Prepare to be transported back in time as you journey to the enchanting medieval city of Évora, Portugal!

things to do in Évora Portugal

With its stunning architecture, Roman ruins, and rustic, old-world charm, it’s no wonder that Évora, Portugal, has become a top destination for travelers worldwide. You will find many unique attractions within the city walls – including the Chapel of Bones, where human skulls line the chapel walls, the beautiful peacocks wandering around in the public gardens, and even remnants from an ancient Roman temple.

We spent 2 nights in Évora on our 3 Week-Portugal Road Trip, but if you are short on time, there are many day trip options from Lisbon to Evora that you can join.

Keep reading to discover all our favorite spots in Évora!

Best Things To Do in Évora, Portugal

1. Free Évora Walking Tour

What better way to get acquainted with a new city than with a free walking tour?

We booked this free walking tour, led by Elza!

walking tour of evora portugal in alentejo region including roman temple, roman baths, and medieval walls
Walking tour sharing history of portuguese kings, roman wall, roman temple and roman baths.
walking tour of roman baths, roman temple and the Igreja de São Francisco

If you felt the tour was valuable, tip your guide! While the walking tour is free, many guides live off tips.

2. Chapel of Bones (Church of St Francis)

The Chapel of Bones or Capela dos Ossos is one of the best-known things to do in Évora, Portugal. The bone chapel itself is located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis or Igreja de São Francisco.

In the 16th century, monks exhumed 5000+ corpses from overcrowded cemeteries and moved them to this chapel – instead of concealing the human skulls and bones behind walls, they put these remains on display for all to observe.

Evora Portugal chapel of bones in 1st century bc also known as capela dos ossos

The Franciscan monks chose to display these human bones as a somber reminder that we are finite beings who can’t escape death. This is a reminder that status and material possessions are only temporary. This message is shown in a quote carved above the entrance door that reads, “We bones that are here, await yours.”

Staying the night? Top Évora Portugal Hotels

Visit Evora Portugal- human bones line in the historic center
evora portugal bone chapel also known as capela dos ossos.

3. Roman Temple of Évora (known as Diana’s Temple)

The Roman temple of Evora, or Diana’s Temple, is located at the historical center and is believed to have been built around the 1st Century!

This temple is also called Templo de Diana or Templo Romano de Évora.

Evora Portugal reconstructed in fourth century ad
See Evora Portugal Roman Cultural importance at the garden of the templo romano de Évora

The temple was converted into a cattle slaughterhouse around the 14th century and later built into the tower of the Castle of Evora.

Take a moment to appreciate the temple’s rich heritage while you enjoy refreshments from the small cafe in the garden.

Also Read: Guide to Algarve Portugal

Temple of goddess diana in evora's main square

Tip: If you are staying a night in Evora, walk by the Temple at night to see it lit up!

Today, the stand-alone temple in the city center consists of 14 remaining columns. To preserve the Roman temple (Templo Romano de Évora), the town does not allow guests to walk through it. But don’t worry—you still get a great view from walking around the outskirts.

4. Cathedral of Évora

The Cathedral of Évora is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal! In 1988 the Cathedral of Evora was hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Évora’s cathedral is built like a castle or fortress, similar to those in Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto, and other parts of the country.

visit evora to see portuguese architecture mixed with gothic and baroque styles
day trip to visit evora to tour the Cathedral of Evora and templo romano de Évora

The history of the Cathedral of Évora is quite complex. The original cathedral, built between 1186-1204, was a very modest building structure. The Catherdal then underwent expansion by Gothic-style architects between 1280 and 1340.

The gothic-style cloisters were added in the 13th century, followed by an old chapel in the 16th and one last addition during the first half of the 18th century—thus finishing off this unique mixture of styles: Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque.

Tip: Do not miss the spiral staircase to the roof terrace for beautiful views of Evora’s countryside!

views of the medieval walls from Cathedral Evora Portugal
visit Evora uneseco world hertigage site at Cathedral of Évora

Pricing: Tickets are €2.50 for the church and cloister and € 3.50 for access to the rooftop (highly recommended!).

5. Walk along the Aqueduct of Silver Water

Francisco de Arruda (also the designer of the Tower of Belem in Lisbon!) designed this water channel that leads into the historic center.

You’ll be amazed by the creative use of space by the townspeople along the aqueduct. They crafted homes that perfectly fit within the narrow streets and arches, not wasting an ounce of usable area!

Also Read: The Cutest Fairytown Village of Portugal

Famous Aqueduct in alentejo region
historical centre homes built into the aqueduct

6. Relax in the Jardim Púbico de Évora (with peacocks!)

The Jardim Púbico de Évora (or Evora Public Garden) is next to the Chapel of Bones. It’s a great place to escape the heat and lift your spirits after touring the spine-chilling Chapel.

Book Car: Compare Evora Rental Cars

take a break from evora museum city to relax in public garden

The garden is fairly small and a bit underwhelming compared to other gardens in Portugal. However, you can see part of the old historic wall from this park. There is also a playground for children, a small outdoor cafe, and public restrooms.

