45 Famous Landmarks in Portugal You Have to See
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Portugal is a must-visit destination for many reasons. You can discover an array of world-famous landmarks in Portugal, and this list covers 45 of the most well-known monuments and attractions you should visit in the country.
Just a few places of interest mentioned include Livraria Lello, Belém Tower, and Jerónimos Monastery. If you're planning a trip to Portugal, keep reading to learn more about the landmarks you have to add to your Portugal bucket list!
45 Famous Portugal Landmarks
- Famous Portuguese Landmarks
- Famous Buildings in Portugal
- Famous Monuments in Portugal
- Historical Landmarks in Portugal
- Natural Landmarks in Portugal
- Major Landmarks in Portugal
Portugal Landmarks Video
Check out our highlights video of Portugal landmarks.
Portugal Landmarks Map
A map of Portugal landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.
Famous Portuguese Landmarks
Pastéis de Belém
One of Portugal's most famous food items is a custard tart called pastel de nata, or pastéis de nata. You can find an array of bakeries selling these tarts across the country.
Arguably the best bakery producing these treats is Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon, making it somewhat of a cultural landmark! The recipe used here is top secret and was created by monks who lived at Jerónimos Monastery.
LxFactory is a renowned shopping and dining complex that's housed in an old industrial complex in Lisbon. The space opened as LxFactory in 2008, but the buildings date back to the 19th century.
As you explore the venue today, you'll find jewellery shops, clothing stores, art galleries, and more, all run by local and independent business owners.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Lisbon is a popular place to stay in Portugal due to its many interesting museums. One of the most unique museums is the National Tile Museum.
Founded in 1960, the museum displays azulejo tile work and other traditional tiles. You can see the tiles in beautiful designs, many of which create vibrant murals. This museum is one-of-a-kind and well worth visiting!
An interesting Portuguese landmark in Porto is Livraria Lello. Opened in 1881, this attraction is a bookstore that has become a famous tourist spot.
Sometimes called 'the most beautiful bookstore in the world,' the shop is housed in an Art Nouveau building with high ceilings, wooden staircases, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. If you're a bookworm or love unique architecture, you must visit Livraria Lello!
Capela dos Ossos
The Chapel of Bones is one of the most strange yet fascinating sights in Portugal. As the name suggests, it is a chapel that features bones along the walls, similar to the catacombs in Paris, France.
The chapel was constructed by Franciscan monks and sits next to the entrance to the Church of St. Francis in Évora. The human skulls and bones belong to around 5,000 people who had been buried around the town of Évora. It's thought the design was created to remind locals of the transience of life.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
If you want to get the best views of Lisbon, you won't want to miss visiting this landmark! Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a viewing point that offers sweeping vistas of the city, its iconic orange-roofed buildings, and the Tagus River.
The lookout is also decorated with beautiful decorative tiles as well as flowers and plants. Miradouro das Portas do Sol is worth visiting too if you want to enjoy more views.
Famous Buildings in Portugal
Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa
The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major, more commonly known as Lisbon Cathedral, is one of the capital city's most breathtaking structures. The Roman Catholic church dates back almost 900 years, having opened in 1150.
Due to earthquakes in the area over that time, reconstruction has occurred; however, the cathedral greatly resembles the original from the 12th century. Today, you can admire the internal and external architecture and visit a small museum inside the cathedral.
Palácio da Bolsa
Also known as the Stock Exchange Palace, Bolsa Palace sits in Porto and was constructed in the 19th century in a Neoclassical style. The palace became a National Monument in 1982.
This landmark has grand interior rooms with many ornate details and beautiful gardens and courtyards. You can now tour the palace and gardens and learn more about the building's rich history.
Estação de São Bento
Another of the unique points of interest in Portugal is the Sao Bento Train Station. Situated in Porto, the station opened in 1916, 16 years after construction began in 1900.
The beautiful Beaux Arts building still operates as a train station today, connecting passengers to many places, including Lisbon and Coimbra. If you visit the station, make time to admire the architecture, which includes blue and white mural walls, large glass windows, and patterned floors.
Sé do Porto
Porto features many landmarks and renowned buildings, with one of the oldest being Porto Cathedral, or Sé do Porto. The Roman Catholic church dates to 1110, with the most recent design being constructed in the 1700s.
It's additionally an important Romanesque building in the city but has Gothic and Baroque design elements as well. You can tour the cathedral and appreciate the amazing design, which includes murals, ornate carvings, high ceilings, and more. Mass is also held daily.
