Viseu
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VISEU

Set on a plateau overlooking the left bank of the Rio Pavia is the ancient city of Viseu, the district capital of the Beira Alta. Viseu retains a medieval ambience and a well-preserved historical centre that once stood behind defensive walls. Viseu's Renaissance and Baroque mansions and palaces, narrow streets and steps paved with granite cobbles lend Viseu a particular charm.

Here, there is also a strong tradition of local crafts, such as intricate handmade lace and black pottery, found at local markets throughout the region. Surrounded by rich agricultural land and fields of grazing sheep, the area is also renowned for its fine cheeses, a fine accompaniment to the local Dão wines produced hereabouts. Very recently Viseu has appeared of the tourist radar following a marketing campaign. Visitors now come here to appreciate the abundance of art, culture and history.

ABOUT TOWN

Viseu Old Town

|  Viseu Old Town


Painel de Azulejos

|  Painel de Azulejos

Viseu has been occupied for aeons and was the centre of Lusitanian resistance against the invading Romans. Viseu has remained a centre of importance ever since and vestiges of the succeeding periods remains scattered across this small city. A fine historic quarter (Centro Historico) with narrow cobbled streets, flights of steps and atmospheric squares remain in place when most of the original medieval ramparts have been removed. One survivor is the Porta do Soar de Cima city gate that dates from the 15th-century. There are a number of fine Renaissance and Baroque villas and palaces also waiting for your discovery.

Praça da República (Rossio)

The beating heart of Viseum is the tree-lined Praça da Rebública, better known as Rossio and makes a great place to start your visit and get your bearings. Dominating the western side of the square is the city hall (Câmara Municipal) constructed in 1887. Inside there's a wrought iron chandelier designed by Arnaldo Malho, the woodwork by Master António Loureiro decorates the Main Hall, coloured tiles decorate the staircase and ceiling paintings by Viseu painter José de Almeida e Silva.

In the northeast corner of Rossio is the Painel de Azulejos. This massive azulejo mural depicts scenes of country life and was made by Mestre Joaquim Lopes in 1931. On the southern side, a staircase leads up to the 18th-century, baroque Igreja dos Terceiros de São Francisco (Church of the Brotherhood of St. Francis). Behind the church is a small wooded park. The square also has a good kiosk with plenty of outdoor seating. It's an ideal location for soaking up the atmosphere.

Rua Direita

The best route to the Cathedral at the top of the town is along the largely pedestrianised Rua Direita. Two thousand years ago it was the main Roman road through the city, known as Cardus Maximus. During medieval times it was the main street for commerce and was known as Rua das Tendas. It acquired its current name during the 15th-Century when it linked two city gates; São José, which no longer exists, and Cavaleiros Gate. Rua Direita has retained its role as the main shopping artery in Viseu and the 500m course is still lined with fine buildings from the 16th to 18th century.

VISEU CATHEDRAL (SÉ)

The jewel in Viseus crown is the impressive Romanesque and Gothic Sé (Cathedral), one of the finest in Portugal. Its foundations sit on granite boulders that can be seen at the rear. It was first constructed in the 12th Century at the behest of King Afonso Henriques next to an ancient Swabian-Visigoth temple. In a niche above the main portal stands a statue of St Theotonius, the city's patron saint. Occupying the five other niches are the four evangelists and Our Lady of the Assumption. The façade is flanked by two bell towers. One was dates from mediaeval times and the other is a 17th Century reconstruction.

Successive remodelling over the centuries is most evident inside with the mixture of architectural styles. The interior was transformed in the 16th Century, with the reconstruction of the vaulting, that is Manueline and supported by Gothic pillars. Above the monumental Baroque high altar is a 14th-century figure of the Virgin. You can find a fine collection of sacred art exhibited in the chapterhouse. The lower level of the cloisters is Renaissance in style and the gallery in the upper story was added in the 17th Century.

The Cathedral is located on the Adro da Sé square which is also home to stunning Misericordia Church with its broad white Rococo facade. From the square, there are impressive views of the surrounding countryside.
Friday - Wednesday: 08h00 – 12h00/14h00 – 19h00, Thursdays: CLOSED
Adro da Sé, 3500-195 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 35.5" N | 07° 54' 39.9" W

Viseu Cathedral

|  Viseu Cathedral

AROUND THE CATHEDRAL

Igreja da Misericórdia

|  Igreja da Misericórdia


Viseu Funicular

|  Viseu Funicular

The square in front of the Cathedral is full of interesting places and one of the most iconic squares in Portugal. In the centre is Viseu's distinctive pillory (Pelourinho).


