Old Town Lagos | Ultimate Travel Guide & Tips

Welcome to the ultimate travel guide to the captivating Old Town of Lagos, Portugal. This charming coastal town is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, vibrant nightlife, rich history, and picturesque beauty. Lagos is one of the must-see places in the Algarve, and this blog post takes you through the narrow cobbled streets and helps you discover everything great the old town of Lagos has to offer. Are you ready to explore? Let’s go!

Old Town Lagos Highlights

Lagos is celebrated for its beach culture, vibrant atmosphere, and captivating history. The town’s lively nightlife scene offers many bars, restaurants, and clubs, ensuring you have a memorable time before and after the sun sets. Additionally, Lagos has a rich historical heritage, evident in its well-preserved Old Town, which showcases architectural wonders and landmarks that date back centuries. We live half the year in Lagos and absolutely love the place. Strolling through the streets and eating at the many delicious cafes and restaurants is one of our favorite things to do when we are in Lagos.

We know you’ll love it too, so I created a comprehensive guide to help you explore Lagos’s old town during your trip to Portugal. The highlights below show Old Town Lagos’s rich history, cultural significance, and architectural beauty. Exploring these attractions will give you a nice experience of the town’s charm.

Church of Saint Anthony

This 17th-century church is a must-visit landmark known for its stunning architecture and beautiful interior. You can admire the intricate tilework and ornate interiors of this historic church, dedicated to the patron saint of Lagos. It is absolutely beautiful. It stands as a testament to the town’s rich religious heritage. The Church of Saint Anthony provides a tranquil space for reflecting and appreciating its artistic beauty. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or seeking a serene atmosphere, visiting this remarkable church is a must when exploring the Old Town of Lagos.

Practical information: The exact address of Igreja de Santo António is R. Gen. Alberto da Silveira 1, 8600-594 Lagos, Portugal. Opening hours are 10 am – 12:30 pm/ 2-5:30 pm. Mondays closed.

Saint Anthony Church

Governor’s Castle

The Governor’s Castle, also known as the Castle of Lagos, is a historic landmark in Lagos, Portugal. Originally built as a fortification, it offers panoramic views of the town and the coast. The castle’s ruins showcase its rich history, with remnants of walls, towers, and courtyards. Visitors can explore the archaeological site and learn about its significance through informational panels. The castle occasionally hosts cultural events and exhibitions. A must-visit for history buffs and those seeking beautiful views, the Governor’s Castle provides a glimpse into Lagos’ past and offers a memorable experience in a picturesque setting.

At night the castle and walls are beautifully lit, which creates a cozy and romantic feel to the old town. Perfect for a night stroll before or after dinner at one of the nice restaurants in the old town.

Practical information: The address is R. Bombeiros Voluntários de Lagos 18, 8600-315 Lagos, Portugal, and it’s open 24/7.

Governor’s Castle

Lagos Municipal Museum

The Lagos Municipal Museum is a cultural treasure in Lagos, Portugal. Housed in a former convent, this museum offers a fascinating journey through the town’s history and culture. Exhibits showcase diverse artifacts, artworks, and historical displays that provide insights into Lagos’ past. The museum comprehensively understands the town’s rich heritage, from archaeological finds to maritime heritage and local traditions. Visitors can explore captivating exhibits and learn about the significance of Lagos in the broader context of Portuguese history. A visit to the Lagos Municipal Museum is fun to do for those seeking a deeper appreciation of the town’s cultural roots.

Practical information: The museum’s address is Rua General Alberto da Silveira, Lagos 8600-594, Portugal. And the museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 9.30 am -12.30 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm; Closed: Mondays and national holidays.

The Old Town Walls

The Old Town Walls of Lagos is a captivating piece of history. These ancient defensive walls surround the town, showcasing its strategic importance throughout the centuries. Walking along the well-preserved sections of the walls offers visitors a unique perspective on Lagos’ past. You can enjoy panoramic views of the town, the coastline, and the azure waters beyond the walls. They serve as a reminder of the town’s historical significance and provide a picturesque backdrop for exploring the charming streets of the old town. We loved strolling along these walls. They are great if you are a history enthusiast and seek stunning town views.

