The City of VISEU


Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Viseu was able to gradually set itself free from its merely local and regional expression. Without turning its back on the traditional sectors, the region found ways to successfully renew and consolidate its business fabric (small and medium enterprises) that have greatly contributed to boost the economy of this region. The traditional activities (locksmiths, graphic arts, furniture, etc.) kept on striving for modernization, both those which wanted to keep their traditional way of production and those which favour industrial production. Although the investment is still national for the most part, the evolution has been impressive, largely due to a remarkable development in different sectors that include roads and communication networks (IP3, A24 and A25), telecommunications, specialized labour, investment incentives, education (professional schools, higher education institutions, including the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu), culture (Viriato Theatre, Quinta da Cruz) and leisure (golf, horse-riding, and the building of several sports halls).

With an important tertiary sector (that comprises 67.78% of the active population living in the municipality) and a secondary sector steadily growing (27.48% of the population- data from the 2001 Census), Viseu has been experiencing a substantial economic growth, especially in the areas of communications, industry, trade and education.

A Historic City:

The region has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Throughout the centuries, various peoples from Europe and North Africa have settled in this region. Some of these people left traces that, even today, are easy to recognize. Celts, Lusitanians, Romans, Goths and Moors are among the many peoples who have lived in our region.

Throughout history, Viseu has shared the birth, the crises and the glories of Portugal. From generation to generation, the city has inherited many important monuments which bear witness of its history: the “Cava de Viriato”, which dates back to the Romanesque period, the Cathedral, an outstanding monument from the Middle Ages, the sixteenth century Manueline windows, the Baroque churches, etc..
The city truly offers a cultural heritage of outstanding universal value.

The Natural Heritage

The beauty of the rivers of the region, the variety of its green spots, and the splendour of its granite massifs combine to draw absolutely unique landscapes. There are numerous viewpoints from where you can admire all the surrounding beauty (Monte de Santa Luzia, Senhora do Castelo, Miradoiro do Picoto…).

Because of the many green spaces scattered around the city, Viseu is known as the “Garden City”. From Parque Aquilino Ribeiro, to Jardim das Mães, Jardim de Santo António and Fontelo, to Cava de Viriato, we can enjoy a great variety of plants and trees, some of which are considered of public interest.


Basketry, pottery, weaving, wrought iron, carpentry and furniture, paper flowers: these are some examples of the handicrafts one can find in this region. There are also several art studios in the city where people can admire, and even buy, typical handicraft objects from the region.

At Casa da Ribeira, a foundation that strives for the protection and development of handicrafts, people can observe the artisans at work, or purchase some of the objects produced there.

Local cuisine

This is, without a doubt, a region with a unique gastronomic wealth. There are countless culinary delights that you can enjoy, from roast lamb or veal, to smoked products, pork recipes, and marinated trout (“de escabeche”, a typical Portuguese sauce). We cannot forget the famous pastry from our region where we highlight the “doces de ovos”, our “pão-de-ló”, the famous Vouzela pastries, the “bolo podre” and the viriatos.

The region’s wine production is famous worldwide for its quality and one should not leave Viseu without first having tried the Vinho do Dão (a full bodied, mature wine from the Dão region).

A Modern City

Viseu is truly a modern city. The city has already been honoured twice with the award of “best city to live in” and provides those who choose to live there with numerous options for leisure and well-being.

There are different green and leisure areas where people can spend excellent moments, such as the Fontelo Forest and the Aquilino Ribeiro Park, modern and functional outdoor sports areas, like the Radial de Santiago Urban Park, fitted with exercise equipment to suit all ages, and the Dão Ecopista, a 49 km bicycle path that goes from Viseu to Santa Comba Dão. This is actually the longest cycle path in Portugal. The Fontelo Forest is famed not only for its fantastic vegetation, but also for the excellent conditions it offers to sport lovers. This is where the Fontelo sports complex -with all its equipment designed to promote physical activity and sports- is located.

Modern and comfortable shopping spaces

The Palácio do Gelo and the Fórum Viseu are two shopping centres where you can find everything from the simplest utensil to the best European clothing brands. Both spaces are served by excellent restaurant areas. The city centre provides a wide range of offers along its streets and avenues. Good restaurants, a wide variety of shops, in short, everything you need to feel great in Viseu.
Viseu has good road accesses and is geographically well located with much to offer and always ready to welcome those who wish to visit. Staying in Viseu is another pleasure since there is a wide range of high-quality hotels waiting for you.

During the day the visitor can walk through the magnificent spaces of the city and visit the monuments that are suggested in tourist routes available all over the city.

After dinner you can enjoy the rest of the evening in some of the numerous bars and nightlife venues scattered throughout the city.

Places worth visiting:

Almeida Moreira Museum
Aquilino Ribeiro Park
Casa da Ribeira
Casa de Lavoura and Oficina do Linho
Casa do Miradouro
Cava de Viriato
City Hall
Fontelo Park
Grão Vasco National Museum
Jardim das Mães
Museum of Sacred Art
Núcleo Museológico de Arte Sacra da Diocese de Viseu (Sacred Art Museum)
Quartz Museum
Quinta da Cruz
República Square (Rossio)
Solar do Dão
Tesouro da Misericórdia Museum
The Cathedral (Sé)
Tomás Ribeiro Garden
Viriato Theater

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