Top Attractions & Things to Do in Évora


By Christine Hitt

Évora, located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, is a charming city filled with rich history and captivating attractions. With its well-preserved medieval walls and narrow cobbled streets, Évora offers a glimpse into Portugal’s past. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique travel experience, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this enchanting city.

One of the must-visit attractions in Évora is the iconic Roman Temple, also known as the Temple of Diana. This well-preserved Roman structure dates back to the 1st century AD and is an impressive sight to behold. As you wander around the temple, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe at the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the ancient Romans.

If you are interested in exploring Évora’s historical and cultural heritage, a visit to the Évora Cathedral is a must. This imposing medieval cathedral, built in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Inside, you’ll find magnificent 16th-century paintings and intricate tapestries that tell the story of Évora’s past. Make sure to climb the cathedral’s tower for panoramic views of the city.

Another notable attraction in Évora is the Capela dos Ossos, or Chapel of Bones. This eerie chapel, located inside the Church of São Francisco, is adorned with human bones and skulls. It was built in the 16th century by Franciscan monks as a reminder of the transient nature of life. While the sight may be unsettling for some, it is undeniably a fascinating and thought-provoking experience.

No visit to Évora would be complete without sampling some of the local gastronomy. The city is known for its delicious Alentejo cuisine, which includes dishes like migas, açorda, and pezinhos de coentrada. Head to one of the traditional taverns or restaurants in the city to indulge in the flavors of the Alentejo region.

Whether you’re exploring the historical sites, admiring the unique architecture, or savoring the local cuisine, Évora is a city that will leave a lasting impression. Its charm and beauty make it a top destination for travelers seeking an authentic Portuguese experience.

The Best 11 Attractions

1. Roman Temple of Évora

The Roman Temple of Évora, also known as the Temple of Diana, is a well-preserved Roman temple located in the historic city center. Dating back to the 1st century AD, it is one of the most iconic landmarks in Évora and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Cathedral of Évora

The Cathedral of Évora, also known as the Basilica Sé of Évora, is a magnificent medieval cathedral that dominates the skyline of the city. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, it is one of the largest cathedrals in Portugal and features a beautiful mix of Gothic, Romanesque, and Manueline architectural styles.

3. Évora Museum

Located in the old Archbishop’s Palace, the Évora Museum is a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts. It houses a diverse collection of archaeological artifacts, religious art, and contemporary art exhibitions. The museum also offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace.

4. Chapel of Bones

The Chapel of Bones, also known as Capela dos Ossos, is a unique and somewhat macabre attraction in Évora. Built in the 16th century, the chapel is adorned with the bones and skulls of approximately 5,000 individuals. It serves as a reminder of the transience of life and the importance of reflection.

5. University of Évora

The University of Évora is one of the oldest universities in Portugal, dating back to 1559. It is located in the historic center of the city and features beautiful cloisters, a grand staircase, and a library with a rich collection of books. The university also hosts various cultural events throughout the year.

6. Giraldo Square

Giraldo Square, named after the legendary Portuguese knight Geraldo Geraldes, is the main square in Évora and a popular meeting point for locals and tourists. Surrounded by historic buildings, cafes, and shops, the square is a vibrant hub of activity and a great place to relax and people-watch.

7. Almendres Cromlech

The Almendres Cromlech is one of the largest megalithic complexes in Europe, located just outside of Évora. Dating back to prehistoric times, it consists of several standing stones arranged in circular and elliptical patterns. Visiting the site provides a fascinating glimpse into ancient civilizations and their religious practices.

8. Church of São Francisco

The Church of São Francisco is a medieval church known for its stunning Gothic architecture. Inside, visitors can admire beautiful tilework, intricate woodcarvings, and the famous “Tree of Jesse” stone carving. The adjacent São Francisco Church Museum showcases religious artifacts and treasures.

