Photographers love University of Coimbra. // © 2015 Creative Commons user debarshiray
Feature image (above): Dom Luis Bridge is a must-see in Porto. // © 2015 Creative Commons user notunlike
Known for its delicious cuisine, beautiful landscapes and world-renowned wine, Portugal is a must-see for anyone who wants to add snaps to their Instagram feed. Whether it’s Praca do Comercio in Lisbon, the Douro River in Porto or just one of the country’s ubiquitous cable cars, this European nation will inspire plenty of Instagram-worthy shots during a traveler’s itinerary. Below are the top attractions in Portugal’s major cities and regions according to Instagram users’ feeds.
Lisbon (Posts: 1,872,000+; Hot Spot: Praca do Comercio)
The country’s capital, Lisbon, is all over #instatravel. Common pictures in the Lisbon hashtag include selfies in Praca do Comercio, the city square located near the Tagus River, and Parque das Nacoes, one of Lisbon’s parishes. Other hot spots include the historical Rua Augusta Arch, the Moorish Sao Jorge Castle and the Madre de Deus Convent (specifically its tilework).
Porto (Posts: 1,799,000+; Hot Spot: Douro River)
Porto serves as the outlet for the famous Douro River, one of the city’s most popular spots according to Instagram, but that’s not all there is to see. Other common snaps are aerial pictures of Dom Luis Bridge and the boats sailing along the Cais de Gaia, as well as the area’s restaurants, Casa da Musica, Clerigos Church and the historical Palacio de Bolsa. But it’s still the Douro River that most charms travelers’ hearts (and Instagram feeds).
Sintra (Posts: 287,000+; Hot Spot: Pena National Palace)
Sintra’s castles and palaces make it look a little like a Portuguese-version of Disneyland, which make them obvious spots for Instagrammers. The gorgeous stonework of Castelo dos Mouros and candy-colored Pena National palace (which draws many comparisons to Cinderella’s castle) bring in a particularly large crowd of users. The pint-size Convent of the Capuchos also lends itself to many comments, with a fair amount of users referring to it as a “hobbit’s house.” Also popular are Chalet Saudade and Cafe Saudade’s delicious eats.
Coimbra (Posts: 221,000+; Hot Spot: University of Coimbra)
The city of Coimbra is full of Roman archaeological structures and plenty of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Instagram users flock to spots such as Biblioteca Joanina, University of Coimbra’s library, as well as the university itself. Other popular stops are Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro, which is housed in a palace built during the Middle Ages, and Portugal dos Pequenitos, a theme park with miniature versions of Portugal’s famous monuments. Be sure to check out the Monastery of Santa Cruz and the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, too.
Braga (Posts: 185,000+; Hot Spot: Bom Jesus do Monte)
One of the largest metropolitan areas in Portugal, Braga is home to awe-inspiring architecture and tons of history. But don’t discount nature —Jardim de Santa Barbara and its field of multicolored flowers is a popular shot for Instagram users. Other hot spots are the Baroque-era Raio Palace, the pilgrimage site of Bom Jesus do Monte and the decorative arts exhibits at Biscainhos Museum.
Funchal (Posts: 113,000+; Hot Spot: Pico de Arieiro)
Portugal’s sixth-largest city, Funchal is a popular port for cruise lines and surrounded by beautiful peaks. Mountaintops such as Pico do Arieiro, Pico das Torres and Pico Ruivo are all over Instagram. The Cathedral of Funchal is also a must-see, Many Instagram users like to hop onboard the Funchal Passenger Ropeway, a gondola that takes visitors to the suburb of Monte. Another Instagram favorite? The city’s statue of soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, which was unveiled late last year.