Portugal is Now One of the World’s Most Visited Countries

Obidos, PortugalPortugal is now the world’s 14th most popular tourist destination and by 2020 it expects to be in the top 10. While that’s good news for the country’s economy, it may sound like bad news for you as a tourist. But before you imagine your Portugal visit to be rubbing shoulders with crowds of old folks rushing out of tour buses, be assured that most of the country is actually still tourist free. Despite the increased number of visitors, Portugal remains an undiscovered country because most tourists don’t leave their resorts in Algarve or the luxury hotels of Madeira. Even Lisbon is really only overrun with tourists in August and Easter weekend when most of Spain seems to have crossed the border.

Most of Portugal’s tourists are also mostly coming from only a handful of countries, mainly from Spain, UK, Germany, and France. The main reasons to visit the country as reported by tourists is the geographical proximity and culture, good weather, and low prices. That means you just may have many of the country’s most charming towns all for yourself, especially if you go off the beaten path.

While Sintra, Obidos, and Evora are top choices after Algarve and Lisbon, you should not overlook the north, especially Portugal’s second city, Porto (or Oporto in English). From there it is easy to reach some of the most elegantly-preserved old cities in the country such as Braga, Guimarães, and Viana do Castelo, or visit the World Heritage Douro Valley.

As you must have already seen, GoLisbon is not just a guide to the Portuguese capital, but also a complete guide to Portugal, and you should visit the Portugal section for information about all that the country has waiting for you — still without the crowds.

2 Responses to “Portugal is Now One of the World’s Most Visited Countries”

  1. Nuno Says:


    I intended to post this message in the forum, but since i couldn’t do it, i decided to post it here, as it is about this topic.

    First of all, my congratulations on putting on what is probably the best website about “the best of” Lisbon and Portugal. I am portuguese myself and i was thrilled to stumble upon a site that answered to my problems. You see, i’m in the process of creating a list of the best places all over the world, and even though i’m portuguese, i’ve been searching for a guide that would help me establish the best places in Portugal, without being too simple or too extensive – and GoLisbon did it! You manage to give great information on all these wonderful places, from well-known locations such as Sintra and Évora to some of the most precious off-the-beaten-path gems, like Ponte de Lima and Monsanto. And for that i am truly thankful!

    So, here goes my question:
    Are there any plans for a possible “expansion” on the “Best of Portugal” section (you know, including additional cities or places to see) or is that a definitive list?

    Best regards and keep up the excellent work!


  2. Mario F. - GoLisbon.com Says:

    Thanks for your comments!
    There are currently no plans to expand the Best of Portugal page (http://www.golisbon.com/portugal)

    The places recommended there are what GoLisbon believes capture the true essence of Portugal, the ones with the most unique (and often uniquely Portuguese) sights, and the ones with the most relevance internationally (World Heritage Sites, relating to the Discoveries, outstanding architecture, etc.)

    Good luck on your project and I hope you continue to use GoLisbon as a source of inspiration 😉