13 Best Things to Do in Evora, Portugal

|   Last Updated on April 2, 2020

Evora is a great travel destination for everyone. Its variety of historical monuments and tourist attractions you can take part in will leave you satisfied and delightful afterward.

Founded by the Romans and fortified by the Moors, it is no wonder that Evora is considered an UNESCO Site, protected and well-cared for.

Let’s explore the top-rated things you can do in Evora!

1. Evora’s Cathedral

At the top of the list once you visit Evora, its commanding cathedral with its recognizable towers and conical spires will catch your eye from the very start. It is open to tourists daily and you can walk up to the terrace and admire the view of the city from above.

The gardens of the cathedral are full with orange trees and there is also, a museum that consists some impressive gold and silver artworks.

2. The Museum of Evora

With an exceptional combination of exhibits, including paintings, Roman artifacts, as well as archaeological objects and historic founding, visiting the Museum of Evora is a must for every type of traveler. There is a collection of carved marble and granite attractions, as well.

The Museum has gathered about 20,000 items throughout history and they are all available and on display for everyone to see and admire. The place is popular for its religious art, and diverse collection of Flemish paintings. A free audio tour is available upon request, as well.

3. The Bone Chapel

The name says it all: a chapel with real human skulls and bones from the XVII era is what you’ll get if you visit Evora. The chapel was built after Napoleon conquered Portugal and it was used as a place of meditation for monks.

The bones belong to thousand of monks and they were originally obtained from cemeteries and crypts back in the 16th century. The purpose of the visit is to promote introspection and thoughts about real life and death.

Although the chapel can feel a bit creepy to the more sensitive among you, it is definitely worth your visit.

4. Jardim Publico

In the southern part of the city, there is this small, yet impressive park with several plants and flowers and with the company of some local peacocks. The ruins of a medieval castle is located inside the park, as well. In reality, the women’s wing is the only part of the castle that exists nowadays.

Do not forget to grab a drink or some food from the kiosk and enjoy them under the sun. You may see some turtles, ducks and geese in the park, as well. .

5. Almendres Cromlech

A Neolithic site just a short drive from Evora, this archaeological place has a history of over 8,000 years. It is considered one of the largest arrangements of menhirs in the world and it consists of 95 separate standing stones in total.

The unbelievable thing about this place is that it was discovered in 1960 after some accidental excavations in the broader area.

Thought to be part of an important religious spot and one of the most impressive prehistoric monuments in Europe, the Megaliths of Cromlech Almendres await visitors to explore them and take some memorable pics along the way.

Take your time to roam around the site and admire some of the carvings that are written on the stones. They include various geometrical shapes, like circles and spirals, along with dimples and even images of crooks from shepherds.

6. Local Cuisine

Evora is known for the variety of traditional dishes it offers visitors. All of them are tasty and they deserve your attention before you take your leave from the city. The well-known Acorda dish is kind of a paste that’s made of olive oil, vinegar and garlic and being served on slices of bread enriched with poached egg.

Pao de rala is another popular bread pudding that consists of various spices, eggs and ground almonds. A lot of restaurants and street food stalls are available for you to choose from when you visit Evora.

7. Giraldo Square

All the roads in Evora will ultimately lead to the main square of the city named Giraldo. The name is associated with the man who conquered Evora after the Moors back in 1167. The baroque-styled fountain in the center of the square is the main tourist attraction of the place. It consists of 8 spouts and it is made of high-quality marble.

In Giraldo Square there is another popular church, named Santo Antao that as 3 impressive naves on the inside. The square hosts various shops and restaurants where you can rest for a while, including the well-known Café Arcada where you can taste the most delicious cakes in the city.

8. Old Traditional City

Evora could be described as a maze full of traditional houses and cobbled streets. Each road has some unique buildings you can admire and take photos of along with small shops and hidden churches. No map or local guide can show you all the local sights of a city like Evora.

Its charm as a city cannot compare easily to other cities of Portugal, therefore it is really worth wondering around it on your own or with your co-travelers.

9. Roman Temple of Evora

A small remain of a Roman temple is what you can actually see from very close when you visit Evora. Many of its pillars are still intact and they have withstood years of hardships, including the great earthquake back in the 1756. The temple was originally constructed to be dedicated to the goddess Diana.

Although the stairs to the whole monument remain intact, there is a protective fence around the ruins that deprive visitors of getting too close. However, you can still admire this impressive site and take some photos, as well.

10. University of Evora

It may sound a bit weird to visit a university at first, but the Uni of Evora is not a common university.

Being the second largest university in Portugal and founded back in the late 1500s, the university is now a great place for everyone to visit. Its many galleries in the courtyard, along with its various arcades and decorative ideas will make you stay a bit longer that you had first thought.

When you visit the classrooms in the main building, you will be able to become familiar with some interesting decorations, like the face of the Plato while he was teaching his students or the well-known Greek Philosopher Aristotle when he taught Alexander the Great.

11. Evora’s Aqueduct

The impressive aqueduct in Evora dates back in the 16th century and it is still the main channel of water for the whole city.

The current aqueduct has actually been built on top of an old roman one and if you walk along the walls, you’ll be able to discover the spot where the aqueduct enters the city and of course the place where it ends.

Little houses and some small offices have been built in some spaces under the wall. Outside the walls, you cannot miss the opportunity to grab some great pictures, particularly when the sun sets down.

12. Convento dos Loios

A convent dated back in the 1400s and built just above the ruins of a former medieval castle, the Convent dos Loios awaits for your exploration. The church is impressive and it is also, home to the tombs of the Counts of Olivenca.

Unfortunately, the huge earthquake back in the 1755 destroyed a great deal of the convent’s exterior and that result in a full remodeling of most of it. However, the interior is pretty much the same some of the monk’s cells and refectory have been turned to a heritage hotel.

The chapterhouse is available for a visit and the cloisters are the perfect place for you to enjoy a cup of coffee or a dinner under the floodlit galleries.

13. The Escoural Caves

gruta do escoural
© Vitor Oliveira Flickr

Almost 25 kilometers western of Evora stand a few caves that date back 13,000 years. Rock carvings along with cave paintings, many of which are faintly visible await you to admire them.

Going on a guided tour is the best solution and thankfully, they are being organized weekly from Tuesday to Saturday.

Last Updated on April 2, 2020


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