9. Cartuxa Winery

Wine lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Cartuxa Winery, located just outside of Évora. This renowned winery offers guided tours and wine tastings, allowing visitors to learn about the winemaking process and sample some of the region’s finest wines.

10. Megalithic Sites

Évora is surrounded by several megalithic sites, where visitors can explore ancient stone circles, dolmens, and menhirs. These sites provide a fascinating glimpse into the region’s prehistoric past and are perfect for those interested in archaeology and history.

11. Mouraria

Mouraria is the old Moorish quarter of Évora, characterized by narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and traditional architecture. Strolling through the narrow lanes, visitors can admire beautiful azulejos (painted ceramic tiles) and soak up the atmosphere of this charming neighborhood.

Explore the Historic City

Évora is a city rich in history, with a vibrant and ancient past. As you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets and explore the historic sites, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of ancient Rome and the Renaissance.

One of the must-visit places in Évora is the Roman Temple, also known as the Temple of Diana. This impressive monument, located in the historic center, dates back to the 1st century AD and is one of the best-preserved Roman structures on the Iberian Peninsula. Marvel at the beautiful Corinthian columns and imagine the city bustling around this magnificent temple.

Next on your list should be the Cathedral of Évora, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Step inside and admire the intricate details of the high vaulted ceilings and the impressive altar. Don’t forget to visit the cloisters, a peaceful oasis with beautiful tilework.

As you continue your exploration, be sure to visit the Chapel of Bones (Capela dos Ossos). This eerie but fascinating chapel is entirely lined with human bones and skulls. It was built in the 16th century by a Franciscan monk with the intention of reminding people of the transience of life. It’s a unique and thought-provoking experience not to be missed.

No visit to Évora would be complete without exploring the Almendres Cromlech, one of the largest megalithic complexes in Europe. Dating back to around 6,000 BC, these ancient standing stones are surrounded by a mystical atmosphere. Take a moment to contemplate the history and significance of this archaeological site.

Finally, take a stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town and discover its many shops, restaurants, and cafes. Sample the local cuisine and indulge in some traditional Portuguese pastries. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir or two to remember your time in this captivating historic city.

Top attractions in Évora Recommended time to visit
Roman Temple Anytime
Cathedral of Évora Morning or late afternoon
Chapel of Bones Afternoon
Almendres Cromlech Morning or early evening

Discover Ancient Roman Ruins

Évora, located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, is not only known for its charming medieval streets and historical sites, but also for its rich Roman heritage. Exploring the ancient Roman ruins in Évora is a must for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in ancient civilizations.

One of the main attractions is the Roman Temple of Évora, also known as the Temple of Diana. This well-preserved temple dates back to the 1st century AD and is an impressive example of Roman architecture in Portugal. Marvel at the massive Corinthian columns and imagine what life was like during the Roman Empire.

Another notable Roman ruin in Évora is the Roman Baths. Built in the 1st century AD, these baths were an important part of Roman daily life. Step back in time as you explore the thermal pools, changing rooms, and heating system that provided comfort and relaxation to the ancient inhabitants of Évora.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cromeleque dos Almendres, an ancient megalithic monument located just outside of Évora. Dating back to the 6th millennium BC, this site predates the Roman Empire by thousands of years. Walk among the standing stones and marvel at the ingenuity of our ancestors who built these structures with primitive tools.

For those interested in ancient Roman artifacts, the Évora Museum is a must-visit. The museum houses a collection of Roman coins, pottery, jewelry, and other artifacts that offer insight into daily life in Évora during Roman times.

Exploring the ancient Roman ruins in Évora is a fascinating journey through history. Whether you are interested in Roman architecture, daily life, or simply enjoy exploring historical sites, Évora’s ancient Roman ruins are sure to impress.

Visit the Gothic Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of Évora, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. This magnificent cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is considered one of the most important Gothic monuments in Portugal.

