Things to See and Do in Pombal Portugal

There’s so much to see and do in Pombal Portugal. From exploring the historic churches to relaxing on the beach and enjoying the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone.

Learn about the Marques de Pombal at a museum housed inside a prison building that Pombal himself ordered built. The free museum also exhibits collections of popular art and folk traditions.

1. Visit the Church of Nossa Senhora da Estrela

The main church of Pombal is a very old monument that was heavily renovated in 1520 and 1816 as a consequence of the French invasions. It has a simple exterior that contrasts with a very beautiful interior, where you can see some details from both the Mannerist and Baroque styles. In the church is also a statue of St Catherine and the chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

A lifesaver in summer for kids and teenagers who get bored easily, this waterpark on a hill a few minutes from Pombal features three flumes to fly down: one twisting half-pipe body slider and two multi-lane racers.

This 553 meter mountain is a fabulous example of a karst landscape (limestone formations). The peaks and slopes are covered with stone pine forests.

2. Visit the Museum of Popular Art and Folk Traditions

Pombal’s privileged location, lying between the sea and the mountains of Serra de Sico, has been a key factor in its economic development. Its residents are proud of their artisanal traditions and folk customs, and the museum highlights these with exhibits and videos.

Afterwards, have a picnic lunch in one of the city’s many ‘Green Lungs’ like Parque Eduardo VII or head to the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, home to one of the finest private art collections in Europe.

This former prison is now a museum that celebrates the 18th-century prime minister Sebastiao Jose de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal. Its collection of busts, medals, engravings, paintings and documents piece together the life of this giant of Portugal’s history.

3. Visit the Pinhal de Leiria

The Pinhal de Leiria is one of Lisbon’s most important landmarks, serving as a gateway to the city centre. Built as a memorial to the first Marquis of Pombal, this grand structure is simple on the outside but has a magnificent interior decorated with mannerist panels.

It’s also the main site of the Festas do Bodo (Festival of the Feast) in July, which recreates a procession from church to church that once took place to pray for relief from famine.

If you’re visiting on a sunny day, head to the nearby Aqualandia for a refreshing swim or an adrenaline-pumping ride down three flumes, from a twisting half-pipe body slider to a multi-lane racer. The park also has a lazy river and an aquarium for kids.

4. Visit Vale do Poio

Whether you’re a local, a tourist or just passing through, there’s always something unique to do in Pombal. Take in a show at the theatre, or get to know your neighborhood better by exploring its streets.

Explore the museums, boutiques and restaurants in the downtown area. Find that perfect souvenir at one of the many small shops, or reinvent your artistic aesthetic at your new favorite gallery.

Or, venture out into nature to visit the Vale do Poio biodiversity station, or go on a hike in the nearby Serra da Lousa mountains. Other outdoor activities include visiting the Sanctuary of Fatima, or seeing the ruins of Conimbriga. Lastly, don’t miss out on visiting the Batalha Monastery or the Convent of Christ (Tomar). Unleash the traveler in you.

5. Visit Planet of the Jokers

The Planet of the Jokers is a place where you can enjoy a lot of fun, especially with kids. They have a lot of slides, inflatables and ball pools that will make your kid’s day a special one.

Parque Eduardo VII is a big park that connects some of Lisbon’s top attractions and it’s the perfect place to relax or go on a walk. It’s also where the city’s main street (Avenida da Liberdade) starts and you can find many of Lisbon’s top shops here.

There are buses from Sete Rios and Oriente in Lisbon that head to Pombal (2 hours, 55 minutes). Trains travel north from Lisbon’s Campanha station and stop at Oriente and Santa Apolonia. You can also take a taxi or ride a scooter/bike around town.

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