Top ChoicePalace in Vila Real

Casa de Mateus

Famously depicted on bottles of Mateus rosé, the 18th-century Casa de Mateus is one of Portugal’s great baroque masterpieces – probably the work of Italian-born architect Nicolau Nasoni. Guided tours of the...

Cafe in Vila Real

Casa Lapão

This spruce tearoom specialises in traditional local sweets, including cristas de galo (almond and egg paste in a flaky pastry dough), pitos de Santa Luzia (made with pumpkin and cinnamon) and pastéis de Santa...

Portuguese in Vila Real


A traditional roadside restaurant a little outside town on the EN2 towards Chaves, convivial Chaxoila serves up great daily specials such as cabrito (kid goat) and açorda (bread and shellfish stew) from the...

Portuguese in Vila Real


Popular with locals, this plain-faced, family-run place in the central pedestrian zone serves delicious, belly-filling regional dishes.

Portuguese in Vila Real

Restaurante Cardoso

For late-night comfort food, Portuguese-style, this convivial downtown hole-in-the-wall is a perennial local favourite. The speciality here is Portugal's beloved francesinha, a toasted meat-and-cheese sandwich...

Performing Arts in Vila Real

Teatro de Vila Real

This slick, modern building, in a park-like area across the Corgo from the city centre, stages high-quality dance and theatre performances, along with classical, jazz and world music and frequent film screenings....

Chapel in Vila Real

Capela Nova

Northeast of the cathedral is the magnificently over-the-top baroque facade of this 17th-century chapel. Inside are fine, 18th-century azulejos (hand-painted tiles) and large-headed cherubs with teddy-boy coifs.

Bakery in Vila Real

Pastelaria Gomes

Vila Real's most traditional bakery is a great place for a coffee, a covilhete (the meat pastries it is famous for) and a spot of people-watching. There's a second branch close by, at Rua António Azevedo 2.

Museum in Vila Real

Museu Etnográfico de Vila Real

This small but colourful museum documents the traditional culture of the surrounding highlands, with exhibits on linen-making, ceramics, farming techniques, games, musical instruments and local festivals.

Cathedral in Vila Real

Once part of a Dominican monastery, the Gothic sé has been given a lengthy facelift that has restored the 15th-century grandeur of its rather spare interior.

Cafe in Vila Real

Nova Pompeia

This large bright cafe and bakery serves omelettes and light meals at reasonable prices.