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30 Cool Things to Do in Faro

City Guide January 30, 2024

 

 

Welcome to Faro, the captivating capital city of Portugal's Algarve region. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches, Faro offers many attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.  Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply looking to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Faro has something special in store for you.

Before we dive into the list of cool things to do in Faro, let's address a common travel concern - luggage storage. Nannybag offers a reliable and convenient Faro luggage storage service for travelers visiting Faro. With Nannybag, you can securely store your belongings and explore the city unburdened by heavy bags. Drop off your luggage at one of Nannybag's partner locations and enjoy a seamless and hassle-free experience.

Now, let's embark on our journey through Faro and discover the 30 fun activities to do in this captivating city!

 

1. Explore Faro Cathedral

Our first stop takes us to Faro Cathedral, also known as Sé Catedral de Faro. This magnificent architectural gem dates back to the 13th century and showcases a blend of different architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.

 

2. Discover Ria Formosa Natural Park

Nature lovers will be captivated by the beauty of Ria Formosa Natural Park. This stunning coastal lagoon is a haven for wildlife and offers breathtaking landscapes. Take a boat tour and explore the diverse ecosystems, from salt marshes to sand dunes. Watch for the park's rich birdlife, including flamingos, herons, and egrets.

 

3. Walk Along the City Walls

Immerse yourself in Faro's history by walking along the city walls. These ancient fortifications once protected the city from invasions and provided a unique perspective on Faro's past. As you stroll along the walls, admire the stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscapes.

 

4. Marvel at the Bone Chapel

Prepare to be both fascinated and chilled as you visit the Bone Chapel, also known as Capela dos Ossos. Located within the Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, this unique chapel is adorned with human bones, creating a hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking atmosphere.

 

5. Visit the Museu Municipal de Faro

Delve into Faro's history and culture by visiting the Museu Municipal de Faro. Located in a former convent, this museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts and artworks that showcase the region's heritage. Explore various exhibitions, including archaeology, ethnography, and fine arts.

 

6. Relax at Praia de Faro

Take a break from exploring the city and unwind at Praia de Faro, the city's beautiful beach. This sandy stretch is located on a barrier island and offers crystal-clear waters and a laid-back atmosphere. Spend some time sunbathing, swimming, or simply strolling along the shore.

 

7. Admire Arco da Vila

As you wander through the streets of Faro, you'll come across Arco da Vila, a grand arch that once marked the entrance to the city's medieval walls. This impressive structure is adorned with intricate carvings and statues, depicting historical figures and mythological scenes.

 

8. Take in the Beauty of Largo da Sé

Largo da Sé, the square in front of Faro Cathedral, is a charming and picturesque spot in the city's heart. Sit at one of the outdoor cafes and soak up the lively atmosphere.

 

9. Experience the Chilling Capela dos Ossos

Prepare to be both fascinated and chilled as you visit the Bone Chapel, also known as Capela dos Ossos. Located within the Church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, this unique chapel is adorned with human bones, creating a hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking atmosphere.

 

10. Shop at Forum Algarve

If you want some retail therapy, head to Forum Algarve, the city's largest shopping center. Here, you'll find a wide range of national and international brands, as well as restaurants, a cinema, and a supermarket.

 

11. Wander through Cidade Velha

As you wander through Cidade Velha, Faro's charming old town, step back in time. Lose yourself in the narrow streets lined with colorful buildings and traditional Portuguese houses. Admire the architectural details and soak up the atmosphere of this historic neighborhood.

 

12. Explore Carmo Church

In the heart of Faro, Carmo Church is a hidden gem that shouldn't be missed. This beautiful church features a stunning Baroque facade adorned with intricate details. Step inside to discover the ornate interior, adorned with gilded woodwork and beautiful azulejo tiles.

 

13. Pay a Visit to Nossa Senhora do Carmo

Nossa Senhora do Carmo is a beautiful church near the Bone Chapel. Admire the intricate facade and step inside to discover the stunning interior. The church is adorned with beautiful statues, religious artwork, and ornate altars.

 

14. Enjoy a Boat Tour of Ria Formosa

To truly experience the beauty of Ria Formosa Natural Park, embark on a boat tour. Choose from various tour operators that offer guided trips through the lagoon. Explore the diverse ecosystems, spot wildlife, and learn about the park's unique flora and fauna from knowledgeable guides.

