Flight Time From UK: 2hrs 40mins
Best Time to Visit: I recommend visiting during May. The tourists are few and far between, but the weather is still lovely.
We were warned when we were there that the summer months get extremely busy, and queuing for boats and restaurants etc can be really difficult – I would say avoid these months as it was so much nicer to have good weather, but no queues or waiting for anything!
My Top 3 places to visit in Faro
A Rooftop Bar
To be completely honest this trip was not about sightseeing at all. The plan was to chill out and relax as much as possible and eat and drink as much food as possible too!
Pretty much all we did in Faro was wander around the city, take a rib out to an island and then went for dinner and cocktails every evening – it was perfect.
Faro was really lovely in terms of the size of the city as it wasn’t too big or overwhelming at all, and I felt like we saw everything we wanted to see, and relaxed in the five days that we were there for.
I would 100% recommend visiting around May as the weather was warm and reliable, and there weren’t crowds of tourists and all bars and restaurants had a good atmosphere, but weren’t crowded or too busy – it was perfect!
Our favourite thing was Ilha Desserta which is an island off the coast of Faro. You can take a ferry from Faro which takes around 45 minutes, or a rib which is a lot faster at around 10 to 15 minutes. We took the rib which was a lot of fun, and made the journey super quick and easy. If you are doing this I seriously suggest taking a hoody if you get cold because after an afternoon at the beach, being battered in the wind on a rib is not ideal!!
The streets are fun to walk around, with lots of graffiti and old buildings, little shops and restaurants. The food was amazing, and we pretty much ate out for every meal the whole time which is quite unlike me. I love to stay in air bnbs to use the kitchen and spend my money going out after dinner, or on day trips, but the food here was really worth spending money on, and as with most of Europe – a lot cheaper than eating out in the UK.
I had fish for every meal, including a huge sea bass which was prepared for us at our table one evening! I don’t know what they do to the food here but everything was on another level – even the veg was incredible and luckily for me there was lots of sorbet so I could enjoy dessert too!
The wine was amazing (I definitely had too much), and so were the cocktails. We found a great rooftop bar above Restaurante Alameda at around 3pm and ended up staying here for hours. The vibe was really calm and relaxed, and the views of the city were amazing. The cocktails were delicious and the sun was shining – what more could you want?!
Another rooftop bar we found was actually in a hotel, but it overlooked the harbour and was the ideal spot for people watching, and plane watching! The bar itself is called Cosmopolitan Rooftop Bar, but can be accessed through the Hotel Faro. If you are going to Faro I highly recommend both of these bars, for totally different reasons and with completely different vibes – Restaurante Alameda for the day and Cosmopolitan Rooftop Bar for an after dinner tipple.
There is definitely a lot more to do here in terms of seeing museums and exploring the cathedral etc, however we were really happy to wander around the buildings and spend the rest of our time on the island or stuffing our faces haha! It was also national workers day whilst we were there so the day we had planned to explore, the museums and tourist attractions were unfortunately closed.
There is a great shopping district in Faro, with one of my favourite European shops – Ale Hop! What I love about Faro is that everything is pretty close together, so you can visit an island on the ferry, and stroll through the shopping district, past bars and restaurants and through the harbour and past the main sights all within 20 minutes or so.
I recommend Faro to anyone looking for a city vibe on a small scale, who wants to sight see, but also relax. It is the perfect location for a mix of city life and venturing out to beautiful beaches, with a very chilled feel, but atmosphere and vibrancy if you are looking for it.
Planning a trip to Edinburgh?