Lagos, Portugal is a town in the southern part of Portugal’s Algarve region and a popular holiday destination. The city is best known for its breathtaking cliffs hanging over scenic sandy coves of the Atlantic beaches, walled old town filled with historical and architectural wonder.
This attractive resort town is packed with diverse activities and things to do. It’s perfect for travelers who come to experience the scenic coastline and wealth of historic attractions and baroque architecture.
Combined with the magnificent nature of the Algarve, you’ll find a bustling nightlife with a vast selection of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to cater to any tourist’s needs. If you need any more convincing, read this guide to find all the best things to do in Lagos, Portugal.
Our Favorite Places To Stay In Lagos, Portugal!
There are so many beautiful streets and beaches in Lagos that it’s best to find somewhere central to stay. This way you’ll have more time to enjoy all the sights and adventures!
The Coolest Hostel in Lagos
- A cool terrace with swimming pool
- Set in the heart of Lagos
This unique and friendly hostel is situated within the city walls of Lagos, making it the perfect location to base yourself when visiting this vibey city. The rooftop pool is the perfect place to unwind and make friends!
A Great Budget Hotel in Lagos
- Located in the historic center of Lagos
- Rooftop terrace with panoramic views
This family-run hotel is centrally located in the heart of Lagos and an easy 5-minute walk from Batata beach. The rooftop terrace offers amazing views of the city and is the perfect place to relax!
The Best Luxury Hotel in Lagos
- Heated saltwater pool and garden terrace
- Access to all the nearby attractions
This elegant guesthouse is right in the heart of Lagos, only 1km from Santa Maria Church and 600 m from Dona Ana Beach. The property has free Wi-Fi, and each room has air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom and minibar.
• The 31 Best Things to Do in Lagos •
- See the most unique caves
- Sightseeing cruise with live commentary
- Must-do experience in Lagos!
This cruise takes you to see the amazing beaches surrounding Lagos Algarve. As well as the natural cliffs that are incredible to see the sea.
This 1-hour and 15-minute cruise is the best way to see and learn about the amazing rock formations around Lagos and offers beautiful views all around!
Heading to Lisbon? Save some money with our guide to the coolest hostels in Lisbon!
#2 – Walk Along Meia Praia Beach
One of the best outdoor things to do in Lagos!
- 4km stretch of vast stretches of sand
- Perfect for watersports and activities!
- Admire the Algarve!
Meia Praia is a favorite for many tourists visiting Lagos for its scenic long stretch of beach found minutes away from the city center and extending 4kms along the coast.
It’s a great place for long walks, surfing, swimming, bodyboarding, and the beach is equipped with all the necessary tourist facilities.
Editor’s Recommendation! These are the staff pick for the top hostels in Porto (for all budgets!)
#3 – Explore The Historic Center Of Lagos
A great cultural experience in Lagos!
- Discover fascinating attractions in Lagos
- Marvel at the Baroque architecture all around
- An insight into Portuguese culture
There are so many unique features in Lagos that are best to be seen by wandering around the city and discovering the incredible architecture and landmarks all around.
It’s easy to spend half a day walking around the historic center with narrow cobblestoned streets and admiring the traditional houses, and the variety of historic buildings as well as the attractive harbourfront.
#4 – Visit Igreja De Santo António
- Stunning baroque church built in 1707
- Must-see for history and architecture lovers!
- Listed as a National Monument
This Old Church that was built in the early 18th century is an amazing structure to see, with its painted and vaulted ceilings and incredible ornate walls, there is so much to admire.
Walk around admiring the intricate woodwork details and the traditional azulejo tiles. This church can’t be missed when exploring the historic center!
Portugal is amazing! And the best hostels in Peniche will blow you away!
#5 – Kayak To The Caves
- Explore the most scenic coastline by kayak
- Visit the caves and beaches off the coast
- Swim in the crystal clear waters
This kayak tour is the perfect way to see the incredible caves and steep cliffs from the water whilst admiring the beautiful golden shore beaches of Lagos.
A guide will lead you through the beautiful caves and the small beaches that the area is famous for!
- Admire the stunning rock formations
- Soak up the sun on a catamaran!
- Enjoy the views!
This cruise is the perfect way to see the mesmerizing beaches and rock formations of the Algarve in a comfortable and classy way!
You’ll get to see the cliffs and grottos of Ponta de Piedade as well as Praia da Luz, known for its volcanic landscape and palm tree-lined promenade, with the choice of snorkeling or swimming!
Looking for the Party? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the best party hostels in Lisbon!
- Learn about more than 20 different ecosystems up-close!
- See the sea lions and seals and birds of prey
- Relax at the Zoomarine Beach!
This thrilling outing includes a spectacular dolphin presentation that is entertaining and educational and allows you to get close to the amazing sea life like sea lions and seals.
Learn about the birds of prey and tropical birds that are found in an enchanting forest! Lastly, end off the trip with an exciting ride down the rapid river rafts!
Travel can be expensive! But then again, Lisbon’s cheap hostels will show you how little it can cost!