Ribeira, where the cathedral is located, is also one of the best places to stay in Porto. If you choose to book accommodations in this area, you can enjoy views of Sé do Porto from your room!
Monte Palace Madeira
Monte Palace Madeira features a mansion and stunning tropical gardens. These gardens have plants sourced from across the world and also feature fountains, ponds, and animals like peacocks. After exploring the gardens, you can go into the palace itself, which has a museum with artworks, African artefacts, and more.
Quinta da Regaleira
One of the most unique landmarks in Sintra is Quinta da Regaleira. While the land the building sits on has a long history, Quinta da Regaleira itself was constructed at the start of the 20th century.
The interesting structure features Gothic Revival and Neo-Manueline architecture styles and closely resembles something from a fairytale. Around the castle-like structure, you'll find lots of greenery, lakes, grottoes, and fountains.
Casa da Música
A more modern place to see in Porto, Portugal, is Casa da Música. Construction of the building began in 1999 and was intended to mark the year 2001, when Porto was designated the European Capital of Culture. The building eventually opened in 2005 and is a concert hall that hosts an array of memorable performances.
Câmara Municipal do Porto
Porto City Hall is a Neoclassical building with a beautiful clock tower that dates to the early 20th century. The building remains a seat of government, but some parts are open to the public to look around. After seeing the building, you can wander around the square it sits in, appreciating the rest of the architecture found there.
Famous Monuments in Portugal
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
One of the best-known monuments in Portugal is Padrão dos Descobrimentos or the Monument to the Discoveries. First constructed in 1940 in wood and plaster, the sculpture honors 15th and 16th-century Portuguese explorers.
In 1958, the monument was reconstructed using stronger limestone, concrete, and steel, and it reopened in 1960. Those that visit the monument can climb to a viewing platform and explore some exhibit rooms inside the structure.
Fonte dos Leões
The Fountain of Lions is located in Porto and was built in the 1800s. As the name suggests, the fountain has four lion sculptures. These lions are quite unique, as they all have wings!
The fountain's designer was determined by a competition in the 1880s, and the winner was Compagnie Générale des Eaux pour l'Etranger, a French design company. Interestingly, the Portuguese fountain is very similar to one seen in the city of Leicester, United Kingdom.
Bom Jesus do Monte
Located in Tenões, Bom Jesus do Monte is a Catholic shrine that opened in 1772. While the current structure dates to the 18th century, it's believed that chapels have been on the site since the 1300s.
The shrine features Neoclassical and Baroque-style churches and many steps leading to them. You can also see fountains and religious statues. Additionally, the landmark was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2019.
Santuário de Cristo Rei
Santuário de Cristo Rei, or Sanctuary of Christ the King, is a relatively modern Portuguese monument, having opened in 1959. Located in Almada across the Tagus River from Lisbon, the design of the statue was inspired by the Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer.
The 110-metre-tall monument features a pedestal with a statue of Christ with outstretched arms. Interestingly, you can go inside the monument, which houses a library, main halls, and a chapel.
Arco da Rua Augusta
Completed in 1873, Arco da Rua Augusta remains a popular monument in Lisbon to this day. The stone memorial arch took 118 years to complete, with construction beginning in 1755.
This landmark was built to commemorate the reconstruction of the city after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. It sits within Praça do Comércio and is a popular photo attraction with tourists.
Monumento aos Combatentes do Ultramar
The Monument to the Overseas Combatants is located at Forte do Bom Sucesso in Lisbon, where you will also find the Combatant's Museum.
The memorial is dedicated to Portuguese soldiers who died in foreign wars and is also a symbol of peace. The relatively modern-style monument features an eternal flame and has armed guards watching over it during the day.
Estatua de Vímara Peres
Found next to Porto Cathedral, the Statue of Vímara Peres commemorates Vímara Peres, a 9th-century nobleman. It features Peres on a horse holding a weapon. The bronze monument opened in 1968 and was designed by Salvador Barata Feyo.
Another of the famous landmarks of Portugal to visit while in Lisbon is the National Pantheon. Located in Campo de Santa Clara, the building is a 17th-century church, the Church of Santa Engrácia, that was turned into a Pantheon in 1916.
There are now many famous Portuguese individuals buried at the Pantheon, including lawyer Manuel de Arriaga, singer Amália Rodrigues, and footballer Eusébio da Silva Ferreira. There is also a cenotaph for Vasco da Gama.
Historical Landmarks in Portugal
Castelo de São Jorge
Another renowned landmark in Lisbon is Castelo de São Jorge. The fort-like structures on the site of the current castle date to the 1st Century BC and many civilizations have lived around the area of the castle, including Romans and Moors.
