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Stylish accommodation in the center of the city has given Lisbon awards for world's best hostels every year.

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VIANA DO CASTELO TOURISM GUIDE

An elegant, traditional seaside city


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Viana do Castelo's main square Viana do Castelo church Overlooked by the Hill of Santa Luzia, Viana do Castelo enjoys a beautiful setting on the north bank of the Lima River estuary.

It was an important seaport during the Age of Discovery (João Velho set off from here to explore the Congo), and the resulting prosperity led to the building of opulent mansions in the Manueline, Renaissance and Baroque styles in the largely pedestrians-only old center. The tourism office has brochures pointing out some of the most attractive mansions, most of them in Rua Cândido dos Reis and Rua de São Pedro.

There are more fine buildings around the vast main square, Praça da Republica. In the center is a Renaissance fountain, and facing it is the former 16th-century Town Hall (now used for exhibitions) with three wide Gothic arches, and the Renaissance Misericordia Church and Hospice built in 1598.

Viana do Castelo's Parish Church From the square, Rua Sacadura Cabral leads to the 15th-century Parish Church (also known as the "Sé"), with a Gothic doorway with reliefs of the apostles.

Santa Luzia Basilica The Municipal Museum is housed in an 18th-century palace and holds a fine collection of rare ceramics, furniture from Portuguese India and Moorish Spain, and archeological finds.

Standing on the Hill of Santa Luzia is the massive domed Neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia Basilica, modeled on the Sacré Coeur in Paris. Three rose windows illuminate the interior and frescoes, and there are exceptional panoramic views from the top.
On the same hill are also traces of a Celtic settlement and a pousada with a beautiful view of the sea.

Viana do Castelo is especially popular in the summer for a splendid beach nearby, the beach of Cabedelo, reached by ferry from Avenida dos Combatentes, the town's main avenue. Also popular is the beach of Vila Praia de Âncora to the north.

The town is also known for being the most folkloric in the country. Its traditional regional dresses are best seen during the annual Festival of Our Lady of Sorrows, which takes place during the weekend nearest August 15th, with processions, parades, folk dancing, and nightly fireworks.

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Vila Praia de Ancora Beach

Places Nearby

Braga - The city of Baroque; the Portuguese Episcopal capital; a monumental staircase
Guimarães - A medieval World Heritage center; a fascinating Celtic archeological site
Barcelos - One of Europe's largest markets; birthplace of a national symbol
Ponte de Lima - Manor houses; a mythical festival
Ponte da Barca - A lovely setting; a Roman bridge
Gerês National Park - Early human vestiges within a magnificent national park
Porto - Atmospheric port city; baroque splendor; monumental bridges; port wine



CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN PORTUGAL
AROUND LISBON
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Alcobaça
Arrábida
Azeitão
Batalha
Cascais
Ericeira
Estoril
Fatima
Leiria
Mafra
Nazaré
Obidos
Palmela
Peniche
Queluz
Santarém
Sesimbra
Setubal
Sintra
Tomar
ALENTEJO
Beja
Castelo de Vide
Elvas
Estremoz
Evora
Marvão
Mértola
Monsaraz
Vila Viçosa

ALGARVE
Albufeira
Faro
Lagos
Sagres
Silves
Tavira
Vila Real de Santo António
Vilamoura
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Aveiro
Belmonte
Buçaco
Coimbra
Conimbriga
Figueira da Foz
Guarda
Monsanto
Piodão
Serra da Estrela
Viseu

PORTO AND DOURO
Amarante
Lamego
Porto
MINHO
Barcelos
Braga
Gerês National Park
Guimarães
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo

TRAS-OS-MONTES
Bragança
Chaves
Vila Real

THE ISLANDS
Azores
Madeira