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Recommended Albufeira Old Town Guide + Things to do 2023 

the view of old town albufeira portugal with a beautiful sea view and fisherman's beach

Albufeira Old Town is one of the most visited places in the entire Algarve region of Southern Portugal. This ancient fishing village with cobbled streets, and a rocky coastline has won over the hearts of thousands of visitors every year. 

Albufeira is open all year long, and while winter in Portugal has a much quieter atmosphere the stunning beaches during the peak summer months are always worth experiencing too.  

Be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes if you plan on exploring all day, the steep hills and cobblestone streets can be hard to manage. You are going to love visiting Albufeira old town!

I also have put together a guide and an itinerary for a weekend in Albufeira if you only have a few days to spend.

Faro Airport private transfer to Albufeira old town.

a view of old town albufeira with white buildings and trees

When to Visit Albufeira Old Town 

If you’re planning a trip to the stunning Albufeira Old Town in Portugal, timing is everything! This charming, historic area is a treat to explore any time of year, but there are definitely sweet spots in the calendar when it’s particularly delightful.

Spring (March-May): While the rest of Europe is still shaking off winter, Albufeira starts to warm up nicely. The Old Town’s narrow streets come alive with blossoming flowers. The temperatures are comfortable, usually between 15-20°C. It’s also less crowded than peak summer months, which lets you enjoy the best things to do in Albufeira old town, at your own pace. 

Summer (June-August): This is when Albufeira truly shines! With temperatures soaring up to 30°C, it’s the perfect time for beach lovers. The Old Town is buzzing with activity, full of vibrant local festivals and music events. Be prepared for larger crowds, though!

Autumn (September-November): Similar to spring, autumn offers mild weather with fewer tourists. The sea remains warm enough for swimming until mid-October. It’s also the season of the Algarve Nature Festival and the Albufeira Fish & Flavours Festival, so foodies and nature lovers, take note!

Winter (December-February): If you prefer quiet exploration, winter in Portugal is ideal. The weather is cooler (around 15-18°C), but still pleasant compared to most of Europe. In December Albuferia’s old town transforms into a beautiful winter wonderland!

the sunny blue sky looking over old town albufeira

Albufeira Old Town Beaches 

There are over 26 beaches in Albufeira. And there are two beaches in Albufeira old town on that list! You already know that the beaches in Algarve are some of the best in the world. Plan to spend at least one day at the beach, you are going to love it!

Fisherman’s Beach | Praia Dos Pescadores 

Praia dos Pescadores, also known as Fishermen’s Beach, is a large and bustling main beach located right in the heart of Albufeira’s old town. The beach is known for its warm golden sand and plenty of sunbeds available for rent. It offers a picturesque setting with the backdrop of the old town.

This blue flag beach on the Atlantic south coast of the Algarve has a large shore and is the perfect place to relax and soak in the sun. You will see all types of travelers from day drinkers to families with beach toys. 

If you walk down the shore the eastern side is known as Praia dos Alemães. There are sea stacks and caves to play around in. 

Praia dos Pescadores is the most popular beach in Albufeira, with a great stretch of sand at the foot of Albufeira, and neighboring other popular beaches like Tunel, Inatel, and Alemaes.

abbey Carter and Jake the dog walking along Fishermans beach in albuferia old town portugal

Praia do Peneco Beach in Old Town Albufeira

Praia do Peneco, also known as Praia do Túnel, is one of the main beaches in Albufeira, Portugal. This stunning sandy beach is part of the same stretch of sand as Albufeira’s other town beaches, making it a popular spot for beach hopping. 

One of the unique features of Praia do Peneco is its easy beach access. You can reach the beach via stairs, an elevator, or even a tunnel, hence the name, Praia do Tunel. Once you’re there, you’ll be greeted by a clean and beautiful beach that offers a perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming.

The beach is framed by massive cliffs of yellow sandstone, creating a striking contrast with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. From the top of these cliffs, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and breathtaking sunsets.

