Start your visit to Évora in its picturesque main square to appreciate the 16th-century buildings surrounding a gorgeous fountain.
Praça do Giraldo is not only a beautiful part of Évora, it is also within walking distance of most of the biggest attractions in this town. Come here to relax, take photos and people-watch before heading off to explore the cobbled streets that lead off from the square.
The square is named after Fearless Geraldo Geraldes, who is credited with winning Évora from the Moors in 1167. He subsequently became Governor of Évora. Get a sense of the rich history of this spot as you walk around. From the centuries-old Baroque fountain to the beautiful Santo Antão Church, which dates from 1557, the square is full of relics of the past.
Admire the 16th-century buildings that surround the square and stop for a coffee or a meal at one of the many restaurants. Look under the arches along one edge of the square to find a cluster of characterful stores and cafés, including Café Arcada, which is renowned for its baked goods. Pick up souvenirs from some of the merchants who sell handicrafts around the square.
Choose a street to explore and expect to end up somewhere wonderful. To the south of the square, find the Igreja de São Francisco. This 15th-century church is known for its beautiful but eerie Bone Chapel, which is decorated with human bones. Or, wander to the northeast to encounter the ancient Roman Temple of Évora, one of the best-preserved Roman ruins on the Iberian Peninsula. Along the way, stop by the elegant Évora Cathedral and browse the extensive galleries of Évora Museum.
Praça do Giraldo lies right at the heart of Évora’s old town, so it is hard to miss. Stay in one of the many hotels and guesthouses located close to the square. Alternatively, stay in Lisbon and visit for the day; the journey takes less than 2 hours and it is well worth it.