Igreja da Misericórdia

In stark contrast, opposite the Cathedral is the whitewashed Rococo façade of the beautiful Igreja da Misericórdia. A flight of steps guides the visitor up from the Adro da Sé to a balcony and the richly decorated main door. Its windows are decorated with curvaceous pediments and balustrades. The frontage is flanked by two bell towers. The interior consist of a single nave and a chapel, separated by a crossing arch. An 18th-century statue of Our Lady of Mercy, the church's patron, stands above the main altar.
Adro da Sé, 3500-069 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 36.1" N | 07° 54' 41.8" W


Grão Vasco Museum

Adjoining the Cathedral is a Renaissance palace that since 1916 has housed the Grão Vasco Museum. The famous Portuguese painter Vasco Fernandes, known as Grao-Vasco (d. 1542) was born and studied art in Viseu. As you would expect the museum has a number of Grao-Vasco's work including a set of retable paintings collected from religious establishments across the region.

There are also works by painters such as Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, José Malhoa, Alfredo Keil, Soares dos Reis, Silva Porto, António Ramalho and Sousa Lopes. Other disciplines are represented here too such as porcelain, furniture, sculpture, jewellery and numismatic pieces.
Tuesday: 14h00 - 17h30, Wednesday – Sunday: 10h00 - 18h00, Monday: CLOSED
Paço dos Três Escalões, Adro da Sé - 3500-195 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 36.8" N | 07° 54' 40.4" W
+351 232 422 049 | geral@mgraovasco.dgpc.pt | Website


Viseu Funicular

Commencing in 2009 this fun method of reaching the Cathedral square (Adro da Sé) takes only two minutes to climb 400 metres to the top. With a capacity of 50 people, including wheelchair users, the funicular is just one of new initiatives Viseu council has taken to encourage more tourists.
Daily: 08h30 - 20h00 | Largo da Feira de São Mateus to Adro da Sé

DÃO WINE & WELCOME CENTRE

The mountainous nature of the Beiras region makes ideal wine production country. The Terras do Dão wine region was once part of a larger viticultural designation called Vinho Regional Beiras. Evidence of winemaking in the area exists from the 12th century and is linked to Cistercian monks. The Phylloxera epidemic that blighted European vineyards arrived late here and thankfully did little damage and the region's wines came to the fore. Albeit a few minor alterations, the region attained Demarcation in 1908 with the creation of the Comissão Reguladora do Vinho do Dão (Dão Wine Regulatory Commission).

Housed within a 12th-Century manor house the Welcome Centre of the Dão Wine Route was created to promote and broaden the appeal of the wine from the Dão region, of which Viseu is centred. The Welcome Centre has a wine shop, exhibition space and a tasting point with a wine dispenser for tasting up to eight different Dão wines. It also organises wine tastings for groups of up to 30 guests.Housed within a 12th-Century manor house the Welcome Centre of the Dão Wine Route was created to promote and broaden the appeal of the wine from the Dão region, of which Viseu is centred. The Welcome Centre has a wine shop, exhibition space and a tasting point with a wine dispenser for tasting up to eight different Dão wines. It also organises wine tastings for groups of up to 30 guests.

Low Season: Monday:14h00 – 18h00, Tuesday – Friday: 10h00 – 12h30/14h00 – 18h00, Saturday: 10h00 – 13h30
High Season: Tuesday – Friday: 10h00 – 12h30/14h00 – 18h00, Saturday: 10h00 – 12h30/4h00 – 19h00, Monday & Sunday: CLOSED.

Contact Details
Solar do Vinho do Dão, Rua Dr. Aristides Sousa Mendes Apartado 10, 3501-908 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 40.7" N | 07° 54' 06.7" W
+351 232 410 060 | info@cvrdao.pt |  Website

Solar do Vinho do Dão

|  Solar do Vinho do Dão


VISIT A VINEYARD

Quinta dos Roques

Quinta dos Roques

Quinta dos Roques is a 3rd generation family-owned winery. Using only traditional grape varieties to make the traditional Portuguese blends. Quinta dos Roques were pioneers in making varietal wines in the Dão Region during the 90s. Currently, working with six white varieties, six reds, and three mixed vineyards over 40 years of age. Quinta dos Roques produce a great variety of wines, from blends to varietals and sparkling wine. Get to know the unique flavour, taste and diversity of the wines from one of the oldest Portuguese Regions, Dão, a world of difference! Quinta dos Roques offer a number of different tasting options and guided tours. You can choose and book online and guarantee your experience.