Praia do Peneco is not just about natural beauty, it is also a hot spot There are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, so you can easily grab a bite to eat or pick up some souvenirs.

a beautiful beach in albufeira old town

Albufeira Old Town Square | Jardim Público de Albufeira 

Albufeira Old Town Square, often referred to as the beating heart of Albufeira, is a historic centre with cobblestone streets surrounded by traditional buildings. This tree-shaded square is a delightful mix of old-world charm and modern amenities.

The Old Town Square is also a hub for entertainment. It’s not uncommon to find live music performances or other events happening in the square, particularly in the evening. This makes it a lively spot for people-watching and soaking up the local culture. 

During December, Albufeira’s old town turns into a Christmas market with an ice skating rink, and Santa comes to town. 

the square of albuferia old town with restaurants and people walking about

In the heat of the summer, the square is buzzing with people, all drawn to the lively atmosphere. The quaint cobbled streets, white-washed painted buildings, and winding alleys are perfect for exploring on a sunny afternoon.

Local artists provide special entertainment throughout the summer. Showcasing Albufeira’s roots and traditions. From music performances to traditional dances, there’s always something happening in the square.

In addition to these experiences, the Old Town Square is also in walking distance to explore the rest of Albufeira town. Many walking tours start from the square, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the history and culture of this charming town. 

Things to do in Albufeira Old Town 

Check out our things to do in the Albufeira Old Town weekend guide! You will have so many amazing things to do in the atmospheric albufeira old town square!

Boat Trips | Dolphin Watching 

A Boat trip to see the Bengail caves and dolphin watching is a popular tour option. You cruise along the shoreline for about 18 kilometers (9 miles). For a more luxurious experience, you can charter a private yacht boat trip for a better chance to see dolphins. There’s always the option to add water sports to your tours as well!

Water and Theme Parks in Albufeira

There’s more to love than just beautiful beaches in the Algarve. They also have plenty of water parks to enjoy.

Aquashow Park is the biggest water and thematic park in Portugal. Complete with an outdoor swimming pool, children’s spaces, slides, restaurants, and bars. It is located near the Algarve’s beaches of Quarteira and Vilamoura.

A ticket to the Zoomarine park will give you a first-row seat to the dolphin show, access to the extensive aquarium, and a spot to relax at the Zoomarine private beach.

The Logo slide and Splash Water Park have 25 attractions ensuring fun for the whole family. Enjoy huge waterslides, shaded cabanas, massages, spa centers, restaurants, and even shopping.

Albufeira Municipal Museum of Archeology

Set inside a beautiful Roman Villa is one of the best things to do in Albufeira. Learn about the historical architecture of Albufeira for only €1 for adults and kids are free. You start with a video, that can translated into multiple languages before you start your tour.

Address to the Municipal Museum in Old Town Albufeira Portugal.

Museum of Sacred Art in Old Town

The Museum of Sacred Art is right in the heart of Albufeira’s old town square. Inside a beautiful whitewashed ancient church. It is small but worth the stop while exploring Albufeira. The inside is even better from the outside with tiled floors and stunning displays of art to view.

Sacred Art Museum Address.

an old historic church with white facade turned into a museum

Bell Tower 

The bell, which strikes every hour, is completely free to enter. During the day it makes for a good photo op against the blue sky and at night, it is outlined by beautiful lights. The view of the Atlantic Ocean from the towers and adjacent castle towers is amazing.

Find the Clock tower here.

the pretty bell towers in the old town Albufeira

Shopping in Albufeira Old Town 

Shopping is another activity that draws visitors to Old Town Square. The surrounding streets are filled with a variety of Albufeira old-town shops selling everything from clothing and accessories to local crafts of cork and souvenirs. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a memento of your trip, you’re sure to find it here.

