Scenic view of the ocean and the town of Nazare from a rock mountain cliff, one of the best things to do in Nazare Portugal

17 Best Things to Do in Nazare (in 2023)

Don’t get caught up in the seemingly small size of this lovely seaside town – there are way more things to do in Nazare than you might think. When you visit Nazaré, you’ll find expansive beaches, scenic surroundings, and some of the freshest fish you’ve ever tried.

You could spend an entire week soaking up the area’s laidback energy. But it’s also easily accessible, making it one of the best day trips from Lisbon. When I traveled around Portugal for a month, Nazare was one of my favorite places in the whole country. 

Whether you’re visiting for a week or an afternoon, I can provide you with everything you need to know to fill your schedule in Nazare. 

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17 Things to Do in Nazare

Praia da Nazaré

Soak up the Portuguese sunshine and lounge on the town’s main attraction – Its pristine mile-long beach

View o mountain and town from the shore of Praia da Nazaré
Praia da Nazaré is the main attraction of the city

📍Google Maps | Phone: (262)-561-194 | Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset, daily | Entrance: Free | 👉 Browse Nazare Tours on Viator 

Praia da Nazaré is definitely the central feature of the town. It’s hard to miss Nazaré Beach as it runs along the main strip of shops and restaurants. Even though it’s a very popular destination, Praia da Nazare is a fairly large beach with plenty of room for the influx of visitors.

It’s basically a necessity to hang out at this soft sand beach when you visit Nazaré. I saw one of the most epic sunsets of my life here, and I recommend trying to catch a glimpse of the natural sunset show at Nazaré Beach. 

Afterward, grab a fish dinner at Restaurante Maria Do Mar right next to the ocean. 

👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Nazare

Praia do Norte

This beach’s world-famous huge waves broke a world record and put it on the map as one of the world’s premiere surfing destinations 

Tourists playing the waves at the shore of Praia do Norte
Praia do Norte has some of the biggest waves for surfing in the whole world thanks to the Nazaré Canyon

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset daily | Entrance: Free

Praia do Norte, or North Beach, is one of the best places to visit in Portugal for intense, adrenaline-pumping surfing. From October to March, huge waves crash upon the shores of North Beach. An underwater gorge called the Nazaré Canyon helps form these famous big waves. 

Even if you’re not a surfer, Praia do Norte should be on your Nazare bucket list. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the region with endless stretches of warm, golden sand. 

Just be aware that even in the off-season, the waves are ferocious. It’s also a bit of a difficult trek to get down to the beach itself. So, it might not be the best choice for families with young children. 

Miradouro da Pederneira

Get an expansive bird’s eye perspective over the narrow streets of Nazare and the Atlantic Ocean

Aerial view of downtown Nazare and the ocean from Miradouro da Pederneira
One of the best viewpoints in Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset daily | Entrance: Free

Now, let’s take a minute away from lounging on Nazare’s beaches to see the town from above at Miradouro da Pederneira. 

From this stunning lookout, you’ll have access to views over downtown Nazaré and the ocean beyond it. It gives you a different perspective than some of the other viewpoints around town and it’s often dubbed as the best one. 

Nazaré Funicular 

Ride this affordable cable car up to some of Nazare’s best views and well-known attractions

A funicular in the railway going around in Nazare
The funicular isn’t just a fun ride, but it also makes it way easier to get up to some of Nazare’s best views

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (262)-550-010 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 2 am Sun-Fri, 7 am – 12 am Sat | Entrance: €2.90 roundtrip 

Nazaré Funicular, also known as Ascensor da Nazaré around town, is both a form of public transportation and a nifty attraction. It conveniently takes you right to the upper neighborhood overlooking the rest of town and the beach. Along the ride, you’ll see increasingly more beautiful views of the area. 

Plus, hopping on the Nazaré Funicular won’t break the bank either. It only costs €2.90 roundtrip and there are options to get a weekly pass. When you get to the top, there are a few restaurants you could try. But, I’d go for lunch at Modern Tavern Zé d’Avo only a two-minute walk away from the funicular station. 

