Day Trip to Evora From Lisbon

Day Trip to Evora from Lisbon: 15 Best Things to do in Evora Portugal

Take a day trip to Évora from Lisbon for one of Portugal’s most historic destinations and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you want to go on your own or take a tour, here are the best things to do in Évora, Portugal.

From walking along Évora’s cobbled streets and seeing the eerie Chapel of Bones to soaking up the culinary scene and views from medieval churches, here’s everything you need to know to plan the ultimate Lisbon to Evora day trip.

While many people do an Évora day trip from Lisbon, we stayed a few days and there’s plenty to do! So, we’ll highlight what to do with one day in Évora, and where to stay and eat if you want to make the trip longer.

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Planning your trip to Évora last minute? Here is a quick guide to the hotels we recommend. An overnight in Evora is a perfect addition to your Lisbon itinerary. To spend time on the Alentejo coast, check out the best hotels in Comporta.

Day Trip From Lisbon to Evora

Where is Évora, Portugal?

Évora is in the Alentejo region of Portugal, 132 km (82 miles) east of Lisbonperfectly positioned on the road between Lisbon and Seville or Madrid. Consequently, we’ve stopped and stayed multiple times.

The Alentejo region is the biggest in Portugal, filled with rolling plains and cork oak forests. It’s very tranquil and has an authentic rural charm that is very alluring.

Once you arrive in the whitewashed town of Évora with a population of 53,000, you could almost forget that this city is surrounded by country landscapes. But it’s truly the best of both worlds.

Day Trip to Évora From Lisbon

Here’s how to get to Évora from Lisbon when planning your day trip.

1. Rent a Car and Drive From Lisbon to Évora

After moving to Portugal, my best advice to travelers is to rent a car in Portugal. The roads are terrific, you can get a great deal from Discover Cars, and you’ll have a chance to see the real Portugal. 

Plus, Évora is about 1.5 hours from Lisbon via the A6, and the drive is lovely and relaxed.

Rental car prices in Lisbon vary widely, especially during high season. It’s important to book ahead.

Book your rental car now!

2. Take a Lisbon to Évora Day Trip

Streamline your planning and soak up the best things to do in Évora, Portugal by booking the Évora and Megaliths Full-Day Tour from Lisbon.

In addition to seeing Évora, you’ll also visit the nearby megaliths, the pre-historic stone structures we see dotted across the globe, the most famous being Stonehenge.

The megalith complex in Portugal, Almendres Cromlech, is older than Stonehenge, and the stones are aligned with the moon, sun, and stars.

Book a Lisbon to Evora Day Trip now!

3. Train from Lisbon to Évora

Going from Lisbon to Évora by train is one of the most convenient ways to reach this historic city. The train usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours, and there are several trains per day, so you can be flexible about the time you want to leave and return. Tickets are around €12.50.

The Lisbon train stations for journeys from Lisbon to Évora are Santa Apolónia Station and Oriente Station. The train station in Évora is known as Évora Station.

4. Lisbon Bus Station

The bus from Lisbon to Évora departs from Sete Rios Station and takes around 1.5 hours to reach the city. Tickets are around €12.50 and should be bought at the station, not from the driver.

Is Évora worth visiting?

Absolutely! Évora is worth visiting for its rich history that dates back to the Roman era, ancient architecture, and charming small-town Portuguese atmosphere.

Plus, the entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it’s full of unique places to see, including an ancient Roman temple, a chapel of bones, and numerous old-world churches.

Évora is an open-air city museum, and since it’s only 1.5 hours outside of Lisbon, it’s one of the best day trips from Lisbon.

Best Time to Visit Evora

Best Time to Visit Évora

The best time to visit Évora is in the spring. The days are cool, dry, and sunny. Autumn is also temperate with warm, sunny days. We visited Evora twice – in January and March, and both times, the weather was lovely. 

Summer can get very hot, but it cools off at night, which makes the warmer temperatures not so bad. No matter when you decide to visit Evora, you’ll have a great time.

