Beautiful cities

Centuries-old and active town

In the 10th century a morish village was founded at the junction of the rivers Alcoa and Baça: Alcobaça. Alcobaça is a pleasant village, well known for the Monastery of Alcobaça (Real Abadia de Santa Maria de Alcobaça), one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in the country.

It all started when King Afons I promised to give some land to saint Bernard if he would succeed in conquering the city of Santarém from the Moors. He succeeded in 1147, and in 1178 the Cistercians started building the monastry, and finished it some 45 years later. Soon it became the most important cistercian monastry in Portugal. The complex is one of the first gothic constructions in Portugal. It is partly open to the public.
In the church lie the remains of Pedro I and Inês de Castro. Their love story is the most famous story in Portugal. Their tombs face each other, so that when they both rise on judgment day, the first thing they see will be each other.

In Alcobaça you can visit the museum of Raul da Bernarda: an exhibition of earthenware made by the company of Raul da Bernarda & Filhos.

 

Events

Every year many exhibitions, concerts, etc. are organised in Alcobaça. To name a few:

  • Cister Música (June, July)
  • Feira de São Bernardo (August)
  • Doces e Licores Conventuais (November)
     
Townmap

 

The most important university city in Portugal

Started as a Roman settlement, Coimbra is home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution (14th century) in the Portuguese-speaking world and one of the oldest in Europe.

A number of wellknown Portuguese people were born in Coimbra, like the poet Francisco Sá de Miranda (16th century) and sculptor Machado de Castro (18th century).
Poet Luis de Camões and the saint Santo António studied in Coimbra.

Before seizing the power over the country, Salazar was professor in economics at Coimbra’s university.

Scenic location

Coimbra is picturesquely situated at the river Mondego. A walk through the city is very worthwhile. Most attractions are so close to eachother that you can get a very good impression of the city in just one day. The old city centre is on top of a very steep hill, so a walk to the university buildings on top of the hill can be a bit exhausting. You can get a city map at the tourism office.

There are lots of things to see and do in Coimbra, for detailed information it’s best to bring a travelguide.

But whatever you do, you must see the main building of the Universidade de Coimbra, with the Biblioteca Velha (university’s library, 1728) as undisputed highlight.

www.uc.pt/en

This city 'The queen's hot springs', arose around a health resort

Queen Leonor de Bragança, wife of king João I, was travelling one day in 1484, when she saw peasants bathing in very smelly water in the Óbidos area.

She asked them why they did that, and they told her dat the water was benificial for people suffering from rheumatism and arthritis. Suffering from rheumatism herself, she decided to take a bath, and noticed that it indeed helped her feel better. As it turned out it was not just smelly water, in fact they were warm sulphur springs. Leonor sold all her jewelry and used the money to build a thermal hospital. The first patients already arrived in 1488, and it took until 1497 to complete all buildings.

Citypark

Around the health resort a beautiful park was created, the Parque Dom Carlos I. It still is the green heart of the city. It is a great place for a walk, and while you're there: there are a few museums in the park, so a great opportunity to visit them.

In the centre of Caldas da Rainha you can visit the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, the former chapel of the thermal hospital. It was built in manuelino style.

Ceramics

Caldas da Rainha is very famous for its ceramics. Every year in July there is a ceramics fair, the Feira Nacional da Cerâmica. The city has several workshops and museums, like the Casa Museu de São Rafael: exhibition of cermics by artist São Rafael, manufactured by the Bordallo Pinheiro factory.
There is a Bordallo Pinheiro route that will take you through the city, not only will you get to know the city, but there are several ceramic sculptures on the route. Can you find them all?

City Guide

There is a City Guide Caldas da Rainha app, available in Portuguese and English. Follow this link to download the app.

Many special ways to discover Lisbon

There are many travel guides on Lisbon available, with lots of information about everything the city has to offer. That's why you will not find such information on this page. Instead we give you some tips/hints how to experience Lisbon in a different way.

Lisbon Walker offers a number of walks through the city, with English speaking guides (Monday-Friday). Lisbon Walker offers a wide range of walks. All you have to do is turn op at the right meeting point at the right time.

Also Lisbon Free Tour offers you city walks. The English speaking guides were al born and/or raised in Lisbon, and can tell you everything there is to know about the city.

Do you prefer a ride through the city? That's also possible.

Why not roam through Lisbon in a GoCar. GoCar offers several tours through the city, just pick up one of the funny jellow GoCars and follow the route . A great way to discover Lisbon.

Another possibility is a buggy tour or a Segway tour. Check the website of Red Tour Lisbon to see all possibilities.

And if you don't want to drive by yourself in a strange city, you can rent a motorcycle with sidecar at SideCar. One passenger in the sidecar, one on the backseat behind the driver, and go!

Or how about a tuk-tuk, that's another possibility to explore Lisbon. Check out Tuk Tuk Lisboa.

And there is more, because you can even see Lisbon from the sky, in a Lisbon Helicopters helicopter.

Al the touring and sightseeing makes you hungry. So why not combine that? That's exactly what Taste of Lisboa can offer you! They offer a number of Lisbon tours that introduce you to Portuguese gastronomy: the best cheese, the tastiest ham, the freshest fish, the sweetest cherry liquor (ginjinha), and much more.

More than enough possibilties to have a great time in Lisbon!

Tip: Take a look at weheartlisbon.com for ven more inspiration!