10h00 - 19h30
Rua da Paz, Abrunhosa do Mato, 3530-050 Cunha Baixa, Portugal.
40° 33' 02.8" N | 07° 45' 02.9" W
+351 232 614 500 | info@quintaroques.pt |  Website

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Boas Quintas

Boas Quintas

This award winning winery is a family affair now in its fourth generation. After excelling with local Dão wines they have expanded their repertoire of quality wines in other wine regions. Boas Quintas wine tourism visiting programs and wine tastings happen in the 12 hectares of vineyards in the Dão wine region and in the modern winery located in Quinta da Giesta, in Mortágua. Guided tours around the winery with the explanation of Boas Quintas project and winemaking procedures, followed by a commented wine tasting, all with an approximate duration of 1 to 1:30 hours. To book a visit or a wine tasting, please contact by email.


Monday – Friday: 10h00 – 12h00/14h00 -18h00, Weekends on approval
Adega Boas Quintas 14 Rua Quinta da Gandarada, 3450-335 Mortágua, Portugal.
40° 24' 25.0" N | 08° 13' 54.1" W
+ 351 231 921 076 | enotourism@boasquintas.com |  Website

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ANTA DE CUNHA BAIXA

Anta de Cunha Baixa

|  Anta de Cunha Baixa

Fifteen kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Viseu close to the village of Mangualde is a fine relic from the Neolithic period, the Anta da Cunha Baixa, also known as Casa da Orca de Cunha Baixa. Sitting alone in a field this dolmen is thought to be about 5000 years old. It's commonly believed such monuments were used solely for funerary purposes and are known as a gallery grave (Allée Couverte), yet new research has associated astrological alignments with similar dolmens. The chamber is three metres wide, just over three metres wide and about the same tall. It is topped by a large capstone resting on three of the nine wall stones of the chamber. There are traces of carvings on the granite uprights of the inner chamber. The entrance corridor is over seven metres long and consists of 16 boulders. The whole complex has a southeast orientation.

Excavations and study of the site have been ongoing since the late 19th Century and in the 1950s three flint blades and a polished stone axe 12.8cm long were unearthed. Research has revealed it was used for thousands of years, well into the Bronze Age. Anta da Cunha Baixa was fully restored in 1987, stones we re-laid and some even stapled together for prosperity. It is now classified as a national monument. The site is easily reached by following the N232 towards Gouveia and then following the designated signs. On-site there is a car park and a picnic area across a footbridge from the publicly accessed site.
Cunha Baixa, Portugal. | 40° 34' 11.9" N | 07° 46' 15.4"W

ECOPISTA DO DÃO

The Linha do Dão railway line ran between Santa Comba Dão and Viseu until it closed in 1988. In 2011 the 49km (30mi) route was rejuvenated as a cycle/footpath. It’s possible to access the trail at various points along the way, including at several old stations that once served villages along its route. Ecopista do Dão is Portugal's longest traffic-free track and traverses some of the beautiful landscapes imaginable. The southern end of the route starts close to the Santa Comba Dão train station, on the Linha da Beira Alta railway line Timetable, with services from Guarda and Coimbra, once alighted follow the brown signs for the Ecopista do Dão. For the first 16km (10mi) after Santa Comba Dão, the route follows the course of the Dão river until just after Tondela. The path then passes a forested landscape with views of mountains and valleys, vineyards, farmland and small villages. The gradients remain level, throughout the whole route there are no steep climbs. The path is paved with coloured asphalt, blue in the district of Santa Comba Dão, green in Tondela and red in Viseu. There are cafés at the former train stations of Figuieró ( 40° 40' 46.3" N | 08° 00' 58.5" W) and Farminhão ( 40° 36' 42.4" N | 08° 00' 42.2" W).


Ecopista do Dão - Bike Rental

Ecopista do Dão - Bike Rental

After arriving at Abelenda Bike Renta in Santa Comba Dão you'll select your bike before being transferred to Viseu to start your incredible day cycling the Ecopista do Dão. The 47km route from Viseu has a slight downhill gradient and for a large part follows the course of the River Dão. Along the way you'll be treated to amazing views, there are cafés/restaurants for your refreshment and fluvial beaches if you fancy a quick dip. Book online and guarantee your adventure!

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Cycling Ecopista do Dão (Coimbra pick-up)

Ecopista do Dão (Coimbra pick-up)

Soak up the scenery of central Portugal from the back of a bike during this full-day ride down the Ecopista do Dão. In the company of a guide and a small group capped at eight participants, cover almost 50km and enjoy an intimate experience that is well-suited to experienced cyclists. Bottled water and helmets are provided for safety and ease. Convenient hotel pick-up and drop-off is available from central Coimbra.


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Bicla Tour - From Coimbra

Bicla Tour - From Coimbra

The Bicla Tour along the Ecopista do Dão starts from a pick-up from your hotel in Coimbra and then transferred to Viseu. The transfer van has a capacity for eight people. You'll spend the day enjoying the beautiful scenery of the region as guided by the Trouxa Bicla family. They will share stories, experiences and a true typical Portuguese gastronomic experience along the way.



