms are air-conditioned and have a balcony. The single rooms are mostly booked, making this hotel a realm for solo travellers. If you’re travelling with a friend or a partner, there are also double rooms to book. Parking will cost you extra, so reserve it in time.

Book Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto here

Have a pleasant stay at Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto

Roots Hotel

Roots Hotel is just 12 kilometres from the airport and a few minutes from the city centre. The apartments are spacious and clean, with a beautiful city view. The entire interior of the studios is very modern, great for those who want to add a touch of luxury to their one week in Portugal stay.

Book Roots Hotel here

Enjoy your time at Roots Hotel

Golden Beach Guest House & Rooftop Bar

Golden Beach Guest House & Rooftop Bar is only a 3-minute drive from the airport with bus line 16 and is simple to find. Faro Beach is also nearby. All rooms are comfortable and have terraces, ideal for the minimal traveller.

Book Golden Beach Guest House & Rooftop Bar here

Experience comfort at Golden Beach Guest House & Rooftop Bar

2.4 Where to stay in Sintra

Sintra is an old town just 30 minutes from Lisbon. It is considered the most unique and eccentric city in Europe. Pena Palace stands out from the whole place, with the title of UNESCO World Heritage status, while Quinta de la Regaleira is the most visited location in Sintra.

Some other must-visit places are Praia Grande, the unforgettable surfing experience, and the breathtaking panorama from Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe.

For maximum enjoyment during one week in Portugal, look for accommodation in these hotels:

Arribas Sintra Hotel

The hotel is located on the magnificent coast of Sintra and is painted in bright white tones. It is a few steps from Praia Grande, 15 minutes from the historic centre, and 40 minutes from Lisbon Airport.

If you’re a passionate golf player, you’ll be thrilled to discover there are 7 golf courses within the hotel. Arribas Sintra Hotel has been expanded to 60 rooms with a private balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It also offers the largest saltwater pool in Europe. Another swimming pool is available, but it is closed in winter. For fitness enthusiasts, the hotel also offers a top gym.

Book Arribas Sintra Hotel here

Relax and unwind at Arribas Sintra Hotel

Azenhas do Mar West Coast Design and Surf Villas

The beachfront apartment is equipped with a kitchen and a private bathroom, accommodating a maximum of 3 guests. Due to its popularity, it’s advisable to book at least 3 months in advance before embarking on your 1-week trip to Portugal.

The apartment offers a serene street view and the opportunity for water sports enthusiasts to indulge in their passions. Azenhas do Mar West Coast Design and Surf Villas is highly recommended by couples who have visited, making it a sought-after choice.

Book Azenhas do Mar West Coast Design and Surf Villas here

Your private room at Azenhas do Mar West Coast Design and Surf Villas

Chalet Relogio Guesthouse

This little palace is quite close to many attractions. There is free parking, and the host is kind and always ready to help. The entire complex was designed by Luigi Manuri, the architect who also planned the famous Escala in Milan.

The rooms at Chalet Relogio Guesthouse can accommodate two or three guests, and all are furnished with expensive wooden furniture. There are also spacious family rooms. Visitors particularly like its convenient location, given that the guesthouse is only 2 km from Pena Palace.

Book Chalet Relogio Guesthouse here

Your personal space at Chalet Relogio Guesthouse

2.5 Where to stay in Lagos

Looking for yet another place to add to your 7 day Portugal itinerary? Explore the city of Lagos, a charming place located in the southern part of Portugal, the Western Algarve Coast. It is characterized by the most beautiful beaches, with Praia do Camilo Beach being the most popular one. In addition, the city offers a buzzing nightlife.

If you want to explore nature, only a 20-minute drive separates you from the southern Alentejo or the Vicentine Coast Natural Park, the two largest and most impressive parks in Portugal that you should definitely include in your one week in Portugal plan. Also, don’t forget to make time for the scenic rock formation, Ponta da Piedade. And if you locate Bengali Cave on a map, take advantage of this experience, which is reachable only by boat tour.

Lagos Atlantic Hotel

Lagos Atlantic Hotel is located 500 meters from Porto de Mos Beach. It is a large, spacious hotel in which all rooms seem identical. Selected rooms have a sea view, and most are intended for 2 or 4 guests. The hotel also offers bike and car rentals, and the option to choose between continental and buffet breakfasts. The nearest airport is in Faro, 90 km away.

Book Lagos Atlantic Hotel here

Make yourself at home at Lagos Atlantic Hotel

Charming Residence & Guest House

The Charming Residence & Guest House features a great location and well-designed double rooms, ideal for couples. The outdoor pools are hidden in the lush garden, and there is also a cozy bar next to them. For maximum enjoyment, there are sauna and steam rooms available. Upon request, the hotel also organizes horse riding tours. Moreover, the most visited and beautiful beach, D.Ana Beach, is only 500 meters away.