  1. Rua 5 de Outubro: This street runs parallel to Avenida da Liberdade, which is Albufeira’s main shopping area. It’s lined with an array of boutiques and stores where you can find everything from local pottery to contemporary fashion.
  2. Avenida Da Liberdade: Known for its sophisticated and upmarket stores, this avenue is perfect if you’re looking for high-end shopping.
  3. Albufeira Shopping: Located in the heart of the Old Town, this shopping center has a wide selection of stores including popular brands like H&M, C&A, Zara, Mango, and Pull&Bear.
  4. Mercado Municipal dos Caliços: For a more local shopping experience, head over to this municipal market. You’ll find fresh produce, local delicacies, and other goods.
  5. Côrte-Real Gallery: If you’re interested in art, don’t miss this gallery. It features a collection of contemporary art pieces, perfect for art lovers.
  6. BAM Art Gallery: Another spot for art enthusiasts, this gallery showcases a variety of artworks from local and international artists.

Restaurants in Albufeira Old Town 

Check out our guide to the many restaurants in old town Albufeira Portugal. Down below is a short list of some of the top picks. You can also grab snacks and drinks along the way in the mini-marts, it’s a great way to save money!

Os Arcos Restaurante For Lunch

Os Arcos sits on a cobbled street with a choice of tables outside, allowing you to people watch and the world go by. Or grab a seat inside in the quaint surroundings to beat the heat. Try the Fish soup, freshly steamed shrimp, or juicy T-bone steak.

live music 

address to Os Arcos Restaurante

Restaurante The Cockerel For Dinner

The Cockerel is where you need to go for a hearty meal in Old Town Albufeira. Steak pie, a variety of steaks, and fish and chips are the most popular meals. The value for your money here goes very far.

Address for Restaurante The Cockerel.

Bistro For Great Food

The Bistro is a hidden gem in the heart of town. Try the shrimp with seafood cream sauce, dinner lamb ribs, or the duck pat for a wonderful meal.

Bistro Address in Albufeira.

Hotels in Old Town Albufeira 

There are so many amazing resorts in Albufeira. When staying in the heart of Old Town you will be close enough to the best nightlife, restaurants, and things to do. It may be a bit loud during the summer, but if you a night owl then it’s all good! Here are a few of the many hotels to pick from.

a beautiful photo of the albuferia old town in the summer

Bellavista Avenida with Views

Bellavista Avenida is one of the best places to stay in the old town Albufeira. Enjoy a balcony, a full kitchen, and comfy rooms.

Check rates here: Booking.com

INATEL Albufeira on The Beach

INATEL Albufeira is not technically located in Old Town, but it’s right on Fisherman’s Beach and is a wonderful place to stay. They have a terrace right on the shoreline and great rooms with everything you need!

Book your Seaview room: Booking.com

the Intel hotels in albufeira old town at sunrise with orange skies and the ocean

Best Beaches in Albufeira Portugal 

There are so many beautiful beaches in Albufeira. Now, these following few beaches are not in Albufeira’s old town, but they are close enough! During peak season these beaches are going to be full of people living their best lives! There are usually lifeguards for your safety, beach bars, and places to grab cold drinks!

a hiking trail on top of one of the beaches in Alubfeira. with orange sand and blue water

Praia da Oura Beach | Near Old Town

First up is the beautiful Praia da Oura Beach. This is the closest beach to the Strip, or new town, and comes to life at nighttime. During the day you can rent beach chairs for around 9 euro, or enjoy the day in the sand. There are caves to explore, or rent a cheap paddle boat nearby! To get here you can walk from town, hire a tuk-tuk, or stroll down from Fisherman’s beach!

Address to Praia da Oura.

Praia de São Rafael | Beautiful Sunset Spot

Next up is Praia de Sao Rafael. This is a wonderful sandy beach that is wrapped around sea cliffs. It is just a few minutes from Albufeira’s old town and is always worth the trip. The sunset here brings a large crowd on the walking paths on top of the sea stacks. During the day you can enjoy the beautiful blue water and grab a drink at the cute beach bar!