Upon entering the Cathedral, visitors will be captivated by the grandeur of its interior. The high ceilings, intricate designs, and beautiful stained glass windows showcase the talent of the craftsmen who worked on this architectural masterpiece.

One of the highlights of the Cathedral is its impressive main chapel, which features a stunning altarpiece carved in gilded wood. This masterpiece, created by Flemish artist Olivier de Gand, is a sight to behold and should not be missed.

Another must-see attraction within the Cathedral is the Chapel of São Brás. This chapel houses the treasured relics of the city’s patron saint, Saint Brás. The Chapel is adorned with beautiful azulejos, Portuguese ceramic tiles, depicting scenes from the life of Saint Brás.

Visitors can also explore the Cloister of the Cathedral, a peaceful and tranquil space that provides a welcome break from the bustling city. The Cloister features elegant arches and columns, and its walls are adorned with azulejos, which depict biblical scenes.

For those interested in history, the Cathedral Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. The museum houses a collection of religious artifacts, including precious metals, sculptures, and paintings. Visitors can learn about the history of the Cathedral and its importance to the city of Évora.

A visit to the Gothic Cathedral is a must for anyone exploring the historic city of Évora. Whether you are an art lover, history buff, or simply appreciate beautiful architecture, the Cathedral is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Marvel at the Bone Chapel

If you’re looking for a unique and somewhat macabre attraction in Évora, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Bone Chapel, also known as Capela dos Ossos in Portuguese. Located within the Church of St. Francis, this eerie chapel is adorned with the bones of over 5,000 individuals.

The Bone Chapel was built in the 16th century by Franciscan monks with the intention of conveying a message about the transitory nature of life. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a haunting sight: the walls, columns, and even the ceiling are covered in skeletal remains.

The bones, carefully arranged, create a spectacle that is both fascinating and unsettling. Skulls line the walls, forming intricate patterns and designs, while leg and arm bones are used to create decorative motifs. It is a silent reminder of the inevitability of death and the fragility of human existence.

As you explore the chapel, take a moment to reflect on the fleeting nature of life and the spiritual mysteries that lie beyond. The atmosphere inside is somber and contemplative, making it a truly unique experience. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or the macabre, the Bone Chapel is a must-visit attraction in Évora.

Tip: Photography is not allowed inside the Bone Chapel, so be prepared to soak in the atmosphere without capturing it digitally.

Stroll through the Historic Center

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Évora, exploring the historic center is a must. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city is home to well-preserved medieval streets and a wealth of historic landmarks.

Start your stroll at the iconic Giraldo Square, the main square of Évora. This bustling hub is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect place to grab a coffee and people-watch. From there, you can wander through the winding cobblestone streets, taking in the medieval architecture as you go.

Be sure to visit the Évora Cathedral, a stunning example of medieval architecture that offers great panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace. You can also explore the Roman Temple, once part of the Roman forum and one of the city’s most impressive landmarks.

As you wander through the historic center, you’ll also come across charming churches, such as the Church of São Francisco with its famous Chapel of Bones. This macabre yet fascinating chapel is adorned with the bones of thousands of monks, serving as a haunting reminder of the transient nature of life.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Évora Museum, housed in a former archbishop’s palace. Here, you can learn more about the city’s history and see a vast collection of archaeological artifacts, artwork, and religious objects.

For a break from exploring, take a moment to relax in one of the many picturesque squares dotted throughout the historic center. Grab a bench in the Jardim Publico, a peaceful park adorned with sculptures and fountains, or enjoy a picnic in the romantic setting of the Largo da Porta de Moura.

As you stroll through the historic center of Évora, let the enchanting atmosphere transport you back in time. From its medieval streets to its awe-inspiring landmarks, this UNESCO World Heritage site is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Enjoy Panoramic Views from the City Walls

One of the most breathtaking experiences in Évora is strolling along the city walls and taking in the panoramic views. These medieval fortifications surround the historic center of the city and offer a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape.

