After visiting the beautiful country of Portugal, we have to say, it would make for an amazing long girl’s weekend trip! We spent 8 days in Portugal last year and during those days took notes as to what would really make for the perfect weekend Portugal girl’s trip. We ended up with 8 days worth of Portugal girls trip ideas that would make for the ideal long weekend girls getaway.
Inside this Portugal itinerary, we suggest visiting the bigger cities, as well as some small towns, and include what would make for an amazing Summer trip to Portugal with your girl friends! Warm weather truly does make for a lovely trip to Portugal, but you can easily visit any time of year. But, what sounds better than a summer girls’ getaway? It is truly the perfect way to enjoy all Portugal has to offer!
Follow along below where we’ll take you through your 8-day Portugal girls trip itinerary featuring the best places to visit and our personal highlights from the trip! These Portugal girls trip ideas will make for the best trip for you and your best friends!
Highlights of My Trip to Portugal
Choosing a vacation in Portugal was an obvious choice for us. Did you know that more often than not, they are more affordable than other Western European countries? For example, seabass was only $15 and beers were only $2. This made keeping costs down on food easy so that we could spend more on the many adventures we came across!
Another surprise was the cost of Ubers. They are pretty inexpensive with plenty of affordable prices, so traveling around to different cities wasn’t all that expensive. This saved us time even in one city so that we weren’t spending the bulk of our time walking from place to place.
Another reason Portugal is a great place to visit for a European girls’ vacation is that it is relatively safe and they’re more welcoming of tourists as compared to other countries in Europe. We felt comfortable during my entire trip! Also, note that the locals seem to be much friendlier than other countries around Europe. That was our experience anyway!
We suggest visiting Portugal for its beautiful weather and beaches. We experienced fantastic weather, and we suggest visiting during August for cooler evenings in the Algarve region.
Another perk is that if you have dietary restrictions, such as a vegan diet, most restaurants are accommodating. We found every restaurant I went to had at least one vegan-friendly option on the menu. We were pleasantly surprised with the delicious food!
A little secret for your visit to Portugal: The Algarve region (south of Portugal) is a hidden gem. It has Santorini/Amalfi Coast vibes without the price tag or the crowds. We highly recommend a stop during your trip for a stunning experience.
Burgau, Portugal, is a very calm and relaxing beach town that used to be a fishing village located in Algarve. It is one of my favorite towns while traveling to Portugal.
After those notes regarding our experience during a trip to Portugal, let’s dive into our 8-day weekend Portugal girls trip ideas!
8 Day Weekend Portugal Girls Trip Ideas
The major cities included in this post packed with Portugal girls trip ideas include:
Read through each of the activities we mention that make for the best time in each of the main cities along with the best food stops along the way. Make the trip even more fun with a road trip via Uber from city to city! If this is your first trip to Portugal, we highly recommend following through with this entire itinerary.
Day 1-2: Lagos
We suggest kicking off your trip with a stay in Lagos because it was our favorite part of the trip and we are not about to save the best for last! The first stop has an old-world feeling that will bring you back in time. It is truly a beautiful city. We stayed one night there before traveling to the next city on the list. It would be a good idea to split the stay into two days!
We stayed at Marina Club Lagos Resort. It was very spacious and clean. The buffet breakfast was decent and a good start to the day for an easy and convenient breakfast.
As far as food goes, we suggest lunch at Abrigo and dinner at Restaurante Lacus. While all of the restaurants are delicious, those are our top picks.
The best things to do in Lagos include:
- Lagos Old Town: Wander through the narrow streets with shops and restaurants.
- Marina de Lagos: Ideal location for surfing or fishing activities here.
- Bengali Cave / Gruta de Benagil: This stunning natural cave with its unique rock formation and the “eye” in the middle must have been an awe-inspiring sight. It’s located about 40 minutes from Lagos, and you can access it via boat trips from Marina de Lagos.
- Antigo Mercado de Escravos: Explore a small museum in Lagos that tells the sad history of slavery in the area until 1761.
- Carvoeiro: Relax in this pretty beach town with lovely beaches.
- Burgau: Often referred to as the “Santorini of Portugal,” Burgau offers a similar aesthetic charm to the famous Greek island. Eat at Miamburgau, visit Praia do Burgau beach, and take some Instagram-worthy photos with picturesque views.
