Are you planning a vacation to the Algarve? Chances are that your trip starts in Faro! Make sure to stay there for a couple of days, because there are some great things to do in Faro.
How to get to Faro?
There are several flights to Faro every day from all over Europe. Many low-cost airlines fly to Faro, such as Easyjet, Ryanair, and Transavia, so flight tickets are usually not very expensive. You can compare flight times and prices on Skyscanner.
If you’re traveling from The Netherlands, Transavia even flies from various Dutch airports (Schiphol, Eindhoven, and Rotterdam) to Faro. If you book directly with Transavia, you can easily book additional luggage and other useful extras (for example, you have a flexible ticket for little money).
How to get around in Faro
How to get to Faro from the airport? And how to get around in Faro and the Algarve?
How to get from Faro Airport to the city?
Faro Airport is located pretty close to the city center (you can even see the airport when you’re in the harbor), but it is necessary to have transportation when you want to go to the city center. If you don’t have a rental car, there are several ways to get from Faro Airport to the city:
By bus There is a bus from the airport to the bus station in Faro approximately every hour. You can buy a ticket from the driver and costs € 2.25 (October 2020). Check this website for more information and bus times. Note: these are normal city buses, there is not much space for a lot of (large) luggage.
By taxi When you walk out of the airport you immediately see rows of taxis. A ride to the center of Faro costs between € 11 and € 15. Check whether the meter is on or agree on a price in advance. You may need to pay additional costs for large luggage.
With an Uber Uber is also active in Faro and there are always a number of drivers waiting at the airport. You can quickly get in touch with a driver via the app. A ride to the center of Faro cost me € 7.25 with Uber.
Tip: have you never taken a ride with Uber? Then use this link to sign up and your first ride is free.
Rental car in the Algarve
There are many car rental companies at Faro airport, so it is very easy to rent a car from here and discover the Algarve. Rental cars are not expensive at all (you can already rent a car for € 10 a day!) And petrol prices are also slightly lower in Portugal compared to the rest of Western Europe.
The company AutoEurope usually has great deals on renting a car in Europe. So make sure to check their website when you need to compare prices and book a rental car.
Read more: Renting a car in Portugal: everything you need to know
Public transport in the Algarve
In Faro itself, you do not need public transport, because the city is quite compact and the sights are always within walking distance. Do you want to discover the Algarve without a rental car? That’s no problem because you can also travel around the Algarve by public transport.
In Faro, you have both a bus station and a train station and the connections with other cities in the area are very good. Train tickets can be bought at the train station or through the app. Bus tickets are sold at the bus station. You will rarely spend more than € 7 for a bus or a train ride within the Algarve. Check Google Maps or the EVA website (the bus company in the Algarve) for routes and departure times.
Where to stay in Faro?
Faro is a small city and you can easily explore the city on foot. In terms of location, it does not really matter where you sleep, although it is, of course, more pleasant in the old center (with many restaurants and bars)! There are so many options to stay overnight in Faro, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses to cheap hostels. Check Booking.com to compare prices and see what’s available on the dates you want to stay in Faro. I myself slept in a Pension called Senhor Gigi, right in the old center. A beautiful place for little money!
Are you planning to stay a little longer in Faro or would you like to stay in an apartment? You can find many beautiful places through VRBO or Airbnb.
Pro tip Have you never booked anything through Airbnb? Use this link to sign up and get a big discount on your first reservation.
Things to do in Faro
What do you need to see when you visit Faro?
Marino de Faro
Faro harbor is the place to be and is number one on this list of the best things to do in Faro. There are many small boats in the harbor (I loved the beautiful fishing boats!) and around the harbor are various beautiful artworks. There are also a number of parks with many benches, so it’s a great place to relax. Have a drink on one of the terraces around the harbor or eat a bite in one of the fish restaurants. It’s always fun to spend some time here.
Arco da Vila
Near the harbor, you can find the Arco da Vila, an impressive city gate from the nineteenth century. In the niche, you can see an Italian statue of São Tomás de Aquino, and inside you can see remains of the former Arab gate.
Find the stork nests
If you look closely at the Arco da Vila, you will see a few large stork nests on top. Storks are common in this region and this is not the only place where you will see these large nests. Also around some churches, you see that storks have built a nest. So take a look around and see if you can spot more.
Meander through the streets of the old town
Faro has a beautiful city center with a number of streets that are only accessible to pedestrians. The city center is full of great restaurants, cafes, terraces, and shops.
Muralhas de Faro
Muralhas de Faro are the old city walls of Faro, a number of which are still standing. The Arco do Repouso is very beautiful, from here you have a nice view of the old city center. There is also a beautiful park along the old city wall, where you can relax on a bench between the palm trees.
Igreja do Carmo
There are several churches in Faro that are worth visiting, so do not miss a church if the door is open. The most special church is the Igreja do Carmo and this one is actually a bit lugubrious. The interior is richly decorated with wood carvings. You mainly see many images of Jesus and angels (who look like babies).
The reason why many tourists visit this church is because of the Capela dos Ossos behind the church. This is a chapel made of human bones and skulls. Bizarre, but also a very special sight.
Cost of the visit: € 2 (October 2020).
Where to eat in Faro?
Faro is bursting with nice restaurants and cafes for a snack and a drink. I found these the best places to eat and drink:
Chelsea coffee & brunch: You will hardly find a cafe that’s more trendy than this in Faro. Very Instagrammable café where you can eat coffee, tea, and delicious cakes.
Restaurante o Piteu: Portuguese specialties at a good price. The restaurant is a bit hidden in a small square, and there’s a nice terrace in front of the restaurant.
Alcachofra Cafe: Vegetarian and vegan dishes for a good price. Nice and cozy restaurant with friendly service.
Want to read more about Portugal and the Algarve?
Then order one of these great travel guides:
Since I’ve lived in the Algarve for about seven months, you can find many articles about Portugal on this website. For example:
- 10 fun things to do in Lagos
- Fishermen’s Trail: the best coastal trail in Europe
- The most beautiful beaches in Albufeira | Portugal
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