What to see in Central Portugal? Best places to visit in Portugal? If you would ask me these question couple of months ago, I would have no clue what to answer. Lisbon is somewhere in the middle of Portugal, I knew it before. And Portugal has one of Europe’s best beaches. I would then guess, that there are some nice beaches in central Portugal, too.
Turns out that there is so much more to see in Central Portugal. Not only Lisbon and beaches.
In this article I will show you some of the best places, which we had a chance to visit in Central Portugal.
Best Places to Visit in Portugal: Central Portugal
1. Lisbon, the Capital of Portugal
Situated on the banks of the river Tagus, a short train ride away from the Atlantic ocean is Lisbon, capital of Portugal and it’s most populous city at the same time. About 20% of Portugal’s population are living in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Even though most of the city was once destroyed by a big earthquake (in 1755, so quite long time ago), it still is one really beautiful and charming city, where to get lost for a couple of days or more.
Traveling to central Portugal Lisbon is the best place, where to start your trip. Read our travel guide to Lisbon!
Just a stone’s throw away from Lisbon (some 28 kilometers to the West to be exact) is Sintra, an old town, where Portuguese monarchs used to live. Many castles and historical buildings make it attractive to tourists visiting central Portugal. And not without a reason, because it really is one astonishingly beautiful place.
Train from Lisbon to Sintra departs from the Rossio Train station. These trains are running frequently.
3. Obidos – a Medieval Town in Central Portugal
Obidos is a small town, which is hard to miss, even when you are just traveling by and aren’t looking for it.
Simply because this medieval town stands out. It’s on the hill and it’s surrounded by old castle wall, which makes it to look like straight out of some fairy tales book. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Portugal, if you’re somewhere not far away. What to do in Obidos? For ideas check out this mini guide to Obidos, Portugal!
4. Batalha Monastery
The same as with Obidos (see above) you can’t miss Batalha Monastery either. That’s if you are traveling to Batalha. This building is just so big when compared to the rest, that it clearly stands out. Just walking around it is interesting. But you should go inside as well.
There are parts of Batalha Monastery, that everyone can visit for free. And on last Sunday of every month you can see all of it for free. But on other days if you want to go and see more of the monastery, you will need to buy an entrance ticket. In summer of 2016 it cost us 6 euro, and it was totally worth it.
5. Buddha Eden Garden
Is it really in central Portugal? Looks so much like in Asia. Yes, Buddha Eden Garden (see the photos below) also is in central Portugal. And in my opinion it’s one of the most interesting places, where to go, when traveling around this part of Portugal.
Buddha Eden Garden is the largest oriental garden in Europe! It’s a huge territory – you need at least 2-3 hours to see everything, with a lot of interesting, beautiful and also weird statues and installations. Many of these statues are brought from Asia, which explains why they look so much like the ones in Asia.
6. Praia do Bom Sucesso
If you are like me and Portugal for you is a synonymy of beautiful beaches. And beaches with cliffs. Then you shouldn’t miss Praia do Bom Sucesso, one of my favorite beaches right now. It’s a perfect place also if you are traveling with children, because there is a lagoon, where the water is shallow and warmer than in the ocean.
For all the wild beauty, cliffs and strong waves go to the left side of lagoon. And just go to the left (to the South) as far as you want. When the tide is high (like in the third picture down there – then waves were even hitting the cliffs) you will need to go across the cliff.
Even though this lagoon is quite narrow, getting from one side of it to the another takes about 40 minutes by car. Keep that in mind, when driving there, and take the right road!
Do you like sunsets? What about sunset watching from the cliffs? You are at the right place!
Are you into surfing? Just few kilometers South of Praia do Bom Sucesso is Peniche, where there are few of the world’s best surfing spots.
7. Praia de Sao Martinho do Porto
And here comes one more beautiful place, where to watch the ocean and waves, and why not a sunset as well? Similar to Praia do Bom Sucesso there is a lagoon (bay), where the water is warm and calm, making it a perfect place for families with children. And then there is another side of it, more wild.
The bay here is round and thus interesting sight itself, especially when seen from some higher place, like from the top of sand dunes on the far left side. For views like in our pictures, you will need to climb up these dunes and and then to go to the right.
If you’ll be heading further south in Portugal, make sure to check out also the lesser visited region of Costa Vicentina.
If you still have some questions about traveling in Portugal, contact us!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.