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OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Pousada De Viseu

Pousada De Viseu ★ ★ ★ ★

The grim exterior of this guesthouse is deceiving for inside are modern comfortable rooms, all with laminate floors, fully fitted bathrooms, cable TV, soundproofing, free WiFi, heating and air conditioning. Alojamento Dom Dinis is pet friendly and there's no extra charge for bringing your four-legged friend. The breakfast is included and substantial. There's private parking available at the rear.

Rua Do Hospital, 3500-161 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 16.7" N | 07° 54' 45.9" W

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Hotel Grao Vasco

Hotel Grao Vasco ★ ★ ★ ★

Hotel Grão Vasco is situated in a large garden with an oval-shaped swimming pool and well-tended hedges. The restaurant has large windows and overlooks the green lawn. Rooms at Grão Vasco are air-conditioned and offer a satellite TV and a private bathroom with a bath and shower. Guests can enjoy the sun on the outdoor terrace or relax under a parasol by the swimming pool. The Fontelo Forest Park, 650 yards away, offers a quiet setting for an afternoon walk.

The Grão Vasco restaurant serves a range of regional dishes in a traditional décor with beamed ceilings. Room service is available as well. The Hotel Grão Vasco offers free parking upon availability. Guests are welcome to enjoy swimming in the indoor pool or taking in a workout at the gym. Hotel Grão Vasco is situated in the very centre of Viseu, just next to Rossio where the Town Hall is. Viseu Cathedral is a seven-minute walk away.

Rua Gaspar Barreiros, 3510-032 Viseu, Portugal. | 40° 39' 22.1"N | 07° 54' 48.4" W

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Casa da Avó Zirinha (Holiday Home)

Casa da Avó Zirinha (Holiday Home)

Set in Viseu, a few steps from Viseu Cathedral and 200 yards from Viseu Misericordia Church, Casa da Avó Zirinha offers air-conditioned accommodation with a patio and free WiFi. Offering private parking. The holiday home features three bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and three bathrooms with a bidet. Towels and bed linen are provided. Casa da Avó Zirinha has a terrace. A car rental service is available at the accommodation. Museu de Grao Vasco is 200 yards from Casa da Avó Zirinha.

Rua Silva Gaio, 3500-203 Viseu, Portugal.
40° 39' 37.9" N | 07° 54' 43.4" W

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OUR CHOICE

Old Tavern Viseu

Old Tavern Viseu

Friendly and attentive staff await you with knowledgeable recommendations that never fail to satisfy. This little famiily restaurant will always show you plenty of attention no matter how busy they are. None of the courses will disappoint as they will all be excellent, highlights being their entree platter, Arroz de Carqueja, pork dishes and homemade desserts.

Sunday & Tuesday: 19h00 – 00h00, Monday: CLOSED, Wednesday – Saturday: 12h30 – 14h30/19h00 – 00h00
Rua Santa Amelia N 18, Viseu 3515-141 Portugal.
40° 40' 33.9" N | 07° 55' 18.4" W
+351 934 597 584 | oldtavern.restaurante@gmail.com


Vissaium Taberna

Vissaium Taberna

Compact yet perfectly formed this intimate and relaxed restaurant serves good local fare at good prices. A delicious selection of Portuguese 'tapas' dishes are also found on the menu. Vegans and vegetarians are catered for.

Sunday: 12h00 - 15h00, Tuesday – Friday: 19h00 – 23h00, Saturday: 12h00 – 15h00/19h00 – 23h00, Monday: CLOSED
Largo Mouzinho de Albuquerque 81 Near to teatro Viriato, Viseu 3500-160 Portugal. | 40° 39' 38.9" N | 07° 54' 30.8" W
+351 967 783 994


Francesinha É Prá Sé

Francesinha É Prá Sé

The belly-busting Francesinha sandwich is more associated with Porto but is well at home in Viseu. There's a number of variations to this classic dish on the menu including a vegetarian option. Francesinha É Prá Sé is an excellent option if you wanted a good satisfying meal without any bells or whistles. Theres also a great selection of beers available too.

Daily: 09h00 - 23h00
4 Rua Silva Gaio, 3500-203, Viseu.
40° 39' 34.9" N | 07° 54' 46.1" W
+351 963 937 473 | geral@francesinhaeprase.pt

Trancoso is 139km (86.1mi) Southeast of Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport PORTO.
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Only Just over one and a half hours from Porto via the A1 and A25

Latitude - 40° 39' 29.8" N Longitude - 07° 54' 43.7" W

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The nearest train station is 20km (12.4mi) away in Mangualde:
Regional train services (comboios regionais) from Lisboa Santa Apolónia:
• Beira Alta line Timetable

Trains of Portugal Website

Rede Expressos run services to Viseu from Porto. Website