top of page

Portugal Travel Guide: 5 Hidden Gems to Visit in Portugal

Portugal is one of my favourite countries to visit, Portugal has historic cities, world-renowned cuisine, natural landscapes, and spectacular beaches. The weather and the variety of landscapes is why you should visit, this is a great vacation location.


​1. How to Get Your Visa for Portugal

​4. How to Move Around Portugal

​2. 5 Hidden Gems in Portugal

​5. Best Time to Visit Portugal

​3. How to Get to Portugal

How to Get Your Visa for Portugal

You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.

Here’s why you should choose iVisa:

  • Speed and Simplicity - Easy, traveler-friendly application process. Simple and much less complicated than dealing with foreign governments.

  • Get Approved - All documents are reviewed by a team of immigration experts. Their staff is well-trained and offers years of experience.

  • Secure and Safe - World-class data centres and state-of-the-art security. Your credit card information will never be exposed to any government websites!

  • Awesome support - Their customer support is ready to help 24/7. They want you to enjoy your travels and avoid the stress of getting a visa!

5 Hidden Gems in Portugal

1. Aveiro

Aveiro is a city located on the west coast of Portugal along Ria de Aveiro Lagoon known as the "Portuguese Venice". This city is distinguished by its canals that are navigated by colourful boats which are traditionally used to harvest seaweed.

Aveiro is located between Lisbon and porto, so you can easily take a bus from one of these cities to get to Aveiro, but keep in mind that Aveiro is closer to Porto that Lisbon. A bus ride from Lisbon to Aveiro takes around 3h 30mins and it costs around 22€. A Bus ride from Porto to Aveiro takes around an hour and it costs around 12€.

You can also take the train from Lisbon which would take 2h 20 min and the ticket price ranges between 29 and 40€. As mentioned, Aveiro is closer to Porto so a train ride from Porto would take 1h for 3.55€. In Porto take the train from Campanhã or São Bento stations and take the yellow line, trains run every hour.

It is easy to walk nearly everywhere in Aveiro as everything is located near the city centre. The only things you will need to take the bus for are Costa Nova and Praia Da Barra, Or if you love cycling then you can get a BUGA bike and explore the city that way, these are free bikes as well and you will only need to provide an identification document and then the bike is yours for 2 hours for free within the city limits. Also, if you feel like it you can explore the city by booking a tuk-tuk tour.

Aveiro has gained a lot of international exposure during the past few years, most options can be found in the city centre but keep in mind that most hotels as well as family-run housings are a bit overpriced. You can find a lot of great Airbnbs in Aveiro and that would be my favourite option, but in comparison to Lisbon and Porto, Aveiro is slightly more expensive.

2. Cascais

Cascais is a coastal resort town near Lisbon, it is filled with beautiful white houses, flower filled streets, and amazing beaches. It is Lisbon's residents weekend or holiday escape. Cascais is connected to both Lisbon and Sintra, so it is easy to go on a day trip from any of them.

Cascais can be reached easily from Lisbon, you can take the train from Lisbon which takes around 30 minutes. Train leaves every 10 minutes so make sure to book your ticket at the station and hop-on as there is no seat reservation.

Once you reach Cascais you can explore on foot, there is no need for transportation inside Cascais, but if you love cycling then you can explore Cascais cycling. If you are arriving in Cascais by car then you will easily find a lot of suitable parking spots and continue exploring on foot.

As mentioned, it only takes 30 minutes to get from Lisbon to Cascais you can easily go on a day trip from Lisbon if you are there and then go back in the afternoon. If you want to spend more that a day in Cascais then choose a hotel that is on the coastline or an Airbnb.

3. Óbidos

Óbidos is a town located in the Oeste region, historical province of Estremadura, and the Leiria district. Óbidos is a picturesque medieval town located on a hilltop about 80 km north of Lisbon. It is honestly a joy to explore; with its narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, and colorful bursts of bougainvillea.

Óbidos can be reached by train from Lisbon's Santa Apolónia Station, but be aware that it is a regional service that stops in several small towns along the way (You can also go visit some of them if you want). The train ride takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. You can also take a bus if you want from the Campo Grande Bus Station, which takes one hour.

Once you arrive in Óbidos you can simply walk around and explore. Because the town is so narrow, cars aren’t allowed within the walls of the town, so you would be walking around, but it is not hard to do that at all. Also, you really don’t have to worry about transportation within the town itself, you simply arrive their and walk.

In Óbidos, you can find hotels to stay there, but I would recommend staying in Lisbon and going on a day trip to Óbidos since it would be better since it only takes 2-3 hours to explore the town, but of course if you want to sleep in Óbidos then you can do so.

4. Braga

Braga is a city located in the far north of Portugal, and it is known for its religious heritage. In the city centre; the medieval Braga Cathedral is home to a sacred art museum and the Gothic-style Kings' Chapel. Braga is definitely worth a visit, with its vestiges of the Roman era, its ancestral churches, and it as I said it said a religious centre, but also it is a trendy and modern student city.

Braga can be reached from Porto easily, so if you are coming from another country, you can simply arrive at Porto’s airport and then go to Braga. Braga is only 50 KM away from Porto, so you can get there easily. You can take a train from either São Bento or Campanhã stations in Porto, and the train journey takes only an hour. Also, if you take a bus, it takes an hour as well, so you can choose whatever suits you.

Once you arrive in Braga you can find public transportations to use such as buses and taxis. The local transportation body The Transportes Urbanos de Braga is best known for its local inter-city bus service, and it is affordable and really convenient especially for budget travellers.

In Braga, you can find hotels, but similar to Óbidos, you can go on a day trip from Porto, so it would be better to stay in Porto, but of course as mentioned you can still find hotels and other accommodations in Braga to stay in.

5. Coimbra

Coimbra is a city in central Portugal and it was the country’s former capital. Coimbra is a preserved medieval old town with the historic University of Coimbra, which was on the grounds of a former palace. The university is famed for its baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, and its 18th-century bell tower, and in the city’s old town you will find the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha.

Coimbra can be reached easily from either Porto or Lisbon by both trains and buses, even though it is actually closer to Porto, but most people arrive from Lisbon. A train journey from Porto to Coimbra takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes, but it can take less time if you go on the faster services. While a train ride from Lisbon to Coimbra takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but be aware that it is a bit pricy. If you want to save money or if you are on a budget, then as bus would be the option for you from either Porto or Lisbon, but it would take more than 2 hours to get there.

Once you arrive in Coimbra you can easily move around by using the public transportation, so you can take taxis and local buses. It is not expensive and it is convenient.

In Coimbra, you can find hotels there, but similar to all the places I mentioned on this list, you can definitely explore the city in one day. But of course if you want to stay there, you can find hotels easily, and if you do intend to stay there; then aim to explore the city in two days.

How to Get to Portugal

Portugal’s biggest airport is Humberto Delgado Airport a.k.a. Lisbon’s airport, you will be able to find a lot of international flights that goes there. You can also find other international flights to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport a.k.a. Porto’s airport. I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains, and if you are looking for cheap flights to get to Prague, then your best option would be to use WayAway. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)

How to Move Around Portugal

It is easy to use public transportation in Portugal, you will find buses and trains easily, or you can rent a car and take a camper-van as Portugal has some of the most beautiful remote locations in the world. Check Omio to move from one city to the other!

Best Time to Visit Portugal

You can visit Portugal all year long, I visited it twice so far, once in the winter and another in summer and I enjoyed both times. The ideal time to visit would be fall and spring, during those times there will be fewer tourists and the prices would be cheaper as well. Also, during those times the weather is nice, it is neither hot nor cold, and there still is sunshine.

bottom of page