Mercado dos Escravos (Slave Market Museum)

The Mercado dos Escravos, also known as the Slave Market Museum, is a significant historical site. As the first slave market in Europe, it stands as a sobering reminder of Lagos’ role in the transatlantic slave trade. The museum offers a thought-provoking experience, shedding light on this dark period of history. You can explore exhibits that provide insight into the lives of enslaved individuals, the impact of the slave trade, and the abolitionist movement. The Mercado dos Escravos is a poignant testament to the importance of understanding and remembering this painful chapter in human history.

Practical Information: The exact address of the museum is R. da Sra. Da Graça 26, 8600-315 Lagos, Portugal, and the opening hours are Tuesday until Sunday, 10 am-12.30 pm/ 2-5:30 pm. Mondays closed.

Ponta da Bandeira Fort

Discover this well-preserved fort that protected the town from invasions and now houses a small maritime museum. This well-preserved fort showcases the town’s maritime heritage and offers a glimpse into its defensive past. With its unique architecture and strategic position overlooking the coastline, the fort provides stunning views of the sea and surrounding areas. You can explore the fort’s interior and learn about Lagos’ nautical history through exhibits and artifacts.

You can easily combine visiting this fort with walking along the walls, visiting the Governor’s Castle, exploring Infante Dom Henrique Square, and visiting the Church of Saint Anthony since it’s all very close to each other and only a few minutes (sometimes not even) walk from each other. Fun to do during the day and at night since the fort and walls are beautifully lit. You’ll find this fort at the end of the marina boulevard, where you can also shop your souvenirs at the many stalls or book a tour at one of the touring agencies along the marina avenue (you can’t miss it).

Practical information: Opening hours are 9.30 am-12.30 pm / 2 pm-5 pm; Closed on Mondays. But please inform on location for the most up-to-date information.

Ponta da Bandeira Fort

Praça Infante Dom Henrique

Praça Infante Dom Henrique, situated in the heart of Old Town Lagos, is a vibrant and bustling square that captures the town’s essence. This lively square is surrounded by charming cafés, restaurants, and shops, offering a perfect spot to relax and soak up the local atmosphere. With its cobblestone pavement, outdoor seating, and a central fountain, Praça Infante Dom Henrique invites visitors to people-watch and savor the flavors of Portuguese cuisine. The square often hosts cultural events and performances, adding an extra dose of entertainment and vibrancy. Whether you’re enjoying a meal, sipping a cup of coffee, or simply observing the vibrant ambiance, Infante Dom Henrique Square is the perfect place.

We spent many hours in the square, eating a sandwich, sipping coffee, and enjoying the view. In winter, the square is transformed into a fun Christmas Market with an ice skating ring, a real Santa Claus, and many shops and eating stalls. A large parking garage is next to this square, and around the corner, you have one of the best restaurants in town for breakfast and lunch with amazing coffee: Abigails Cafe.

Infante Dom Henrique Square

Cultural Center of Lagos

The Cultural Center of Lagos is a dynamic hub for arts and culture. It is located in a modern facility and serves as a creative space for exhibitions, performances, workshops, and more. The center showcases diverse artistic expressions, including contemporary art, photography, music, theater, and dance. You can engage with exhibitions, participate in interactive workshops, or enjoy live performances by local and international artists. The Cultural Center of Lagos provides a platform for cultural exchange, fostering creativity and enriching the community’s artistic landscape, and it is fun to visit if you seek to immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Lagos.

Practical information: The Cultural Center of Lagos is located at Rua Lançarote de Freitas 7, 8600-605 Lagos, Portugal. The center’s opening hours are 10 am – 6 pm from Tuesday until Saturday. The center is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but this may vary, so checking their website or contacting them directly for the most up-to-date information on visiting hours and any associated fees is recommended.

Gil Eanes Square

Gil Eanes Square, located near the marina in Lagos, Portugal, is a popular public square with a lively atmosphere. You cannot visit the old town of Lagos without walking through this square as it is in the heart of the old town and where most streets are connected. It is named after the local hero Gil Eanes, and he has a statue commemorating his achievements. It is also the square where you’ll find the Lagos city hall (yellow building).