The park also contains Ruínas Fingidas (translated to fake ruins), which consists of ruins from multiple demolitions of monasteries across Portugal in the 19th century.

You’ll see lots of wild ducks and peacocks roaming this area!

peacocks roaming historic city garden of Evora Portugal
red park bench in the évora Portugal alentejo region public garden

Book a day trip to Obidos, Nazare, Fatima, and Batalha.

7. Day Trip To Elvas

Escape to the neighboring town of Elvas, located just an hour’s drive from Évora! We highly recommend stopping at the Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça (also known as the Star Shaped Fort), constructed on top of a hill for optimal surveillance of intruders from Spain.

Medieval walls in star shaped Forte de Nossa Senhora da graca

Tip: Book a guided tour for only 8 euros to get a comprehensive understanding of the fort. The local guide will share detailed information you cannot learn from walking the grounds.

Day trip from evora to Elvas, the walled city next to spain
Elvas Day Trip from Evora

The Fort is closed on Mondays. You can check the hours of operation and ticket prices here.

Don’t Miss: Breathtaking Beaches of Portugal

How to Visit Évora, Portugal

Getting There

Most people visit Évora on a day trip from Lisbon.

We had a car during our three-week road trip through Portugal and opted to explore Évora for two full days.

If you are short on time, consider an organized trip from Lisbon to  Évora with Get Your Guide.

Top Rated Get Your Guide Day Trips to Evora

Evora by Car

Driving: Lisbon to Evora takes around 1 hour and a half (~85 miles or 135 kilometers).

If you are following our 3-Week-Portugal Roadtrip guide, you will be coming from Lagos, about a 3-hour drive.

Evora by Bus

Bus: A bus runs from Lisbon to Evora for those who do not wish to drive. The bus takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes to get from Lisbon to Evora.

Purchase: Your Bus Ticket Here

The bus fare from Nazare to Evora costs between  €5 and €13 each way. 

Getting Around Évora, Portugal

Evora is super walkable! Once we parked at our Airbnb, we did not use the car again until we drove to the nearby town of Elvas.

Where to Stay in Évora, Portugal

Évora has a wide range of accommodations for you to choose from- guest houses, high-end hotels, and even Airbnbs in the houses built into the aqueduct.

Best Airbnbs & Hotels Évora:

Staying the night? Top Évora Portugal Hotels

Highly Rated Évora Hotels & Guest Houses

Pousada Convento de Evora

Located in between Évora’s Gothic cathedral and the Templo de Diana, this renovated convent features a courtyard swimming pool together with characteristic arched halls and vaulted ceilings.

Travel Sustainable Property

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ECORK Hotel Évora

ECORKHOTEL Evora is a unique 4-star hotel, with its main building coated with cork. The certified eco-hotel includes a state-of-the-art Spa & Wellness Center, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, Turkish bath and massages.

Travel Sustainable Property

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Convento do Espinheiro, Historic 5 Star Hotel & Spa

Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this 5-star Luxuriously furnished hotel is 2.5 mi from Évora city center and housed in a renovated 15th-century convent. It offers a piano bar and free parking.

Book Now

Our Rental:

We booked our accommodations for our stay in Evora through Unfortunately, we waited too long to do so, and the hotels we were recommended (listed above!) were sold out for the dates we needed.

Luckily, we stumbled upon this amazing guest house! We had 4 people staying at this rental and plenty of space to move around. The accommodation was 3 stories (all stairs) and had a nice balcony to enjoy our morning coffee. Best of all, this guest home was less than a 3-minute walk to walk to the center of town. We highly recommend it!

airbnb in historic center near the evora university
airbnb alternative to Pousada Convento de Evora

Eating and Drinking in Évora, Portugal

There are a variety of restaurants and cafes around the middle of town. Navigate to the Giraldo Square fountain. This area of Evora has multiple restaurants.

Favorite Évora Restaurants:

meal options in Evora portugal in historic centre
Dinner on the narrow streets of Évora's main square

Check out this Day Trip to Evora Portugal!

Évora Portugal FAQs

What is Évora known for?

Evora is known for its well-preserved old town, historical sites, and monuments, including Evora Cathedral, Chapel of Bones, Giraldo Square, and the Roman Temple of Evora. Évora has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

How much time do you need in Évora Portugal?

You can see Evora Portugal in 1 day. However, we recommend spending at least 1 night in Evora so you do not feel rushed seeing everything this magical town has to offer.

Also Read: 3 Week Portugal Vacation

colorful walls inside the walled city of evora portugal

Can you do a day trip to Evora from Lisbon?

Yes, there are many day trips to Evora from Lisbon. Tour companies and train and bus services offer daily trips for visitors to explore this enchanting region. Here is a list of all the top Evora day trips from Lisbon – Explore Lisbon Day Trips to Evora Portugal.

What Region is Evora Portugal in?

Evora Portugal is located in the Alentejo region. The Alentejo region, which was once known for its cork production, is now the leading producer of Portuguese wines!

This post is all about the best things to do in Évora, Portugal.

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