Autumn is a great time to getaway. When the weather in the UK is predictably cold and wet and the amount of daylight is short, a break to a sunny country makes a lot of sense. If you've already decided to go to Portugal rather than Spain or Greece to find some sun during the autumn, you'll be joining millions of other Brits who holiday in Portugal. In 2018, 12.8 million British tourists descended on Portugal. In fact, that year British tourists were the largest group visiting Portugal. Since English is the second most widely spoken language in Portugal and the weather's typically between 23 and 30 degrees in the winter, you'll find the place warm and welcoming. But which city should you visit?
Porto gives its name to a wine that's popular in Britain but that's not the only reason to choose this city for an autumn break. The coastal city in northwest Portugal was awarded Best European Destination by the World Travel Awards in 2012, 2014 and 2017. It's also one of the top 14 cities according to British Airways. Whether you choose to visit the jagged hills of Serra do Pilar or take in wonders like the 75-metre-tall Clérigos Tower, there's something for everyone at Porto.
The "White City", as Lisbon is known because of the sunlight that reflects from the River Tagus, was the winner of the 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice award. That same year, it also won the World Travel Awards for Europe's Leading City Break Destination. Lisbon is the capital and Portugal's largest city so this is ideal for a long autumn break during which you could stroll through the Terreiro do Paço or see the old port of Lisbon from the Santa Justa elevator.
Head to the far north of the country and you'll find a city known for its religious heritage and famed for its regular events. Braga is a historic city. You'll find the Cathedral of Braga fascinating if history is your thing and you'll love the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You might want to escape the city and head to Peneda-Gerês National Park where you'll find medieval castles and stone granaries.
Evora, which is the capital of Portugal's south-central Alentejo region, is another great option for an autumn break. History buffs will love the Roman temple which reminds visitors that Evora was an important Roman settlement. If you explore the city on foot, make sure you walk through the Praça do Giraldo. This is the main central plaza so it's at the heart of the city. You'll find 16th-century Gothic architecture overshadowing plenty of great places to dine outside.
To Consider Before Your Purchase
You can visit Portugal any time of the year but the best months are March to May during the Spring.
- Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Portugal include Tower of Belém in Lisbon.
- If you want to enjoy some ghoulish sights this autumn, visit The Bone Chapel in Evora.
What Do They Say on Other Sites
“Worth the climb to the top.” (Char5656 reviewing Clérigos Tower on Trip Advisor)
“Very big and beautiful square. Amazing views and vibrant atmosphere. Definitely one of the most important landmarks of the city.” (AMK2F reviewing Terreiro do Paço on Trip Advisor)
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