#8 – Snorkel At Praia Dona Ana Beach
One of the best cheap things to do in Lagos!
- Beautiful beach bounded by high sandstone cliffs
- Snorkeling in the clear waters
- One of the best beaches!
Snorkelers are able to witness a vast variety of species at Praia Dona Ana beach in the crystal clear waters with amazing rock formations.
The idyllic beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs and beautiful caves and grottos that are perfect for exploring, or simply relaxing on the beach!
- Explore the marine life of Lagos!
- Hear from a marine biologist
- See mammals in their natural environment!
This awesome tour from Lagos takes you on a coastal adventure around Alvor to experience dolphins and whales in the beautiful waters of Portugal.
You’ll get to see the creatures existing in their natural environment and learn from a marine biologist on-board!
- The most beautiful cave in Portugal!
- Thrilling speed cruise to the cave!
- Scenic views!
Traverse the amazing Algarve coastline to get to the magical Benagil caves while embracing the incredible scenery on a thrilling boat ride!
You’ll have time at the cave to marvel at its splendor, and gaze in awe at the incredible rock formations, getting to know why it is one of the most beautiful caves in Portugal!
Have some time? Get out of the city with these epic day trips from Lagos!
#11 – Try The Local Food And Drinks In Lagos
One of the best things to do in downtown Lagos!
- Experience a selection of food and drinks
- Discover alluring cafes and restaurants
- Embrace the culture!
It’s highly recommended to try the local cuisine and the featured meals of the day at the cute and attractive restaurants and cafes found on the cobblestoned streets.
The seafood in Lagos is very popular, often coming straight out of the clear waters onto the plate!
#12 – Visit The Live Science Centre
A fun thing to do for families!
- Enjoy a blend of science and fun!
- Learn about Portuguese technological innovations
- Learn new skills like morse code!
This is a great way to spend an interesting day in Lagos with your family, learning about a multitude of different scientific topics and getting involved in all the various modules.
Kids will love the immersive experiences offered at the Live Science Center and have loads of fun with all the puzzles and experiences!
- See the most important Sagres spots
- Experience one of the best sunset locations in the world!
- Enjoy a glass of port and a Pastel de Nata
This sunset tour will take you from your hotel in Lagos to venture out towards Sagres where you will watch the sun melting over the breathtaking blue waters of the most southwestern point of Europe.
You’ll get to see the picturesque Algarve village and the St. Vincent Cape, as well as the stunning Cape Lighthouse before watching the sun go down.
Short on time in Lisbon? Doesn’t matter we have trips from Lisbon you can do in one day!
- A fun excursion!
- Experience the various water rides
- Try the biggest Free Fall slide in Europe!
Aquashow Park offers an amazing variety of slides to all ages and has a mini-park world for the little ones, making it fun for the whole family!
There are many rides for all ages and adrenaline lovers at the best water park in Europe!
#15 – Visit The Zoo
Great outing for animal lovers!
- Impressive collection of animals
- Playground and petting zoo for kids
- Learn about conservation and protection efforts
Another fun thing to do as a family in Lagos! The zoo offers a variety of informative and educational shows and a variety of fascinating species to marvel at.
You’ll get to see birds like the Toucan, African penguins, flamingos and interact with the monkeys and lemurs at Monkey Island.
Porto is spectacular! Especially since you can take day trips to see the whole region!
#16 – Get Your Adrenaline Going At Parque Aventura Lagos
An adventurous thing to do in Lagos!
- Enjoy an adrenaline-packed day!
- Choose high-rope climbing or paintball
- Have a relaxing picnic!
The adventure park offers a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities for the curious, adventurous and fearless!
Climbers are challenged to get through obstacles while paintballers over the age of 10 can play a match in the forest before relaxing with a picnic!
- See the incredible scenery
- 360° turns and rapid stops!
- Embrace the super-speed jet boat!
This 45-minute water adventure experience is a great way to see the scenery of Lagos from a fun and exciting new experience with the jetboats powerful motor shooting out a stream of water that boosts you high into the air!
MUST READ! You’ve got to visit these places in Porto when you’re there!
#18 – Take A Surfing Lesson
- A must-do experience!
- Beginners lesson with skilled instructors
- Spend 2 hours enjoying the water!
This introduction to surfing is the best way to experience Portugal like a local and learn about the waves and currents and tides to help you to enjoy this experience
The knowledgeable instructors will guide you through paddling techniques and how to handle the surfboard in the water before trying to catch a few waves like a pro!
#19 – Hike Along A Trail At Praia De Porto Mos
- Marvel at the beautiful Algarve coastline!
- Discover numerous scenic hiking trails
- Enjoy the incredible scenery
The 3 km stretch of beach at Meia Praia is a great place to enjoy a long walk on the beach, but there are also some incredible nature trails that are an awesome experience for anyone who loves hiking!
You’ll love seeing the blue waters and amazing rock formations on an active outdoor adventure!
#20 – Go On A Food Tour
- Enjoy 12 different tastings
- Visit 5 local-favorites!