The square is a vibrant gathering spot with many restaurants and cafes nearby. So Gil Eanes Square is a perfect place to people-watch, grab a bite to eat at nearby cafes, or simply take a leisurely stroll while immersing yourself in the charm of Lagos. And when you’re looking for a nice souvenir, there are also many souvenir shops. Also, the official Portugal soccer shop can be found at the square if you’re a Portugal soccer fan.

Luís de Camões Square with the Green House

You haven’t seen the old town of Lagos without visiting Luís de Camões Square with the famous and beautiful green-tiled house, a significant landmark for the old town. Everyone who has visited the old town of Lagos has a photo with or of this greenhouse, which has a boutique kids’ toy store inside.

Luís de Camões Square is a vibrant place in the heart of Lagos. Almost all of the cobbled main streets of the old town come out in this square. It’s a bustling square surrounded by various charming shops and inviting restaurants. You can explore the nearby boutique stores when you’re looking for unique souvenirs, local handicrafts, and fashion items. Expect a lot of cork shops filled with shoes, bags, wallets, etc., made of cork. Since Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, they have many shops displaying cork products.

When it comes to dining, the square boasts an array of eateries, ranging from cozy cafés serving artisan coffee to delightful restaurants offering traditional Portuguese cuisine. The atmosphere of Luís de Camões Square is always lively and energetic, with locals and tourists alike enjoying the bustling ambiance. It’s a wonderful spot to soak up the vibrant spirit of Lagos’s old town.

Old Town Streets

You don’t need to visit one of the old town’s attractions, because walking around the old town streets is already a fun experience and gives you the authentic feeling of this town. The old town has many narrow, winding streets that are charming and lined with a mix of traditional and modern establishments.

When you wander around the old town streets, colorful buildings, picturesque balconies, and quaint cobblestone pathways surround you. It is both fun during the day and at night. I advise you to experience both. As you can expect, the streets are filled with local shops, boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. From exploring unique art galleries to sampling delicious Portuguese delicacies, there is something for everyone in the Old Town streets of Lagos.

You can even book a fun food tour through the old town streets and taste authentic local food at different restaurants with this highly-ranked 3-Hour Algarve Classic Food Tour.

Mercado Municipal

Located in the heart of the town (opposite the marina), this lively market is a hub of activity. Inside, you’ll find various stalls selling fresh produce, local products, and traditional delicacies. You can find fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, baked goods, local specialties, and more. There are also stalls selling flowers, spices, and artisanal products. Whether you’re looking to buy ingredients for a picnic or simply soak up the vibrant ambiance, visiting the Mercado Municipal is a must for food enthusiasts and those seeking an authentic taste of Lagos.

Practical information: The exact address is Av. dos Descobrimentos, 8600-668 Lagos, Portugal, and it is typically open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 am – 2 pm. It is best to visit during the morning hours to experience the market at its liveliest and find the best selection of fresh produce.

The Church of Sao Sebastiao

The Church of São Sebastião, located in Lagos, Portugal, is a historic and picturesque church with significant cultural and religious value. With its stunning architectural details and rich interior, the church offers a captivating experience for visitors. Adorned with beautiful azulejo tiles and intricate carvings, the Church of São Sebastião showcases the town’s artistic heritage.

Practical information: The church’s exact address is R. Conselheiro Joaquim Machado, 8600-682 Lagos, Portugal. You can check the opening hours and the schedules of the Eucharists on the church’s website.

São Gonçalo Gate

Another historic landmark of the old town is São Gonçalo Gate. This beautifully preserved gate is a leftover of the ancient city walls and serves as a testament to Lagos’ past and offers a glimpse into the town’s medieval history.

Practical information: The gate is situated at Rua de São Gonçalo, 8600-594 Lagos, Portugal. As it is an outdoor attraction, it can be visited anytime.

Old Town Lagos Portugal Map

You can download the map below of the old town of Lagos.

