Things to Do in Castelo Branco Portugal

things to do in Castelo Branco Portugal

The town of Castelo Branco Portugal has a lot to offer tourists. Its historic ruins and vibrant culture can be explored through its museums, churches, and outdoor spaces.

Visiting the Jardim do Paco Episcopal is one of the best things to do in Castelo Branco. This garden contains statues of allegories, kings and zodiac signs surrounded by well-trimmed boxed hedges.

1. Jardim do Paco Episcopal

The 17th-century garden behind the palace of the Bishop of Castelo Branco is one of Europe’s most unique gardens. It boasts a variety of trees, fountains and lakes along with numerous statues.

Embroidery is also a key industry in the area and this museum introduces visitors to local traditions. You can see linen quilts adorned with dainty patterns sewn by local artisans over hundreds of years.

Idanha-a-Velha is a charming village that offers visitors a unique experience. Explore ancient ruins and immerse yourself in the local traditions.

2. St. Michael’s Church

Enjoy a peaceful stroll around the historic Praca Camoes and soak up Castelo Branco’s culture at the Cargaleiro Museum. This city’s most famous museum offers an insight into the town’s romantic origins.

Discover Alcongosta Castle, a medieval fortress with impressive walls and impressive architecture. This former Templar castle is a must-visit for history buffs.

Other highlights include the palace’s unique garden, featuring Baroque fountains and statues of apostles and kings. The palace also houses the town’s museum, displaying local savoir-faire such as the intricate silk embroidery of the colcha quilts.

3. Liberdade Plaza

The unique village of Monsanto in Castelo Branco offers an unforgettable blend of history, enchanting views, and authentic Portuguese culture. Here, visitors can stroll along narrow streets that are adorned with beautiful old palaces and churches.

Moreover, they can explore the well-preserved ruins of Alcongosta Castle and visit the Se Catedral de Castelo Branco. The cathedral’s impressive interior is adorned with intricate carvings and religious artwork. It also houses a museum with ancient Roman-era relics and medieval artifacts.

4. Cargaleiro Museum

Castelo Branco’s hilltop castle was built by the Knights Templar in the 13th century and extended by Dom Afonso IV. There’s now little left of the walls, but the old lanes up here are picturesque, and the bishop’s palace has a delightful garden that offers refined respite from the city.

This extraordinary museum spans two buildings: a mid-18th-century house in Rua dos Cavaleiros and a clashing contemporary building. Inside you’ll find works by local artist Manuel Cargaleiro.

5. Center for Contemporary Culture

The Centro de Cultura Contemporanea is one of the best places to explore Castelo Branco’s local culture. It hosts a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

The Francisco Tavares Proenca Junior Museum exhibits a blend of 18th-century architecture and Castelo Branco linen quilts (colchas) embroidered in dazzling silk threads. It also showcases historical artifacts, medieval religious treasures, and historic portraits.

This garden used to belong to the Bishops’ palace and includes a pergola, cedars, and a Laurel forest. It also has small vegetable gardens where herbs are grown.

6. Nossa Senhora da Piedade Chapel

Take a break from sightseeing and get in touch with spirituality at the Nossa Senhora da Piedade Chapel. This pilgrimage site is located near the castle’s main square and features beautiful architecture and peaceful surroundings.

Spend some time wandering the medieval streets of Castelo Branco. Stroll down the steep Rua dos Peleteiros, which was once home to furriers. Admire the historic buildings that line the streets and relax at outdoor cafes.

The city’s oldest church, the Bishop’s Palace museum, and the linen quilts (colcha) that are a local specialty are also worth visiting.

7. Serra da Malcata Natural Reserve

Located in the heart of Castelo Branco, this nature reserve is a must-see for hikers and adventure seekers. It is home to beautiful ruins, impressive natural features, and fascinating history.

The garden was once part of the Episcopal Palace and still has the herbs in square plots that used to be there. There are also a number of imposing gates and railings that make this a refined place for some respite.

Local products to look out for include linen quilts (colchas) embroidered with dainty patterns and the local cheese, Queijo de Castelo Branco.

8. Torre Centum Cellas

The mountain range of Serra da Gardunha offers something for everyone. Adventure seekers will enjoy the stunning hiking and biking trails, while history buffs will be impressed by the ancient ruins and rich culture.

Visitors can also spend time at the city’s green spaces, such as Jardim do Paco Episcopal and Nossa Senhora da Piedade Chapel. The city’s museums and monuments are also worth visiting. Study the exhibits at Cargaleiro Museum or explore the Francisco Tavares Proenca Junior Museum for a deeper understanding of Castelo Branco’s culture.

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