How to Spend One Day in Evora with these 15 Things to See & Do
Let’s spend one day in Évora, Portugal! This charming city in the heart of the Alentejo region is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Portugal.
With its stunning medieval architecture, rich history, and delicious food, Evora is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. From ancient Roman ruins to beautiful churches and museums, there is something here for everyone.
Let’s get exploring! Use this guide for your Evora day trip.
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Where is Evora Portugal
Évora, a picturesque city with a rich history and well-preserved medieval architecture, is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, approximately 1.5 hours east of Lisbon. With that close proximity to Lisbon, it makes a day trip to Evora incredibly enticing!
In fact, this small city is the capital of the Alentejo region which happens to be the largest region in Portugal. This region sits above the Algarve and stretches from the Atlantic to the Portugal-Spain border in the centre of Portugal.
Such a central location makes Evora a great base to explore all of the Alentejo or a starting point to reach the Algarve or even Spain.
Visit Evora and you’ll get a unique glimpse into Portugal’s past. With its UNESCO World Heritage sites, ancient Roman ruins, and charming cobblestone streets, Évora is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Lisbon area.
Lisbon to Evora Day Trip
Take this top-rated day trip from Lisbon to Évora with a stop in the medieval village of Monsaraz and try a local wine.
Check prices and book your dates for this amazing Lisbon to Evora day trip!
Is Evora Worth Visiting
Absolutely! Évora is a hidden gem in Portugal that’s definitely worth visiting. This beautiful city boasts a rich history and culture that is well-preserved in its stunning medieval architecture and UNESCO World Heritage sites. From the ancient Roman Temple of Diana to the beautiful Sé Cathedral, Évora is full of fascinating sights to explore.
Visit Evora – whether you have a full day, a few hours, or a few days – Évora is a unique and unforgettable place that should not be missed.
About Evora Portugal
Évora has a fascinating history that dates back to Roman times, and its rich cultural heritage is reflected in its beautiful architecture and landmarks that can be seen today.
First, as a walled city dating back as far as Celtic times when it fell under Roman rule in 57 BC. Evidence of those Roman ruins is one of the top things to see in Evora. Under Moorish rule from 715 to 1165, further improvements were made to the city including a fortified gate and a 13th-century Cathedral.
During the Middle Ages, Évora was a thriving cultural center and an important religious site. The city was also the residence of Portuguese kings, and many of the city’s most impressive buildings were constructed during this period.
In the 16th century, Évora became an important center of learning, with the establishment of the University of Évora. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visitors can explore its ancient Roman temple, medieval castle, and beautiful churches and palaces to learn more about its rich history.
Day Trip to Evora – 10 Things to See
Might you be wondering what to see on your Evora day trip? Évora offers a variety of fascinating sights to explore. In fact, Évora is often called Portugal’s “Museum City” because of its preserved architecture.
So, here is the full list of 10 places to visit in Evora! Choose which ones you want to add to your Evora one day itinerary.
#1 Aqueduct of Silver Water
The Aqueduct of Silver Water or Adqueduto da Agua de Prata is located just outside the city walls. This impressive site was completed in 1530 as a way to bring water to the city.
It was designed by Francisco de Arruda, famously known as the designer of the Tower Belem in Lisbon.
The Aqueduct is 9 km long and originally continued all the way to the Praça do Giraldo.
#2 Chapel of Bones
The Chapel of Bones, or Capela dos Ossos is a small chapel connected to the Church of Sao Francisco. As the name suggests, it’s lined inside with human bones (approximately 5,000 of them!) dating back to the 17th century.
The inscription above the chapel entrance translates as, “We bones who lie here await yours.” Creepy- yes, but it’s still one of the best Evora Portugal things to do.
#3 Church of Our Lady of Grace
The Church of Our Lady of Grace, or Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Graca, is an impressive church to visit. It’s actually tucked away on Rua da Republic, a little off the beaten path in Evora. What makes this church so special to visit? There are just so many details, from the pillars along the entrance to the triple bells and I loved the statues that dangled over the very top.
#4 Diana Temple
The Roman Temple of Evora is also referred to as the Templo de Diana. This ancient temple sits in the historical centre of the city and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These Evora ruins are something you’ll definitely want to see.
#5 Fountain of Portas de Moura
The Fountain of Portas de Moura is a Renaissance fountain built in 1556. The design of the globe surrounded by water is meant to reference the Age of Discovery.
#6 Palace of the Counts of Basto
The Palace of the Counts of Basto was once a primitive Moorish castle and later a residence of the kings. Its outer architecture displays features of Gothic, Manueline, Mudéjar and Renaissance styles. However, most of the structure needed to be rebuilt in the 1950s.
#7 Praca do Giraldo
Praca do Giraldo is the main and busiest square in Evora. It was named after the 12th-century hero of the Reconquista Gerald the Fearless, who defeated the Moors and expelled them after 450 years of rule in the city.
The public square was where the public executions took place, mainly during the period of the Inquisition. Today, cafes spill out onto the cobblestones and people come and go as the main hub to explore Evora.
#8 Church of St. Andrew
The 16th-century Church of St Andrew, or Santo Antao, sits on the edge of the Praco do Giraldo square, with the pretty fountain in front.
#9 São João Evangelista Church
The Sao Joao church features one of the most impressive interiors in all of Evora. The entire walls are decorated with blue and white Portuguese tiles called azulejos from the early 18th century. The hand-painted tiles are a mix of leaves and flowers as well as biblical scenes.
#10 Se Cathedral
The 12th-century Se cathedral is a great example of Gothic architecture with its asymmetrical towers. It took half a century to be built and was later added to throughout the Middle Ages.