Source: ontheworldmap.com

Google Maps Old Town Walking Route

I’ve also highlighted all the old town attractions on this Google Maps with a purple pin and drawn a walking line, so you can easily find your way around the town. Everything is within a walkable distance.

Best Lagos Hotels

Let’s continue with another thing on many people’s minds; where to stay in Lagos, Portugal?

And to help you out, I’ve listed the best Lagos hotels below that are in the heart of the old town or just a short walk away.

Don’t have time to go through the entire list? Here are my picks for the Best Hotels In Lagos:

Olive Hostel Lagos

Source Booking: Olive Hostel Lagos

Olive Hostel Lagos is a highly rated budget accommodation (9.1 out of 10!) located in the heart of Lagos Old Town, Portugal. Its prime location offers easy access to the town center. The hostel hasa communal kitchen with free use of olive oil (it is in the name;). And it has dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds and private rooms if you want some more privacy.

“It’s a simple cosy place. It has a nice and calm environment, the staff is friendly and everything is always tidy and clean. The location is very strategic; in the city centre, nearby everything.” Check more reviews>>

TopCity Hostel & Suites

Source Booking: TopCity Hostel & Suites

This cozy hostel offers a range of comfortable dormitory rooms and private suites, providing a home away from home. It gets high reviews 8.3 out of 10 in total, and for its location even a 9.3! The hostel also has a rooftop pool if you want to refresh after a nice walk through the old town!

“Very central and close to everything! They seem to organize a lot of events which I wasn’t able to join because I’d made prior plans but everyone else seemed to enjoy it. The Hostellers app they use with a chat room with people in the hostel at the same time as you is interesting too.” Check more reviews>>

The Salty Lodge

Source Booking: The Salty Lodge

The Salty Lodge offers accommodation in the heart of Lagos. You can book self-catering studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, some including a terrace and/or balcony with sea or city views. The lodge gets 9.2 out of 10 stars on Booking.

“Extremely well run and excellently located apartment.Flavia and Barbara were very helpful with information on all aspects of Lagos.The apartment was equipped with everything that you could want for a comfortable stay.The roof terrace was an added bonus.” Check more reviews >>

Old School Guest House

Source Booking: Old School Guest House

The Old School Guest House is a nice bed and breakfast housed in a beautifully restored building that was once a school. It offers a charming and nostalgic ambiance. The guest house features various rooms, each thoughtfully designed to provide comfort and a touch of vintage charm. With its communal spaces, including a cozy lounge and a sunny courtyard, you can relax and unwind in a welcoming atmosphere. Those seeking a memorable stay with a touch of nostalgia in the heart of Lagos will love this place.

“Super bright and cosy apartment. Marco is a excellent host, brought fresh bread an oranges every morning so we could have a nice breakfast on the rooftop terrace. He also provided water and wine.” Check more reviews >>

Tivoli Lagos

Source Booking: Tivoli Lagos

Tivoli Lagos is a renowned hotel located in the vibrant city of Lagos, Portugal, and promises a delightful and sophisticated retreat in the heart of Lagos. This upscale accommodation combines modern comforts and traditional charm, providing you with a luxurious and memorable stay.

 “Staff were so helpful. The room was gorgeous and big with great bathroom and shower. The bed was HUGE and so comfy, we had such good sleeps. The pool area was lovely and serene. The breakfast was incredible! Some lovely restaurants Within walking distance of the hotel too.” Check more reviews >>

Casa Margô

Source Booking: Casa Margô

Casa Margô is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Lagos, Portugal. This boutique guesthouse offers a charming and intimate atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a tranquil and relaxing getaway. The tastefully decorated rooms blend modern comforts and rustic elements. You can unwind in the beautifully landscaped courtyard, enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool, or simply soak up the sun on the terrace. With its warm hospitality and attention to detail, Casa Margô provides a serene and idyllic retreat for travelers looking to experience the authentic charm of Lagos.

“Excellent location in centre of the old town working waking distance to everything.The building is beautiful, clean and modern. Magda, Caterina and Renata were so helpful and friendly.” Check more reviews >>

Best Restaurants In Lagos

Now perhaps you also might wonder, when you’re walking through the charming streets of the old town, where to eat in Lagos. There are so many nice cafes and restaurants nestled in the old town that you easily get overwhelmed. And that is why I’ve listed the top 10 best restaurants in Lagos old town below. I know that there are so many more amazing restaurants in town that deserve a spot on this list too, but we have to start somewhere.

