FaroPortugal

Image for Faro Island Beach showing general coastal views and a sandy beach

Visit Faro

Faro is a picturesque, medieval city in the South of Portugal, with cobbled streets, café terraces and a natural park complete with beautiful lagoons. For those looking for more than just sun and beaches, Algarve’s capital won’t disappoint. This peaceful, whitewashed city has friendly people, good food and exciting bars, on top of the sun, sea and sand.

HistoryFaro was the last major Portuguese city to be recovered from the Moors, in 1249. To protect it from further attacks, King Afonso III decided to build a wall around the city. Parts of the murals and Moorish architecture can still be spotted in the Old Town, although the 1755 earthquake shattered most of the medieval construction.

Faro has also a storied Jewish cultural heritage, which can be explored in the Jewish Heritage Centre. Here you can learn about the post-Inquisition Jewish presence in Portugal. The Jewish Cemetery is one of the most ornate in the city and features over one hundred graves in Sephardi style. Portugal’s first hand-printed books were made by a Jewish printer in Faro and the facsimile copy of Gacon's Hebrew Pentateuch published in 1478 can be found here.

LandmarksFaro’s Old City or Cidade Velha is perfect for those looking for a little culture during their break. With baroque Portuguese architecture dating back to the 18th Century, and even some bits from the medieval Moorish-influenced period, this area is a perfect place for history buffs. The Town Hall, the Bishop’s Palace (with beautiful hand-painted tiles) the Cathedral (with incredible views across the city) and the Gate of Rest are just some of the historic landmarks that can be visited in the area.

If nature is more your thing, take a boat trip into the Ria Formosa Natural Park from the Old City harbour and enjoy some bird watching. There are several types of tours that run on the island, including trips to the island’s two beaches, Faro Beach (Ilha de Faro) and Farol Beach (Ilha da Culatra). This last beach is home to the beautiful lighthouse of Cape Santa Maria.

For something truly unique, explore 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: a reminder of human vulnerability.

A Night on the TownThe Algarve’s capital is home to about 8000 students, so there are plenty of great places to drink, eat and that offer fantastic nightlife. For the best bars and clubs, head for Rua do Prior and the surrounding area, especially on weekends when it remains open till late.

If you’re in town in August, don’t miss the Ria Formosa Festival, which celebrates seafood, local beer and all kinds of traditional dishes from all over the Algarve. You’ll find it at Cathedral Square. If you’re planning a trip to Faro in February, then make sure you catch Carnival (Carnaval), which inspires all kinds of dancing in the streets.

Eating OutThose looking for fresh fish don’t have to wait until festival season. Seafood lovers can find midrange restaurants in public squares all year round, such as the beautiful Praça Ferreira de Almeida. Faro’s daily market (Mercado Municipal) is in Largo do Mercado, is perfect for self-catering holidaymakers, specialising in fresh seafood, along with fruit and vegetables.

ShoppingFaro has a great selection of boutique and big name brand stores, both in the city centre and the Forum Algarve Shopping Mall. From supermarkets to clothing stores, from cosmetics selections to wine stores, pharmacies to electronics, Faro has everything.

Regardless of whether you visit for the beach life or cultural city break, Faro can offer you both, providing unique and memorable experiences for any kind of holiday maker.

Where to stay in Faro

Faro which includes a beach, a sunset and a lighthouse

4.5/5(138 reviews)

While visiting Sé, you might make a stop by sights like Carmo Church and Faro Old Town.

Praia de Faro
Praia de Faro, Portugal
trover photo by Mark Thompson

Praia de Faro

4.5/5(8 reviews)

If you're spending some time in Praia de Faro, Faro Island Beach and Ria Formosa Natural Park are top sights worth seeing.

Vale de Seixos
Vale de Seixos, Faro, Portugal
trover photo by Maureen Bode

Vale de Seixos

4/5(1 review)

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Vale de Seixos and surrounding area, you can visit Estoi Palace and Santa Barbara de Nexe Church.

Top hotels in Faro

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
EVA SENSES HOTEL
EVA SENSES HOTEL
4 out of 5
Avenida da Republica, 1, Faro
£76
per night
6 Dec-7 Dec

This family-friendly Faro hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Ria Formosa Natural Park, Carmo Church and Faro Old Town. Misericordia ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,012 reviews)

"Reception was very helpful and room was clean. Room is not very spacious."…"

Reviewed on 12 Nov 2019

EVA SENSES HOTEL
Faro Boutique Hotel
Faro Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
Rua do Bocage, 66, Faro
£47
per night
12 Dec-13 Dec

Located in Sé, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Repouso Arch and Faro Old Town. Carmo Church and Ria Formosa Natural Park are also within 15 minutes. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (275 reviews)

"Great location, comfortable room with plenty of space, and good selection at the breakfast buffet."…"

Reviewed on 2 Dec 2019

Faro Boutique Hotel
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
4 out of 5
Praca D Francisco Gomes 2, Faro
£72
per night
5 Jan-6 Jan

Located in Sé, this hotel is steps away from Misericordia Church and Faro Marina. Hermitage of Nossa Senhora de Guia and Sao Pedro Church are also within 5 minutes. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (926 reviews)

"He liked our stay in Faro Hotel, a few items here and there were broken eg, shower, some equipment at the gym, some lighting in the communal hallways."…"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2019

Hotel Faro & Beach Club

Popular things to do in Faro

Carmo Church
Image for Carmo Church

Carmo Church

4/5(41 reviews)

Behind the intricate details of the Baroque façade and the nave’s gilded woodwork and stained-glass windows lie the ghoulish skulls of the Bones Chapel.

