Hello everyone and welcome to Santarém, the first of the many stops that we will visit in Portugal. Ready to start a new adventure to “conquer” another nation? Yes, of course, otherwise we would not be here! So let’s start immediately with the presentations, let’s go!
Santarém is the main center of the Ribatejo region and is located on a plateau near the bank of the Tagus river. The city is located to the north of Lisbon and it is very close from the latter so it doesn’t cost either much time nor too much money to be able to visit both because it is worth the rule of the big (Lisbon) and small city (Santarém). Continuing, Santarém is a great economic and commercial center and above all of great importance is the agriculture and breeding (and during the exploration you will understand more about this aspect) and in fact nearby there is the agricultural center Apiarça. After we did this brief knowledge we would say to start our tour immediately.
To know more ( what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
The city has several monuments including the largest and most diverse complex of Gothic churches in Portugal of various styles (Roman-Gothic, flaming…) and it owns beautiful examples of Manueline, Renaissance and Baroque architecture too. So we can get crazy looking for these magnificences and we can’t be happier than this!
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
Igreja do Santissimo Milagre
- Sé Catedral de Santarém: it is the Catholic cathedral of Santarém and it is located in the historic center of Santarém, in a small square with a statue in the middle. The building has a very particular architecture as detailed especially in the upper part of the structure and at the entrance where there are some steps that will lead you to the main door. Inside, what predominates is its golden color and its elegance as well as its magnificent artistic appearance. Adjacent to the church, the Diocesano de Santarém a museum with paintings, sculptures and collections of sacred art.
- Igreja do Santissimo Milagre: the church is located in the historic center of Santarém and it is one of the most visited and also one of the most important, as it tells the story of a miracle occurred in ancient times absolutely to be heard. Its peculiarity can be guessed from the road that leads to the church (opposite side of the entrance) until it ends with the view of the visibly Renaissance structure. Inside there is a chapel and so much to tell, listen and see.
- Igreja da Graça: the church is located in the historic center of the city (at Largo Pedro Álvares Cabral) and is considered one of the most emblematic monuments of Santarém so much that it is one of the greatest examples of Gothic art. Surely the architectural side attracts attention, like the particular flower in the upper part of the structure. In any case, its interior is beautiful as well and it is precisely here that Pedro Álvares Cabral, the discoverer of Brazil, was buried.
- Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila: the church is located in the historic center of Santarém and is one of the most important examples of Manueline and Renaissance style and at times Gothic, especially for its large size. The beauty of the church, in addition to the chapel and what is sacred inside, lies in its decoration and the particular the use of Portuguese tiles… Beautiful!
- Casa Museu Passos Canavarro: a perfect place for anyone who loves art. This was the home of the politician Passos Manuel and inside it is full of artistic treasures that start from furniture, traditional Japanese sculptures, to the maps of the five hundred century till to the collections of works of art of the twentieth century. Another interesting aspect are the many curiosities told that make everything even more intriguing.
- Casa dos Patudos- Museu de Alpiarça: this is a house-museum located in Alpiarça, in the district of Santarém. Here there are works of painting, sculpture and various decorative arts (an example are the famous Portuguese tiles) of local authors but also of other European countries. The museum offers the opportunity to follow the whole course of the history of art since the present works go from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the twentieth century. Definitely a good opportunity to get a load of culture!
- Museu Nacional Ferroviário: its headquarters is in the district of Entroncamento, an important node of the railway network. Needless to say that we can find many models of wagons and means of transport and how they have evolved over the years. Definitely a museum to not to be missed but only if you are lovers of this kind of things and you are curious to know everything (that you can see and not) that turns around this world.
- Núcleo Museológico do Tempo: this museum or better the Torre das Cabaças is located in the vicinity of the São João de Alporão church and it is an example of late Gothic style. At the top there is a bell on which sides are placed round ceramic spheres, placed there as acoustic reinforcement for the bell but for the people in ancient times it was interpreted under another meaning that the museum will be ready to tell you (shhh, we do not want anticipate anything, we leave you ust knowing this); in addition the Núcleo Museológico do Tempo will present an exhibition of themed objects.
- Casa do Brasil: the museum-house is located very close to the Torre das Cabaças. The museum has a good exhibition area and tells about the Brazil-Portugal relationship (which had a great influence in the history of the city) but also about the history of Santarém in general, managing to keep perfectly its historical aspect and its importance in terms of cultural diffusion. A small garden and a bar are part of this building.
- Urbi Scallabis-Centro de Interpretação Núcleo Museológico: this structure is considered as an interpretive center that owns the most ancient and important traces of occupation happened in the city, favoring the genesis and historical-urban evolution of Santarém. The center is made up of several sections and there is so much to see and learn as the Roman ruins and the different showcases inside there are the various collections and objects. A beautiful and fascinating place!
- Castelo de Alcanede: is a medieval Portuguese castle located in a municipality of Santarém, in the Ribatejo district of Santarém. It is situated in a rural location, isolated on top of a hill surrounded by vast vegetation so you can understand the magnificent view from there. To reach the castle there is be a small staircase. A suggestive and adventurous visit perfect for those who adore this kind of genre.
- Fonte das Figueiras: this fountain that represents a true open-air museum, is located near the parish of San Salvador on a plateau of a small medieval village. The fountain has the recognition of a national monument and is located what was once a strategic point of connection between two important routes. This place is a little bit hidden and therefore sometimes it is forgotten but it is extremely beautiful that you must definitely visit!