Sao Rafael beach 

me sitting on top of a hill on the beach of sao Rafael

Praia da Coelha | Picture Perfect

Praia da Coelha is another beautiful, sandy beach. Small, but still very nice. You can climb up have a short hike and explore the caves. It tends to be a bit less touristy than some of the other Albufeira beaches. If you do go for an Algarve hike through the caves, be careful to watch the tide, as it fills up fast when the waves come crashing through.

Address to Praia da Coelha

me at one of the albufeira old town beaches. with sunset coming in and the blue water

Olhos de Água | Beach Bars

Olhos de Agua is another Albufeira beach with orange sandstone cliffs and dreamy clear water. This beach is a bit smaller than some of the others, but the entertainment factor brings it up on the list. You can enjoy a nice cold drink from one of the many beach bars and restaurants with a view. Listen to the waves crash along the golden beach while you indulge in a cocktail or two.

Address to Olhos de Agua

Praia Dos Arrifes | Family Beach + Snorkeling

Small beach with golden sands, tide pools, toilet facilities, a lifeguard, and a cozy cafe on site. There is free parking nearby or you can take the short 20-minute walk from the old town. The water is safe enough for swimming and people enjoy snorkeling here as well.

Address to Praia Dos Arrifes

a view from the top of cliff with pretty blue water and orange cliffs

Albufeira Marina 

The Albufeira marina is known for its distinctive and colorful buildings overlooking the water and fishing boats. It looks like something out of the Nickelodeon theme park. There are numerous shops, fresh fish restaurants, and bars lining the waterfront.

The marina is a ten-minute walk from the center of the Old Town of Albufeira. And is close to the beaches of Arrifes and Sao Rafael.

For those interested in activities, the marina offers boat tours, dolphin watching trips, and fishing expeditions. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks, and explore the nearby caves and secluded beaches.

the colorful building in the albufeira marina

Areias de São João (The Strip) New Town Albufeira Portugal 

Albufeira town consists of two sections, the old and the new town. The Albufeira Strip, also known as Avenida Francisco Sá Carneiro or Monte Choro Strip, is a vibrant and lively area known for Albufeira’s nightlife.

The strip runs from the Montechoro down to Praia da Oura Beach. It’s a hub of activity with nightclubs, local bars, and plenty of restaurants. Popular spots along The Strip include Matt’s Bar, Wild & Co., and Kiss Disco Club.

It’s been compared to a mini-Las Vegas due to its neon-lit bars and club. As the sun sets, music spills out from the bars and clubs, street vendors set up their stalls, and party people start to fill the streets. The party goes on until the very early hours of the morning. In the summer the party can run until the sun comes up!

Apart from the nightlife, there are also plenty of shops along The Strip. You can find everything from souvenirs to new clothing. So, if you’re looking for wild nightlife, cool cocktails, awesome food, and a vibrant atmosphere, The Strip in Albufeira is the ideal place for you.

a beautiful view of the strip in albufeira portugal

Alternatives to Albufeira: the Most Beautiful Places in the Algarve

The best beaches in the Algarve. So there’s more to see than just Albufeira. here are some of the best Albufeira alternatives. There are plenty of places to day trips too if you want to keep your home base in Albufeira’s old town. 

Lagos Portugal

One of the alternatives to Albufeira is Lagos. There are so many things to do in Lagos Portugal

  1. Authenticity: Lagos is often described as having a more authentic and genuine Portuguese vibe compared to Albufeira, which can sometimes feel very touristy.
  2. Cuisine: Lagos is known for its unique Portuguese cuisine and offers a variety of food options for vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians alike. Check out the Best Restaurants in Lagos.
  3. Beaches: Both cities have beautiful beaches, but Lagos’s main beach is one of the longest in the Algarve. Additionally, Lagos boasts stunning, long, flat beaches that attract visitors from around the world. View the best beaches in Lagos Portugal.
  4. Quieter Atmosphere: Lagos is generally more laid-back than Albufeira, offering a more relaxed and peaceful holiday experience. There is still plenty of Lagos Nightlife to enjoy!
  5. Exploration: In Lagos, you can delve more into exploring the coastal region of the Algarve.
me walking along the shore of one of the beaches in lagos

Faro Capital of the Algarve

Staying in Faro is always a good time. It’s convent as the international Faro Airport is just a few miles away. Check out the best beach hotels in Faro!

