FaroCopyright: Evgeni Fabisuk/Shutterstock.com
FaroFaro, the capital of the Algarve region, is located on Europe’s most scenic coast, offering beautiful, long sandy beaches. Faro is a charming old town with cobbled streets and leafy parks, the perfect starting point for day-trips to all the marvellous major destinations of this wonderful region.
The CityFaro’s old town is not, in fact, that old — it was burned down by English troops in 1596, later rebuilt, and then destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. Still, it remains a beautiful and pedestrian-friendly place. Next to the citadel’s ring-wall is the small harbour where the newer and livelier town stretches northeast. The gardens next to the harbour, Jardim Manuel Bivar, are a good point to start exploring. At the end of the gardens is the city’s main shopping area — a small network of pedestrian streets with all kinds of shops, cafes and restaurants. North of the shopping you will find some of Faro’s famous churches, such as Igreja do Carmo. On the west side, you will come across the hilly Avenida 5 de Outubro. At the end of the avenue, you will be rewarded with a broad vista of Faro, the wetlands of Ria Formosa, and the sea.
Do & See
The capital of the Algarve is one of the most typically Portuguese cities in the country. Admire an amazing marina, cobblestone squares, and green parks, as well as an old town sprinkled with cosy cafes and tiny traditional restaurants. By night, Faro's massive student population that light up every bar and plaza of the city, and there is no shortage of cultural activities, from art exhibitions to majestic churches, and historic monuments. Last but not least, do not miss the natural beauty of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and the numerous islands scattered just a few kilometres from Faro's pristine beaches.
Dining in Faro revolves around seafood, mainly fish and shellfish. The Ria Formosa area is famous for oyster and clam breeding, making molluscs an unbeatable choice. Meat dishes can also be found, mainly rotisserie chicken and black pig, which will certainly not disappoint any meat-lover.
Faro has cafés for all tastes and food preferences. Most of Faro's cafés open early in the morning and close early in the evening. In almost all of them, you will find a wide variety of Portuguese bread and pastries that you can enjoy for breakfast or before an afternoon swim at the beach.
Bars & Nightlife
Being a major holiday destination, Faro boasts a wide variety of energetic nightlife attractions. The city's bustling party scene thrives along Rua de São Pedro, Rua Conselheiro Bívar, and Rua do Prior. The old and its surrounding areas also offer a modest amount of small bars with live music, sports screenings, and much more.
In downtown Faro, you'll find plenty of small shops selling all sorts of products, from local handicraft to fashion and sports items, as well as some traditional liquor shops. Bigger commercial surfaces are also to be found — the city has some of the biggest shopping centres and fresh produce markets in the region.