  • Spring – Blooming flowers surround the Évora countryside. Temperatures are mild with a bit of rain. Carnival (Mardi Gras) and Holy Week at Easter are big, colorful spring celebrations in Évora.
  • Summer – Évora is the hottest city in Portugal, and from June through August, you’ll know it. Temperatures top 95˚F (40˚C), but there are fun festivals like Feira São João (St. John’s Fair) in June and the Évora Classical Music Festival in July.
  • Autumn – All Souls Day (November 1st) and the Évora International Short Film Festival take place in the Fall. Temperatures are comfortable and you’ll spot some fall color.
  • Winter – The coldest months are December – February with highs in the mid 50˚F (13˚C). Christmas and New Year’s have big celebrations, and the weather is not too bad if you have a jacket and don’t mind the chance of rain.

Evora Festivals

  • New Years – Residents fill the streets before midnight and enjoy fireworks, music, and dancing to ring in the New Year.
  • Carnival – Locals celebrate Carnival the weekend before Ash Wednesday. There will be colorful parades, costumes, and parties throughout the weekend.
  • Holy Week – This is the week leading up to Easter. There will be solemn processions, religious ceremonies, and other cultural events like parades and gatherings. This is a great chance to see the city’s religious traditions and heritage in action.
  • Feira São João, or St John’s Fair – Visit in summer for a traditional Midsummer fair featuring local crafts, food stalls, and entertainment. It takes place on the evening of June 23rd.
  • Festival Alentejo – This summer festival happens in late July over three days. It’s a modern music festival featuring some of Portugal’s top artists.
  • All Souls’ Day – All Souls’ Day is on November 1st with special church services and ceremonies to honor departed loved ones.

Best Things to do in Évora Portugal

Évora Old Town

Explore Évora Old Town

Partially enclosed in medieval walls, one of the best things to do with one day in Évora is to get lost in the narrow streets and centuries-old architecture of Évora’s Old Town.

Its white-washed buildings, historic monuments, and old-world churches create a captivating atmosphere.

Évora is one of the places that make you feel like you’ve been transported back into the past, aside from the modern conveniences, of course. So, allow some time to wander around before visiting all the sites.

Roman Temple of Évora Portugal

Visit the Roman Temple of Évora

Doing a Évora day trip from Lisbon means you’ll be able to see one of the most well-preserved Roman ruins in Portugal.

The temple, also called the Templo de Diana, dates back to the 1st century and stands right in the center of the square on Largo do Conde de Vila Flor. It’s also unsurprising that it’s a part of the city’s classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You shouldn’t climb on the ruins, but rather walk around and see the remains of the temple. Plus, it’s one of the best free things to do in Évora.

However, if you do want a more immersive experience, you can book a walking tour, which will highlight more details of the Roman Temple’s history. 

Miradouro do Jardim Diana

Miradouro do Jardim Diana

Just next to the Roman Temple of Évora, Jardim Diana – also named after the goddess of hunting. This tranquil garden is a nice place to relax, but we especially loved it for the views over Évora.

See the Chapel of Bones & Church of Sao Francisco

For one of the most interesting things to do in Évora, Portugal, visit the Chapel of Bones. While the idea of seeing a chapel full of human remains might seem a little dark and off-putting, the symbolism of the place makes it unique.

I was intrigued to see the Chapel of Bones, but honestly trepidatious, so if you feel the same way, you should still visit, and you can make it fast if you feel uncomfortable.

The chapel came about in the 1500s as a way of saving land space while still honoring the dead. Évora’s local monks also thought it would be a reminder to the residents about the temporariness of life and to put their values over materialism.

When you arrive there is a sign at the chapel’s entrance that reads “We bones that are here, for yours we wait.”

While the Chapel of Bones is the big highlight, the Church of Sao Francisco is stunning in its own right. Built in the Gothic style, the main altar is ornate with gilded woodwork and Portuguese azulejo tiles adorning the walls.

Church of Sao Francisco and Chapel of Bones is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM.

Best Things to do in Évora Cathedral

Tour Évora Cathedral

Portugal’s largest medieval cathedral, the Évora Cathedral is a must-see on an Évora day trip from Lisbon.

