Faro is a beautiful Algarve city that forms the capital of the Faro District in southern Portugal. The city has a rich and varied history, with a variety of buildings and monuments to visit. Faro is more representative of a Portuguese city than many resort destinations, boasting an old town full of cafes, pedestrianised streets, parks and plazas. There is a vibrant bar-scene and nightlife, while golden beaches near the city offer a relaxing seaside experience.
Faro is a wonderful destination the whole year through. Temperatures during the summer months tend to range between 27° to 35°C with almost no rain. Sun worshippers will find the beaches ideal, though they may be crowded later in the day; it is best to arrive early to be certain of getting a nice place, and to avoid the midday sun. An International Motorcycle Rally is held in mid-July and is famed as one of the largest of its kind in the world. The winter months are far milder, with temperatures generally between 8-17°C and accommodation also tends to be cheaper. The city's birthday is celebrated annually on 7th September, beginning two weeks of festivities and exhibitions.
The currency of Portugal is the Euro, meaning UK visitors may be able to take advantage of a favourable exchange rate when travelling. Prices tend to be cheaper than in the UK, with a glass of wine or beer for around EUR 2-3.50. This tends to be higher during the peak tourist season, particularly in the main bars and clubs. Eating out is also cheaper, with a variety of seafood speciality dishes to choose from. For the cheapest dining options, head to the local supermarket and pick up some food to prepare yourself.
It is quite common for visitors to hire a car to get around when they land at the airport. If this is needed during the summer months it is important to pre-book. There is, however, a good public transport system, with bus routes 14 and 16 available to take you to the city centre for approximately EUR 2.50. For getting around, a day pass on the bus network within Faro and the Algarve costs in the vicinity of EUR 5.60. Taxis are expensive compared to other options, with a trip from the airport into the city costing approximately EUR 16; it is more expensive between 9pm and 6am. Luggage is charged as extra, though this may be the best option if you have a lot of bags to manage.
Accommodation is around EUR 12 per night for a shared room and perfect for those on a budget. Hotels typically start at around EUR 40 per night, though peak season can lead to higher prices and pre-booking accommodation is essential. For a more independent experience, it is possible to rent self-catering apartments, though the cost is higher and generally you must provide your own toiletries and fridge stock.