Located in central Portugal, Santarem is the perfect place to visit for a day trip. Located 80 kilometres from the capital city Lisbon, Santarem is a unique town in Portugal that offers many marvellous places to explore. Santarem is a town like no other. Santarem was the home of many kings of Portugal throughout the middle ages. The city was primarily a defensive town that defends a plateau on the banks of the Tagus River. Santarem was also where the first parliament, known as Cortes, used to sit.
One of the best ways of exploring the beautiful city of Santarem is to hire a car. Most hotels, even the budget ones, have tie-ups with car hire companies, and you can easily compare car hire plans to pick a cheap car hire. Doing a car hire comparison will help you decide which is the best car to hire during your stay in Santarem. It is especially ideal to have a hire car is you plan to just visit Santarem for a day trip.
Once you have your hire car picked out, it’s time to explore the city of Santarem and check out the exciting things to do here.
1. Visit the Museu Diocesano
One of the first things to do in Santarem is to visit the Museu Diocesano. Located on Praça Sá da Bandeira, this museum is nestled in the north wing of the Jesuit college. It is integrated into the cathedral complex. The architecture of this place is breathtaking with its marble ornamentation. You can also check out many artworks from the 1200s and the royal flavor of the city is also visible in the museum in its many statues, paintings, and tile panels.
2. Check out the Igreja da Graça
The Igreja da Graça is a national monument of Portugal. This church is one of the most iconic images of Santarem, and you will find it in many advertisements for the city. The Igreja da Graça is also a famous example of Gothic heritage and architecture. The sculpted archivolts of the church’s facade are the most stunning feature.
3. Take a stroll through the Jardim das Portas do Sol
This peaceful garden in Santarem offers some fantastic views of the Tagus River. This is the perfect picturesque place for a picnic with a cool breeze blowing from the river plain and the marvelous shade offered by the many trees here.
4. Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila
It won’t be wrong to say that the town of Santarem is known for some of the most stunning cathedrals. The Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila was a mosque in the past. The church was inaugurated in the 1100s, and the original Gothic building got redesigned in the early 16th century. The intricate patterns on the walls and the tiling on the walls are the best features of the church.
5. Check out the Old Town
Santarem is known as the Capital of Gotico because the city is famous for its medieval splendour and grandness. The legacy of the middle ages is at every corner here. There are many beautiful squares here, such as the Praça Sá da Bandeira for big events.