Top things to do

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

This fabulous, atmospheric neighbourhood hang-out is well worth a visit. Its theme is forcadeiros (Portuguese bullfighters) and it celebrates these through its posters, photos and paraphernalia. But as far as the cu…
Top Choice Gardens in Santarém

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 that surround it. The garden’s shady walks make a fine option for …
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

Tascá

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

Museu Diocesano de Santarém

Recently reopened after five years of renovation, this small but excellent museum, in a former Jesuit college adjoining the cathedral, holds a lovely collection of restored religious artworks from its diocese. Aroun…
Church in Santarém

Igreja da Santa Maria Graça

This early-15th-century church, with its delicately carved facade of multilayered arches, is a Santarém jewel. Inside, a rose window spills light across the beautifully spare interior of stone columns and white wall…
Cathedral in Santarém

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

This baroque, 17th-century Jesuit church, built on the site of the former royal palace, looms over the town’s most impressive square, Praça Sá da Bandeira. The church now serves as the town’s cathedral. Inside is a …
Bar in Santarém

Taberna e Mercearia Sebastião

This 19th-century grocer's shop has had a sympathetic modern refit and now presents a cool, characterful, intimate space. You can eat well here (mains €8 to €16) – best are the specials – and for just a snack, the p…