Mercado Municipal da Nazaré

Wander the fresh fruits, veggies, and fish at this local market to get a sense of the day-to-day life

Fishes being dried under the sun in Nazare
Nazare is known for its super fresh and delicious fish, all available at Mercado Municipal da Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (262)-550-010 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 1 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free

One of my favorite things to do when I’m backpacking in Europe is to check out the local markets. Even if I don’t buy anything, it’s an interesting peek into the area’s lifestyle. At Mercado Municipal da Nazaré, you’ll find all the traditional fare from vegetables and pastries to meat and fish. It’s busy, but it’s not quite as intense as the big markets in Lisbon or Porto. 

Keep in mind that Nazare Market is only open through the afternoon until 1 pm. So, you’ll want to visit bright and early in the morning. 

São Martinho do Porto Beach

A cozy, less intense beach near Nazare with smaller waves that’s ideal for families 

Aerial view of the scenic bay of São Martinho do Porto Beach
São Martinho do Porto Beach offers visitors calmer waters than other beaches in Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Sunset to Sunrise daily | Entrance: Free

The big waves at the beaches in Nazare might not sound like the best fit for families with children. However, only 15 minutes outside of Nazare’s city center there is a much quieter, secluded beach with calm waves; São Martinho do Porto Beach. 

It mainly attracts sailors looking for easygoing waters and families who want a safe, shallow place for their kids to play at the beach. There are also lots of tasty dining establishments nearby, like Baía Toscana. So, it’s effortless to visit this beach on a fun day trip. 

Barcos Salva Vidas 

Get a glimpse of traditional fishing boats at a free, open-air exhibit on the beach

Colorful traditional boats on the shore of Nazare
The colorful traditional boats of Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

Who doesn’t love a free, outdoor attraction that gives you a bit of history all right on the beach? Well, let me introduce you to Barcos Salva Vidas. This exhibit showcases a bunch of boldly-colored traditional boats on the shores of Nazare Beach. They’re the perfect place for a picture to capture Nazare’s essence. 

The boat attraction is always open and doesn’t cost a dime. So, if you’re traveling in Europe on a budget, it’s a great filler activity on a beach day. 

Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré

Take in the regional religious history at a hilltop church known for its tilework and Virgin Mary statue 

Façade of the Nossa Senhora da Nazaré in Portugal
The front of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré (photo: VicVa / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 2 pm – 7 pm Sun-Fri, 2 pm – 8 pm Saturday | Entrance: Free

Portugal is filled with all types of historical sites to see and that’s true of Nazaré too. Take the Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré for instance. The building dates back to the 17th century and has some of the most impressive architecture in the town. 

Located in the Sitio area, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora is close to many of the other attractions around Nazare. Including Miradouro do Suberco and Baloiço da Ladeira. If you’re looking to visit Nazare on a day trip, it’s easy to hit all these places in just an afternoon. 

Farol da Nazaré (Nazaré Lighthouse)

Walk along the edge of Nazare at this bright red lighthouse on edge of a 1,000-foot-high cliff 

Tourists watching the big waves from the bright red lighthouse of Nazare
Nazare’s bright red lighthouse in front of North Beach’s giant waves (photo: aleksey snezhinskij / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (938)-013-587 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8:30 pm daily | Entrance: Free

One of the most well-known attractions in Nazare is Farol da Nazaré, the little red lighthouse. It’s a very scenic spot. With the endless ocean as its backdrop, it sits atop jagged cliffs that are over 1,000 feet high. If you visit during the big wave season, it’s an especially striking location. 

The Nazare Lighthouse is located right next to São Miguel Arcanjo Fort. So, you should plan to visit both of these popular Nazare activities at the same time. Both of these attractions overlook Praia do Norte, too. 

