15 Things to do in Faro, Portugal

Faro, the capital of Portugal’s southernmost region - Algarve, is an eclectic blend of rich cultural wealth, eternal bliss of beaches and seafood, and stunning natural views that will keep you coming back for more. This versatile city rests on the coast with a commanding view of the shallow lagoon and offers its fascinating history to the explorers.

Although tourists love Faro for diverse reasons spanning from inexpensive shopping to enthralling natural parks, one thing that holds them together is the immersive adventure that it renders.

Below are 15 things to do in Faro, Portugal, without which you simply can’t conclude your trip.

1. Visit the Wonder of Portugal - Ria Formosa Natural Park

Faro houses one of the most impeccable places of Algarve - Ria Formosa, a protected natural reserve featuring lush landscape; which is elected as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. If this isn’t a reason compelling enough for you to visit this natural reserve, then here are some more - this 18,000-hectare natural park is composed of salted pans, shallow lagoons, and the barrier island, which allows you to hike, kayak or cycle.

The park is often denoted as a haven for wetland wildlife and a paradise for bird watchers. As you stroll around, look out for the rare creatures like chameleon, seahorses and purple swamphen bird and other protected species.

2. Explore the Artifacts at Municipal Museum of Faro

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Rated as the second largest museum of Algarve, Municipal Museum was opened in 1894 marking the 500th birth anniversary of Henry the Navigator. Not only is it located in the beautiful Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção building but also acquaints you with the history of Faro till the present.

The pair of marble busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina and third-century mosaic make for the main attraction in the museum. It also features a range of Roman inscriptions and plenty of twentieth-century artworks.

3. Scout Out the Old Walled Town - Cidade Velha

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Get to know Algarve a little better in this old walled town, considered to be one of the most popular things to do in Faro. This sequestered place has a fascinating architect catalyzed by the earthquakes and British bombardments. With its handful of solitary restaurants, cafes, and bars, which often host entertaining cultural events, a visitor can simply enjoy the program or sit back and relax overlooking the beautiful lagoon.

Definitely an unforgettable experience!

4. See the Royal Architect of Arco da Vila

AltImage Source: wikipedia.org

Guarding the Faro’s circular old town is a grand gateway - Arco da Vila, which was rebuilt and given an impressive neo-classical design in 1812 by the Italian architect. It replaced the original Moorish entrance, the remnants of which can still be seen as you go beyond the gate. Don’t miss out on watching the permanent stork’s nest on the top.

5. Beach it Up at Praia de Faro

Get the Faro vibes right after you land. Praia de Faro is located at a very close proximity to the airport. Follow the stretch of the road behind the airport and Voila! There you are. Switch to relax mode at this pristine golden-sand beach and head back to your lodging place with the clear mind and beach vibes.

6. Sit in Serenity at Ilha Deserta

Even if you are short on time, you shouldn’t miss this peaceful, secluded beach. As the beach is accessible only through boats, it is less crowded and unspoiled. And on some days, there is no sign of human existence on this beach, which makes it a go-to choice for the ones who are looking for solitary walks on the swathes of sandy beach or spend some me time.

The beach houses a single restaurant encircled by the beach ensuring you have a memorable meal. While you are there, watch out for flamingo, and spoonbill, which are regular sights.

7. Museu do Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão

Showcasing the Algarve’s seafaring heritage, this Maritime Museum of Faro is established in the port authority of the city. The museum gives you the taste of ancient Algarve before it became a popular tourist destination.

It comprises of 3 divisions and its cynosures include the portrayal of a vast line of compartment fishing nets, which compels visitors to think how peculiar can sea fishing methods be; and the painting of Carlos Porfírio depicting the crew being gathered around the thrashed tuna.

8. Bring Out the Inner Scientist at Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve

This hands-on science center will prove to be an ideal destination if you are traveling with kids, especially the impatient ones. With the aim of promoting the technological and scientific awareness in the kids, this center has a lot of easy and interactive games, exhibits simple yet effective experiments and a touch pool to engage your little one.

The kids can also hold the scorpion and tarantula, only to find out how much braver they are than many grown-ups!