We loved closing out the Lagos visit with a stop in Buragu. Let us introduce Burgau, the “Santorini” of Portugal. Burgau looks and feels like “Santorini” but without the crowds and price tag. When you travel to Portugal, most of Portugal is as beautiful as its Western Europe neighbors but without the price tag.
Burgau, Portugal is a very calm and relaxing beach town that used to be a fishing village. It is located in the south of Portugal in a region called Algarve. Burgau is one of our favorite towns while traveling to Portugal. It is definitely a swoon-worthy way to finish off day 2 of your Portugal girls trip!
Day 3: Sintra
You can see Sintra in one day, and it would make for a great day trip. It is the right place in Portugal for a one-day stop. We stayed at a hotel in Cascais and took an Uber to the Pena Palace and got there as soon as it opened to avoid the crowds. Also, we walked or took the free shuttle to the other palaces or castles. We only saw the major ones.
A day in Sinatra will leave you pondering the contrast between castles and palaces, the perfect spot for some photoshoots. Castles were constructed to defend the region, while palaces were built to showcase wealth and opulence.
Best way to see everything in one day:
- Peña Palace
- Castle de Mouros
- Sintra Town Center
- Quinra de Regaleira Palace.
Here are some tips to see them while avoiding the long lines to get in:
- start at Peña Palace at the top of the hill and work your way down the hill to see the rest
- buy tickets online
- get there as early as possible
- if you want to avoid the hike up the hill, take a taxi or Uber since they can drop you off at the entrance
- Uber seemed to be cheaper in Portugal and sometimes made more sense than taxi/bus/train
For some food along the way, we suggest kicking off the day with breakfast at your hotel to keep things easy. Then lunch at Paco Real, dinner along the way, and make sure to grab dessert at Fabrica de Nata (the best spot for the national dessert of Pastel de Nata). Pastel de Nata is a delicious Portuguese pastry that the pastry shop offers. It’s a custard tart made from a rich, creamy egg custard filling, flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, and encased in a flaky, buttery pastry crust. Make sure to eat it hot.
Day 4: Cascais
Cascais is the Malibu of Portugal. We celebrated Shabbat with Chabad of Portugal, and it was such a beautiful experience and the perfect place for it.
During your visit, we suggest checking out the following hot spots:
- Cascais is a wonderful spot to capture golden hour photos on the beach, offering yet another beautiful beach experience in Portugal.
- During the summer months, you can enjoy twilight concerts right on the beach, surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere with numerous street vendors offering a variety of delicious options for lunch and dinner. We always had breakfast at the hotel since it was faster and more convenient.
- Don’t forget to explore the town center, where you can find charming souvenirs to remember your fantastic time in Cascais.
Day 5-6: Porto
We stayed at Hotel Vincci in Porto. It used to be a fish market and now is a modern hotel. We loved the experience at this hotel. The breakfast buffet was one of the best.
There are so many things we recommend you check out when visiting Porto. Here are some great options for things to do in Porto:
- We took a Yellow bus tour in Porto to see all the different places and decide where we wanted to visit the most.
- One of the places we visited was Rua das Flores, which was great for taking photos.
- We also went to Estacao Sao Bento, a train station with the most beautiful art called azulejos. These are tiles that show historical life scenes in Portugal.
- During our visit to Porto, we went on a Jewish history walking tour. While the tour did share some incorrect information, it was still a fascinating and eye-opening experience to learn about the history of Jews in Porto. The history of Jews in Porto goes back to the High Medieval Ages. Porto was tolerant of its Jewish community for a long time, but unfortunately, they were expelled from the country during the Portuguese Inquisition, which led to the destruction of its Jewish heritage.
- Livraria Lello is a famous bookstore that’s known for its beauty. It’s considered the third most beautiful library in the world by Lonely Planet. The bookstore has an amazing neo-gothic facade. You feel like we stepped into a scene straight out of a Harry Potter book. It’s no wonder that Livraria Lello is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter series.
- One night, we went to Restaurante Tipico for dinner, and after the meal, there was a Fado performance. Fado is the national music of Portugal, and the restaurant owner was incredibly hospitable.
