Viana do Castelo is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Portugal, with a long seafaring tradition and great involvement in the historical events of the country. It is very close to Oporto and is by the sea, at the mouth of the river Lima. It is a city full of churches and palaces with an important architectural beauty. In the surroundings you can enjoy the luxuriant nature, with trails and unforgettable beaches. A perfect place to delve into Portuguese culture and contemplate the scenery throughout your stay.
What to see and do in Viana do Castelo
Capela das Malheiras
It is one of the most beautiful chapels in Viana do Castelo and is located on Aurora de Lima Street. It is a legacy of the Portuguese Baroque style and is also known as the House of Stamps. It is an exceptional area to walk around and to take a great snapshot of the city. Very close to this location you can also take the opportunity to visit other emblematic places such as the Museum of Costume that collects the handcrafted production of Viana do Castelo’s own costumes. Also the Casa dos Nichos, an old building from the 15th century that presents exhibitions inside, both from prehistoric and Roman times.
The mountain of Santa Luzia
The mount of Santa Luzia is of great tourist attraction, one of the emblems of the city. This area of green views rises 228 meters above sea level and is easily accessible: on foot, with a car or by funicular. In this area you can also enjoy the Basilica of Santa Luzia, to add a cultural touch to the excursion. The best thing about this location is its breathtaking views of Viana do Castelo.
The Hospital Ship Gil Eannes
In this charming city is a relic of great cultural and historical interest, an obligatory stop for the most curious. It is an old hospital built in the shipyards of Viana do Castelo in 1955. In this ship health services were provided to all the sailors in the area and currently houses an interesting museum. To delve into the culture and history of the place, you can take advantage of the visit to visit the Municipal Museum of Viana do Castelo, as it is located a few meters from the ship in the impressive Barbosa Maciel Palace, a construction of the eighteenth century.
The Old City
As it happens in part of the north of Spain. Portugal also has in this area some well preserved castreños remains. Cidade Velha is one of the most popular forts in this peninsular area. It is an ancient settlement from Roman times from which the entire Lima estuary could be strategically controlled. Therefore, it offers excellent views.
A stroll through the Plaza de la Replública
A walk through Viana do Castelo is one of the best plans to enjoy the city and soak it in. In this transit it will be of great interest to visit the Republic Square, the heart of the historical center of the city. Around it stand impressive buildings that are not to be missed, such as the Church of La Misericordia. In the centre of the square is the beautiful Chafariz fountain, in Renaissance style.
Just outside Viana do Castelo towards Porto is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, Cabedelo. Here you can enjoy a day of sun and sea, a typical beach day with all the necessary attributes. For lunch by the sea there will be an excellent option: the Aquario Bar. In this location it is very typical to find people practicing kitesurfing, as it is one of the most appropriate for this sport.
The Castelo Santiago de Barra
The Castelo Santiado de Barra is one of the first fortifications to be found, it is west of the city and is situated at the mouth of the Lima River. It is also known colloquially as the Castle of Viana. It has a very characteristic polygonal plan and is one of the most interesting historical structures to visit in this beautiful Portuguese city.