Book Charming Residence & Guest House here

Enjoy your stay at Charming Residence & Guest House Dom Manuel I Adults only

Carvi Beach Hotel

The Carvi Beach Hotel is an excellent choice for your next family or group trip. Some large rooms/apartments can accommodate a maximum of 6 people. The entire hotel is designed with contemporary decor. Almost all rooms have a mini fridge, safe deposit, and a private bathroom. You can enjoy beautiful sunsets from the rooftop restaurant while indulging in excellent food.

For those guests who enjoy physical activity, in addition to the fitness center, the “Carvi Beach Hotel” also offers a bike rental service.

Book Carvi Beach Hotel here

Your private room at Carvi Beach Hotel

2.6 Where to stay in Coimbra

Welcome to the former Portuguese capital, which has now turned into the capital of Portuguese nightlife. Located between Porto and Lisbon, this city is full of lively youth as the oldest university in Europe was built here. Here, you can enjoy the best Fado shows while drinking your glass of wine.

For accommodation, consider the following:

Tivoli Coimbra Hotel

Being a part of the Tivoli chain, Tivoli Coimbra Hotel offers spacious rooms with comfortable beds. It is located in the historical part of the city, but it is still decorated in a modern style. Adjacent to the hotel you can enjoy the cozy Simone Coffee Shop.

Book Tivoli Coimbra Hotel here

Your personal space at Tivoli Coimbra Hotel

Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra

Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra is located in the strict center of the city and offers a private entrance for guests. Selected rooms have a jacuzzi, and the authentic architecture is visible in all of them. In addition to the specificity of the interior, the view from the rooms at “Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra” is also wonderful.

Book Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra here

Your own bedroom at Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra

Hotel Oslo

Hotel Oslo, a family-run establishment just 50 meters from the station, offers comfortable accommodation. All rooms have a terrace and are designed for 1, 2, or 4 people. The hotel also provides the convenience of free parking for guests.

Book Hotel Oslo here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Oslo

3. How to get around

So, we have your accommodation set, now let us get out and explore.

Best for sightseeing: Explore the city’s highlights, including the scenic Douro River. Take a sip of the renowned Port wine at Cálem Cellars, and absorb Porto’s history with the user-friendly audio guide.

Enjoy different views of the city from the Douro River during the relaxing Hop-on Hop-off Bus, River Cruise, & Port Cellar Tour. It’s a delightful way to experience Porto at your own pace!

Public transport: The city’s average cost of transportation is 21 euros per day. Public transport is considered cheap, especially in smaller towns. Also, all means of transportation are clean and safe.

Lisbon has 52 metro lines, and Porto has 6. Other cities offer transport by train or bus. If you’re looking for a unique experience in Lisbon during your one week in Portugal, you can ride the famous Tram 28.

Train: Regional trains are usually cheaper, and even though some trains are old, they still work well.

Car Rental: If you want more flexibility or plan to fulfil your 7-day Portugal itinerary, it’s wise to rent a car. This is also a perfect option if you are on the Lisbon-Porto route.

Bus and Coaches: For longer destinations, coaches offer more comfort. If you are moving through Lisbon and Porto, it is better to choose the metro.

Book Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour here

Best for sightseeing - Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

4. What to see in Portugal- The Must-Do’s

What to see in Portugal? A very good question!

The Must Do’s are:

  • Alfama District
  • Ribeira District
  • Pena Palace
  • Ponta da Piedade

More great sights to see in Portugal are:

  • Belém
  • Livaria Lello
  • Quinta da Regaleira
  • Wine Tasting

5. Things to do in Portugal

The Green and Red Nation Country offers a diverse experience. Here are some tips on how you can fill out yours with quality during one week in Portugal:

Surfing in Nazaré

If you’ve heard that Portugal has the most giant waves in the world, know that’s true. And if you want to make sure of it, head to central coast Nazare or Praia do Norte for maximum water adventure.

Dolphin Watching in the Azores

Suppose you are already on Sao Miguel Island for your one week in Portugal. In that case, your next destination should be Pico Island, and on the way, you will enjoy the game of playful dolphins. As someone who has seen this, trust me- this will be an unforgettable experience!

Exploring the Douro Valley by Train

Come here by train and enjoy the scenic view along the Douro River. And when you arrive after the short visit, head to the nearest winery to try the best port wine which you can find only here.

Fado Night in Lisbon

Finally, relax with the soulful and melancholic sounds of Fado music. Get into the soul of the locals and find the best Fado bars in the Alfama district.