The site has been constructed various times over the last thousand years, with the castle you see today having been renovated in the 20th century. The castle now houses a museum, and visitors can explore the gardens and take in the views from various lookout points.
Fortress São João Baptista das Berlengas
Located off the west coast of Portugal, Fortress São João Baptista das Berlengas sits on the largest island in the archipelago of the Berlengas. The fort was built on the site of an old monastery at the request of King Manuel I of Portugal in 1502.
Completion of the fort took a few centuries, finally being finished in 1678. The fort was then remodelled in the 19th century and repaired and remodelled again in 1953. You can now visit the fort and take guided tours.
Mosteiro da Batalha
Located in Batalha in Portugal's Centro Region, Batalha Monastery is a Dominican Convent that dates to the 14th century. It notably served as a burial place for members of the Aviz dynasty and was constructed to commemorate the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota.
The monastery was deemed a National Monument in 1907, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and is open for visitors to explore and appreciate the architecture.
Castelo dos Mouros
Constructed in the 8th century, Castelo dos Mouros is one of the oldest landmarks in Portugal. You can discover the castle, which was initially built by the Moors, in Sintra.
Many parts of the castle have been reconstructed over the last thousand-plus years, but the structure is just as magnificent today as it was when first built.
As this is an important global landmark, Castelo dos Mouros became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra in 1995.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
Jerónimos Monastery is one of many historic landmarks in Portugal that's well worth visiting. Located in Lisbon, the site is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome. It was constructed throughout the 16th century and opened at the start of the 17th century.
There have been some restoration and remodelling efforts over the years, and the monastery features several different architectural styles, like Manueline, Renaissance, and Plateresque architecture. The monastery is also the resting place of Vasco da Gama and other famous Portuguese individuals.
Mosteiro de Alcobaça
Another monastery to visit in Portugal is the Monastery of Alcobaça. This Gothic monastery was built in the 12th century in the town of Alcobaça. The monastery and attached church were the first Gothic buildings in the country and were commissioned by Afonso I of Portugal (King Afonso Henriques).
After hundreds of years of use, the structure became a National Monument in 1907 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Visitors can tour the complex, which includes tombs, cloisters, chapels, and more.
Palácio Nacional de Queluz
Queluz National Palace is a Rococo-style palace situated in Queluz on the Portuguese Riviera. This royal building was first constructed as a summer residence for Peter III of Portugal and was used by the royal family for years after, finally being renovated in the 20th century and reopened as a tourist attraction.
Tourists can still tour the palace and its grand gardens, with a small part of the building used as Portugal's official state guest house.
Palácio da Pena
Pena Palace is a breathtaking structure that sits atop a hill in the Sintra Mountains. This famous European landmark was completed in 1854 and is designed in Romanesque Revival and Neo-Manueline architectural styles.
The castle has been used by the Portuguese royal family and is now used by the President of the Portuguese Republic for special occasions as well as being open to the public for tours. In addition, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra
Another palace to see in Portugal is Sintra National Palace. The UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sintra dates back to the 10th or 11th century, but the exact date of construction is unknown.
Over the years, the palace was added to and, therefore, features many design styles. These include Manueline, Gothic, Mudéjar, and Moorish architecture.
Visitors today can explore the vast palace and learn more about its history. Rooms to see include a chapel, kitchen, and the Chamber of Afonso VI. You can also see charming courtyards and beautiful gardens.
Palácio de Mafra
Located about 30 minutes from central Lisbon, Mafra National Palace is a Portuguese National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Baroque and Neoclassical palace was constructed in the 1700s for King John V of Portugal.
It was not a full-time royal residence, but instead, members of the royal family would visit occasionally, especially if they wanted to hunt as a game preserve was nearby. These days, you can tour the home to admire the design, see artefacts, and learn about its history and residents.
Natural Landmarks in Portugal
Parque Natural da Arrábida
Arrábida Natural Park is a scenic natural landmark of Portugal that you must plan to visit. The protected coastal area sits on the south of the Setúbal Peninsula and features a mountainous landscape and tranquil beaches.
Arrábida Natural Park is also home to a vast array of wildlife, including numerous bird species, amphibians, and mammals like badgers, red foxes, and bats.
Algar de Benagil
Also known as Grotte de Benagil, Benagil Cave in Lagoa is one of the country's most renowned natural landmarks. The vast cave sits right on the seashore and features a large hole in its roof.
