I heard mixed reviews about Albufeira some people really enjoyed it and other friends of mine completely hated it. It is one of the most mentioned cities in Algarve, so I decided to go check it out anyway for the day just to see it for myself. Let's just say that after visiting it, I won't be rushing back there. It really depends on the type of traveller you are and your purpose going there. If you just want to go for beach and resorts then this will be so much fun for you.
I found it extremely touristy and very built up. Going around it needs a car or an uber. The buses within the city take ages to come and I got really confused with the stations. It I a big place not like all the cute smaller towns I visited in the Algarve.
From Faro to Albufeira by Public Transports
I took the train from Faro to Albufira for the day and the return ticket was just over €6. You get a cheaper ticket if you are younger the 26 and have an ID with your age on it. The train station is far away from the old town and the marina, so you can either get a taxi from outside the station, book an uber or get the bus.
I got the bus from outside the station since it was only 15 minutes away. I knew this from the nice old man who was sat outside. I still cannot understand the bus times and stops. The station bus takes you to the main bus station and you have to get the bus from platform 17 (though check on the day) and that will take you close to the old part of town. I was following the direction
On the way back from Albufira however, I took an uber from the Marina to take my train on time and it was over €12
Things to do in Albufeira
There are a few things that can be done in Albufeira a lot of them involve relaxing on the beach since they have so many beautiful sandy beaches. On the one day I spent there I didn't have time for that and I am glad that my beach day was not there because there were too many people. I got to try a few other things though that you might like!
Walk by the beach
After spending few days in Algarve and seeing the half empty beaches further up the coast. The beach in Albufeira was a bit of a shock because it was the most crowded that I have seen on my trip. Getting to the beach was difficult to figure out just by using Google maps, but I got there at the end for a little walk.
Visit the church
There is something lovely about Portuguese churches and there was one on the way between the old part of Albufeira and the beach. I went inside to cool down as well! It was small, but pretty especially the blue tiles.
Get some lunch
I found a nice halal Indian restaurant called Indian Night Tandoori that is a short walk from the beach. The food was very tasty and I liked resting in a nice air conditioned place for a little bit.
Walk to the Marina
It took me half an hour from the restaurant mentioned above to the marina. The walk was really pleasant and quiet. You can see the ocean from above.
Get on a boat tour
Going on a boat trip was my main motive to go visit Albufeira. I really wanted to go into the caves, so I booked a seat in the coastline and cave boat tour , which didn't turn exactly as I hoped. It was on one of those massive boat tours with at least 70 on board. It was a comfortable sail, but the number of people made it difficult to see some of the sights and we only spent 2 minutes or less inside the cave. It should be called glance at caves tour. I think the tour as an idea is really worth it, you would just have to do some research and go on the smaller boats because I think they would be more rewarding. In April there is a risk of not seeing the inside of the caves all together because of you
Get a travel guide for Albufeira