Faro

Travel Guide
Faro Island Beach showing general coastal views and a sandy beach

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

AP Eva Senses
AP Eva Senses
4 out of 5
Avenida da Republica, 1, Faro, 8000-078
The price is £136 per night from 10 Jun to 11 Jun
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Faro. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in their reviews. Popular ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (962 reviews)
"Beautiful view"

Reviewed on 9 May 2022

AP Eva Senses
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
4 out of 5
Praca D Francisco Gomes 2, Faro, 8000-168
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £142 per night from 29 May to 30 May
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Faro. Enjoy free WiFi, a rooftop terrace and a poolside bar. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (976 reviews)
"Perfect for a last stop on our Algarve trip. We were able to book an excursion on the boat which had a pick up right out front (short walk) andthere was lots to see in the area. Uber to the airport next morning was 7Euros."

Reviewed on 2 May 2022

Hotel Faro & Beach Club
3HB Faro
3HB Faro
5 out of 5
Rua Vasco da Gama nr 33, Faro, 8000-442
The price is £184 per night from 29 May to 30 May
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Faro. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and 2 bars/lounges. Popular attractions Faro Old Town and Faro Island Beach are located ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (36 reviews)
"Overall amazing. Great location, new hotel/room/amenities, excellent staff."

Reviewed on 19 Apr 2022

3HB Faro
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Cardeal Suites & Apartments
Cardeal Suites & Apartments
4 out of 5
Rua Dr. Coelho de Melo 1, Faro, Faro, 8000-261
The price is £86 per night from 24 Jun to 25 Jun
Stay at this 4-star apartment in Faro. Enjoy free WiFi, a terrace and a garden. Popular attractions Faro Old Town and Faro Island Beach are located nearby. Discover ...
5/5 Exceptional! (19 reviews)
"The property is fantastic, the most beautiful courtyard I have ever seen. The Apt is spacious, clean, modern, and have everything we need. I definitely will coming back."

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2022

Cardeal Suites & Apartments
Dreamers duplex with seaview
Dreamers duplex with seaview
Faro, Faro District
The price is £150 per night from 31 May to 1 Jun
Stay at this family-friendly apartment in Faro. Enjoy WiFi, on-site parking and a patio. Our guests praise the property condition in their reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (17 reviews)
Excellent
"Ivan is a fabulous host. Anything you need to make home away from home this is it! Thanks also to Bella for the five star cleaning, also so friendly. Thanks again, Dianne"

Reviewed on 21 Apr 2021

Dreamers duplex with seaview
Lemon Tree Apartments
Lemon Tree Apartments
4 out of 5
Travessa Castilho 12 - 18, 1 Esq, Faro, 8000-269
Stay at this 4-star apartment in Faro. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool and a terrace. Our guests praise the spacious rooms and the overall value in their reviews. ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (5 reviews)
"Location is great, the apartment is done with taste and elegant touch. Hints about areas to visit and places to eat etc were exhaustive and extremely helpful. I hope to stay there again. The whole family loved it."

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2019

Lemon Tree Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Faro

Top things to do in Faro

Cities near Faro