Northern Portugal’s Best Towns are Full of Charm

Ponte de Lima, Portugal. Photo by Tiago Pais on Unsplash

Let’s be honest: when most travelers head to Portugal, they usually head to one of the country’s biggest two cities. Porto and Lisbon are two travel hotspots these days, but the truth is that Portugal hides a lot of beautiful small towns.

Northern Portugal has plenty of charm itself, and there are lots of charming places to visit. Here are three towns that you absolutely must see.


Did you know that the country of Portugal was born in this small city? The Battle of Sao Mamede, won by Afonso Henriques and his troops, is often considered the event that led to the creation of the nation. You can visit the famous castle which played a part in the battle as well as a UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town in Guimaraes.

Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima features the longest medieval bridge in all of Portugal, and a part of it actually dates back nearly 2,000 years to Roman times! You’ll love strolling through this cozy town and visiting stores selling traditional meats and handicrafts.


Did you know that Portugal has its own version of Venice? The small city of Aveiro is built on canals and is considered the country’s answer to the famous northern Italian city. Idyllic doesn’t even begin to describe any vacation spent here.