You can reach the cave by boat, and tours are available to book. When you arrive, you can marvel at the geological structure and snap some unique photos.
Vale do Douro
The Douro Valley is a beautiful destination that's located near Porto along the Douro River. This area, also called the Alto Douro Wine Region, is known for its vineyards, port wine cellars, and delicious Portuguese wines.
In fact, the Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine-growing region in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with visiting wineries, you can find excellent restaurants and charming hotels. You can also take in the views of the Douro River and the green valleys that surround it.
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
Portugal has many fantastic natural landmarks like Peneda-Gerês National Park in the north of the country. Interestingly, this is Portugal's only national park, and it's also the oldest protected area in the country.
Features in the park include granite massifs, waterfalls, crystal lagoons, and lots of plant life. You can also see wildlife, like Garrano horses, gold-striped salamanders, and Spanish ibex.
Ilha de Tavira
If you're looking for winter sun decisions in Europe, Ilha de Tavira is one of the top-rated natural Portuguese landmarks to check out. The island is known for having the best beaches in the Algarve, which feature white sandy shores and warm turquoise waters.
After enjoying the beaches on the island, you can take a boat to the town of Tavira to visit independent shops, bars, and eateries. You can also see stunning buildings that date back hundreds of years.
Cape Girão is a vast sea cliff that sits on the coast of the island of Madeira. While it's Portuguese land, Cape Girão is technically located in Africa, not Europe.
The cliff has an elevation of 580 metres and features the Cape Girão Skywalk. When visiting, you can tackle the skywalk or simply sail past the large cliff to take in the view.
Praia da Falésia
Located on the Algarve in Albufeira, Praia da Falésia is a stunning beach to visit. It's surrounded by high orange cliffs and features sandy shores and sparkling blue water. Visitors can swim, sunbathe (sunbeds and umbrellas are available to rent), and even surf when the conditions are right.
Praia de Santa Cruz
Another must-visit beach destination in Portugal is Praia de Santa Cruz. Located in the small coastal town of Silveira, the beach is surrounded by rock cliffs and has soft sand shores and calm waters.
Santa Cruz is actually split up into smaller beaches, although the whole area is often referred to as Santa Cruz beach. The smaller beaches include Praia Formosa and Praia Azul.
Major Landmarks in Portugal
Universidade de Coimbra
The University of Coimbra is a renowned landmark in Portugal as it is the country's oldest university, having been founded in 1290. It is also the ninth oldest university in the world. The university moved to its current location in 1537.
Today, the Coimbra University welcomes around 25,500 students annually, including undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctoral students. Non-students and faculty can also tour some parts of the beautiful campus.
Ponte de Dom Luís I
The Dom Luís I Bridge is a world-famous landmark. The bridge connects Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto, spanning over the River Douro. When it was constructed in the 1880s, it was the world's largest double-deck metal bridge at 172 metres long.
Crossing the bridge when in the area is a must as it offers pretty views of the river and the two cities it connects. Pedestrians can walk on both levels. Cars are allowed on the lower deck while the Porto metro travels along the top deck.
Torre de Belém
Construction of Belém Tower in Lisbon began in 1514 and was opened in 1519. The tower has had various uses, including as a coastal defence tower, a lighthouse, and a customs building.
Today, tourists can walk up the tower and take in wonderful views over the Tagus River. Belém Tower is one of Portugal's most famous landmarks, so visiting it must be on your Lisbon itinerary!
Elevador de Santa Justa
Santa Justa Lift is a unique and interesting landmark in Lisbon. Opened in 1902, the Art Nouveau-style lift was constructed to connect the Baixa and Bairro Alto Districts. Today, tourists flock to the elevator to ride it to a viewing platform that offers stunning views over the city.
Parque e Palácio de Monserrate
Situated in Sintra, the Park and Palace of Monserrate is a scenic landmark to visit. It comprises a palace and colourful gardens, which includes plants from Mexico, Japan, and Australia.
Various chapels and other structures have sat on the grounds since 1093, with the palace being constructed in the 1860s. As you explore the attraction today, you'll also find a farmyard to visit.
As a country with a rich history and unique culture, it's not surprising that you'll find many landmarks and historical sites in Portugal.
Whether you like visiting ancient castles and palaces, seeing famous monuments, or unwinding in stunning natural spaces, you'll find many landmarks to visit when in Portugal!
Read more articles about Portugal:
- Where to Stay in Portugal - 16 Best Areas & Places
- Where to Stay in Porto, Portugal - 8 Best Areas & Hotels
- How to Spend 2 Days in Lisbon Itinerary
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