Portugal

Portugal’s hilly cities tax tired legs, but reward every step. At the top of a hilly avenue, you might find a church covered in tiles of the deepest blue edged by a square that gazes out onto endless rooftops below and you’ll know it was worth the climb. In this gallery, visit two of the country’s gorgeous cities, Lisbon and Porto, with a side trip to the fairy tale village of Sintra.

A panoramic view of Lisbon from the Miraduro de Graca during the blue hour of dusk.

01. A panoramic view of Lisbon from the Miraduro de Graca during the blue hour of dusk. (Click for a larger image.)

Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent, a defensive fortress standing at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal.

02. Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent, a defensive fortress standing at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal.

A panoramic view of Lisbon's Alfama district from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol.

03. A panoramic view of Lisbon’s Alfama district from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. (Click for a larger image.)

The Rua Augusta Arch viewed from Commerce Square at night in Lisbon.

04. The Rua Augusta Arch viewed from Commerce Square at night in Lisbon.

The arched cloisters of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

05. The arched cloisters of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ornate arches in the Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture are flooded by sunlight in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon.

06. Ornate arches in the Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture are flooded by sunlight in the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon.

The arched cloisters of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

07. The arched cloisters of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The two-storey cloisters surrounding the central courtyard of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

08. The two-storey cloisters surrounding the central courtyard of the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The delicate arches decorating the cloisters inside the Jerónimos Monastery.

09. The delicate arches decorating the cloisters inside the Jerónimos Monastery.

The Monument of the Discoveries on the banks of the Tagus River with the 25th of April Bridge in the background.

10. The Monument of the Discoveries on the banks of the Tagus River with the 25th of April Bridge in the background.

Lisbon's famous Tram 28 winds up the curving, hilly streets of the Alfama district at night.

11. Lisbon’s famous Tram 28 winds up the curving, hilly streets of the Alfama district at night.

A stepped back-street in Lisbon's Alfama district oozes European charm.

12. A stepped back-street in Lisbon’s Alfama district oozes European charm.

The nave of the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or the Carmo Convent.

13. The nave of the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or the Carmo Convent.

The ruin of the medieval Carmo Convent is open to the blue skies above.

14. The ruin of the medieval Carmo Convent is open to the blue skies above.

One of Lisbon's old-time trams winds its way up the city's steep hills.

15. One of Lisbon’s old-time trams winds its way up the city’s steep hills.

The column of Pedro IV with one of Rossio Square's fountains in the foreground.

16. The column of Pedro IV with one of Rossio Square’s fountains in the foreground.

Pedestrians walk along Rua de Carmo in Lisbon, Portugal.

17. Silhouettes of pedestrians walk along Rua de Carmo in Lisbon, Portugal.

The walls and entrance to the São Jorge Castle which overlooks Lisbon.

18. The walls and entrance to the São Jorge Castle which overlooks Lisbon.

Lisbon as viewed from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara at sunrise.

19. Lisbon as viewed from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara at sunrise.

Sunrise over the Afama district in Lisbon, Portugal.

20. Sunrise over the Afama district in Lisbon, Portugal.

Lisbon as viewed from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara at sunrise.

21. Lisbon as viewed from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara at sunrise.

The Santa Justa Lift, a metal elevator which transports passengers from lower Baixa to Carmo Square.

22. The Santa Justa Lift, a metal elevator which transports passengers from lower Baixa to Carmo Square.

A panoramic view of Lisbon from the Miraduro de Graca during a vibrant sunset.

23. A panoramic view of Lisbon from the Miraduro de Graca during a vibrant sunset. (Click for a larger image.)

A panoramic view of the Baixa district and the São Jorge Castle in Lisbon.

24. A panoramic view of the Baixa district and the São Jorge Castle in Lisbon.

The Dom Luís I Bridge lit up at night crossing the River Douro in Porto, Portugal.

25. The Dom Luís I Bridge lit up at night crossing the River Douro in Porto, Portugal.

A panoramic view of the sun setting over Porto and the River Douro.

26. A panoramic view of the sun setting over Porto and the River Douro. (Click for a larger image.)

Blue Azulejo tiles decorate the exterior of the Igreja do Carmo in Porto.

27. Blue Azulejo tiles decorate the exterior of the Igreja do Carmo in Porto.

A monument to Prince Henry the Navigator stands before the Bolsa Palace in Porto, Portugal.

28. A monument to Prince Henry the Navigator stands before the Bolsa Palace in Porto, Portugal.

The Manueline column of the Pillory of Porto stands before Porto Cathedral.