It’s perched on the highest point in the town, built between the 13th and 14th centuries. The cathedral is also part of the city’s UNESCO classification.

Make sure you buy the ticket that allows you to go to the rooftop and cloister. Both were our favorite. The cloister is one of the prettiest we’ve been to and you can see it from above and below.

You’ll have to climb a narrow spiral staircase to reach the roof, but the views are worth it. Plus, you’ll be standing on top of the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal, which is pretty cool. The other highlight of the roof is the octagonal dome.

Prepare to take some photos because the views are really incredible. 

The cathedral is open from 9 AM – 5 PM every day.

Jardim Público de Évora

Evora Public Garden (Jardim Público de Évora)

When it comes to what to do in Évora that is relaxing, there are several green spaces, but Jardim Público de Évora, or the Public Gardens, is one of the best.

It’s a lovely spot for nature with different flowers, plants, and trees scattered throughout the area. You might even spot a peacock or two.

There’s a cafe within the gardens with tables and umbrellas where you can get a coffee, something to eat, or a beer.
You can also walk along the pathways, or sit on one of the benches, and enjoy the fresh air.

Otherwise, there’s also the Palácio de Dom Manuel (Royal Palace of Évora), which now acts as a museum of artifacts and a small area with ruins.

Royal Palace of Evora Portugal

Visit the Royal Palace of Évora

Also called Palácio de Dom Manuel, this royal palace is set within the grounds of the Public Gardens located very close to the Chapel of Bones.

The palace dates back to the 13th century and has traditional Portuguese architecture with white-washed walls, stone pillars, and a scenic balcony.

The building now houses a museum full of historic artifacts and it’s open to the public every day except Sunday.

Evora Museum

Visit Évora Museum (Museu Nacional Frei Manuel do Cenáculo)

While Évora is already an open-air museum, you can dive deeper into Evora’s history at the Évora Museum, Museu Nacional Frei Manuel do Cenáculo.

The building holds more than 20,000 pieces, mostly comprised of paintings, sculptures, and archeology. There is a section where you’ll walk over a glass bridge where ancient crypt ruins are visible below.

Hours are a bit limited at the museum, so keep that in mind when planning your Évora itinerary. It’s open every day from 2 PM to 5:30 PM.

Best Breakfast Evora Portugal at Do Largo

Have Breakfast at Do Largo

Do Largo is one of the best Portuguese bakeries in Évora. Everything is locally sourced, seasonal, and organic so you know you’re getting high-quality stuff here.

Pair a perfect croissant, fluffy pancakes, delicious avocado toast, or a fruity breakfast bowl with a cup of their excellent coffee or freshly pressed juices.

They also have vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-free options at Do Largo.

The cafe is closed Sundays and Mondays but is open from 9:30 AM – 7 PM the rest of the week.

Evora Portugal Old Town

Giraldo Square (Praça do Giraldo)

Giraldo Square is Évora’s main square, and most all the streets lead here, so it’s very centrally located.

The cobbled praça is named after Geraldo Geraldes, who is considered a hero for saving the region from being invaded by the Moors.

There are also several terraced cafes here, making for a lovely spot to refuel or enjoy a light bite.

You’ll also find a Baroque-style marble fountain on one end. This is often a meeting point for walking tours, and since there’s seating around the fountain, it’s a nice place to stop and sit for a little while.

Graça Church Evore Portugal

Graça Church

Visit a 16th-century church and convent for another of the best things to do in Évora, Portugal.

The high chapel has marble windows and the church has a bell tower made up of three bells. But what really makes this church unique is its façade.

Built in the mid-1500s, Graça Church’s façade is topped with four mythological figures on either side of the main entrance.

Their purpose is to symbolize the four corners of the Earth, and the universal power of King João III, as it was built during his reign.

Best Restaurants in Evora Portugal For Lunch or Dinner

Dining at Cartuxa Enoteca is easily one of the best things to do in Évora, Portugal. The food is top-notch, locally sourced ingredients with a focus on seafood, rice dishes, and wine.

You’ll also find a little store where you can buy souvenirs like local cheeses, wines, sausages, honey, and olive oils.

