Upon the inauguration of the international airport in 1965, Faro became the administrative capital of the Algarve and the official tourist distributing region.
Built by the Ria Formosa, Faro has a lovely riverside area next to the docks and the Manuel Bivar Garden.
A mix of popular quarter and nightlife spot, the so called “Vila-Adentro”, historical part of the city, is very well preserved, within Roman walls, and has many monuments, museums and fine ancient buildings.
Nevertheless, the main after-hours fun centre is located in Rua do Prior and Largo da Madalena, by the Manuel Bivar Garden and the old customs.
Needless to say, the presence of a University with its thousands of national and foreign students gives a special colourful touch to the city. There are plenty fine restaurants, especially in the historical quarter, as well as terraces, some of which with a view over the Ria Formosa or the docks.
The pedestrian street Rua de Santo António is well worth a visit for its great variety of traditional shops and brand stores.
Although mostly located in large commercial surfaces, we can find modern stores and also in the Algarve’s Stadium, built from scratch for the Euro 2004 and the set for many great events.
The Ria Formosa is a large natural area that you can also visit on a boat tour departing from the Marina of Faro.