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Book a hotel near Faro and you’ll find yourself in a picturesque, medieval city in the south of Portugal, with cobblestone streets, café terraces and a nature park complete with lagoons. For those looking for more than just sun and beaches, Algarve’s capital won’t disappoint.
Things to Do in Faro
Book your hotel near the Old City or Cidade Velha, with its traditional Portuguese and Moor-ish-influenced architecture dating back to the 18th Century. Visit the local landmarks like the Town Hall, the Bishop’s Palace and the Sé Cathedral, with its fabulous blue tiles and decorative motifs. Climb the bell tower where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views over the town and the estuary.
Stop at the 19th century Capela dos Ossos, which lies behind the Igreja do Carmo, a chapel decorated with the skeletal remains of over 1,200 former monks - an eerie reminder of human vulnerability.
Take a ferryboat from the Marina to the Natural Reserve, Ria Formosa. If you don’t want to take the 30 minute ferry ride you can always visit by car or bus. Visit Faro Beach (Ilha de Faro) with its long sweeping sand, or Farol Beach (Ilha da Culatra) in the heart of Ria Formosa with its wide dunes, which are both favourites with tourists and locals alike.
Admire the southernmost lighthouse in Portugal, at the tip of the island of Culatra. Here you can see the beautiful Lighthouse of Santa Maria, an imposing structure of 46 meters located in a sandy area by the sea and surrounded by fishermen's houses.
Festival Season in Faro
Discover Ria Formosa Seafood Festival, which happens every August and serves drinks and tra-ditional dishes from the Algarve, held in the Cathedral Square.
Have fun at Faro’s Carnival (Carnaval), which is celebrated in February. Festivities include eye-catching decorated cars and locals dancing in the streets.
Explore Faro’s daily market, Largo do Mercado, where you can taste local fresh fish, vegetables and fruits, and buy local arts and crafts. Taste the local seafood in restaurants around the town squares, with some favourites concentrated around Praça Ferreira de Al-meida.
Head over to Rua do Castelo and Rua do Prior to experience Faro’s nightlife, which really hits its stride during the weekend.
Shop in local stores in the city centre or in the Forum Algarve Shopping Mall, where you can find supermarkets, clothing stores, shops selling cosmetics, wine shops, pharmacies, banks and home furnishing stores.