Viseu: Central Portugal’s beauty


Portugal : Viseu

Viseu is a beautiful town located in the heart of Dão, an enchanting wine region full of lush pine forests, crystal clear rivers, and stunning landscapes. The wide variety of red wines and dining options offered by this urban gem will surprise even the most experienced gourmets. However, the city is not all about gastronomy – there are plenty of cultural and architectural pearls to explore.

The town dates back to the Roman times. The Roman settlement was transformed into a Visigoth town and later into a Moorish bastion. Owing to its eventful history, Viseu is full of excellent landmarks which are proofs of its interesting past.

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Highlights of Viseu

The most interesting part to start your journey from is the Old Town. It will be an ideal choice for those who, apart from admiring the town’s beautiful architecture, would also like to dive deeper into its culture through regional cuisine. 

The multiple instances of local restaurants that can be found in the historic quarter will cater to the needs of the most demanding gourmets. The Old Town is also a place where you can get some fancy souvenirs for your family members.

At the heart of the historic quarter, you’ll find Praça Dom Duarte. Surrounded on all sides by stunning examples of tenement houses and architectural gems, the plaza will give you an opportunity to admire the Statue of King Duarte located at its centre. 

Museu da Misericórdia is another interesting highlight of the town. Inside, you’ll see a rich collection of oil paintings and religious artefacts. After a short visit at the museum, head for the nearby Igreja da Misericória with its multiple Baroque features and two characteristic towers that are visible from afar.

Another important religious edifice in Viseu is the Cathedral. It is a true blend of Mannerist, Renaissance, and Manueline styles. It was probably constructed on the site of an Early Christian basilica. However, the most important changes in its form were introduced in the 16th century and can still be visible today.

If you are searching for an ideal picnic place, head towards Parque Aquilino Ribeiro. The area is filled with interesting flora examples. In the park, you’ll find plenty of shade, greenery, and peaceful spots that will be an ideal retreat after a day full of sightseeing.

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Driving around Viseu

Regardless of whether you’d like to incorporate the scenic Viseu into a longer trip around the region or stay in this town for a couple of nights, an ideal choice will be exploring it with a rental car. A wide choice of car rental spots in all major Portuguese cities and at airports will guarantee you total freedom while travelling. If you’ve already have your dream rental vehicle, it’s time to jump behind the wheel and hit the road.

Viseu offers a small choice of municipal car parks where you can safely leave your car. Examples of such places include SABA Santa Cristina Car Park located onLargo Santa Cristina and Parque Dom João I Car Park located on Praça D. João I. The former is open round the clock, whereas the latter operates from Monday to Saturday between 8 am and 9 pm. However, remember that the last check-in can be done at 7 pm. It is possible to book your parking spot in advance.

In order to reach Viseu, it’s best to follow A25, A24, E801, or A35 roads depending on the direction you’re coming from. Portugal has introduced a toll system on the motorways so prepare in advance and familiarise yourself with the most important rules beforehand.