municipality and city in Portugal

Faro is a city in the Algarve region of Portugal that is a popular sun destination in the summer, and a base for exploring the surrounding area.

One of the many streets of Faro's small but charming downtown.
For the island in Sweden, see Fårö.

UnderstandEdit

Faro is the southernmost city in mainland Portugal. During summer, Faro is a popular destination for sun-seekers from northern Europe and the UK, especially due to the presence of its international airport. It also enjoys a reputation as being more friendly than many other parts of the region.

Outside of summer, the beach-goers are mostly gone, but it is still a base to explore the more remote areas of the Algarve, a convenient stop between Lisbon and Seville (or Spain in general), and what it loses in partying outside summer, it gains in peacefulness, reverting to a quaint and charming small city.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

  • 1 Faro Airport (FAO IATA Aeroporto Internacional de Faro). Many package tour and discount airlines arrive from the UK and Ireland, mainland Europe and Canada. There is a large group of car hire agencies if you turn right after the main exit. From the airport, there is a possibility to go to the city by buses 14 or 16 operated by Proximo, departing roughly every hour. The price is €2.35.    

By trainEdit

  • 2 Faro train station (Estação de Faro). Train station is a small building, which contains ticket office, small waiting area and kiosk. There are no luggage lockers inside the train station, but it is possible to store your luggage in tourism agency on 1st platform. The Alfa Pendular - a high-speed train, runs at least twice a day to and from Lisbon. About 2½ hours, €20 one way, €25 on first class. The Inter City trains run more frequently but take a little longer, with more stops — 3½-4 hours. There are also regional trains along the Algarve coast to Lagos.

By busEdit

  • 3 Faro bus station (Terminal Rodoviario Urbano). There is a daily bus service from Lisbon and Porto in the north of Portugal, and from Madrid and Seville in Spain. A fare from Lisbon to Faro costs either €18 (for an "Expresso" connection takes about 4 hours, stopping in Albufeira, Vilamoura and Quarteira) or €19 (for a "Expresso Qualidade" direct connection which takes just over 3 hours and includes a movie projection, a stewardess, and a mini-bar service) and can easily be bought at the bus station just before boarding. This bus station in Lisbon is next to a subway stop called Jardim Zoológico.

For buses from and to local nearby towns and cities, checkout the timetables of the local transport company Eva Bus.

By carEdit

Car hire is an option for visitors. You can arrange car hire at the airport, however, as with many tourist locations it is wise to arrange your vehicle hire prior to arrival - this can save both money (the airport car rental desks can be far more expensive) and disappointment as availability during peak season may be very limited. Organising it from home before you arrive is now a very simple process with numerous companies specialising in pre-booking car hire in Faro.

Roads can be quite busy, but if you want to see a bit more of the city and indeed the Algarve region then driving by car is an easy option. Driving in the Algarve region is far easier than in the rest of Portugal, there are more non-toll roads and road-signs are plentiful and relevant.

By boatEdit

Main harbours: Portimao, Faro.

 
Map of Faro

Get aroundEdit

On footEdit

Downtown is small, and transport convenient: The train and main bus station being within 150 m of one another. Walking is very viable for most visitors.

By busEdit

Urban buses are run by the Eva company, that also connect Faro with other cities in Algarve and Andalusia.

Local buses are run by the Proximo company. Buses 14 and 16 go around the city, to the airport and to the beach of Faro. Tickets can be bought from the driver for €2.35.

By carEdit

It can be difficult to find a parking slot in the center. Most of the parking stations near the restaurants and shopping malls are payable. However, there is a free car park located along side the bus station which is close to the Hotel Faro and a huge free car park located behind the old town heading in the direction of Olhao.

By boatEdit

The ferry to Desert Island is runing for €5 one way.

The ferry to Faro Beach has been suspended as of Oct 2020.

SeeEdit

 
Part of the ceiling of the Bone Chapel.
  • 1 Bone Chapel (Capela dos Ossos (inside Igreja do Carmo)). Within Igreja do Carmo church, this chapel is almost completely made of bones taken from a former monk graveyard. €2.
  • 2 Old town (Centro Historico). A well-preserved section of town off the harbour with cobblestone streets and 18th century Portuguese and Moorish-influenced architecture. It is great place for a peaceful and almost private walk back in time in an area that has been virtually untouched by modernity.
  • 3 Cathedral (Se). Within the old town, the view from the tower over the old town and the Rio Formosa is a highlight. €3.50.