  1. Historical Appeal: Faro is the capital of the Algarve and has so much history. It offers more of a traditional Portuguese experience than visiting Albufeira.
  2. Less Touristy: Unlike Albufeira, which is a popular tourist spot, Faro tends to be less crowded, providing a more relaxed and authentic experience, even for Faro nightlife.
  3. Beautiful Beaches: While Albufeira is known for its beaches, Faro also offers beautiful beaches with long stretches of golden sand and turquoise waters. There are many more tours leaving Faro than in Albuferia. Some of the best restaurants in Faro are right on the shoreline.
  4. Day Trips: Faro’s location makes it an excellent base for exploring other towns in the Algarve. For instance, Tavira and Olhao are excellent day trip destinations east of Faro.
  5. Cultural Experiences: Faro offers a variety of cultural experiences, from its historic old town to its museums and cathedrals. There are so many things to do in Faro!
a nun in faro walking under the arch at sunset with pretty shadows

Beach town Carvoeiro

For a quieter laid-back vacation, the beach town of Carvoeiro is the perfect place for you. Here are some reasons why!

Scenic Beauty: Carvoeiro is known for its natural beauty. The village is nestled on a hillside overlooking a small bay framed by towering cliffs. The beach at Carvoeiro is a shady sandy bay where fishing boats are still docked in the sand.

Hiking Trails: There are several scenic walking trails in and around Carvoeiro. One of the best hikes in the Algarve is the Seven Hanging Valleys trail.

Golf: Carvoeiro is the perfect destination for golfers. These include the Vale de Milho, Gramacho, and Vale da Pinta courses.

Day Trips: From Carvoeiro, it’s easy to take day trips to other parts of the Algarve, such as the historic city of Silves to see the castles in Portugal.

one of the beaches in Albuferia with a blue sea and sea caves

Which is better Old Town or New Town Albufeira?

cobble stone streets along the albufeira old town. there are yellow walls and cobblestone streets

It’s hard to say which is better old town or New town Albufeira. Choosing between Old Town and New Town in Albufeira largely depends on personal preferences. Old Town Albufeira is a family-friendly area. The city center has cobbled streets and historic buildings. The Old Town offers beautiful views of Albufeira and has a long sandy beach. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.

On the other hand, New Town Albufeira, centered around Praia da Oura and particularly The Strip, offers a more lively nightlife. Although it lacks the charming streets of the Old Town, it has everything you need for a fun vacation. The New Town area is less compact, with a long strip of bars, clubs, and restaurants.

What is the old town in Albufeira called?

the sunny blue sky looking over old town albufeira

The old town in Albufeira is called, “Old Town” or “Centro Histórico de Albufeira”. It’s known for its traditional seaside white-washed houses, fisherman’s beach, cobblestone streets, and a lively square called Largo Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco.

Where is the nicest part of Albufeira?

abbey Carter and Jake the dog walking along Fishermans beach in albuferia old town portugal

The nicest part of Albufeira is the historic old town! The Old Town is the historic heart of Albufeira with its narrow cobblestone streets, traditional houses, and vibrant squares. It’s full of charm and character with a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and art galleries.

Other nice parts include the Albufeira Marina, Praia da Oura, the strip or new town, Sao Rafael Beach, and Gale Beach.

How far is Albufeira Strip from the old town?

a walk way from albufeira to the strip

The Albufeira strip is 3 km away from the Old Town. The distance between the old and new town depends on where you start and end, but it’s approximately a 40-minute walk. There are also plenty of taxis and Uber or Bolt available if don’t want to walk.

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Abbey Rae

Fulltime Traveller, Blogger, SEO Writer

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