 

 

15. Discover the Faro Jewish Heritage Center

Uncover the rich Jewish history of Faro at the Faro Jewish Heritage Center. Located in the heart of the city, this center aims to preserve and promote the Jewish heritage of the Algarve region. Explore the exhibitions, which include historical artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.

 

16. Get Lost in the Streets of Faro

One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the city's atmosphere is to get lost in the streets of Faro. Wander through the winding alleys, discover hidden squares, and stumble upon charming cafes and shops. Allow yourself to be guided by curiosity and serendipity, and you'll uncover the true essence of Faro.

 

17. Indulge in Local Cuisine

No visit to Faro is complete without indulging in the delicious local cuisine. Faro offers a culinary experience that will delight your taste buds, from fresh seafood to traditional Algarve dishes. Head to the local restaurants and taverns to savor specialties such as grilled sardines, cataplana (a seafood stew), and pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts).

 

18. Explore the Estoi Palace

Venture a short distance outside of Faro to discover the enchanting Estoi Palace. This 19th-century palace is a masterpiece of neoclassical architecture and boasts beautiful gardens and stunning interiors.

 

19. Visit the Faro Municipal Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Faro Municipal Market. This bustling market offers a feast for the senses, with stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, and handmade crafts. Explore the colorful fruits, vegetables, and seafood displays, and chat with the friendly vendors.

 

20. Take a Bike Tour of Faro

Explore Faro on two wheels by taking a bike tour of the city. Join a guided tour and pedal through the charming streets, historic sites, and scenic waterfront. Learn about Faro's history and culture from knowledgeable guides, and enjoy the freedom of discovering the city at your own pace.

 

21. Enjoy Live Music at Teatro Lethes

Experience the vibrant cultural scene of Faro by attending a live music performance at Teatro Lethes. This historic theater hosts a variety of concerts, plays, and performances throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the music and enjoy the intimate atmosphere of this charming venue.

 

22. Learn about Marine Life at the Ria Formosa Environmental Education Center

Expand your knowledge of the marine ecosystem at the Ria Formosa Environmental Education Center. This interactive center offers educational exhibits and activities that highlight the importance of preserving the natural heritage of Ria Formosa.

 

23. Discover the Ruins of Milreu

Take a step back in time and explore the fascinating ruins of Milreu. Located just outside of Faro, these Roman ruins offer a glimpse into the region's ancient history. Marvel at the well-preserved mosaics, admire the remains of a Roman villa, and imagine life in the Roman era.

 

 

24. Explore the Algarve Regional Museum

Learn about the cultural heritage of the Algarve region at the Algarve Regional Museum. Housed in a former convent, this museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts that span the region's history. Explore the exhibitions that cover topics such as archaeology, ethnography, and traditional crafts.

 

25. Admire the Faro Municipal Library

Book lovers shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the Faro Municipal Library. Housed in a beautiful 19th-century building, this library offers a peaceful retreat for reading and relaxation. Browse the extensive collection of books, magazines, and newspapers, or simply enjoy the serene ambiance of the reading rooms.

 

26. Take a Day Trip to Ilha Deserta

Escape the city and embark on a day trip to Ilha Deserta, or Barreta Island. Located within the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this uninhabited island is a paradise for nature lovers. Explore the pristine beaches, go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

 

27. Visit the Church of São Pedro

Uncover a hidden gem in Faro by visiting the Church of São Pedro. This charming church, located near the marina, dates back to the 16th century and features a beautiful Manueline-style doorway. Step inside to discover the serene interior, adorned with golden woodwork and beautiful tiles.

 

28. Explore the Faro Walls and Gates

Embark on a journey through Faro's history by exploring the city walls and gates. These ancient fortifications once protected the city from invasions and offer a glimpse into Faro's past. Walk along the walls, pass through the gates, and imagine the city as it once was.

 

29. Enjoy Water Sports at Faro Beach

Faro Beach is the place to be for adrenaline seekers and water sports enthusiasts. This popular beach offers a range of water sports activities, including kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Ride the waves, feel the thrill, and enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery.

 

30. Relax at Jardim Manuel Bivar

End your visit to Faro with a relaxing stroll through Jardim Manuel Bivar. This beautiful garden is located next to the marina and offers a peaceful retreat in the city's heart. Sit on one of the benches, admire the palm trees and colorful flowers, and soak up the serene ambiance.

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