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  • Writer's picturelifeofandra

Top Attractions in Albufeira, Portugal Part 1

Two museums, the Arts and Crafts Centre and a Free Tour of the Old Town

Albufeira, Portugal

Albufeira is a beautiful coastal city and popular tourist destination in the Algarve region of Portugal.

The nearest airport is Faro - 45 km/28 miles away. From Faro airport, you can choose an airport transfer (around 30-35 euros one way) or take the local bus which takes you there in 1.5 -2 hours and costs 8-10 euros.

Albufeira, Portgual

In Part 2, I will get to the beautiful beaches, short hiking trail with spectacular views and the observation deck which also doubles as home to a few adorable cats in a bit, but first I want to talk a bit about two of Albufeira's most interesting museums and the arts and crafts centre, all located in the old town and within a short walking distance of each other.

Archeology Museum

Archeology Museum Albufeira

If you want to learn more about Albufeira's history, a quick visit to this little museum will help you better understand the different historical periods it went through.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 12:30 and then from 13:30 to 5:30, it takes around 30 minutes to visit. The admission ticket is 1.3 euros.

Bookings can be made for larger groups and schools either by email or by phone.

(Address: Praça da República 1, 8200-109 Albufeira, Portugal)

The museum has two floors. The ground floor is home to the permanent exhibition - with objects from Prehistory, the Roman Period, the Islamic period and the Modern Age, while the first floor is used for temporary exhibitions - mainly painting and photography.

The current temporary exhibition is 'Alvaro Cunhal - Prison drawings'. (Alvaro Cunhal was a politician and communist revolutionary and served as the Secretary General of the Communist Party from 1961 to 1992). This exhibition will be open until the 4th of August 2024.

The Arts and Crafts Centre Carlos Silva e Sousa

The Arts and Crafts Centre Carlos Silva e Sousa Albufeira

The Centre has been around since April 2023 and it offers various courses/workshops for those who are looking to learn a new or traditional craft or to explore their artistic potential.

It is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 1 pm, closed for lunch then open again from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. Entry is free.

(Address: Rua da Igreja Nova 15, 8200-002 Albufeira, Portugal)

The Arts and Crafts Centre Carlos Silva e Sousa, Albufeira

The Exhibition Room on the first floor currently displays 'Maré' (Tide) a textile installation made by local artist Vanessa Barragao, for the inauguration of the Arts and Crafts Centre. The installation will be on display until August 2024.

On the same floor, next to the information desk, you can find several handmade objects and paintings made by local artisans. The items are for sale and, at the time I was there (March 2024) had prices between 3 and 90 euros.

The workshops take place at the lower level (-1). Advanced booking either at the Centre or online is needed to attend any of the classes/workshops, even if they are free of charge, as some of them can only accommodate a maximum of 10 people.

Some of the workshops you can find at the Arts and Crafts Centre include Graphite Illustration, Esparto, Cyanotype, Fabric Painting, Natural Candles, Macrame and Wood Painting (see below for an example of how one month could look like).

The Arts and Crafts Centre Carlos Silva e Sousa, Albufeira

For exact info about the workshops, please check out their official website, where you can see more details about registration, the times, prices and languages available.

* A huge Thank You! to Ana Paula for explaining everything beautifully, offering all the information I needed and being generally super helpful ❤

Sacred art museum

Sacred art museum, Albufeira

The Sacred Art Museum is inside the restored 18th Century Chapel of San Sebastian (Igreja de São Sebastião).

Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, with longer opening hours during summer.

An entry ticket costs 3 euros.

It takes around 15-20 minutes to visit

(Address: Praça Miguel Bombarda 9, 8200-146 Albufeira, Portugal)

Sacred art museum, Albufeira

It's a small museum displaying various religious artefacts from the region. Most of the 16th and 17th-century objects and wooden statues are not in perfect condition having barely survived the 1755 earthquake which destroyed most buildings in the area.

The description of the objects is both in Portuguese and English.

Whether you're religious or not, I think this little museum is worth a visit if you want to find out more about the local history and customs.

Free Guided Tour

free guided tour of albufeira old town

The free guided tours of Albufeira's Old Town offered by the municipality start at 10 am on Thursdays and are available until the 27th of June, depending on the number of applicants and if the weather allows.

To take part you have to apply via email or phone at least two days before using the information you can see in the leaflet above.

Beato Vincente Statue, Albufeira

The meeting point is the Beato Vincente Statue which is a 10-minute walk from the museums mentioned in this post. The tour takes roughly 2 hours.

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I hope life is treating you well.

Take care.

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