9. Stare in Wonder at Cathedral of Faro

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The most charming and historically-rich monument of Faro, also called Sé da Faro, was established on an Old Roman temple site which was later turned into a Moorish mosque. The continual modifications in the facade of structure added the Gothic, Renaissance and Gothic features which give it an eerie appearance. The interiors, however, were considered to be more attractive by the 16th century.

Once inside the cathedral, climb over to the top viewing point to observe the Faro’s beauty below and remember that had you been up here in 1596, you would have seen the earl of Essex en route to sacking the cathedral.

10. Wander Around Exploring Churches in Faro

Faro features an array of azulejo buildings of which churches are the most splendid ones. Go around and explore some of the popular churches which include - 16th century, earthquake survivor Igreja de Misericordia church; an 18th century, twin tower Nossa Senhora do Carmo church; and Capela dos Ossos church, constructed using bones and skulls.

11. Milreu Roman Remains

Traverse back in time and unfurl the ancient tales of an important Roman villa at Milreu Roman Remains, which is a hillside climb of fewer than ten minutes from Faro. On excavation, the ruins of mosaic works and wine facilities were found. The ruins were given the tag of National Monument in the year 1910.

12. Palácio de Estói

Built in the 18th century, Palácio de Estói is an awe-inspiring vision in its present royal state. The site remained in ruins for some years and was restored only recently as a heritage hotel. The place is to open to day-trippers along with a guided tour of palace and garden. It is a must-see if you want to see an amazing Rococo architect.

13. Devour the local cuisine

Taste some of the most scrumptious seafood delicacies with the availability of fresh catches at Faro’s restaurants. Shellfish beds are one of the many specialties available at Rio Formosa which comprise of Caldeirada, whitefish, oily tuna, squid and locally-produced shellfish or to savor the Algarvian taste choose lobster cataplana which consists of steamed rice, seafood, and herbs, making for a gustatory delight.

14. Shopping at Forum Algarve

Want to take a break from all the adventure and exploration for a while or simply wish explore the shopping area? Elope to Forum Algarve - an amazing shopping mall, located in the western outskirts of Faro.

From shopping from international brands like Zara to Bershka and Pull & Bear to tempting food court and a movie theatre that has movies in the English language in nexus with Portuguese subtitles. There’s so much more to do!

15. Ride in a Land Train

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A tourist train is an ideal and hassle-free way to get familiar with the Algarve's capital city - Faro, especially if you are traveling with kids or have tired feet. The circular route of the train takes approximately 45 minutes of time and shows you around all the attraction spots and important landmarks including São Pedro churches and more.

Are you looking for a Faro travel itinerary? Create an itinerary within minutes, on your own!

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Faro, Portugal

Must see places in Faro ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Faro and point of interests to visit.

  1. Tavira Island

    #1 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Tavira Island

    Tags: Beach, Island, View Point, Food And Drinks

    Address: District Faro, 8800, Portugal

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Tavira Island is active during summers and serenely quiet for the rest of the year. If you are visiting in summer be prepared to see volleyball, paragliding and all other activities in full spring as ...Read more

  2. Barreta Island

    #2 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Barreta Island

    Tags: Beach, Island, Water Body, View Point

    Address: Barreta Island, 8000 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Amidst the busy streets and its urban pulse, Faro hides its serenity in the Barreta Island. If you love a serene beach walk with little to no crowd and want to explore the untouched zones on the plane...Read more

  3. Algarve By Segway Tour

    #3 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Algarve By Segway Tour

    Tags: Tour, Entertainment

    Address: AvenidaHerois da Patria, Lote J, 2 dto, 8005-103 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 09:00 am - 02:00 pm Details

    Segway, the modern and eco-friendly way to travel around is embraced by Faro like no other place. Ride the ultra modern Segway as you glide though the city’s many attractions- from gateways, chu...Read more

  4. Cathedral Of Faro

    #4 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Cathedral Of Faro

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Architecture , Cathedral

    Address: Largo da Se, Faro Portugal

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Built in the 13th century, the Roman Church has seen its fair share of struggle. Being subjected to attacks and earthquake of 1755, the church still stands tall showcasing some of the best example of ...Read more

  5. Quad Bike Tours In Faro With Rooster Quad Tours

    #5 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Quad Bike Tours In Faro With Rooster Quad Tours