We also loved Cartuxa Enoteca for its wine-tasting and excellent staff. If you want to sample wines from the region while you’re on your Lisbon to Évora day trip, this is an excellent place to go.

If you are a wine aficionado, the Évora and Monsaraz Day Tour with Wine Tasting allows you to do both.

100 Montaditos – Visit the famous Spanish chain 100 Montaditos for inexpensive tapas, beer, and wine.

They have tons of combinations of montaditos, which are little baguette sandwiches. There are also other tapas like patatas bravas, olives, and nachos.

Aqueduct of Silver Water

See the Aqueduct of Silver Water (Água da Prata Aqueduct)

Evora’s massive aqueduct was built in the early 1500s and provided clean drinking water to the city’s entire population.

Since the city is located in a dry region of Portugal, the construction of the aqueduct was a major relief for its residents. That’s because the Água da Prata Aqueduct was connected to all the fountains within 18km, including the one in Praça do Giraldo.

Most of the aqueduct is outside of the medieval walls, but there is a section on Rua do Cano, where homes were charmingly built between the arches.

Take a Free Walking Tour of Evora

Reserve your spot on the highly popular Free Walking Tour of Evora that starts near the Aqueduct of Silver Water, and walks you through many of the city sights. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the city and learn the history.

Elza is a an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide that will entertain you for a few hours while you learn all about the city.

There are tours at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM. While the tour is free, make sure to bring cash for a tip at the end.

Best Things to do in Evora Portugal Almendres Cromlech

Almendres Cromlech

Located just outside the city in Nossa Sra. de Guadalupe, your Lisbon to Évora day trip should definitely include a stopover to Almendres Cromlech.

Dating back to the 6th millennium BC, this is a Megalithic monument – the prehistoric stone structures that dot the globe – older than Stonehenge. The stones are mysteriously aligned with the moon, sun, and stars, and it’s a must-visit.

I thought it was underwhelming at first because there were kids climbing on the stones, but once I learned of their historic value, it was hard not to be in awe.

If you book the tour I mentioned, you will visit Almendres Cromlech as part of the day trip. Otherwise, you can reach it by car, and the drive is through a beautiful area.

Evora Olive Hotel Portugal

Where to Stay in Évora, Portugal Overnight

If you want to see the most Évora attractions, staying one night will give you the extra time you need to see everything. Here are some of the best places to stay in Évora, Portugal.

    • Convento do Espinheiro (9.1) – Luxury hotel in the countryside 10 minutes outside the city. There’s a spa, two restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool, and tons of amenities for a 5-star stay.
    • Imani Country House (9.3) – Located near the Almendres Cromlech, this charming, upscale guesthouse has restaurants, a pool, and beautiful suites.
    • Octant Evora (9) – This hotel gives a very vacation feel with its three swimming pools, loungers, and white-washed exterior. 
    • Evora Olive Hotel (8.8) – We stayed here and loved the central location of this comfortable, nicely designed hotel with wooden details and a classic, modern feel. The restaurant is delicious too.
    • MouraSuites Hotel (9.3) – Just 3 minutes from the Cathedral of Evora, this is another beautifully modern hotel with pretty views from rooms’ balconies and windows.
    • São Brás do Regedouro (9) – Traditional Portuguese apartments and houses in the countryside. There’s also an outdoor pool and cozy patios. 
    • Lavradores Boutique Guesthouse (9.2) – Centrally located with bright rooms and breakfast. There are two aparthotel rentals that sleep up to 6.
    • Casa Soure Suites and Apartments (9.2) – Very homey with picturesque views of Evora. There are studios and apartments, sleeping anywhere from 2-6 guests.
    • Heaven Inn Suites & Terrace (9.2) – Beautifully designed with blue tiling and wall murals, this central inn has shared and private rooms, perfect for a budget stay.

Final Thoughts About the Best Evora Portugal Things to Do

Discover Évora hidden gems and the best things to do in this historic city with this essential guide to one of Lisbon’s best day trips. With its Roman ruins to its picturesque gardens, Évora has been one of our all-time favorite trips in Portugal.

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Day Trip to Evora From Lisbon

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