Museu Municipal, also called Museu Arqueológico, contains mainly archaeological finds. Located in the former Nossa Senhora da Assunção monastery inside the ring-wall, the gardens date from 1540 with beautiful, two-storey cloisters which form the heart of the museum. Among the most remarkable items is a Roman floor mosaic from the 4th-century with the head of the Roman god Neptune in exquisite detail.
From the outside, Faro’s cathedral is low and squat, a mixture of Renaissance and Baroque as a result of protracted renovations and additions following the devastation of war and natural catastrophes. The interior is equally mixed but with interesting features, including a large organ from the 18th-century with Chinoiserie decoration.
The Ria Formosa wetlands area was declared a protected natural area in 1987 because of its unique conditions as a breeding place for wetland birds being threatened by the expansion of tourism. This way, the entire coast from Faro to Cacela Velha was able to avoid exploitation. A boat trip to one of Faro’s islands is perhaps the best way to visit Ria Formosa.
The Palácio de Estoi, unique in Algarve, is situated in the town of Estoi, just north of Faro. It is a private palace built in the Rococo style during the second half of the 19th-century. This miniature version of the King’s palace in Queluz, outside Lisbon, is surrounded by very beautiful gardens that are open to the public. In Milreu – just outside Estoi – are the Algarve’s chief Roman remains.
At Deserta Island you have the opportunity to spend a day on a deserted island and enjoy the white sand and crystal blue water. Arrive either by boat or water taxi and do not forget to bring water, since it is very hot under the sun. As there is only one restaurant on the island, it is a good idea to bring a snack, as well.
Praia Da Rocha, located 70 km from Faro Airport, is a lively beach town and provides its guests with sun beds, a range of activities, small shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels. The stunning coastline and the beautiful sandy beaches make it a perfect place for a day-trip or an overnight stay.
Parque Zoológico de Lagos is fun for the whole family, boasting hosts of monkeys, birds and other beautiful animals. There is even an area where you actually can meet some of the animals and interact with them. Additionally, at the snack bar you can enjoy a light lunch or a refreshing drink.
If you are a vegetarian it can be a bit of a struggle to find a restaurant that has a menu with a good range of vegetarian alternatives in Faro. Gengibre e Canela is without a doubt one of the city's best vegetarian restaurants, specialising in high-quality and expertly prepared vegetarian cuisine.
Centenario serves a varied menu consisting of traditional Algarve cuisine, which includes a mix of fresh seafood and meat dishes. One of Centenario's biggest draws, however, is the regular fado performances. The restaurant also has a pleasant terrace, an aquarium and a fireplace.
This popular family-run restaurant might be a bit hard to find, but it is well worth searching for. Here you will be able to enjoy delicious cuisine and top service in a cosy and rustic atmosphere. The menu changes on a regular basis and guests tend to come back over and over again.
When you are craving a really good hamburger in Faro, this is the place to go. Baixa Hamburgueria Faro prepare everything on the spot using fresh and tasty ingredients. If you aren't in the mood for meat but still want a burger try the popular cod and shrimp burger.
Every Portuguese town has a large, fine, old café with literary connections. The inhabitants of Faro come to this open-air cafe to convince themselves that things have not entirely changed with the passing of time, and visitors come to enjoy a trip back in time to a classical Portuguese cafe.
Columbus is a relaxed bar adjacent to the park, with tables in the colonnade facing the park and harbour. This bar is all about expertly-prepared cocktails, and thus boasts some of the area's most skilled mixologists and one of the longest drinks menu you're likely to find in Faro.
Located in Olhão, just 15 minutes east of Faro, lies 7 Imeio Wine Bar. As the name reveals, the bar has its focus on good wine, but they also make delicious cocktails. You can also find an array of tapas to go with the wine or your chosen drink, allowing you to snack and drink the night away.
Take a seat on the lovely terrace of O Castelo and enjoy the beautiful views of the Ria Formosa over a glass of sangria. They host different live performances, such as flamenco, fado and local cover bands, and they even have salsa classes, making O Castelo one of the best places in Faro for music-lovers.
Lovers of blues, rock and live music generally will want to head to Ditadura Live Music Bar. It is located in the city centre of Faro and offers live rock music Thursday through Saturday every week. The atmosphere is relaxed and there is a wide selection of drinks and beer.
This is Faro’s large fresh produce market. It is open until quite late and is a perfect place for familiarising yourself with the local food culture. It is housed in an impressive and modern building, and makes for a great afternoon of shopping, perusing and people-watching.
Just outside Albufeira you find Algarve Shopping Centre. It is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon or just to stay out of the sun and heat for a while. You can find several different shops, both from chains like Zara and C&A but also some small local boutiques. If you get hungry there is a food court, and if you feel like catching a movie there is also a cinema.
When you think of shopping, maybe grocery shopping isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But you find a good selection of brands, fresh fruits and vegetables, live seafood, newly butchered meat and local wines at the Intermarché in Carvoeiro. This international chain has several outlets across the Algarve coast.
Porches in Algarve has a long history of pottery and local production. All items are unique and made by local artists and artisans, including hand-painted dishes, jars, carafes and tea-sets, among many others. It is a great place to pick up mementos of your trip, or one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved one back home.
In this souvenir shop you will not just find fridge magnets and miniatures of famous buildings. Sardinha Fresh Souvenirs from Portugal features high quality products representing the history and culture of Portugal, items from new local designers and even edible gourmet products typical of the country.
If you like to stroll in an outdoor market and watch the locals shop for fresh fruit and fish directly from the farmers and fishermen, almost every town in Algarve has this kind of food market one or several time a week. For those who prefer to visit a flea market or an auction, the weekend is the best time to try to strike a bargain.
Portugal can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Faro’s international airport is located six kilometres to the west of the city, right by the sea. Buses 14 and 16 depart regularly for the centre of Faro, and the trip takes approximately 20 minutes. You can buy the ticket directly from the driver, but remember that it is good to have some small notes or the exact amount of money. A taxi ride takes just under fifteen minutes.
Faro’s train station connects the city with the rest of the Algarve and Portugal. There is also a well-developed bus network, EVA, which is usually more efficient for trips in the region. In Faro itself, it is best to walk, but if you would rather take the local bus, the company's name is Proximo. You find the bus station just south of the train station at:
For longer trips it is better to negotiate the price in advance as the driver has the right to various surcharges for returning empty if the taxi meter is used. Tips are not obligatory but appreciated, even if small. The cars are either beige, green or black, and the best way to find one is to go to one of the taxi ranks or pre-book. One of the taxi companies in town is Faro Taxi.
Each district of the town always has one pharmacy open 24-hours (farmácia, with a green cross) in accordance with a schedule displayed in the window of closed pharmacies. Otherwise, opening hours are from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm. One of the pharmacies in town is Farmácia Alexandre: