>  Cultural Experiences   >  Faro: A Traveler’s Oasis

Join me as we delve into the captivating sights and experiences that make Faro a must-visit destination, catering to the desires of fellow travel enthusiasts.

Faro Old Town

Our adventure begins in the enchanting Faro Old Town, where cobbled streets and historic architecture invite exploration. Wander through Arco da Vila, the city gate, and step back in time as you traverse the charming alleys. The Old Town exudes timeless elegance and offers an array of quaint shops, cafes, and cultural gems.

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The Miseric Church & Nucleo Museological Santa Casa da Misericordia

The Miseric Church (which is next to the museum) is Renaissance in design and dates back to the end of the 16th century. From the outside, it is possible to guess its structure: a single nave, with a bell tower attached to the western façade. Inside, the church’s only nave leads the visitor’s gaze to the main altar, in a headboard with a rectangular plan and a wooden vaulted roof.

Take advantage of the moment and visit the Museu de Arte Sacra da Igreja da Misericórdia, right next door.


Feira de Artesanato de Faro & Jardim Manuel Bivar

Near the marina is the Jardim Manuel Bivar which hosts artesian markets throughout the year. A nice place for a stroll as you continue on your way to the Arco dal Vila.


Arco da Vila

Arco da Vila is a monumental neo-classical archway leading to the old town, with remains of the original Moorish wall. On the inner niche, there is an Italian-made statue of Saint Thomas of Aquinas.

Faro Arco da Vila

Faro Cathedral (Sé Catedral de Faro)

Dive deeper into Faro’s rich history by visiting the Faro Cathedral, a majestic structure dating back to the 13th century. Marvel at its intricate architecture and ascend to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city.

  • Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 17:30
  • Admission: €3 for adults
Faro Cathedral

Faro Municipal Museum (Museu Municipal de Faro)

For cultural immersion, head to the Faro Municipal Museum, which houses artifacts that trace the city’s evolution. Explore exhibits on archaeology, ethnography, and fine arts.

  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission: €3.50 for adults

Belmarco Palace

The palace was commissioned by Manuel de Jesus Belmaro, a Farnese entrepreneur who returned to the town of his birth after making his fortune in Brazil. The palace is no longer a residential home but is now, and rather appropriately given its origins, the business headquarters of a modern-day entrepreneur, Joao Rodrigues.

  • Hours: Daily 9:00–18:00; closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Faro Palace

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Nature beckons at the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a coastal sanctuary just a short trip from the city. Take a boat tour to discover the diverse ecosystem of lagoons and barrier islands. The park is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

  • Tours are available daily, with prices starting at €25.

Faro Marina and Promenade

Indulge in a casual stroll along the Faro Marina and Promenade, where boats bob gently in the breeze. Enjoy a sunset cruise or savor fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. This picturesque setting is ideal for relaxation and capturing stunning travel memories.

Faro Marina

Ermida De S. Sebastiao (Chapel of Saint Sebastiao)

Located close to the Convent of Santo Antonio dos Capuchos, this small Baroque-style chapel was built at the end of the 15th century, located on the outside walls of Faro. Although the church was closed at the time of our visit it was worth to visit.

Faro San Sebastiao

Convento de Santo Antonio dos Capuchos

The outside facade of the Convent of Santo Antonio dos Capuchos is very plain, but the interior is embellished with gold leaf carvings from the 18th century. Some of the scenes on the wall depict the life of Saint Anthony.


The Capela dos Ossos (Bone Chapel) and Igreja do Carmo

This unusual chapel serves as the final resting place for over 1,250 skeletons, with bones filling every available space. Not only are the skeletons stored here, but they also form the chapels’ decorations with ghoulish geometric patterns created with bones and skulls.

The bodies were exhumed in 1816 from the overcrowded Faro cemeteries, which belonged to the Carmelite monks who once served in the Carmo church. The reason for them being exhumed is they needed more space in the cemeteries.

The Church of Carmo is equally interesting, featuring an imposing baroque façade with an intricately carved altar.

  • Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00–13:00 and 15:00–17:30; on Saturday, it is only open 10:00–13:00, and the chapel is closed all day Sunday.
  • Admission: 2 euros per person.

Faro, with its seamless blend of historical allure and coastal beauty, promises an unforgettable escape for travelers seeking authenticity and charm. Although Faro is a small town in the Algarve region, a two-day stay will be filled with captivating ancient cathedrals, cultural museums, or the tranquility of natural parks, So pack your bags, embrace the allure of Faro, and let this Portuguese gem weave its magic on your next travel journey.

Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

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Happy Travels!

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