Monte de São Bartolomeu

Do a leisurely 0.6-mile hike up to the top of this mountain to see the surrounding landscapes from above

Panoramic view of the green field and a viewing deck in Monte de Sao Bartolomeu
Get a panoramic view of the mountainside at Monte de Sao Bartolomeu

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

If you’re sick of all the beach days and need to get a little dose of mountain vibes, head off on a hike up Monte de São Bartolomeu. This is a pretty easy hike that might even be considered a stroll. Though, it can be taxing for young kids or people with mobility issues. 

Even though it only takes around 45 minutes to complete the trek, it offers some absolutely incredible views from the top. You can see all the way to the town and the ocean. But, it’s still very far removed from the busy streets of Nazare. 

Nazaré Surf School 

Take a hands-on lesson and learn how to surf, stand-up paddleboard, and kitesurf from the experts

A surfer with a surfboard walking along the shore of Nazare's beach
Nazare is one of the best places for surfing in Portugal

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (916)-386-907 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: Varies depending on lesson type and duration 

As you’ve probably gathered by now, surfing is a huge thing in Nazare. If you don’t have much experience with the sport, visiting Nazare could be your chance to learn! 

There are a few places that offer surfing lessons to newbies, but I’d recommend going with Nazare Surf School. They have individual lessons and group classes for surfing. The instructors are very friendly and will help you get up on a board even if you’ve never tried it before. Plus, there are also bodyboarding and stand-up paddle boarding lessons. 

If you already have some experience, you can rent a surfboard or a whole surf kit from here as well. 

São Miguel Arcanjo Fort

Explore a fort with well over 400 years of history and a surfboard exhibit inside 

Giant ocean waves crash on the rocks of São Miguel Arcanjo Fort
The historical fort’s backdrop is the expansive Atlantic Ocean

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (938)-013-587 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8:30 pm daily | Entrance: 1€

Located by the Nazare Lighthouse, São Miguel Arcanjo Fort is another one of Nazare’s historical attractions. But this particular historical site is different from any other I’ve visited before. That’s because it actually has an entire surfboard exhibit. Likely due to its close proximity to Praia do Norte. 

During the big wave season, the São Miguel Arcanjo Fort is an amazing spot to watch surfers do their thing. 

Miradouro do Suberco

After a steep stair climb to this viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with visibility over the picturesque streets and beach of Nazare

Aerial view of the town and the mountains from Miradouro do Suberco
Getting up to this view is a bit of a climb, but it’s completely worth the hike as you can see

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 daily | Entrance: Free

I think that Miradouro do Suberco is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nazare. Possibly even in the entire country of Portugal. 

To get to this viewpoint, you’ll need to walk up quite a few steep and slick steps. But, it’s 100% worth the excursion to get this unique perspective on Nazare. 

O Sitio Da Nazare

Grab some food from a vendor and sit at one of the seats overlooking the city at this high point of Nazare

Aerial view of the beach, mountains, and the town of Nazare
Views over Nazare and the beach from O Sitio

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

The picturesque neighborhood of O Sitio da Nazare is located on rocky cliffs high above the main city center of Nazare. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat in between visiting nearby places like Praia do Norte and Miradouro do Suberco. There is a bunch of public outdoor seating to appreciate the view and munch down. 

Alternatively, you can sit down and have a meal at one of the traditional restaurants nearby like O Luís or Sitiado. 

Ermida da Memória

An adorable little chapel covered in stunning blue painted tiles on the inside

A small chapel with flags and blue tiles around
One of Nazare’s smaller attractions is beautiful nonetheless

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (262)-550-100 | Website | Entrance: Free

From the outside, Ermida da Memoria doesn’t look like there is too much going on. However, on the inside, you’ll find a gorgeous small chapel that’s completely adjourned in the traditional blue tiles that Portugal is known for.

While you probably won’t spend the entire day here, it’s a nice in-between activity to grab a quick picture and see some Portuguese architecture. 