As you walk along the walls, you’ll be able to see the beautiful rooftops, gardens, and squares of Évora. The views are especially stunning during sunrise and sunset, when the golden light enhances the beauty of the city.

While exploring the city walls, make sure to stop by the various lookout towers, such as the Torre de Menagem, for even more stunning views. You’ll be able to see the rolling hills of the Alentejo region, dotted with olive groves and vineyards.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the panoramic views from the city walls. This is an experience you won’t want to miss during your visit to Évora!

See the Megalithic Standing Stones

One of the must-see attractions in Évora is the Megalithic Standing Stones. These ancient stones, known as menhirs, are scattered throughout the countryside and are believed to date back to the Neolithic period, around 5,000 years ago.

These impressive stones were used by the prehistoric people for various purposes, from religious rituals to marking important spots in the landscape. Some of the megalithic standing stones have intricate carvings on them, depicting symbols and designs that still remain a mystery to archaeologists.

Visiting the Megalithic Standing Stones is like taking a journey back in time. As you stand in the presence of these ancient monuments, you can’t help but marvel at the skill and ingenuity of the people who built them so many centuries ago.

  • Take a stroll through the megalithic complex and explore the different structures.
  • Marvel at the size and shape of the standing stones, some of which reach several meters in height.
  • Try to decipher the mysterious carvings and symbols etched onto the stones.
  • Learn about the cultural and historical significance of these megalithic structures.
  • Take plenty of photos to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the megalithic standing stones.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates ancient wonders, a visit to the Megalithic Standing Stones is a must when in Évora. It’s a chance to connect with the past and gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of this fascinating region.

Step into the Chapel of Bones

Walking through the chapel, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and contemplation as you come face to face with this macabre display. The bones are meticulously arranged to create intricate patterns and designs, adding to the haunting atmosphere of the chapel. The inscription above the entrance reads, “We bones that are here, for yours await.”

As you explore the chapel, take a moment to reflect on the fleeting nature of existence and the importance of cherishing every moment. The Chapel of Bones serves as a powerful reminder that life is precious and should not be taken for granted.

If you’re feeling brave, join one of the guided tours that provide insight into the history and significance of the chapel. The knowledgeable guides will share stories and legends associated with the chapel, giving you a deeper understanding of its purpose and the monks who created it.

Visiting the Chapel of Bones is a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who ventures through its eerie halls. Whether you come for the history, the unique architecture, or simply to contemplate the meaning of life and death, this attraction is sure to captivate you.

Visit the Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is one of the top attractions in Évora and a must-visit for history buffs. Located in the historic center of the city, the palace dates back to the 14th century and served as the residence of the Portuguese royal family for several centuries.

When you visit the Royal Palace, you’ll have the opportunity to explore its remarkable architecture and admire its beautiful interior. The palace features a mix of Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance styles, showcasing the rich history and cultural heritage of Portugal.

Inside the palace, you’ll find several rooms that have been preserved in their original state, including the royal bedrooms, the ceremonial halls, and the private chambers. Each room is decorated with intricate details, beautiful tapestries, and stunning artwork, giving you a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the royal family.

One of the highlights of the Royal Palace is the impressive Hall of Mirrors. This grand hall is adorned with intricate mirrors and shimmering chandeliers, creating a truly majestic atmosphere. It is the perfect spot to take memorable photos and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the palace.

As you explore the palace, make sure to visit the palace gardens as well. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, with beautifully manicured lawns, colorful flowers, and charming fountains. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and soak up the tranquil ambiance.

Address Palácio de Dom Manuel
Opening hours 9am-6pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Tickets Adults: €10
Children (under 12): Free

Visiting the Royal Palace is a fascinating journey through history and an opportunity to experience the grandeur of Portuguese royalty. Don’t miss out on this iconic attraction when you’re in Évora.

Explore the Museum of Évora

The Museum of Évora is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history and culture of this beautiful Portuguese city. Located in the historic center, this museum provides a fascinating insight into the rich heritage of Évora and its surrounding region.