    Tags: Tour, Adventure

    Address: cxp 263, Goldra De Cima, 8005-487 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    After sightseeing through Faro, a Quad Bike tour through the dirt roads of the city and its outskirts is a must for the adventure-seeking traveler! The tours are designed for those young at heart and ...Read more

  6. Cidade Velha

    #6 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Cidade Velha

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Restaurant

    Address: R. DomingosGuieiro 19, 8000 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 08:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Located at the heart of the old town of faro, CidadeVelha is a must if you want an authentic faro food experience after a good day of sightseeing. The restaurant is popular for seafood delicacies and ...Read more

  7. Museu Arqueologico

    #7 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Museu Arqueologico

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum, Performance

    Address: Praça Dom Afonso III, 8000-167 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Placed in the 16th century Jewish Quarter of Convento de NossaSenhora da Assunção, the Museum is known for its exhibits dating back to the 3rd century! Highlights include: 3rd century M...Read more

  8. Kayaking In Faro Tour

    #8 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Kayaking In Faro Tour

    Tags: Tour, Water Sport

    Address: Faro, Portugal

    Kayaking in Faro is on every water sport lover’s list of things to do while in the city! The weather in Faro is pleasant almost all year round and the blue waters welcome anyone who wants to exp...Read more

  9. Nucleo Museologico Da Villa Romana De Milreu

    #9 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Nucleo Museologico Da Villa Romana De Milreu

    Tags: Ancient Ruin

    Address: Rua de Faro | Estoi, Faro, Portugal‬

    Timings: 09:30 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The ruins of the Roman Villa of Milreu are a must-see when you visit Faro. Walk through the ruins as you see the temple, bath and pool. The whole villa is open for an intimate walk and has no barriers...Read more

  10. Igreja Da Misericordia

    #10 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Igreja Da Misericordia

    Tags: Religious Site, Cathedral

    Address: Praca D. Francisco Gomes, R. Joao Dias 6, 8000 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    A site of the Chapel of Holy Spirit in 1499, Bishop Afonso Castelo Branco converted the chapel to the present day church in the 16th century along with an adjoining hospital. What is unique to the chu...Read more

  11. Teatro Lethes

    #11 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Teatro Lethes

    Tags: Entertainment, Theatre

    Address: Rua de Portugal, 58, 8000-281 Faro, Portugal

    Timings: 09:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Built in 1605 as a college, the church was converted to a theatre in 1845. The name Lethes was given, dedicated to ‘Lethe’- name of a mythical river, whose waters had the magical power to ...Read more

  12. Scuba Diving With Hidroespaco

    #12 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Scuba Diving With Hidroespaco

    Tags: Water Sport, Scuba

    Address: Horta das Laranjeiras, C.C.Horta, Lote 1, loja 2, Faro 8005-329, Portugal

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Scuba diving to see seahorses or exploring the soulful depths of the Ria Formosa is a rare experience in itself. As you see the varieties of fishes, coral reefs and witness the sheer enormity of the R...Read more

  13. Cape St. Mary

    #13 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Cape St. Mary

    Tags: Beach

    Address: Ilha do Cabo de Santa Maria, Faro 8005-554, Portugal

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The southernmost tip of mainland Portugal, the Cape of St. Mary is truly a hidden heaven for traveler’s. The blue-green waters along with a tranquil beach makes you feel you are the first one to...Read more

  14. Ria Formosa

    #14 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Ria Formosa

    Tags: National Park, Tourist Center, Leisure, Nature

    Address: Portugal

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Located 12 kilometers to the East of Faro, Ria Formosa is a National park lagoon and is known for bird watching and boating through fabulous spots of the 6 inlets of water into the land. 5 of the wate...Read more

  15. Culatra Island

    #15 of 285 Things To Do in Faro
    Culatra Island

    Tags: Beach, Island, Water Body, View Point

    Address: Olhao, Portugal

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    One of the few islands to be uncrowded even during summer season, the Culatra Island homes a village filled with tiny shops, a few restaurants and a beautiful beach perfect for anyone who want to esca...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Faro

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Top Faro Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Faro. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

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  • Capela dos Ossos

    Largo do Carmo, Faro 8000

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Igreja Matriz de Salir

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Igreja da Misericórdia

    Largo da Misericórdia

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Torre d' Aires

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Igreja Matriz de São Brás de Alportel