- Experience the culinary charm of the Algarve
This classic food tour will take you around the small streets of Lagos tasting the most traditional dishes and experiencing the city like a local.
You’ll be charmed by the small streets and the different stories they behold while getting to know the most ancient part of the city and where the Portuguese go to eat and drink!
Let’s simplify this! Here are our favorite areas to stay in Lisbon!
- Windsurfing lesson from a certified instructor
- Enjoy the beautiful waters of Lagos!
- Sail across the lagoon!
An awesome way to experience the waters of Portugal and its incredible coastline from a new perspective!
A knowledgeable instructor will guide you through the training in a lagoon in Alvor, and after 3 hours you’ll be up and sailing across the water!
- Explore the historical center of Lagos
- Travel along the coastline
- Tour at your own pace!
An electric bike is a fun and easy way to see the historic center of Lagos and explore the stunning coastline with ease and at your own pace
This is an ecological and environmentally friendly way of making a trip around Lagos and the western Algarve to places you wouldn’t normally see.
#23 – Visit The Lagos Fish Market
- A unique Portuguese experience
- See the morning’s catches on sale
- Join the locals!
A very local Portuguese thing to do is go check out the local fish market in Lagos, where everyone gets fresh and delicious fish straight out of the Atlantic!
The fish market is a fascinating thing to do and makes up a large part of the economy and culture!
- Experience the waters from an inflatable stand up paddleboard
- Discover the best SUP destinations in the Algarve!
- Find great photo spots
Embrace the crystal clear waters of Lagos on a fun paddleboard excursion.
The lightweight SUPs are easy to carry and allow you the perfect way to see the sights of the area from a different vantage point.
- Explore the Algarve vertically with a qualified instructor
- Observe the stunning surrounding as you climb
- Perfect for beginners and intermediate climbers!
This fun and active rock climbing tour will take you from your hotel in Lagos to the regional scenic Algarve region where you’ll be climbing
It’s the perfect way to discover beautiful inland rock areas and secluded beaches and enjoy the atmosphere of being active and outdoors.
#26 – Go On A Champagne Cruise
- Admire the Algarve coastline’s natural beauty
- See the beauty of Praia de Batata
- Watch the sunset
Let the soft wind blow in your hair as you embrace the beauty and magic of the Algarve on this romantic champagne cruise!
You’ll spend 2 hours enjoying the surrounding azure waters with plenty of space onboard, before watching the sun melt over the ocean with a delicious drink in hand.
- Experience Fóia, the highest point in the Algarve
- See the most important sights of Monchique
- Enjoy 360º panoramic views
Get the perfect view of Lagos as you tour up the mountain to Monchique while enjoying the rich evergreen vegetation and allowing you to get a fantastic panoramic view!
Fóia is the highest point in the Algarve and one of the largest mountains in Portugal, making it the best possible views of the surrounding lakes and cities!
#28 – Visit Europe’s First Slave Market
A great historic outing in Lagos
- Explore Europe’s first slave market
- See the darker side of Portuguese history
- Travel through time!
Explore the culture of the city as you experience the markets like Mercado dos Escravos, which was Europe’s first slave market with many shameful displays.
You’ll see a glimpse into the dark past where, in 1444, the first slave market was opened, selling slaves from Africa.
#29 – Visit Lagos’ Old Fort
An interesting thing to do in Lagos!
- Discover the old fort, built in the 17th century
- See the historic Lagos harbor defenses
- Visit where the defenses for the Lagos harbor came from
Discover the ancient fort and the views of the castle walls and fortifications that uphold the medieval character of the vicinity from where Lagos’ harbor was protected from.
The Old Fort is a great place to take photos and marvel at the stunning views of the ocean.
#30 – Explore The Marina
- View magnificent yachts and motorboats
- See first-class mooring facilities
- Enjoy live performances at surrounding cafes
The Lagos Marina is a lovely place to walk along the boardwalks seeing the many seafarers that head out into the bay.
There are also many cafes along the marina that host live music performances in the evenings with a wonderful seaside atmosphere.
- Visit the village of Sagres and its fortress
- Experience amazing sights of Cape St. Vincent
- Explore Sagres Fortress and beautiful surroundings
Sagres is where you’ll be blown away by the picturesque views from two fortresses and from the cape.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Lagos and taken to the fortress that is filled with history and offers amazing views from the top of Sagres cliffs!
Lagos is a fascinating city that boasts incredible beaches, amazing caves and rock formations, exciting water sports, and character-filled streets and villages that make it the perfect holiday destination for all travelers.
The town has a young and cheerful vibe with a wealth of historic attractions and interesting things to do, as well as fun and informative outings for families. Foodies will love the local traditional Portuguese meals and quaint cafes and restaurants.
This all combined makes Portugal Lagos the most ideal city for a holiday, and with so many things to do and places to see, the mesmerizing Algarve will have you hooked and you’ll want to stay forever!
***Disclaimer*** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, One Weird Globe will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going :)