Faro Island Beach
Image for Faro Island Beach

Faro Island Beach

4.5/5(155 reviews)

Rent kayaks and surfboards to ride the waves lapping this narrow stretch of sand, which serves as a wall between ocean and river.

Faro Old Town
Image for Faro Old Town

Faro Old Town

4.5/5(261 reviews)

For centuries, Faro’s fortified walls have enclosed the city’s most intriguing treasures, from the cathedral’s chamber of bones to a castle converted into a brewery.

Ilha da Culatra Beach
Image for Ilha da Culatra Beach

Ilha da Culatra Beach

Located on a small island that separates Rio Formosa Natural Park from the sea, this undeveloped beach offers calm, clean waters and few crowds. 

Ilha da Barreta Beach
Image for Ilha da Barreta Beach
trover photo by Mark Thompson

Ilha da Barreta Beach

If a restful holiday is part of your travel plans, Ilha da Barreta Beach might be the perfect place to visit during your trip to Faro. Visit the shops and lively bars in this romantic area.

Faro Cathedral
Image for Faro Cathedral

Faro Cathedral

4.5/5(10 reviews)

The Cathedral of Faro, also known as Sé or the Church of Santa Maria, is one of the most important historic buildings in Faro. It’s located in the historic city centre, in Largo da Sé. The architecture consists of a mixture of different styles: gothic (tower porch, main entrance, and some chapels), mannerist and baroque.

Top activities in Faro

Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour
Image for Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour

Best of West: Silves, Foia, Lagos & Sagres Day Tour

£33

Discover the magic of the wild Algarve countryside. See the Castle of Silves, built between the 8th and 13th centuries, catch magnificent views from the highest point in the region at the top of Fóia, and marvel at the cliffs near the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse.

Jeep Safari 4X4 Day Tour In Algarve with Lunch
Image for Jeep Safari 4X4 Day Tour In Algarve with Lunch

Jeep Safari 4X4 Day Tour In Algarve with Lunch

£45

Venture into the heart of the Algarve and explore the hidden beauty of the country side on this full-day guided tour. Drive through rural Portuguese landscapes, uncover charming villages, and witness the traditional ways of country life.

Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve
Image for Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve

Seville Full-Day Tour from the Algarve

£37

Cross the Spanish border and discover Andalusia’s capital—Seville. Spend a day exploring one of the most elegant cities in Spain. From historic quarters and culturally rich districts to immaculate regal gardens and iconic landmarks, be amazed by the splendor of this province.

Loulé Market Half-Day Tour
Image for Loulé Market Half-Day Tour

Loulé Market Half-Day Tour

£15

Immerse yourself in the Algarve's gypsy-like market. Embrace the colors, smells, and sounds of the street as you stroll along stalls selling food, flowers, handcrafts, and clothes. Your local guide shares the history of the place and insider tips for you to enjoy Loulé's culture.

Lounge at Faro Airport (FAO)
Image for Lounge at Faro Airport (FAO)

Lounge at Faro Airport (FAO)

£25

Kick up your travel-weary feet with a first-class relaxation experience in the Faro Airport Lounge. This peaceful oasis offers a convenient escape from the airport bustle, complete with access to amenities that run the gamut from useful to luxurious, from Wi-Fi to comfortable seating and delicious snacks.

Benagil Cave tour from Faro
Image for Benagil Cave tour from Faro

Benagil Cave tour from Faro

£43

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Praia da Marinha, Caramujeira Portugal We will stop here for an hour so you can take some pictures of the cliffs and the amazing views .We also do some snorkeling at the beach and visite the hidden caves .

Reviews of Faro

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
59
5 - Excellent 44.696969696969695%
4 - Good
56
4 - Good 42.42424242424242%
3 - Okay
17
3 - Okay 12.878787878787879%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Dec 2019

Relaxed, friendly and walkable city

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Nov 2019

Tiny city to walk around and enjoy over a weekend. Food great, pastries great, wine great, just enough to do and see to keep you interested!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

10 Oct 2019

Immerse yourself in the culture and try the gelado.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

7 Oct 2019

Nothing like the rest of Algarve, lots of residential property and a lot of redevelopment ongoing some areas almost look wartorn. University town so lots of bars in area down to Marina.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Oct 2019

Excellent dining options. I recommend taking an Eatingalgarve food tour. We did the old town which was superb. Faro is good for a short break but any longer than 3 days then you should look to explore the surrounding areas.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

25 Sep 2019

We didn't go into Faro but stayed at the property as we came for a wedding 45 mins away