Low Cost flights with Ryanair brought even more tourism to the South of Portugal, where I grew up. The airport is situated in Faro, capital of Algarve (province of the very South of Portugal), so many people stay for one or two days to visit, before heading to the touristic towns: Albufeira and Portimão.
I studied 4 years in Faro University so I know well the streets and lifestyle of this city. I’m going to be honest here: I don’t like Faro. Everytime someone ask me what to do 4 or 5 days in Faro I have no clue, since I think one entire day is more then enough. Thru my eyes the city is not pretty but there’s always some spots you gotta visit and experiences you gotta take everywhere you go.
What I like the most about Faro? The old tile houses with sweet iron balconies decorated with colorful flowers, the nightlife with the coolest and most alternative pubs/bars of Algarve and the cafés outdoors. It’s definitly a social town!
Here goes a list of what to do here:
1. OLD TOWN
You have to walk thru the narrow streets of Old Town, it’s pretty small, in less then an hour you’ve seen everything. Have a drink in one of the cute decks, choose a portuguese beer Sagres or Super Bock or if they have go for a Sangria (with white or red wine, your choice) or if you don’t drink alcohol a fresh orange juice is a great choice (we have zillions of orange trees in this area).
2. BAIXA (DOWNTOWN)
More cafés with nice decks to have a snack or take a break. Try a portuguese cake like pastel de nata (with cinnamon) or bola de berlim and drink a galão (coffee with milk). You’ll find few streets in this area you can easily lose yourself and all kinds of local shops.
3. RUA DO CRIME
This is the alternative area of Faro, I call it the “son” of Bairro Alto in Lisbon. It’s worth a visit during the day and the night. During the day you will find handmade and portuguese traditional stores open and also great tascas and restaurants to have lunch (A Venda is situated here). During the night you can party your butt of! In College times this area is packed with students, especially on Thursdays! The best part is that you can find discos, live jazz music or rock pubs… all for your tastes and relatively cheap drinks.
4. JARDIM DA ALAMEDA AND MATA DO LICEU
If you feel like relaxing and nature contact you can head to Jardim da Alameda with birds and green grass for your picnic or Mata do Liceu, bigger, perfect for sports, you’ll see a lot of people running all day long. It’s a super tiny Central Park version :D
5. ILHA DE FARO (FARO ISLAND)
Faro City doesn’t have beach but you can take a bus to Faro Island, is not really an island but looks like! Usually is windy but the beach is pretty nice with restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood and cafés for a nice cold drink. It’s also great for a drink in a warm Summer night.
6. CENTRO DE CIÊNCIA VIVA DO ALGARVE
If you enjoy Science and like to learn new things in an interactive way I reccomend you this Center. It’s only 2€ entrance and free for 3 years old or less kids. You can read more about here.
As you can see there’s always something to do/visit/experiment everywhere in the World! I compare Faro to São Paulo, don’t get me wrong I know São is way larger with more then 20 million people and Faro has less then 50 thousand… But both are cities with great job and school opportunities and awesome places to eat and have drinks. At least I had a great time in São Paulo, but I had a local to help me out :)
Hey Algarve People, my fellows! Which bars/cafés/places would you recommend in Faro?