Top things to do in Ribatejo

Top Choice Monastery in Tomar

Convento de Cristo

Wrapped in splendour and mystery, the Knights Templar held enormous power in Portugal from the 12th to 16th centuries, and largely bankrolled the Age of Discoveries. Their headquarters sit on wooded slopes above the…
Top Choice Museum in Santarém

Casa Museu Passos Canavarro

Right by the Portas do Sol and sharing some of the same privileged views, this is a unique place to visit for lovers of art and beauty. The historic house, once home to 19th-century liberal politician Passos Manuel,…
Top Choice Portuguese in Santarém

Taberna do Quinzena

The theme of this fabulous, atmospheric neighbourhood hang-out is forcadeiros (Portuguese bullfighters) and it celebrates these through its posters, photos and paraphernalia. But as far as the cuisine goes – look at…
Top Choice Landmark in Tomar

Aqueduto de Pegões

This astonishing aqueduct, striding towards the monastery from the northwest, was built between 1593 and 1613 to supply water to thirsty monks. Its 180 arches, some of which are double-decker, are thought to have be…
Top Choice Gardens in Santarém

Jardim das Portas do Sol

Occupying the site of the Moorish citadel, the Portas do Sol garden proffers utterly majestic views over the Rio Tejo and the great spread of plains emanating from it. The garden’s shady walks make a fine option for…
Cultural in Tomar

Festa dos Tabuleiros

Tomar’s Festa dos Tabuleiros – literally 'Festival of the Trays', also known as Festa do Espírito Santo ('Festival of the Holy Spirit') – is a weeklong celebration with music, drinking, dancing and fireworks. The fe…
Portuguese in Santarém

Taberna O Balcão

This place has the flavour of Ribatejo, from traditional Portugal recipes to modern dishes such as a Black Angus beef hamburger. The decor – a mix of modern and old – is done with flair: marble-topped tables, cerami…
Tapas in Santarém


Bright, fun and contemporary, this loosely Spanish-themed bar attracts a trendy, younger crowd. It does innovative petiscos (tapas), high on presentation and taste from its open kitchen. Most of the socialising goes…
Church in Santarém

Igreja de Marvila

Dating from the 12th century but with 16th-century additions, this endearing little church has a fine, twisted Manueline doorway, while the interior is completely awash in brilliant, dramatically patterned azulejos …
Theatre in Tomar

Fatias de Cá

This Tomar-based theatre company presents highly innovative and entertaining monthly performances (more in summer) of works such as The Name of the Rose and The Tempest, often in amazing locations.