Top 10 Restaurants In Lagos

  1. Pearl Food Trailer – Wine Bar, Seafood, European, Portuguese
  2. Arribale – Mediterranean, Barbecue, European, Portuguese
  3. Casa do Prego – Portuguese, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options,
  4. Goji Lounge Cafe – Cafe, Mediterranean, European, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
  5. Nah Nah Bah – Bar, International, Beer & Burgers
  6. The Seasonal – Asian, Thai, Fusion
  7. Tasca Do Kiko – Local cuisine, Seafood, Mediterranean, Portuguese, Healthy.
  8.  O Mexilhao – Seafood, Mediterranean, European
  9. No Patio – Restaurant & Wine Bar – Seafood, Mediterranean, European
  10. The Green Room – Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options

Best Place For Coffee: Black and White Coffee Shop | The Studio – Coffee Roasters & Café

Best Place For Breakfast: Abigail’s Cafe | Sweet & Temptation- Food & Breakfast

Best Place For Lunch: Goji Lounge Café | Restaurante dos Artistas

Best Place For Pizza: Pepperino Pizzeria Lagos | Pizzolino

Best Vegan Restaurant: Estúdio Vegetariano

Lagos Nightlife

Perhaps you also wondering, Does Lagos, Portugal, have a good nightlife?

Lagos nightlife is vibrant and diverse, offering a lively atmosphere that caters to different tastes and preferences. As the sun sets, the streets of Lagos come alive with bustling energy. The town boasts an array of bars, clubs, and live music venues that offer entertainment well into the night. Make sure to head to Rua 25 de Abril, which has many entertaining bars and pubs. And don’t forget to go up the rooftop terrace of Bon Vivant with resident DJs. And dance the night away at the InsideOut Bar, which is famous for its delicious fishbowl cocktails.

The nightlife scene in Lagos is known for its eclectic mix of music genres, including live bands, DJs, and traditional Portuguese Fado performances. Whether you’re seeking a relaxed evening with friends or an unforgettable night of partying, Lagos offers a dynamic and memorable nightlife experience for all.

Old Town Lagos Parking

Let’s move over to many travelers’ next question: where to park in Lagos Old Town?

One of the most central and convenient places to park your car is the paid underground Parking lot: Parque da Frente Ribeirinhaw, which is located on the street: Av. dos Descobrimentos (right next to Praça Infante Dom Henrique). It is open 24 hours and cheap compared to other places in Europe. You can leave your car here for half a day or a day for just a couple of euros. We’ve always parked our car here when we wanted to be quickly in and out of town. It is just a very convenient location (see the map below).

Another place you can park your car is a free parking lot outside, a little bit uphill from the old town of Lagos. You walk right into town by walking downhill the street of: R. Infante de Sagres. The parking lot is unsupervised and can be crowded at certain times. I’ve always got a parking spot, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Also, there are many other outside parking spaces around this parking lot. See the map below for the location of the parking.

Best Things To Do In Lagos Portugal

There is so much more to do outside visiting the old town of Lagos. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Lagos, Portugal:

  1. Visit Ponta da Piedade: Take a boat trip or hike to Ponta da Piedade, a stunning natural landmark known for its dramatic cliffs, sea caves, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The views from this vantage point are breathtaking.
  2. Relax on Lagos Beaches: Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea on the beautiful beaches of Lagos. Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, and Meia Praia are popular choices, offering golden sands and inviting waters.
  3. Take a Boat Tour: Embark on a boat tour along the coastline, exploring hidden coves, caves, and rock formations. Discover secluded beaches, go snorkeling or diving, and witness the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. Discover the Lagos Zoo: Experience a fun-filled day at the Lagos Zoo, where you can encounter a variety of animals, including lions, monkeys, reptiles, and exotic birds. The zoo also offers educational programs and interactive experiences.
  5. Surf and Watersports: Lagos is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Try your hand at surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking along the coastline, or join a thrilling jet ski excursion.
  6. Explore the Lagos Marina: Stroll along the vibrant marina, lined with restaurants, bars, and shops. Take in the views of the yachts and boats, and enjoy a meal or a drink while overlooking the water.
  7. Take a Dolphin Tour: Embark on a thrilling dolphin-watching excursion, where you can observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. The waters off the coast of Lagos are home to several dolphin species.
  8. Explore Benagil Cave: Take a boat tour to Benagil Cave, one of the most iconic sea caves in the Algarve region. Marvel at the breathtaking rock formations and the stunning natural arch inside the cave.

