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Faro
Travel Guide

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

Hotel Faro & Beach Club
Hotel Faro & Beach Club
4 out of 5
Praca D Francisco Gomes 2, Faro
The price is £102 per night from 12 Apr to 13 Apr

Located in Faro City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from Misericordia Church and Faro Marina. Faro Old Town and Hermitage of Nossa Senhora de ...

4.2/5Very Good! (986 reviews)

"There are ants in the room and the toilet is a bit smelly."…"

Reviewed on 5 Oct 2020

Hotel Faro & Beach Club
Hotel Mónaco
Hotel Mónaco
4 out of 5
Rua João Baptista Severino, Urb. Monte da Ria - Montenegro, Faro
The price is £71 per night from 1 May to 2 May

Situated in Faro, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Forum Algarve Mall and within 3 miles (5 km) of Faro Old Town and Ria Formosa Natural Park. Faro Marina is ...

3.9/5Good! (400 reviews)

"Fantastic for what it is and it’s price"…"

Reviewed on 1 Sep 2020

Hotel Mónaco
Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto
Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto
3 out of 5
Caixa Postal 409-A, Estrada Nacional 125-10, Faro
The price is £58 per night from 12 Apr to 13 Apr

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Ria Formosa Natural Park and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Faro Island Beach. University of Algarve and ...

4.2/5Very Good! (660 reviews)
Really convenient hotel

"Great option for airport, either arriving late or leaving early. Walkable to the Terminal."…"

Reviewed on 9 Jan 2021

Hotel 3K Faro Aeroporto
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.
Villa With Private Pool Situated in a Peaceful Location With Nice Garden
Villa With Private Pool Situated in a Peaceful Location With Nice Garden

This family-friendly Faro villa is located in a rural location, within 3 mi (5 km) of Santa Barbara de Nexe Church, Ruins of Milreu and Estoi Palace. Costume ...

3.6/5Good! (17 reviews)

"Was very good. Would like to return again. Spacious and well equipped"…"

Reviewed on 8 Oct 2019

Villa With Private Pool Situated in a Peaceful Location With Nice Garden
Individual Villa With Spectacular Views of the Ocean and the Algarve
Individual Villa With Spectacular Views of the Ocean and the Algarve

This family-friendly Faro holiday home is located on the waterfront, within 3 mi (5 km) of Loulé Municipal Market, Mother Church of Sao Clemente and Santa Barbara ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (9 reviews)
Beautiful place! Exactly like the photos! Easy check-in. Lovely pool area. Great little resturant at

"Excellent experience! Would highly recommend@"…"

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019

Individual Villa With Spectacular Views of the Ocean and the Algarve
Portuguese/moroccan Fusion - Charming Villa
Portuguese/moroccan Fusion - Charming Villa
Faro, Faro District

This family-friendly Faro villa is located by the ocean, within 3 mi (5 km) of Novacortica Cork Factory, Municipal Swimming Pool and Costume Museum. Estoi Palace ...

5/5Exceptional! (19 reviews)
Excelente Marrakexe!

"Everything was perfect! The location. The beautiful villa in- and outside. The very kind and helpful owner/manager João! We all love to come back next year. Yvonne René Lianne Peter Anita Bas Hans and Angélique"…"

Reviewed on 15 Oct 2020

Portuguese/moroccan Fusion - Charming Villa
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

Reviews of Faro

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
66
5 - Excellent 44.89795918367347%
4 - Good
63
4 - Good 42.857142857142854%
3 - Okay
18
3 - Okay 12.244897959183673%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Mar 2020

Due to timing, there was a degree of anxiety, and some facilities were closing down. The public transport system worked well, and the boat trip to Isla deserta was fabulous

5/5 - Excellent

Frank

9 Mar 2020

Faro has great restaurants, bars and shopping facilities. The old town and the marina are lovely places to visit. Excellent and varied boat trips to the Ria Formosa Natural Park are available. It's still relatively unspoilt by excessive tourism.

3/5 - Okay

Catherine

21 Jan 2020

Faro definitely needs investment. It was run down in places and lots of graffiti. We took a boat ride which was amazing. The chapel of bones is also worth a visit! Lots of history and heritage... the people and culture are very welcoming!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

17 Jan 2020

Fantastic food If you want to learn about the science of the area go the the aquarium on the front Good place for an hour if it rains

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Jan 2020

A quiet city but plenty to do. Shopping, restaurants, culture,history. It has great atmosphere. Well worth a visit before you travel on to your holiday destination.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

17 Dec 2019

Lovely and quaint.

Cities near Faro