How To Spend A Day In Faro
Often overlooked, Faro is a hidden gem of Portugal with plenty on offer to spend a day in its impressive walls. Discover what Faro is known for, as well as its stunning beaches and lively nightlife.
Rich in culture and history, Faro is a must for your 2-week Portugal itinerary. Often underestimated purely as an airport location, the city has so much to offer that you can spend a day or more getting to know the place and its people.
What is Faro Known For?
Faro is known for being the largest city in the Algarve region of Portugal. However, despite the Algarve being a favourite spot for tourists, not many people have heard of Faro, let alone visited.
Whilst it’s known to locals for its historical importance and unique architecture, to many it is best known for its airport connections. Because of that, Faro is great if you’re exploring Portugal on a budget as it’s more wallet-friendly than other regions.
Situated close to many impressive places, Faro is also the perfect hub if you plan on exploring the Algarve.
Is One Day Enough For Faro?
The answer to whether one day is enough for Faro entirely depends on your plans.
A day is the perfect amount of time for exploring the small city, taking in the buildings and enjoying some delicious cuisine from the restaurants found in the scenic plazas.
However, if you want to explore more of the Algarve, then you’ll probably want to book a few nights in Faro so you have a base to return to each evening. Plus, that means you can enjoy the Faro nightlife too!
How To Spend A Day In Faro
If your time only allows you one day in Faro, then it’s best to make the most of your time in the beautiful city! Here are our recommendations of what you should see and where you should go!
Largo da Sé
In the centre of Faro’s Old Town is the Largo de Sé, a cobbled plaza home to many fascinating buildings. Conveniently in one location to make seeing them even better, this is a must for your Faro trip.
The exterior itself is breathtaking enough, made out of stone with a bell tower standing proudly at the top of the cathedral. Once you step inside, you are greeted with the 13th-century Gothic entrance. A testament to its structure, the three arches have outlasted earthquakes and more across time, making them even more impressive.
Perhaps not for those who are squeamish, you can also find the small bones chapel, made out of actual human bones! If this is something you know you’ll enjoy, there’s an even better attraction in Faro along the same lines…
For a small fee, you can also enter St. Michae’s Chapel, with oil paintings and statues that are 300 years old.
Lastly, the bell tower which you can reach by climbing 68 steps. Once at the top, you can take in the awe-inspiring view of the Algarve and Faro below.
Faro Bone Chapel
Found next to the Igreja do Carmo Church is the gothic Faro Bone Chapel. Built in 1816, you will be greeted with the bones of 1,200 monks. They were all laid to rest in this chilling chapel, ready for you to see for years to come. Every surface is covered with bones, with skulls facing you from every direction as you venture through the unique building.
At the entrance, visitors will be greeted with the words ‘stop and think about your destiny’ - and there is no place more appropriate to instil that message. To consider that each of these bones belonged to a person is a harrowing yet emotional thought, and that is what makes the chapel so interesting.
Certainly a creepy attraction in Faro, the unique building certainly shouldn’t be missed if you’re into all things gothic.
Whilst you’re there, ensure you visit the church as well! With baroque designs and an interesting yet foreboding outside design, don’t forget it when spending a day in Faro.
The Faro Nightlife Is Something To Stay For
Though it is quieter than other cities in Portugal, Faro’s nightlife is more impressive than it first seems.
Even if you are only looking to spend a day here, we recommend extending that until the evening to mingle with the locals! With numerous bars and even clubs in the historic city, Faro transforms once the sun goes down.
What’s even better is that the best ones are found very close to the Old Town, so there’s no need to look for long for somewhere lively!
After a day of taking in all the architectural and historic importance of the city, let your hair down by dancing the evening away. Whether you then decide to stay the night or jump in a late taxi home, you won’t have experienced the city properly if you miss the Faro nightlife!
Though a day is enough for Faro, you could easily spend longer in this underrated part of Portugal.
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