Old Town Lagos Frequently Asked Questions

How To Get To Lagos Portugal?

Lagos Old Town is easily accessible by various means of transportation. If arriving by air, the nearest airport is Faro Airport, which is approximately an hour’s drive away. From there, you can take a taxi, rent a car, or use public transportation to reach Lagos. Lagos is also well-connected by train and bus services, making it convenient for travelers.

Does Lagos have an old town?

Lagos does have an Old Town. The Old Town of Lagos is a historic district that showcases the town’s rich heritage and traditional architecture. It is characterized by narrow cobbled streets, ancient city walls, and charming squares. The Old Town is a popular area for tourists to explore, with its historic landmarks, cultural attractions, shops, and restaurants.

Are there any beaches near Lagos old town?

Lagos Old Town is in close proximity to several beautiful beaches. Some popular beaches near the Old Town include Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, and Meia Praia. These beaches offer stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and amenities such as beach bars and restaurants. And are at hiking distance or a couple of minutes by taxi.

Is Lagos in Portugal worth visiting?

Lagos in Portugal is definitely worth visiting. This charming coastal town offers a fantastic blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and vibrant culture. With its stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and crystal-clear waters, Lagos provides ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. The Old Town, with its narrow streets and historic buildings, exudes a captivating atmosphere and is perfect for leisurely strolls.

Additionally, Lagos boasts a rich history, with notable landmarks like the Governor’s Castle and Slave Market Museum. The town also offers a lively nightlife scene, a variety of dining options showcasing delicious local cuisine, and easy access to other attractions in the Algarve region. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural exploration, Lagos has something for everyone, making it a truly worthwhile destination in Portugal.

Can you walk around the old town of Lagos Portugal?

The Old Town of Lagos in Portugal is renowned for its pedestrian-friendly layout, making it an ideal destination for walking enthusiasts. Its compact and charming streets, adorned with traditional architecture and historic buildings, create an immersive atmosphere that captivates visitors. As you explore the Old Town on foot, you’ll have the opportunity to discover picturesque squares, hidden alleys, and vibrant shops and restaurants all within a couple of minutes of walking distance. Exploring town on foot can be easily down in a couple of hours.

What is special about Lagos Portugal?

Lagos, Portugal, is a special destination because of the combination of many things: stunning beaches (one of the most beautiful in Portugal!), impressive cliffs, particularly at Ponta da Piedade, and a charming old town with cobbled stone streets, vibrant atmosphere and a rich history. The Old Town boasts ancient walls, historical landmarks like the Governor’s Castle, and a charming ambiance with narrow streets. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy water sports and hiking trails, while the town’s lively nightlife offers entertainment and dining options. Lagos’ culinary scene, with fresh seafood and local delicacies, further adds to its allure. This coastal town offers a unique and captivating experience for any visitor.

Is Lagos or Albufeira better?

If you prefer a smaller and more historically rich town with a focus on natural beauty and a relaxed atmosphere, Lagos may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a larger resort town with a vibrant nightlife and a wider range of entertainment options, Albufeira may be more suitable.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing the two:


  • Natural Beauty: Lagos is known for its stunning beaches, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque landscapes. It offers a more rugged and scenic coastal setting compared to Albufeira.
  • Historical Charm: The Old Town of Lagos is steeped in history, with ancient city walls, historic buildings, and landmarks that showcase the town’s heritage.
  • Relaxed Atmosphere: Lagos has a more laid-back and relaxed vibe, making it a great choice for those seeking a peaceful and tranquil getaway.


