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Portugal

You're thinking about the beaches, aren't you? Yes, Portugal is known for its golden sands, but there's a lot more to this sunshine country than you think. From tram-riding in Lisbon to sunset-watching in Sagres, there's plenty for you to tick off on this Portugal bucket list. 

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Ride a yellow tram, Lisbon

 

Lisbon's iconic yellow trams clatter through the streets of the Portuguese capital and are the best way to get around, particularly in the charismatic Alfama district. Hop onto Tram 28 to get around the city's sights, but remember that it's also an everyday mode of transport for the locals. Want a proper tour? Hop on one of the red trams offering this instead.  

 

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Swim in the sea caves, Benagil

 

Though spending an afternoon sunbathing on the Algarve's beaches is perfectly fine, why not add a touch of adventure with a sea caves trip? Benagil has the most famous sea caves in the country, which can easily be explored. You can take a regular boat tour, but why not try paddleboarding? Personal, eco-friendly, and entertaining, this is a great way to see these natural wonders. 

 

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Go castle hopping, Sintra

 

If you love a good castle, Sintra is the place for you. Hidden in the hills of the Lisbon region, this colorful town was a popular spot for building castles and palaces. From the rainbow Pena Palace to the gothic Quinta da Regaleira, you'll find your dream home eventually. 

 

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Eat pastéis de nata, Lisbon

 

Is it really a trip to Portugal without eating a pastel de nata? And by that, we mean several. With its sweet, gooey center and flaky pastry, this Portuguese custard tart is extremely addictive. You can find them abroad, but nothing will ever beat a pastel de nata straight from a Lisbon bakery.

 

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Appreciate life in the Chapel of Bones, Évora

 

Évora's Chapel of Bones is a gruesome yet interesting addition to this list. This 16th-century chapel challenges visitors to consider life and death with its open display of human bones. The inscription above the door reads: "We bones are here, waiting for yours." 

 

Do you still want to visit? 

 

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Surf in Ericeria

 

Want to get out onto the waves? With its sweeping waves and dramatic Atlantic coastline, the town of Ericeria is your next stop. This summer hotspot is the ideal location to pick up that surfboard, whether you've been surfing for years or you want to try something new. 

 

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Wander through the streets of Cascais

 

If you're staying in Lisbon, it's worth making a day trip out to Cascais, a historical resort town to the west. As a former retreat for the nobility, this charming town holds a selection of monuments, mansions, and villas to explore, as well as providing the beachside life you're craving. 

 

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Attend the Medieval Fair, Óbidos

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Middle Ages? If you're in Óbidos in July, you're in luck. Put on that tunic or princess dress and join the crowds at Óbidos' Medieval Fair, with knights, falconry, and medieval music all around you. 

 

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Party in Reiberia, Porto

 

With its cobbled streets and stunning architecture, the Ribeira district of Porto is popular throughout the day, but make sure to return at night. Join the crowds spilling out of the bars, enjoying a night of evening warmth and entertainment, all for a reasonable price. 

 

Watch the sunset at the end of the world, Sagres 

 

You might have noticed that there are a lot of sunset destinations on this bucket list, but you can't miss this one. Watch the sun set at the end of the world in Sagres, the most south-westerly point in Europe. With its dramatic seascapes and vast, open horizon, you'll be gazing at the sky for hours.

 

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Tick off more experiences...

There's so much more to see and do in Europe by train! Read on to discover the ultimate Eurail experiences in the next country (from A-Z), or go back to the homepage to choose one for yourself.

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