Established in 1915, the Museum of Évora is housed in a former bishop’s palace, adding to its charm and historical significance. The museum’s collection is extensive and diverse, encompassing archaeological artifacts, religious art, historical documents, and much more.

One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of Roman archaeological remains, showcasing the city’s ancient origins. Visitors can explore a variety of artifacts, including pottery, jewelry, and sculptures, all dating back to the Roman period.

In addition to its ancient relics, the Museum of Évora also features an impressive collection of religious art. Visitors can view exquisite paintings, sculptures, and religious objects from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This collection offers a unique glimpse into the spiritual and artistic traditions of the region.

The museum also houses a dedicated section on prehistoric and medieval history, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the area’s past. From prehistoric tools to medieval armor, this section offers a fascinating journey through time.

After exploring the various exhibits, visitors can relax in the museum’s courtyard, which offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. The courtyard features beautiful gardens, a fountain, and a café, where visitors can enjoy a refreshing beverage and reflect on their museum experience.

Overall, the Museum of Évora is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in delving into the history and culture of this enchanting city. Its diverse collection and stunning location make it a truly memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Location: Palácio Episcopal, Largo do Conde de Vila Flor, 7000-804 Évora, Portugal
Admission: Adults: €5; Students/Seniors: €3; Children under 12: Free

Indulge in Local Cuisine and Wine

Évora is not only known for its rich history and beautiful architecture, but also for its delicious local cuisine and excellent wine. When visiting Évora, be sure to take the time to taste the traditional dishes and sample the local wines.

One of the must-try dishes in Évora is the Alentejana pork. This dish consists of tender pork cooked in a pot with garlic, paprika, and other aromatic spices. The result is a mouthwatering dish that is full of flavor. Pair it with a glass of local red wine for a perfect combination.

Another local specialty is the açorda. This traditional bread-based dish is made with garlic, coriander, olive oil, and local herbs. It can be served with various toppings, such as seafood or vegetables, and is a true delight for the taste buds.

Évora is also known for its excellent wine production. The region is famous for its rich and full-bodied red wines, which pair perfectly with the local cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the local wineries and sample some of the best wines Évora has to offer.

If you’re a cheese lover, Évora has some delicious options for you. The region is known for its sheep’s milk cheese, which has a unique flavor and creamy texture. Pair it with a glass of local white wine for a true culinary experience.

Finally, don’t forget to try the local desserts. From traditional sweets like sericaia, a fluffy pudding made with eggs and cinnamon, to queijadas, a sweet pastry filled with creamy custard, there is something for every sweet tooth in Évora.

Indulging in the local cuisine and wine is not only a culinary experience, but also a way to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. So, when in Évora, be sure to savor every bite and sip, and discover the true flavors of this charming city.


What are some of the top attractions in Évora?

Some of the top attractions in Évora include the Temple of Diana, the Cathedral of Évora, the Chapel of Bones, the Giraldo Square, and the University of Évora.

What is the Temple of Diana?

The Temple of Diana is a Roman temple located in Évora. It is one of the best-preserved Roman structures in Portugal and is a popular tourist attraction.

Can you visit the Chapel of Bones in Évora?

Yes, the Chapel of Bones is open to visitors. It is a small chapel decorated with human bones, and it is known for its macabre interior.

Is the University of Évora worth visiting?

Yes, the University of Évora is worth visiting. It is one of the oldest universities in Portugal and has a rich history. The university campus itself is beautiful and offers great views of the city.



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Christine Hitt

Christine Hitt, a devoted Hawaii enthusiast from Oahu, has spent 15 years exploring the islands, sharing her deep insights in respected publications such as Los Angeles Times, SFGate, Honolulu, and Hawaii magazines. Her expertise spans cultural nuances, travel advice, and the latest updates, making her an invaluable resource for all Hawaii lovers.

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