Hiking in the Peneda-Gerês National Park

If you have time for hiking, northern Portugal awaits you. In addition to the picturesque hiking trails, you will witness the breathtaking flora and fauna, as well as the imposing Tahiti Waterfalls.

Peneda-Gerês National Park

6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)

These are the essentials to ensure a secure and pleasant one week in Portugal:

Major Attractions and Museums

Make your trip easier and buy all the tickets for the attractions online. Below are the official pages of some famous attractions and entrance ticket prices

  • Belem
  • Pena Palace
  • Sao Jorge Castle
  • Quinta da Regaleira

Public Transportation Cards and Passes

To avoid wasting time, getting a bar day ticket for transportation and buying it online is a great idea. Select the 24, 42 or 78-hour option and the start and end train destination.

  • Train
  • Bus

Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Credentials

One of the most common reasons why some people visit Portugal is the long trail dedicated to the saints that starts in Lisbon and ends in Galicia in Shania. Many people travel 500 miles to complete this journey, usually taking 30 days.

7. Food & Restaurants

Here, you can try some of Europe’s most delicious and specific specialities. And here’s what not to miss during your one week in Portugal:

  • Bacalhau à Brás
  • Pastel de Nata
  • Francesinha
  • Caldo Verde
  • Arroz de Marisco
  • Piri Piri Chicken


Book Wine Tasting Tour here

Indulge yourself in Bacalhau à Brás in Portugal

8. Day Trips from Portugal

How to do the day trips? There are 3 options:

Here are the list of sights that you might want to check out for your day trips:

  • Lisbon: Belém Tower (Torre de Belém);Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos);Alfama District
  • Porto: Livaria Lello;Ribeira District;Dom Luís I Bridge
  • Faro: Old Town (Cidade Velha);Ria Formosa Natural Park;Carmo Church and Bones Chapel (Igreja do Carmo e Capela dos Ossos)
  • Sintra: Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena);Quinta da Regaleira;Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros)
  • Lagos: Ponta da Piedade;Dona Ana Beach;Lagos Old Town
  • Coimbra: University of Coimbra (Universidade de Coimbra);Santa Clara-a-Velha;Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova

9. Itinerary for 7 days

Here’s my recommendation for an immersive 7-day Portugal itinerary:

Day 1: Explore the Historic Center in Lisbon

Start your trip in Portugal with the historic sites. In the lower town of Baixa, you will be attracted by its architecture. Move on with Praça do Comércio to Rossio Square and stop by the historic iron elevator, Elevador de Santa Justa. Relax and have lunch, after which you can visit Rua Augusta Arch which is enough for the first impression.

Day 2: Belém and Modern Lisbon

While in Belem, don’t miss Belem Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império and Belem Cultural Center. Have a fine dinner at the end of the day and use the time to settle the impressions.

Day 3 & 4: Discovering Porto

In this open-air museum town, each tile is monumental. I doubt you have witnessed so many historical highlights here. In addition, visit the São Bento Railway Station, Livraria Lello, Clerigos Tower and Church, Dom Luís I Bridge, see the sunset in Jardim do Mouro and before having dinner and try traditional tastes, walk along the Ribeira district.

If you start your sightseeing early in the morning, then you may have time to hop to the Bolhão Mercado and enjoy a trip to a picturesque promenade of Foz do Douro.

Day 5: Douro Valley Day Trip

It is best if you start your trip from Porto. First stop in Pinhão, a picturesque town and visit the historic train station. In the afternoon you can take a Douro river cruise, and later on, join a wine-guided and wine-tasting tour. Then get back to Pinhão for a traditional dinner.

Day 6: Sintra and Cascais Day Trip

Visit Sintra in the morning and feel the fairytale vibes. Step into the Pena Palace and then stroll in the historic centre of Sintra. Enjoy your lunch there.

In the afternoon, explore the Cascais Old Town and visit the Cidadela Art District. You can later relax on the Praia Ribeira beach and take a short dip. Visit the Cascais Marina and enjoy a refreshment at one of the cafes, so you can later head to a dramatic cliff formation Bocca do Inferno. Try the best ever made ice cream since 1949 at the Santini ice cream shop in Cascais which will be the sweet end of your one week holiday in Portugal.

Day 7: Return to Lisbon and Departure

On your last day here, return to Lisbon, relax and get ready for your trip back home.

10. Packing List

Packing List Europe

Now you’re prepared for an unforgettable one week in Portugal! Feel free to seek personalised guidance and motivation to enhance your travel experience. Safe travels!

11. Printed Guides & Map

These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.

Once you come to Portugal, you will also receive a paper map of the city.

Here is again our map of Portugal with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.

There’s more

Questions? Contact us

I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.

Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?

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