DoEdit

  • 1 Ria Formosa National Park. In Faro and Olhão you have the possibility to enjoy and make the most of Ria Formosa through a boat trip, birdwatching tours, kayaking or other eco tours and other activities to discover the nature and wildlife of this Natural Park. Several companies offer packages and tours fit to everyone's needs. Ask at the tourist information or at your accommodation.    
  • 2 Faro beach (Praia de Faro). This beach is several kilometres long and so normally never gets crowded, even in the height of summer. Most of the beach is gently sloping though it can take a sudden dip in places. There are the usual beach-side stalls and a public lavatory, but no showers. Praia de Faro is just past the airport, the airport bus stops there. A lot of people with early check-outs and late flights seem to go there on their last day.
  • Faro Jewish Heritage Centre, Rua Leao Penedo (in front of Faro Hospital), +351 289829525. 9.30-12.30 and 14.00-17.00. Established in 1851, the Faro Jewish Cemetery is the only remaining vestige of the first post-Inquisition Jewish presence in Portugal. It served as a burial place for a thriving 60 family community (also known as "Little Jerusalem"). The Jews of Portugal were expelled by the Inquisition at the end of the 15th century and settled in Gibraltar and North Africa. After the devastating 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, their descendants were invited by the Marquis of Pombal to help rebuild the economy. Although the community is long gone, the Cemetery still remains to remind citizens and travellers of its former glory. The Faro Jewish Heritage Centre features over one hundred graves in Sephardi style, with beautifully engraved slabs instead of headstones. Although the land was purchased by the Jewish community in 1851, the first burial, that of Rabbi Toledano, dates back to 1838. Apart from the Cemetery, there is also a museum, housing many objects linked to the history of the Jews of Faro, like the furniture from one of the two former synagogues of Faro or the facsimile copy of Gacon's 1478 Pentateuch in Hebrew - the first book ever printed in Portugal! Free.

BuyEdit

EatEdit

  • A Tasca, 38 Rua do Alportel, Faro, +351 289 824 739. This is a typical Algarvian restaurant serving typical regional cuisine at average prices. They do not accept Credit Cards.
  • Camané, Ilha de Faro, Faro, +351 289 817 236. A swanky beach restaurant with upmarket Portuguese cuisine. It's popular with business people and the richer Algarve socialites. They accept credit cards and are closed on Mondays.
  • Dois Irmãos, 20 Largo Terreiro do Bispo, Faro, +351 289 823 337. Found in an old small corner house in the square opposite the Cathedral. International cuisine. They accept credit cards.
  • Hotel Monte do Casal, Estrada de Moncarapacho á Estoi, +351 289 990 140. A charming converted manor house in a comfortable rural hotel set back from the coast. The restaurant is run by a Michelin trained Chef called George who provides an exciting menu. Credit cards accepted.
  • O Costa, Ilha de Faro, +351 289 817 442. Located on Faro Island to the south of the airport, O Costa serve well presented cuisine prepared by chef Fabienne Costa who does credit to traditional Portuguese Algarvian dishes with a touch of finesse.
  • Le Marquis, Monte da Palhagueira, Santa Barbara de Nexi, +351 916076540. Wonderful building and position, inside decor traditional in style but table settings and modern food. A very personal experience from Helma and Vincent. The menu was impressive, something for every palette.
  • Adega Nova, 24 Rua Francisco Barreto, 8000-344, +351 289 813433. A unique restaurant in the middle of Faro that appears like a pub from northern Europe. Busy and lively restaurant with smoking and non smoking areas. Attentive, professional staff. Reasonably priced

