Hey there! Long time no see huh? I am back!!!
This time I’m writting about Évora, one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. Évora is a very special place for me, since I have family there, which means: I went there many times and I absolutely love it!
So if you’re spending a few days in Lisbon you can easily take a train and you’ll be there in 1h30 hours for about 10€ (one way).
This amazing city is located in Alentejo region, have you heard of it? Alentejo is this perfect countryside region where you can rest peacefully, try some great wine and marvelous food. Évora is a part of it, and it has many things to visit for itself, but as it is quite small, it’s easy to see in a day. To simplify it for you, here are my 10 favorite things to do when visiting Évora in a short period of time.
1. Go inside the walls
This is literally the first thing you got to do if you’re visiting Évora. The city center is surrounded by a roman wall once used as defense by many populations, and almost every point of interest is inside.
2. Have a coffee at Giraldo Square
Giraldo is the main square of Évora, literally the center of this city. All the commerce, shops, monuments are around it. It’s a really nice place to sit and grab a coffee, while seeing people pass. As it usually happens in main squares of touristic cities, the prices are a bit higher, so be aware of the “tourist traps”.
3. Admire the Roman Temple
This temple is located in the historic center of Évora and it is definitely a landmark of the city, since it comes from the occupation of Roman civilization in Portugal. The monument itself is pretty nice to watch, but you can also take a look at the viewpoint behind the monument, which is pretty cool.
4. Check out the typical arts and crafts
All this kind of things – tiles, plates and baskets – are quite typical from this area and they are all carefully hand made by some nice old ladies. If you are a souvenir person, this is definitely something to consider.
5. Get lost in the narrow and beautiful streets
One of my favorite parts, this city’s streets are amazing, you find this beautiful colors on the walls, tiles, balconies full of flowers…
6. Get creeped out on the Chapel of the bones
Yep, you read it well. This chapel is literally all covered in bones, which is super weird but it’s also kind of an unique thing to see. It’s part of S.Francis church (bellow) and it was made to remind people of the ephemeral nature of life. The entrance itself has the sentence (translated) “US, the bones that lie here, are waiting for yours” .
7. Be dazzled with S. Francis church
This church is quite special itself, really huge and it has some amazing colors. Pretty different that anything I’ve ever seen. I recommend you to see the room on the left that has a beautiful blue wall.
8. Take a walk in Évora Public Garden
Whether you want to take a walk, do a pick nick or just chill out , this is a nice park to do it. Pretty quiet and it has some beautiful buildings.
9. Go back to prehistoric times
Despite this megalithic circuit is not inside the city, it is one of the most important in Europe, so if you are into history, it might be a once in a life time opportunity. This circuit has many monuments : Almendres Cromlech, Almendres Menhir, Anta grande do Zambujeiro (dolmen) and many more!
10. Eat some delicious typical food
Concerning to food, oh my , where should I start? I already wrote about Portuguese food here but as any region, Alentejo has its own typical (and delicious!) food.
In Évora, I recommend you my favorite restaurant, which despite of being in the middle of Giraldo square, is not a tourist trap – Café Alentejo. This restaurant has some really great typical food and amazing traditional decor. What should you eat? Everything! OK kidding! Even though everything I tried here is delicious, you should start out with some cheese and ham. For main course, you have many options so try either some açorda, duck rice, or tomato rice with “pataniscas”. For dessert (nop, you cannot escape it), I advise you some egg pudding or rice pudding, they’re both different but really delicious and typical portuguese. If you want some pastries, queijada is definitely something to try.
11. Drink the best wines in Portugal
I tell you that Alentejo region has some of the best wine from Portugal, do believe me! I am no expert in wine, but according to specialists (aka my dad) you can find some really good ones here, like Borba, Cartuxa (red) and EA (white).
Lots of Love,