    Largo da Igreja

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Igreja do Convento de Santo António

    Rua de Santo António

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Centro Ciência Viva do Algarve

    Rua Comandante Francisco Manuel

    Museums
  • Museu Regional do Algarve

    Praça Liberdade 2

    Museums
  • Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção

    Praça DOM AFONSO III 14, FARO 8000

    Museums
  • Museu Marítimo Almirante Ramalho Ortigão

    Rua Comunidade Lusíada

    Museums
  • Museu Sinagoga Isaac Bitton

    Rua Leão Penedo

    Museums
  • Museu Municipal de Arqueologia

    Praça da República 1

    Museums
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  • Mundo do Karting

    Kartódromo Almancil

    Amusement Parks
  • Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

    Qt.ª de Marim

    Amusement Parks
  • Aquashow Family Park

    Estrada Nacional 396, Semino

    Amusement Parks
  • Vitor & Henriques

    Avenida da Liberdade, Edificio Saradel-1 D

    Amusement Parks
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  • First Floor Club

    Rua do Prior nº 39

    Bars
  • CheSsenta Bar

    Rua do Prior, 24

    Bars
  • Columbus Cocktail & Wine Bar

    Praça Dom Francisco Gomes, 13

    Restaurants Bars
  • WAX RestoBar

    Avenida Nascente, Nº 10

    Restaurants Bars
  • O Seu Café

    Largo de São Pedro

    Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses Restaurants Bars
  • Columbus

    Praça Dom Francisco Gomes, 13

    Bars Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses
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  • Casino Vilamoura Solverde

    Praça Casino VIlamoura

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casino de Vilamoura

    Vilamoura, Quarteira 8125

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
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  • Praia de Faro

    Avenida Nascente Praia de Faro, Faro

    Beaches
  • Praia da Ilha de Faro

    Ilha de Faro

    Beaches
  • Praia de Vale do Lobo

    Estrada da Horta 423, Vale do Lobo

    Beaches
  • Praia da Falésia

    Urbanização Pine Sun Park

    Beaches
  • Praia do Barril

    Beaches
  • Praia dos Pescadores

    Largo Cais Herculano

    Beaches
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  • Companhia de Pescarias do Algarve S.A.

    Rua Manuel Belmarço 28

    Hunting and Fishing
  • António Custódio Fernandes

    Rua Filipe Alistão, 28/30

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Natureza e Aventura

    Rua Ferreira Neto 13/5

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Sulcampo-Artigos Náuticos e de Campismo

    Avenida 5 Outubro 4/6

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Aquasares

    Rua Comandante Henrique Tenreiro, Nº 26, Cabanas de Tavira

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Tunipex - Empresa de Pesca e Tunídeos, S.A.

    Doca Pesca Armz 2

    Hunting and Fishing
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  • Estádio de São Luís

    Rua Ataíde de Oliveira, 125

    Stadiums and Arenas
  • Estádio Algarve

    Stadiums and Arenas
  • Estádio Municipal de Loulé

    Campina Cima

    Stadiums and Arenas
  • Estádio José Arcanjo

    Rua Luciano Jorge Fernandes

    Stadiums and Arenas
  • Campo de Futebol da Praia de Faro

    Stadiums and Arenas
  • Pavilhão Municipal Doutor Eduardo Mansinho em Tavira

    Avenida Zeca Afonso

    Stadiums and Arenas
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  • Cruzeiro de Querença

    Buildings and Structures
  • Ponte Ferroviária de Santa Maria

    Buildings and Structures
  • Farol de Vilamoura

    Buildings and Structures
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  • Jardim Manuel Bivar

    Jardim Manuel Bivar

    Gardens
  • Joaquim Lopes do Vale & Filhos

    Faro Conceicao 8005429 Faro, Algarve

    Gardens
  • Magnus Landscaping, Unipessoal

    Rua Coelho Melo 14

    Gardens
  • Prestadesign

    Rua Ataíde de Oliveira, nº 93a 95, C.C.Algarb

    Gardens
  • Jardim Vista, S.A.

    Rua Cristovao Pires Norte Aptd. 3894

    Gardens
  • Jardim das Comunidades

    Gardens
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What To Do in Faro: Day-Wise Ideas

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