The Old Town of Lagos – a detailed guide

Having called Lagos home for five years, I’ve unearthed the hidden gems beyond the beaches and cliffs. The Old Town, nestled 700 meters from Praia de Batata and Estudantes Beach, and merely 1 kilometer from the Marina de Lagos, is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Don’t miss out on this Algarve gem, much like the authenticity found in Albufeira’s Old Town.

Things to do in the Old Town of Lagos

Embark on a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets, uncovering the town’s hidden nooks, quaint street cafes, and intriguing curiosity shops. The early morning, free from the crowds, is the ideal time to immerse yourself in the Old Town’s ambiance. Cafes open between 8 am and 9 am, while shops and businesses follow suit between 9 am and 10 am.

The highlight of the Old Town of Lagos
The highlight of the Old Town of Lagos

Delve into the history by admiring the ancient Lagos Walls, erected in the 16th century. For the best views, position yourself on Avenida dos Descobrimentos or Estrada da Ponta da Piedade, near the mini-golf course.

Don’t pass up the chance to explore the Fish Market (Mercado Municipal) of Lagos. Even if you’re not shopping, witnessing the variety of fish and seafood from the local waters is a fascinating experience.

The highlight of the Old Town

Despite its modest size, the historical heart of Lagos boasts numerous attractions worth your time.

Find tranquility at the city park (Parque da Cidade de Lagos) next to the Town Walls, offering a peaceful retreat even in the bustling months.

Old Town of Lagos
Old Town of Lagos

Challenge yourself with a round of mini-golf at Pro Putting Garden, a charming course just outside the city walls, open from 10 am to 7 pm, with fees starting from 3 euros for children and 5 euros for adults.

Entertain and educate your family at the Science Museum of Lagos, open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm, with admission fees of 5 euros for adults, 2.5 euros for children (6-17), and free entry for children under 6.

Navigating the narrow one-way streets in a car is tricky; opt for an electric bike to explore both the Old Town and nearby attractions like Ponta da Piedade and Dona Ana Beach.

Marvel at the captivating street art scattered throughout the Old Town, adding a creative touch to the historical center.

Where to do shopping: Shopping in the Heart of the Old Town Lagos

Despite its size, the Old Town offers everything you might need.

Around the old town of Lagos
Around the old town of Lagos

Grocery Shopping

For a taste of local flavors, head to Mercado Municipal de Lagos, open Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm, where you can purchase fresh fish, seafood, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products directly from local fishermen.

Spar, just outside the city wall, is the closest supermarket. For more extensive shopping, explore Pingo Doce, Lidl, Aldi, Continente, and InterMarche, all about 1 km to 1.5 km from the center.


Discover unique souvenirs, local pottery, paintings, cork items, and more on Rua Infante de Sagres, Rua 25 de Abril, Rua Silva Lopes, and Gil Eanes Square. During the season, numerous stands along the promenade between the Old Town and the Marina de Lagos offer additional options.

Shopping in the Heart of the Old Town Lagos
Shopping in the Heart of the Old Town Lagos


With four pharmacies, two near Gil Eanes Square and two close to Infante Dom Henrique Square, you’ll find convenient access to healthcare in the historical center.


For beachwear and surf gear, explore Jah Shaka Surf Shop, Quicksilver Shop, and Ericeira Surf & Skate. Tezenis, Calzedonia, and Intimissimi in Rua Porta de Portugal are ideal for underwear and bikini shopping, while small local shops offer a variety of clothing, bags, and shoes.

Where to eat: Dining Delights in Lagos Old Town

With hundreds of dining options catering to every taste and budget, the Old Town of Lagos is a culinary haven. From upscale restaurants offering three-course meals to convenient take-away spots, exploring new places is a delightful challenge. We often discover hidden gems and occasionally find a favorite spot that becomes our go-to for a while. While it’s impossible to list every food establishment, here are some top picks across different categories.

Best outdoor restaurant: Best Al Fresco Dining

The Garden Restaurant boasts the town’s best terrace, surrounded by lush greenery, flowers, and quirky decor. It’s a cozy spot offering excellent BBQ meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. Perfect for windy days, the terrace is shielded by high walls.

Best restaurant for travelers with kids: Family-Friendly Dining

O Ninho, a family cafe, is a must-visit for those traveling with children. With generous portions, homemade pastries, organic coffee, and many vegan-friendly options, this spot stands out. The top floor is dedicated to kids, equipped with toys, books, play tents, allowing parents to enjoy their meal while kids stay engaged. Open most days, check their schedule for specific hours.

Best coffee shop: Favorite Coffee Spot

The Coffee Studio is our go-to coffee shop in the Old Town. Roasting their own beans, they serve excellent coffee, and their sandwiches are a delightful breakfast choice. With vegan and gluten-free options, it’s a perfect spot for a few hours of work or relaxation. Open from Monday to Saturday, with extended hours on Fridays.

Best pizza place: Top Pizza Joint

Kisa, an Italian restaurant, holds our vote for the best pizza in the historical center of Lagos. Their wood-fired pizzas, including gluten-free and vegan options, are a hit. Try their sourdough pizza called pinsa. Open from Tuesday to Sunday for dinner.

Stay tuned for more additions to this list over time.

Navigating Lagos: How to get to Lagos Old Town?

If you arrive in Lagos by bus, a 700-meter walk from the bus station to the Old Town is convenient, especially if you’re traveling light. Buses from Lisbon are an excellent option for reaching Lagos.

The train station is 1 km away; if you’re not burdened with luggage, consider walking or opt for a bus, taxi, or Uber. Bus #1 connects the train station with the Old Town and the bus station, while Bus #2 takes you from the train station to the main beaches of Lagos. Trains from Faro or Portimao provide additional travel options.

Where to stay in the Old Town: Lodging in the Heart of the Old Town

For a stay in the heart of Lagos, close to bars, restaurants, some beaches, and the harbor, choosing accommodations in the Old Town is your best bet. Make a difference in your stay by selecting the right area. Explore our Guide to Choosing the Best Accommodation in Lagos. Numerous hotels and hostels await, but during the peak season (July to September), booking a couple of months in advance is highly recommended.

  • High-end: VI MAR – GUEST HOUSE | Green Door | The Salty Lodge
  • Middle price: Old School Guest House | Sunny House | Casa Shaz
  • Budget: Olive Hostel Lagos | The 17 Hostel | Topcity Hostel & Suites

Parking Predicaments in the Old Town

Like any historic center, finding parking within the Old Town of Lagos poses a challenge. The best option for free parking lies just outside the town walls. Despite the small size, walking 10 minutes from these lots to the Old Town is a minor inconvenience.

Discover free, spacious parking lots near the Old Town. The closest is at the corner of Rua Infante de Sagres and Estrada do Biker. Another is at the roundabout of Rua da Gafaria and Estrada to Biker. A bit further, at the corner of Avenida dos Descobrimentos and Rua do Baluarte, lies the third free parking space.

Opt for the affordable underground parking at Estrada da Ponta da Piedade, just outside the wall by the mini-golf course. Priced at 4 euros for 24 hours, it’s a great option in the summer to keep your car cool.

If you only need short-term parking, consider the paid lots along Avenida dos Descobrimentos.

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