Things to Do in Setubal, Portugal

things to do in Setubal Portugal

There are many activities to enjoy in Setubal. There are hiking & biking tours, Arrabida Natural Park trips & more. You can also visit some of the local museums and beaches.

The shaded Parque do Bonfim is a pleasant stroll with grassed areas and urban art. It incorporates the Praia da Saude beach and is home to the large ceramic sculptures known as the Pasmadinhos by Maria Po, which depict traditional professions and famous local heroes such as Bocage and Luisa Todi.

1. Visit the Forte de Sao Filipe

The Forte de Sao Filipe is a historic fort that offers amazing views over Setubal. Visitors can tour the fort and learn about its history.

Arrabida Natural Park offers scenic hiking and mountain biking trails. It also provides panoramic vistas over the Sado Estuary and Troia Peninsula.

Another popular activity is dolphin watching. Many tour companies offer this activity and the boats are often able to find dolphins in the area.

The city center of Setubal is a charming place to explore. It has a variety of restaurants and cafes. It is also home to the church of Sao Juliao, which features beautiful baroque architecture. There is also a number of markets in the area that are worth visiting. For young travelers, Setubal also has a vibrant nightlife scene.

2. Go Dolphin Watching

The city of Setubal offers a mix of historic landmarks and modern neighborhoods. The city center is home to beautiful squares, courtyards and ancient streets lined with traditional shops.

One of the best things to do in Setubal is dolphin watching. You can take a boat tour of the Sado River estuary to observe the resident community of dolphins. You’ll see these amazing creatures hunting, playing and socializing in their natural habitat.

For nature lovers, you can also visit the Arrabida Natural Park. This scenic park is a great place for hiking and is home to stunning beaches. You’ll also find restaurants and cafes serving local cuisine.

3. Visit Praca do Bocage

Located right in the heart of the city, this square owes its name to a local poet. A statue of him stands in the center alongside a bench. It’s a pleasant place for social interaction as well as a relaxing stroll.

This newish art space has a packed cultural calendar. Wander through changing exhibitions or catch an evening concert of jazz.

This small museum opens your eyes to traditional modes of life around Setubal through detailed exhibits on old industries like cork extraction, cattle farming and salt-farming. It also has presentations on local needlework and costumes. A small collection of prehistoric, proto-historic and Roman artefacts rounds things up. How do sardines get in a tin is another fishy mystery solved at this quirky, rarely visited museum, set in a former sardine-canning factory.

4. Visit the Museu do Trabalho Michel Giacometti

The Museu do Trabalho Michel Giacometti (Work Museum) is an award-winning exhibition space and former tinned food factory. Here you can contemplate different representations of traditional trades and shop items from the early 1900s.

Among them are a grocery, scales, and an excellent cash register that you can get behind – in your imagination at least. It’s the sort of place you could spend a day in, especially for those who have a love for Portuguese culture.

The city itself is also worth exploring, with a Manueline monastery, churches and an acclaimed market. Then there’s the Arrabida Natural Park and the almost tropical Praia de Troia across the bay. Often a destination for dolphin watching, there are many boat trips departing from here throughout the year.

5. Visit the Jardim do Bomfim

The spirited city of Setubal shrugs off its industrial past as soon as you walk its streets. The vast Atlantic rolls out on a steel-blue horizon from where the town’s churches are dressed in pleated stone designed to resemble twisted rope, and restaurants serve emblematic dishes like choco frito (deep-fried cuttlefish).

In the shade of the urban park at Jardim do Bomfim, you can wander through grassy areas and some fine examples of urban art. The park’s centerpiece is a statue of the local poet Bocage, and it is surrounded by buildings that date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Other things to do in Setubal include exploring the town’s renowned market and museums. Outside the city, hiking enthusiasts can explore the pristine Arrabida natural park or visit Sesimbra for some beautiful beaches and seafood.

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