The main theater of the city is the Teatro Sá da Bandeira.
Fonte das Figueiras
The fun can’t be missed in any place and so in Santarém too. Let’s discover where.
- Jardim das Portas do Sol: you can not go to Santarém and not visit this magnificent garden (maybe it looks like more like a park). It is a vast space where you can play, relax, stroll and do endless photography in a wonderful and varied atmosphere. Impossible not to love this place that expresses peace and freedom.
- Along the Tagus River that crosses the city of Santarém and in particular the Ribatejo region there are some evocative and so-called Village Avieiras. These villages were built by fishermen in those areas and are made up of characteristic wooden houses. The closest to the city, almost at its feet and in the center of the city, is the Caneiras village. It is a place that deserves a lots and it is a good reason to visit the famous river with its typical houses.
- In the city to visit there is the historic center marked by great artistic value and a the perfect point to start the tour. If you love street markets, a place where you have to go is the municpial market (which has a beautiful exterior look full of refined decorations) where you will find lots and everything absolutely fresh and of good quality. Nothing big or lavish but enough stocked is the shopping center W Shopping for those who want to dedicate a few hours to do some shopping (that it’s always a good idea!).
- One of the best ways to learn more about the city is certainly during the events that do nothing but bring out the different aspects of the place. For example, in June there is the National Agricultural Fair and it is famous nationwide, where are presented agricultural products and tools as well as a livestock fair (certainly an opportunity for fans, for experts in the field, but also for those who adore the gastronomy or who decides to leave for a gastronomic tour). You can also participate to the traditional “tourada” or the traditional bullfights, a bit different from the Spanish ones. And yet the National Gastronomy Festival, the folkloristic festivals at the center of which there are music and many dances. Festival Bike Portugal that takes place every year, with its magnificent routes for all the lovers of long rides on the bike.
- Other activities you can do in the city are: the Seven Domains (city tour); Complexo aquatico de Santarem is a fun and well organized water park, the perfect choice on the hottest days; Villa Campus is more an adventurous place for those who love climbing, exploring and doing many other outdoor activities.
- Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park: a fabulous place (a few km from Santarém), a path to do with its wonderful views surrounded by nature. All the words wouldn’t be enough, so good vision!
- Of course if you have time, it’s a good idea to visit the districts of Santarém like: Fatima, Tomar… All well known and beautiful places.
Jardim das Portas do Sol
The nightlife takes place mainly in the city center but also in the nearby districts (those mentioned above and many others ones asTorre Novas).
As for the bars we have:
- Hotel Rural: nightclub.
- Respublica: nightclub.
- BAR LOUNGE Moinho de Fau
Bacalhau à Brás
What do you eat in Santarém? Beautiful but easy question. Would you like to find out it together? So let’s do this!
Fish is definitely the dish that dominate the local gastronomy. An example can be the eels fished in the river that are eaten fried or in soup and for the connoisseurs there is also the lamprey, considered a celestial goodness (try to believe it!).
Moreover being a region of vast countryside where livestock can graze widely and freely, meat is also a very present dish. Boiled meat is a specialty. And last but not least to accompany these typical dishes there is good local wine to match, such as those in the areas of: Almeirim, Cartaxo, Chamusca and Coruche.
- Sopa da pedra: it is a typical Santarém soup composed of a mix of ingredients, including legumes, meat and various vegetables.
- Migas ribatejanas: it is a mixture of bread (crumbled bread) with different vegetables that is cooked in the oven and then served. Simple but really tasty!
- Bacalhau à Brás: it is a dish consisting of scrambled eggs, potatoes (cut into strips), onions and cod. To try there are codfish croquettes that are served as appetizer.
- Torta de Azeitão: it is a soft and spongy cake that is rolled up on itself and completely composed of the egg yolk. It must be said that here and in Portugal in general the desserts composed of egg are absolutely the typicality of the place.
- Tochinho do ceu: it is an almond cake, prepared with eggs, sugar and almonds. It must be said that its taste is very delicate and therefore it can be perfect even for the most difficult palates.
Torta de Azeitão
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
Now we are ready and prepared about the typical dishes but less on where to eat, so now let’s fix this!
- Pigalle: Mediterranean, European, Portuguese, vegetarian cuisine, vegan options, gluten-free options.
- Chapa 7: Mediterranean, European, Portuguese cuisine.
- Restaurante A Grelha: European, Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine.
- Dois Petiscos: Portuguese, Mediterranean, European, international, vegetarian cuisine, vegan options.
- Brazao: European, Portuguese cuisine.
- Ponto G: brewery/pub.
- O Bom Garfo: European, Portuguese cuisine.
- Restaurante Luis dos Leitoes: European, Portuguese, cuisine.
- Boca Cheia – Cafetaria Snack: European, Portuguese cuisine.
- Sweety – Casa de cha: cafe with international, healthy, Portuguese cuisine.
- O Micas 1: steakhouse with European, Portuguese cuisine.
- Pastelaria Bijou: pastry shop.
And here the first Portuguese city has already been explored but we are only at the beginning of our adventure so be always ready to leave!
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.
Below we will list the accommodations that you can find in Santarém.
https://www.booking.com/searchresults.en.html?city=-2175487&aid=960457&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 – accommodations in the city.