Portuguese cities have become more and more attractive as ideal locations to learn about the country and its population. These cities have been able to preserve the marks of their past and to reinvent themselves for the future, through environmental and urban planning and new tourist, cultural and leisure facilities.
To walk in well-preserved historical centers, to enjoy the sunlit squares and terraces, glimpsing the river or the sea, to have a cozy dinner at local restaurants or at places where you are offered sophisticated flavors of the world, to attend an event related to the local tradition or a show of international class - all these the Portuguese cities have to offer.
Here we list the 50 major national cities according to a double criterion: their relevance as a dynamic and motivating centre and their importance as a pole of tourism attraction. So, this list includes the 18 district capitals and other cities and towns, for their history and heritage, as Guimarães, Tomar, Sintra and Óbidos, for their timeless charm, as Espinho, Figueira da Foz and Cascais, or for the wonderful and lively features of costal towns that benefit from their deep relation with the sea, as Oeiras, Sesimbra, Portimão ou Albufeira.