This impressive cathedral dominates the city and is almost always visual from anywhere when looking at the skyline of Evora. Saving the best for last – the Se Cathedral is one of the best things to see in Evora!
5 Things to Do in Evora Day Trip
I always measure a destination beyond seeing its top attractions. To me, it comes down to the atmosphere, attractiveness and experiences. And, Evora checks all the boxes and then some. So here are some options for things to do in Evora Portugal. Again, choose what interests you, add it to your Evora itinerary and have fun!
#1 Stroll the Cobbled Streets
What makes Evora so special, it’s just one of those cities that is perfect for wandering. Whether you are intentionally going from site to site or letting your feet be your guide, you’ll soon fall under its spell.
Take an Evora city tour in the historic center where there are endless narrow winding streets and alleyways just waiting to be discovered. Cobblestone streets, lanterns hanging from the walls, ivy, and flowers cascading over walls everywhere you look there is a great photo op!
Join a small walking tour to discover the mystery and intrigue of Évora where a knowledgeable guide will share the legends of the historic city as you pass by its important sites. Check prices and book your dates.
#2 Take a Wine Tour
Stop by the wine-tasting room of the Wine Route of Alentejo in the old city center. Here you can learn more about the region’s wineries and book tours. The Cartuxa winery just outside of Evora offers daily tastings of wine and olive oil (reservations are required).
Monsaraz and Wine guided tour from Évora – check prices and book your dates!
#3 Enjoy a meal
Evora has a great culinary scene. Restaurants, cafes, and wine bars at every turn! Visit Evora and be sure to bring your appetite!
Here are some of the recommended restaurants in Evora:
- Botequim da Mouraria – a tiny, unassuming bar-like restaurant that offers some of the tastiest traditional dishes. Address: 16 Rua de Mouraria
- Dom Joaquim – a Michelin-star restaurant located next to Porta de Serpa Pinto, one of the access gates to the historic centre of Évora. Expect to find traditional regional dishes and wine. Address: 6 Rua dos Penedos
- Fialho – a long-standing restaurant tucked away off a side street offering traditional dishes. Address: 14 Travessa Mascarenhas
- Origens – a Michelin-star restaurant tucked away down a quiet narrow street in Evora’s historic centre. Address: 10 Rua de Burgos
- Pateo – a casual restaurant with great outdoor terrace dining. Address: 53 Beco da Espinhosa
#4 Treat yourself to dessert
Evora is known for its sweet desserts. It seems every town and city in Portugal fights for the claim of the creamy custard tart. Evora says it was the nuns who liked to use egg whites as starch and they had so many egg yolks left over that they started combining them with sugar and making different types of pastries, puddings, and bread.
Venture down the tiny alleyways, you’ll find window bake shops where you can buy these traditional custard treats. Let your nose be your guide.
#5 Day Trips from Evora
The Alentejo region of Portugal is often referred to as the new Tuscany. A pastoral landscape, full of olive and cork trees, vineyards, and wheat fields.
It’s rustic, traditional, and not touristy- yet! The villages are authentic. The food is farm-to-table. And, it’s a peaceful getaway. But it’s also a great starting point for your Evora road trip.
If you are wanting to explore the Alentejo region in Portugal here is some day trips from Evora:
- Arraiolos to Evora – 20 minutes
- Estremoz to Evora – 35 minutes
- Monsaraz to Evora – 50 minutes
- Elvas to Evora – 55 minutes
Best Places to Stay in Evora
If you’re convinced that Evora is more than just a day trip use this list of places to stay in Evora.
- Pousada Convento de Evora – this renovated convent located between the Cathedral Se and Diana Temple with a courtyard pool offers the perfect mix of historic
- M AR de AR Aqueduto – a 5-star boutique property in a former 16th-century palace with luxury spa services located near Diana Temple in city centre.
- Vitoria Stone Hotel – a modern hotel offering a rooftop bar and terrace with an infinity pool with views of Evora and within walking distance of the historic centre.
- Casa Madre de Deus – a contemporary 2-bedroom apartment near the Diana Temple.
- Casa Teresa – a 3-bedroom house perfect for family stays and is near the Cathedral Se.
Where we stayed in the Alentejo region:
Villa Extramuros is situated in the countryside on the outskirts of a small village called Arraiolos, only 15 minutes north of Évora. If you are a lover of modern architecture and interior design this luxury property is a must! It’s also a quiet escape in the countryside. You will be treated to the most delicious breakfast, made to order before setting out on your way.
Is one day enough in Evora?
While one day in Évora is enough to see its major sights and get a sense of its history and culture, it’s definitely worth spending more time exploring this beautiful city and the surrounding Alentejo region.
How many days to spend in Evora?
Ideally, spending 2-3 days in Évora would allow you to see and do everything, enjoy the local food and wine and take some day trips from Evora.
What is Evora known for?
Évora is known for its stunning medieval architecture, rich cultural heritage, ancient Roman ruins, delicious food and wine, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to stop between Lisbon and Evora?
There are several charming towns and villages to explore between Lisbon and Évora, including Alcácer do Sal, Montemor-o-Novo, and Arraiolos, each with its own unique history and cultural attractions.
Is Evora walkable?
Yes, Évora is a walkable city, and its compact size makes it easy for you to explore on foot. Many of its major landmarks and attractions are located within walking distance of each other, and strolling through its charming cobblestone streets is a great way to soak up the city’s atmosphere.
Portugal Travel Resources
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As a holidaymaker
So, have I convinced you that Evora is more than just a day trip? It really is a historic city that needs to go on your must-visit list while in Portugal.
It has enough charm and things to see and do to capture your interest for at least a 1 or 2-night stay. My advice when you get there, put away the map and simply wander and discover every hidden corner of this beautiful city. Nothing is better than getting lost inside the walls of this old city.