O Casalinho

Indulge in the fresh and delicious Barca de Marisco Grelhado platter at this local restaurant in Praça Sousa Oliveira

A dish of two fried fishes with vegetables around
The fish in Nazare is incredible, even if you’re not a fish fan 

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (262)-551-328 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 10 pm Mon-Fri, 12 pm –  10:30 pm Sat, 12 pm – 9:30 pm Sun, Closed Thursdays

I know that I’ll return to Nazare again one day soon just to eat the freshly caught fish from the top-quality restaurants around town. Like O Casalinho.

Located right next to Nazare beach, O Casalinho is a traditional seafood restaurant located in Praça Sousa Oliveira. They have some of the most delicious fish dishes I’ve ever tried in my life. Probably because it was caught by local fishermen that day. 

Make sure you order the Barca de Marisco Grelhado platter to get a taste of everything the restaurant has to offer. 

🛎️ Need a Hotel?: O Casalinho is located right near Nazare Beach and a bunch of other restaurants. If you want to stay in this area too, then I’d recommend checking out Hotel Mar Bravo. You’ll wake up with views of the beach right out your window. 

Baloiço da Ladeira

Swing right over the town of Nazare and snap an aesthetic photo for the ‘gram

A swing with the ocean and mountain in the background
Swing over the entire city of Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free 

Baloiço da Ladeira is one of those spots that make for a like-worthy Instagram picture. It’s just as exquisite as it looks through images. Just be aware that you might have to wait in a brief line to grab your chance at a photo. 

👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do in Lisbon, Portugal

Outdoor Sun Dried Fish Museum

Get a peek at the ancient tradition of fish drying along Praia da Nazare

A fisherman checking the racks of dried fish on the beach in Nazare
The dried fish display in the center of town will throw you for a loop if you don’t know about it

📍 Google Maps | Website | Entrance: Free

The Sun Dried Fish Museum is one of the more strange-sounding things to do in Nazare. I definitely did a double-take when I saw it without knowing what it was. But it’s a very interesting look at an ancient method of food preservation in the region. 

It’s located right on Praia da Nazare. Like most of the things around Nazare, this is another outdoor attraction that doesn’t require a ticket. So, it’s easy to visit just strolling by. Plus, it’s right near the traditional boat exhibit and Praça Sousa Oliveira.

👉 Always Forget to Pack Something? Just use my handy Portugal packing checklist of things to bring!

FAQs about Things to Do in Nazare

Is Nazaré worth visiting?

The beautiful beach town of Nazaré, Portugal is absolutely worth visiting for any type of traveler. The town features several huge Atlantic beaches, excellent places to eat, and many different things to do.  Nazare Portugal is a highly recommended destination for surfers because the beaches get hit with huge waves.

How much time do you need in Nazaré?

Visitors can get a good feel for Nazare in as little as one full day. The beaches and sites are close enough together that you can visit most of them in around seven hours. However, there are lots of hidden gems in Nazare that you might not get the chance to see if you only stay for a single day. I’d recommend visiting Nazare on a weekend trip to really get familiar with this quaint beach town. 

What is Nazaré Portugal known for?

Nazare, Portugal is known for being one of the top surfing destinations in the world. The beaches in this town get big waves throughout the year. However, these waves are notoriously huge in the winter season from October to March. 

Can you swim in Nazaré?

Swimming deep into the waters of Nazare’s beaches isn’t recommended. Visitors can wade by in the shallow end of the beaches, but the waves are very rough and frigid. Even during the hot summer months, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are very cold. So, unless you’re a surfer wearing a wetsuit, you probably won’t be keen on submerging yourself in the icy waves anyway. 


Now you know about all the best things to do in Nazare. Let me know below, what are you most excited to do in this charming Portuguese town? By the way, the seasons in Portugal will change your entire experience in the county. So, don’t forget to check out our guide to the best time to visit Portugal, too.  

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  1. Great ideas! We are not sure we want to rent a car and will be starting our trip in Lisbon, what other forms of transportation are there? Thanks

    1. Driving outside the larger cities isn’t a problem, at least with a smaller car, but public transportation is the way to go in Lisbon and Porto; buses, trams, and subways are relatively inexpensive there and have extensive systems.

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