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Portimão is the largest city in the western Algarve, and was traditionally a centre for shipbuilding, sardine fishing and fish processing. Today, most of that industry has been replaced by tourism, leisure, and retail, leaving Portimão as a large and residential city. Most tourists visit Portimão either for the extensive shopping or when using public transport, but there is a surprising amount to be seen within the city.
The city’s old and once bustling fishing docks have been responsibly transformed into a scenic promenade, leading to the quaint and tree-lined plazas of the old town. Further inland are pleasant pedestrian shopping streets, a series of historic buildings, and a varied selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants specialising in freshly cooked seafood.