29. The Manueline column of the Pillory of Porto stands before Porto Cathedral.

A panoramic view of rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Luís I Bridge from Vila Nova de Gaia

30. A panoramic view of rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Luís I Bridge from Vila Nova de Gaia. (Click for a lrger image.)

The famous wooden staircase of Livraria Lello, a bookshop in Porto.

31. The famous wooden staircase of Livraria Lello, a bookshop in Porto.

The famous wooden staircase of Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal.

32. The famous wooden staircase of Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal.

The interior of Livraria Lello, a bookshop in Porto that inspired J.K. Rowling's writing.

33. The interior of Livraria Lello, a bookshop in Porto that inspired J.K. Rowling’s writing.

A panoramic view of the Dom Luís I Bridge from the Ribeira district.

34. A panoramic view of the Dom Luís I Bridge from the Ribeira district.

The rooftops of Porto as viewed from the Miradouro da Vitoria before dawn.

35. The rooftops of Porto as viewed from the Miradouro da Vitoria before dawn.

The Dom Luís I Bridge, an icon of Porto and the hills of the city across the Douro River.

36. The Dom Luís I Bridge, an icon of Porto and the hills of the city across the Douro River.

Older houses stack upon one another near the Funicular dos Guindais in Porto.

37. Older houses stack upon one another near the Funicular dos Guindais in Porto.

The sun rises over the rooftops of Porto as viewed from the Miradouro da Vitoria.

38. The sun rises over the rooftops of Porto as viewed from the Miradouro da Vitoria.

The Ribeira district with the Arrábida Bridge in the background.

39. The Ribeira district with the Arrábida Bridge in the background.

One of the narrow back streets of the Ribeira District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Porto.

40. One of the narrow back streets of the Ribeira District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Porto.

Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Luís I Bridge from Vila Nova de Gaia.

41. Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Luís I Bridge from Vila Nova de Gaia.

The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

42. The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

43. The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

The Ribeira district with the Arrábida Bridge in the background at dusk.

44. The Ribeira district with the Arrábida Bridge in the background at dusk.

Elaborate blue tiles decorate the interior of Porto's São Bento railway station.

45. Elaborate blue tiles decorate the interior of Porto’s São Bento railway station.

Sunbeams shine into Porto's São Bento railway station where artists sketch drawings of the Azulejo tiles.

46. Sunbeams shine into Porto’s São Bento railway station where artists sketch drawings of the Azulejo tiles.

Arched windows decorate the entrance of the São Bento railway station in Porto.

47. Arched windows decorate the entrance of the São Bento railway station in Porto.

Blue Azulejo tiles decorate the exterior of the Igreja do Carmo in Porto.

48. Blue Azulejo tiles decorate the exterior of the Igreja do Carmo in Porto.

Hillside buildings frame Porto's Cathedral towering above the city.

49. Hillside buildings frame Porto’s Cathedral towering above the city.

The Gaia Cable Car soars over Vila Nova de Gaia with a grand view of Porto on the other side of the River Douro.

50. The Gaia Cable Car soars over Vila Nova de Gaia with a grand view of Porto on the other side of the River Douro.

Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro.

51. Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro.

Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Arrábida Bridge at sunset.

52. Rabelo boats floating in the River Douro in front of the Arrábida Bridge at sunset.

The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

53. The colourful houses of the UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Ribeira District in Porto.

Blue skies compliment blue Azulejo tiles on the Church of Saint Ildefonso in Porto.

54. Blue skies compliment blue Azulejo tiles on the Church of Saint Ildefonso in Porto.

A panoramic image of the Vila Nova de Gaia, Luís I Bridge, and Porto at dusk.

55. A panoramic image of the Vila Nova de Gaia, Luís I Bridge, and Porto at dusk.

A tram ascends one of Porto's hills with the Clérigos Tower in the background.

56. A tram ascends one of Porto’s hills with the Clérigos Tower in the background.

Colourful walls flank archways leading through the courtyard of the National Palace of Pena in Sintra.

57. Colourful walls flank archways leading through the courtyard of the National Palace of Pena in Sintra.

Former cloisters inside the National Palace of Pena in Sintra.

58. Former cloisters inside the National Palace of Pena in Sintra.

The Heraldry Room inside the Palace of Pena in Sintra.

59. The Heraldry Room inside the Palace of Pena in Sintra.

Looking down into the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.

60. Looking down into the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.

Looking up from the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.

61. Looking up from the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.
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