  • Vibrant Nightlife: Albufeira is renowned for its lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment options, particularly in the popular Strip area.
  • Larger Resort Town: Albufeira is a larger and more developed resort town compared to Lagos, offering a wider range of accommodation options, amenities, and tourist services.
  • Family-Friendly: Albufeira has more family-oriented attractions, including water parks, theme parks, and a bustling marina.

Is Lagos or Faro better?

If you prefer a smaller and more picturesque town with a focus on natural beauty and a relaxed atmosphere, Lagos may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a mix of historical charm, city amenities, and proximity to nature reserves, Faro could be a more suitable choice.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing the two:


  • Natural Beauty: Lagos is known for its stunning beaches, rugged cliffs, and picturesque landscapes. It offers a more scenic and unspoiled coastal setting compared to Faro.
  • Historical Charm: The Old Town of Lagos is steeped in history, with ancient city walls, historic buildings, and landmarks that showcase the town’s heritage.
  • Relaxed Atmosphere: Lagos has a laid-back and tranquil vibe, making it a great choice for those seeking a peaceful getaway away from larger crowds.


  • Cultural Hub: Faro is the capital city of the Algarve region and offers a blend of historical and contemporary attractions. It has a charming Old Town with cobblestone streets, a cathedral, and cultural sites.
  • Accessibility: Faro is the main transportation hub in the Algarve, with an international airport and a train station, making it easier to access for travelers.
  • Proximity to Nature Reserves: Faro is close to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a stunning coastal lagoon with diverse wildlife and ecosystems, providing opportunities for birdwatching and nature exploration.

Portugal Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Portugal?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $2 USD daily, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Safety Wing, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.

💧Can you drink tap water in Portugal?

Yes — However, drinking bottled water in Portugal is generally recommended. Most locals drink bottled water, which is readily available and affordable throughout the country. Tap water is safe for drinking, showering, and brushing teeth, but tap water in Portugal contains a lot of chlorine. So the taste is not good, and if you decide to drink tap water, make sure you use a water filter that can filter out the chlorine and other contaminants. When we’re on the road, we always use the Zero Water Filter, which we can easily take with us.

🚗 Is it safe to rent a car in Portugal?

Yes — Renting a car in Portugal is one of the best ways to see the country. I always rent with Rentalcars, which checks international and local Portuguese companies, so you get the best rates.

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Portugal?

For Portugal hotels, Booking.com is the best site.

🛫 What’s the best site to buy Portugal flights?

Lisbon International Airport and Faro International Airport offer many connections throughout the day. To find the best flights to Portugal, I recommend using Skyscanner.

⛵️ Where to book the best tours in Portugal?

For the best tours in Portugal, I highly recommend booking your trips at Get Your Guide.

🛂 Do I need a visa for Portugal?

Maybe — When you don’t hold a Schengen Passport you need to apply for a Portugal Schengen Visa. Most travelers receive a 90-day (single entry) or 180-day (multiple entry) visa that allows you to visit both Portugal and all the countries within the Schengen Area for as long as your Visa is valid. When you hold a Schengen Passport you are allowed to travel free within the Schengen Area. Find more information on the government site of Portugal.

😃 Is Portugal safe to visit?

Portugal is considered a safe country to travel to, just like in every country, you must be aware when you visit larger cities.

🗣 Do they speak English in Portugal?

Yes – but not in all parts of the country. The Algarve region, the most southern part of Portugal, almost everyone speaks English. Lisbon and Porto region you’ll also find many people that can speak English. However, when you visit the Portuguese countryside you’ll find that most people only speak Portuguese. Read more in our article Is English Widely Spoken in Portugal?

⭐️ What is the best time to visit Portugal?

Portugal is a great destination all year round. The southern region Algarve has the most sunshine days of Europe. During the winter months, it gets 18-20°C on average. When we’re in Portugal during winter we celebrate NYE always on the beach!
If you want to visit the countryside and northern part of Portugal best time to visit is between April and September, since the winter months can be very rainy and cold in that area of the country.

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