Like Porto, Faro has an old town. Inside a spacious open square that was once the site of the Roman Forum is a 13th century Cathedral that faces the 18th century Episcopal palace. Much of the city is now composed of apartments and there are attractive shops and a particularly artistic theatre. Faro is also the home of the Ria Formosa lagoon, a nature reserve of over 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) and a stopping place for hundreds of different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods.
Of course, Faro is also a favorite place for seaside leisure, though it is not often very crowded. The beach is about 7 km (4 mi) from the city and is a long sandy near the International Airport. The city holds various cultural events here such as concerts and festivals.
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