Faro is a rather small city in Portugal. You might visit since the plane tickets for Faro are much cheaper than Porto or Lisbon. During summer, most tourists choose to land in Faro and then head to Lisbon or Lagos via trains. The city is very small, but in case you get to spend a day or even a few hours in Faro, there a few things that you could do.
In the city: Walking through Faro is the easiest and quickest option. The city is very small and you can walk of it quite easily. However, there are a few buses and taxis that you can get if you need an alternative.
Airport: From the Airport, you get buses 14 and 16 for the Faro centre, which takes about 15 minutes. If the bus displays “Praia de Faro”, then it is heading to the beach and not the city centre.
Train Station: 10 minutes away on foot (Largo da Estação, 8000-133 Faro, Portugal)
Bus Station: 5 minutes away on foot (Proximo, Av. da República 126, 8000-078 Faro, Portugal)
What to do
1. Old Town Faro
Walk around the cobbled streets to explore the city. In the old town, you will find most restaurants, cafes, souvenirs shops and sights. The old town is located next to the sea, so it will be the breeziest spot during summer. There is even a tourist train, called Delgaturis that for a small fee will take you on a tour of the city. A few other places to visit in the old town are the Arc of Repouso (the old entrance to the city), the Rua Dom Francisco Gomes (the most famous shopping street with patterns on the floor), the Muralhas de Faro (the walls that protected the city) and the Faro Cathedral.
Doca de Faro is the marina in which you will find the big ‘FARO’ letters on the street, as well as yachts in all sizes and other sculptures. Along the waterfront, look for the solar boat that will take you on a tour to the stunning Rio Formosa Natural Park.
2. Capela dos Ossos
You can enter the Capela through the Carmo Church. The fee is 2 euros and is open on weekdays from 10.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 17.30. On Saturdays, it is open from 10.00 to 13.00. It is considered to be one of the most interesting, but strangest and creepiest attractions. The chapel is decorated with thousands of bones and skeletons that belong to dead monks who once saved the city.
3. Museu Municipal de Faro
One of the 5 museums of Faro and the most visited one. The museum is mostly liked for its garden area and architecture. The artefacts include artwork from the Roman period and a collection of epigraphs of Ossonoba. There are also high-quality paintings that come from the ancient temples of the Algarve. The fee is 2 euros and the visit usually lasts for 45 minutes.
4. Palácio de Estói
15 minutes (by car) away from Faro centre, you will find this impressive palace, which you can visit for free during all days of the week. Going around the certain parts that are open to the public and the gardens, will be proven a well-worth-it experience.
5. Ilha Deserta
The gorgeous deserted island is the only place that you can actually go for a swim and enjoy the sand. There are 2 ways to visit. The ferry that costs 5 euros and takes about 45 minutes and the island shuttle that takes 15 minutes with a price of 10 euros.
When you get off, you can either stay on that area with the only restaurant and the sunbeds or you can walk along the 2-kilometre long wooden walking trail for some amazing views and wildlife. By choosing the walking trail, you will arrive at some pretty amazing part of the beach with no tourists. The area is completely deserted and this is the most beautiful part. 30 minutes away from where the ferry leaves you, you can find the only nudist part of the island.
It is recommended that you bring your own towels. The restaurant is open all year long and runs on solar energy. The prices are quite decent considering it is the only restaurant in the area.
6. Eva Senses Hotel
For those who want to skip the beaches and cold waters, there are always a few hotels with their own pool that welcome people who do not stay in their hotels. I found that the best hotel is Eva Senses. There is great music, a nice pool with 360° views of the city and great cocktails.
Where to eat
If you need your morning dose of coffee or your sweet tooth kicks in, head to Choco & Nut for some delicious waffles and pancakes. The choices are many and you may get tempted to order more than you can eat. But is well worth it, since everything is yummy and the prices great.
Do not skip the chance to eat the best burger in Faro. The restaurant is underground but quite charming with impeccable service. If the weather allows it, you can eat outside. The burgers are homemade, juicy and tasty with a great quality of meat. What is great about this place is that you get high-quality food at great prices.
If you are looking for unique dishes and great wine, then Pigs and Cows is for you. Here you will taste the best food in Faros, and one of the priciest ones. However, the prices are well worth it. Pigs and cows do not have a fixed menu since they love to experiment and surprise their guests with new dishes pretty often.
Faro may be small but is quite charming. I would recommend you only spend a day since there is not much to do. But you can walk around, enjoy the different style of Faro and embrace the cosiness of a small town.