DrinkEdit

  • Bar CheSsenta, Rua do Prior 34. On the Rua do Prior which is the main bar and cafe street in Faro, this small bar is decorated with many photos of Che Guevara and attracts a 20s-30s crowd with reasonably priced drinks. They do karaoke on some nights also.
  • Conselheiro Bar, Rua Conselheiro Bívar 72, Faro, 8000-255, +351 966488531. A one-stop place, which is very well known and always full. It is divided between three distinct areas: The main (as you enter) has a very wide bar that attracts the older clientele, in the next room is the dance floor and a well equipped bar, an ideal place for the more rowdy nights and a chill out room over two floors, ideal for relaxing, playing pool or video games.
  • Bora Bar, 1 Rua do Compromisso. 04:00 close. Located next to the Hotel Faro in the hub of nightlife of Faro, Bora Bar attracts a younger crowd and the staff are welcoming and friendly. Friday is ladies night and there are drink offers every night of the week.
  • Upa Upa Café Bar, 51 Rua Conselheiro Bivar. Very popular with the locals and tourists, Upa Upa draws a rich mixture of people. Tables overflow onto its spacious patio. It's a great place to have a drink while mixing with the locals and other tourists.
  • Dux, Rua do Prior 38 8000, +351 289282468. This nightclub is popular amongst the younger crowd and is frequented by both the locals and tourists. If you're looking to party until the early hours of the morning, this is the place to go.

SleepEdit

Faro has a thriving trade in both package deal hotels and short-term apartment rental. If that fails, locals have become very comfortable renting out every scrap of space in their homes to desperate travellers. Book months in advance for the high season and note that many places are closed during the low season.

  • Hostel Casa d'Alagoa, Praça Alexandre Herculano, 27, Faro, +351 289 813 252, . First Hostel in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, is centrally located near Faro "Old Town", a 5-minute walk from the marina and to some of Faro's most important monuments and museums. The only deserted beach during the summer in the Algarve is 30 min away by boat from Faro. 24-hour reception, BBQ area, breakfast, common room, Internet access, guest kitchen, linen included, luggage storage, outdoor terraced area and bike rental.
  • Pousada de São Brás de Alportel - São Brás, Charming Hotel, 8150-054 São Brás de Alportel, +351 289 842 305, +351 289 842 306, fax: +351 289 841 726, . A charming hotel in the Algarve mountain range, half an hour from the coast and near the most famous beaches in Portugal, this has and still maintains the most genuine characteristics of the region's culture. Near this charming Algarve hotel are some golf courses, such as the Monte Rei, the Benamor and the Quinta da Ria golf course, these are some of the best greens for the practice of golf in Algarve.
  • Hotel Eva is a 4-star hotel overlooking the harbor and the Cidade Velha. It is walking distance from everything and is well worth the few extra euro.
  • Hotel Faro, Praça D. Francisco Gomes N2 Faro, +351 289 830 830, fax: +351 289830829, .
  • Hotel Ibis Faro, E.N. 125 Pontes de Marchil, +351 289 893 800.
  • Hotel Mónaco, Rua João Baptista Severino Urb. Monte da Ria - Montenegro 8005-237 Faro (From all directions take directions to Faro/airport. Once on the EN125-10 (airport road - dual carriage way) take exit signs (Montenegro/Universidade), on the flyover roundabout follow the exit towards Faro and sign Hotel, descending from the roundabout, take the immediate right turn. Hotel is 100 m away.), +351 289895060. Check-in: After 14:00, check-out: Before noon. Hotel Mónaco is the nearest hotel to Faro airport, Algarve University and Algarve Stadium. Low/High: €45/55 single, €52/70 double or twin.
  • Faro Lounge Guesthouse, 72 Av. da Republica Sao Pedro, +351 969 989 369. A cheap guesthouse in Faro. They offer dorms for 12 and 16 people.
  • [dead link] Pensao Tivoli - Guest House Tivoli, Praca Alexandre Herculano, 6 (from the Arch of the Old City head along Rua da Misericordia then Rua Alexandre Herculano, after 5 minutes you come to the Praca and the Tivoli is the corner building on your left), +351 289 829 825. A beautiful building with classic decor with restored antique furniture in most of the rooms. Clean and bright.
  • Hostel Faro - Hostel 33, Rua Miguel Bombarda 33, Faro, +351 96 972 13 60, . Hostel 33 is in a building full of history in Faro, Algarve, Portugal, is centrally located in the old town area of Faro, 10 minutes from Faro Airport by taxi, 2 minutes walking distance from the bus station and 40 metres from the train station, offer accommodation in 4, 6 and 8 bed mixed dorms and we also have twin rooms available, each with a private bathroom and balcony, 24-hr open reception desk, Full Wi-Fi coverage, guest kitchen, Outdoor terraced área.

Stay safeEdit

Faro and the Algarve region are reasonably safe year round. Pickpockets are not unheard of, however, especially near beaches at night, so be on your guard.

Go nextEdit


This city travel guide to Faro is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.