Tourism in Évora, Portugal

Explore this rich-in-history-and-cuisine museum city that was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.

Évora, Portugal 
© Celestino Manuel

Évora is the capital city of Alto Alentejo. It is one of the most charming and best-preserved cities in Portugal. Declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1986, it is well-known as “Museum City”.

Praça do Giraldo, Évora
Praça do Giraldo Square
© Celestino Manuel
Catedral de Évora
Cathedral of Évora 
© Celestino Manuel
Templo Romano de Diana, Évora
Roman Temple of Diana
© Celestino Manuel

Inside its 14th-century walls you will find narrow and sinuous alleys that will take you to amazing architectural works, such as the Sé or Cathedral; the columns of the Diana Roman Temple, located next to the Termas Romanas baths; and the Praça do Giraldo square. The later witnessed terrifying events during the Inquisition.

Despite this, Évora has very much to offer besides its monumental churches, historical squares, interesting monuments and historical places. It also is a lively university city with very good restaurants where you will enjoy the best traditional food from Alentejo.

In the outskirts of the city you will find the best excuse to go on a trip to places such as Alvito, Arraiolos, Evoramonte, Viana do Alentejo or Montemor-o-Novo. It is also possible to find Neolithic monuments or rustic wineries.

This city boasts a long history. When the Romans arrived here in 59 a.C., they found an already existing village. At the time, it was an important Roman Iberian centre known as "Ebora Liberalitas Julia".

After a dark Visigoth period, Muslims brought the city back to life as a commercial centre, being afterwards conquered by the Christians. Its golden ages took place between the 14th and 16th centuries, under the Avis dynasty.

In 1540 it was declared archbishopric and, in 1559, the Jesuit University was founded. When in 1580 the cardinal D. Henrique died without any son, Felipe II of Spain seized the throne of Portugal. The royal court, which protected the city’s old town from economic success and massive redevelopment fled Évora after the seizing and the town entered a phase of decline.

One of the best moments to visit Évora is during its Festas Populares celebrations, that, put on at the end of June, is the largest festival in the city as well as one of the best rural fairs in the Alentejo. Other interesting events are the Rota de Sabores Tradicionais route, a cuisine festival from January to March, and the Festival de Música Clásica de Évora, that takes place during five days (beginning of May), when open-air and indoor concerts of several kinds are performed along the city.

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