The Best Cultural Destinations in Portugal
Portugal may be the destination of surf and sun lovers, but this sea-hemmed country is also home to some of Europe’ finest cultural exhibitions and monuments. Whether you find yourself winding through the streets of Lisbon, or walking along the coast of Porto, you’ll find plenty of galleries and boutiques to visit and explore the region’s most talented designers and artists. Whether you’re a fashionista or a lover of art, you’ll find something to get the wheels turning.
If you’re not into oil paintings, but love stylistic illustrations then y Ó!Galeria will be your perfect gallery of choice. This independent gallery showcases some of Portugal’s most talented illustrators and displays them in eclectic exhibitions. They also have their own exhibition books so visitors can take the artwork home with them, in their stylishly-designed booklets.
Casa da Música
If no holiday is complete without venturing out to a gig or concert, then the Casa da Música is the cultural venue to visit. Its unusual architectural design is the work of Rem Koolhaas, which makes it a truly unique concert hall. You’ll find all genres being performed here, so if you’re heading to Porto to visit this hall specifically to see your favourite brand of music, then be sure to check their diary in advance. If that wasn’t cool enough, the area around the building also functions as a skate park, and you’ll see plenty of young skaters making the most out of its surroundings.
Palácio Nacional da Pena
Architecture-lovers are bound to locate the nearest cathedral on any holiday visit – after all, ornate ceilings and gothic features often showcase some of history’s finest architectural marvels. However, if you’re after something a little different, and not your standard European design feature, then the Palácio Nacional da Pena is a truly astounding spectacle. It resembles a colourful princess castle from the movies, and it sits proudly among the greenery of a rocky peak – in fact it’s the second-highest point in the Sintra hills. Its surrounding gardens and pavilions have to be seen to believed, with beauty so perfect it’s almost cartoon-worthy.
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Monte Palace Tropical Garden
If you’re in Madeira and fancy exploring your culture in the outdoors, then the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens enable you to enjoy Portugal’s weather and scenery in style. Creativity can take many forms, and sometimes landscape design can come in form of beautifully sculpted tropical gardens. You’ll find a vast array of stunningly arranged exotic plants that sit among the garden’s peacocks and swans. The oriental gardens provide a mesmerizingly devoted recreation of the East’s architecture and wildlife.
Get up and dance
Portugal and Brazil share a common language, and they also share a passion for dancing. Every Friday night in Lisbon you’ll see people gathering to dance the night away and enjoy the music. Whether you sit by and watch, or get up and dance yourself, it’s a great way to soak up Lisbon’s vibrant culture and positive vibes. It’s not just salsa and other Latin dances that they enjoy on the streets, but also swing and other forms of ballroom and Latin.
If you’re looking to spend your nights dancing the night away and making the most of Portugal’s effervescent nightlife, then you’ll want to base yourself somewhere comfortable and nearby. Finding Portugal villa holidays will allow you to relax in comfort and on your own terms.
Any room with a view in Lisbon
Let’s expand this to any shoreline or room with a view or any viewpoint within the city of Lisbon. While this may not be cultural in the traditional sense of the meaning, this is certainly something that is culturally unique to Lisbon. Every place in the world has sunsets, but Lisbon is frequently cited as being the place to go for a city that looks particularly good in the warm colours of the setting sun. Moreover, this is the best way to watch the city’s architecture shift and change in colour as the glowing orb disappears into the horizon. Walking around galleries, gardens and historic buildings can be exhausting – take a moment to appreciate the city as a whole, during one of its infamous sunsets.
Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a landscape garden devotee or someone who can’t get enough of discovering local artists, Portugal is full of local and large-scale cultural hubs. Its enjoyment of its landscape, love of dance and creativity means that you will find something in every corner, to suit every taste.