When planning your visit to Alentejo you must include in your list a trip to Évora. Located 1h30 from Lisbon, Évora has everything it takes to amaze you. Discover all the things to do in Évora and discover why it is also known as the “museum-city“.
The city has lived several lives, it was Roman up until the 5th century, then it became a Visigoth city until the 8th century, a Moor city for four centuries until it finally became a Portuguese city in 1165.
What to do in Évora in one day, the museum-city
I arrived at Évora at noon so I decided to grab something to eat before I went to the historic centre, this way I didn’t have to go to those restaurants eager for tourists. I went to a restaurant called A Gruta, a typical Portuguese restaurant where people can eat a roast chicken, french fries, rice and have one drink for just 8 € per person.
The restaurant is located in Avenida General Humberto Delgado 2. It is a little bit small so you have to wait for your turn. While you wait you can check your list of things to do in Évora.
Just outside the historic centre, I came across with this billboard…
It has been 40 years since the Portuguese overcame dictatorship, 40 years since we became a free nation. I stood still, looking at this billboard for some time thinking that freedom should be upheld every single day, especially in these difficult times for Portugal and the world.
Finally, after this moment of reflection, I visited the historic centre of Évora. We went through the street Rua Serpa Pinto towards the main square, the Praça do Giraldo.
Some minutes after I got to the square, I had to find shelter in a café because it was too hot – the temperature was around 35 ºC. I had to cool down!
If you visit Évora in July or August, you should explore the city in the morning. Temperature in Alentejo often gets close to 40 ºC or more in the beginning of the afternoon.
Before I left the square, I went to the tourism office to buy a map of the historic centre – this map was very useful throughout my journey.
After some minutes thinking about the best itinerary and the other things to do in Évora, I went to Água de Prata aqueduct. This aqueduct is one of the few still working today and, this way, contributing to the city’s water supply.
I have seen some other aqueducts in Portugal, but it was the first time I saw houses built under an aqueduct – it was a way to take advantage of the spare space.
I went back, but through other streets, towards the Roman Temple of Évora, a temple the Romans left behind.
I took the opportunity to have a cup of coffee in the square right in front of the temple and admire this idyllic setting.
Then, I went down the road towards the cathedral (Sé) of Évora, the biggest one in Portugal. Its construction began in 1186 and was concluded in 1250.
- Site: www.cm-evora.pt/en
The tour ended on the roof of the cathedral where I could admire the city and its surroundings.
My visit to Évora ended with a stroll through the narrow streets of this beautiful city.
As you can see, it is possible to visit Évora in half a day but I am sure that you will be amazed with the beauty of this city. Évora resembles the city of Guimarães – it is a small city but with a huge history. When you visit Évora don’t miss the opportunity to discover the beautiful region of Alentejo, an amazing region known to few.
Where to Sleep in Évora
Before planning the things to do in Évora, you must first book a place to sleep. If you want to spend the night in Évora, then my suggestion is that you stay in Moov Hotel Évora (affiliate link), located in the old bullfight arena, in the historic centre. This hotel has a great score of 8,8 / 10 and it only costs about 40 € per night.
How to get to Évora
The beautiful city of Évora is 1h30 (134 km) away from Lisbon, by car or train. If you want to visit its surroundings, then you should go by car. If you just want to visit the historic centre, then taking a train is an option. If you take a train in Oriente train station in Lisbon, it will take you 1h30 and it will cost you around 25 € round trip.
If you’re going to Évora from Albufeira (Algarve), the fastest means of transportation is the car – it will take you 2h12 (204 km). However, if you take the train, it will be a longer trip (03h34) because you’ll have to take another train near Setúbal. It will cost around 25 € one way.
If you don’t want to hire a car nor want to lose too much time in public transportation, then I suggest you book a guided tour to this city. Discover below my suggestions.
Do you want to explore Évora in the company of an experienced guide? If so, don’t hesitate to book this tour (affiliate link) leaving from Lisbon and set out to discover the monuments of this magnificent city and learn more about its history, culture and traditions!
In addition, know that the first stop in Alentejo will be made at the cromlech Cromeleque dos Almendres, a megalithic monument older than Stonehenge. To end the day, nothing like tasting the best olive oils of the Alentejo region, which is the largest olive oil producer in the country.
As an alternative, you can book this 7-hour tour to Alentejo (affiliate link), and discover beautiful locations such as the city of Évora, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
This is a true “city-museum” and there are many points of interest that you will find there such as the cathedral Sé Catedral de Évora, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Portugal, the magnificent Roman Temple, the chapel Capela dos Ossos (located in the church Igreja de São Francisco), the aqueduct Aqueduto da Água de Prata and also be dazzled by the streets that lead to the beautiful square Praça do Giraldo.
But the trip does not stop at Évora! Also visit the city of Reguengos de Monsaraz and the village of Monsaraz, stroll through the narrow streets, admire the walls and enjoy the fantastic views over the huge Alqueva reservoir. Undoubtedly, a very complete activity (affiliate link) that will show you the beautiful region of Alentejo.
Do you want to visit Évora? Don’t hesitate to book here a hotel room, your car or the best activities by clicking the links below. This way I’ll be able to continue to offer you free tips and itineraries for you to better prepare your visit to Portugal. Thank you!