- We also went on a 4-hour trip to Aveiro, also known as the “Venice of Portugal,” and Costa Nova Aveiro. However, we found that if you’ve been to Venice in Italy, Aveiro is not as impressive, and Costa Nova Aveiro is a small area with striped cottages. If you only have a couple of days in Porto, it’s better to explore more places there than to spend time in these towns.
We visited quite a few restaurants in Porto and have some suggestions for where you should eat when visiting the Portugal city that were great enough to be featured in this list of Portugal girls trip ideas!
We suggest Nola Kitchen for lunch. It is a vegan-ish restaurant that is very LA-style. I ordered matcha and so many people wanted to know what it was.
Another great option is DaTerra – Mouzinho da Silveira. It is a vegan buffet-style eatery – all you can eat – delicious vegan food.
Then Nata for dessert is a fabulous option.
As far as dinner goes, we have two suggestions for great food. Iberiaporto for Mediterranean food. The owners are hospitable and lovely. The food was delicious. Best Porto wine there. Can’t say enough good words. Restaurante Tipico was another delicious stop.
Day 7-8: Lisbon
You can definitely spend more than two days in Lisbon since there are so many places to visit. We suggest staying at the Czar Lisbon Hotel.
Here are some of the many great things to do in Lisbon for the perfect day:
- Tuk Tuk tour -One of the best ways to see the city is by taking a Tuk Tuk tour. We stopped at many cool places like Belem Tower, Discovery Monument, and Alfama, where we explored the narrow streets.
- In Belem, we saw the Belem Tower, which is a beautiful old fortress right by the water. It used to protect the city from invaders a long time ago! Nearby, we also visited the Discovery Monument, which celebrates Portugal’s history of exploration and discoveries. It was really cool to see the big statues and learn about the brave explorers.
- Alfama is a charming neighborhood in Lisbon with narrow, winding streets and colorful buildings. It felt like we were going back in time as we explored the old streets and soaked in the historic atmosphere. Alfama was our last stop on the Tuk Tuk tour. So we even got to visit Castelo de Sao Jorge, or Saint George’s Castle, which sits high on a hill and offers an amazing view of the city. It’s the number one tourist attraction in Portugal, and we can see why!
- Another exciting tour we took was a Jewish Heritage tour. We went on a special walking tour where the guide told us stories about the Jewish community that lived in Lisbon a long time ago, and it felt like we were living it! Learning about the Jewish history in Lisbon was a fascinating experience. They showed us important places and landmarks that were once significant to the Jewish people. It was interesting to see how they lived and the impact they had on the city’s history. Many centuries ago, a vibrant Jewish community lived in Lisbon, contributing to the city’s cultural and economic life. The Inquisition was a period of religious intolerance, and Jews faced persecution and discrimination. Many were forced to convert to Christianity against their will, while others chose to leave the country to escape the Inquisition’s brutality.
- One evening, we danced on Pink Street. Pink Street, also known as Rua Nova do Carvalho, is a vibrant and colorful street located in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal. In the past, it used to be a red-light district, but today it has transformed into a lively and trendy area with bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
- We also took a ferry to Almada. Almada is a city located just across the Tagus River from Lisbon, Portugal. We explored the town and made a note ofAtira-te ao Rio (a fantastic riverfront restaurant). Still, the main attraction is the Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue, which stands tall on a hilltop overlooking both Lisbon and Almada.
- Riding the old trolley in Lisbon is like going back in time. It feels nostalgic and charming, letting you experience the city’s history in a delightful way.
- To experience authentic Fado music, we went to a show at Mesa de Frades. It was mostly locals and not many tourists, so we felt like we were getting the real Fado experience.
As far as food goes, here is what we recommend:
- Start your day with delicious breakfasts at the hotel, a great way to fuel up for the adventures ahead.
- For lunch, we suggest trying Antu in Alfama. It’s a hidden gem away from the touristy spots, but totally worth it for the tasty food and local vibe.
- Another excellent option is having lunch at Time Out Market, where you can find various delicious dishes and treats from different vendors, all under one roof.
- For dinner, head to Lxfactory, a vibrant and artsy place with a fantastic atmosphere. You can enjoy good music and good vibes while savoring a delicious dinner.
We hope this list of Portugal girls trip ideas has given you some inspiration for planning your upcoming girls trip to Portugal! You are sure to have an amazing time thanks to our list of suggestions for what to do for your Portugal itinerary.