Sightseeing and touristic information

Almada and surroundings

The municipality of Almada belongs to the District of Setúbal and is part of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. It covers an area of 72km2 divided into 11 parishes. Almada offers a remarkable variety of landscapes. To the north, the ten kilometer riverside strip overlooks Lisbon, and the Tagus estuary connects the countryside through valleys carved out of cliffs. The Atlantic coastline offers more than thirteen kilometers of the best beaches in the greater Lisbon area, adjacent to the Costa da Caparica Fossil Cliff and Mata dos Medos natural reserves.

Some Historical Notes

Archeological evidence of prehistoric communities confirms the area of present-day Almada has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age. Additional remains demonstrate the presence of the Romans and also the Moors, who provided the city with its Arabic-origin name: Al-Madam, the mining land, after a local gold mine. King Sancho I of Portugal conquered Almada from the Moors in 1190, giving it a charter. Between the 17th and 18th centuries, Almada became one of the main maritime ports for trading goods, until its transformation into an urban industrial nucleus, due to the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Currently, following the closure of the Lisnave shipyards and other units in the manufacturing sector, the municipality of Almada’s economy is based predominantly on the tertiary sector (retail and services).

Museums and cultural events

Many cultural events take place in the municipality of Almada throughout the year. The four main museums of the area are worth a visit. We recommend the Museu da Cidade (City Museum) which was inaugurated in 2003 and is the hub of the museum network of the municipality of Almada. It is located in Cova da Piedade, in the former Quinta dos Frades. This space is renowned for its collection and exhibitions, which illustrate the history, traditions and culture of Almada.

Beaches

Beaches stretch for 13 kilometers along the whole coastline of the Costa da Caparica. Transpraia, a train connecting the beaches, runs during the summer months. Costa da Caparica is well known for its excellent surfing.

Gastronomy

Fresh fish from the ocean is the main ingredient of Portuguese cuisine. We recommend the Caldeirada à Chico Bóia, a dish of monkfish, conger eel and ray, and also the Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams in garlic and coriander). Do not forget to try the well known Bacalhau. Portugal is famous for its pastries too, like the pasteis de belém (pastry cream) and pasteis de nata.

Tours suggestions in Lisbon and Almada

Cristo-Rei sanctuary

The Cristo-Rei sanctuary (Christ the Redeemer) is one of Almada’s main tourist attractions. It was inaugurated on 17th May 1959, and designed by the architects António Lino and Francisco de Mello e Castro from an idea by Cardinal Cerejeira, the Patriarchate of Lisbon. At the base of the monument is the chapel of Our Lady of Peace, with an effigy of Our Lady of Fátima created by the sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida. The lift will take visitors 75 meters above sea-level, where they can enjoy an amazing view of the Tagus River and of Almada and Lisbon.

Park of Peace

The Parque da Paz (Park of Peace), 60 hectares of lawns and woods, with rest areas and paths, represents the lung of the municipality. Do not forget to have a look at the great Monumento à Paz (Monument to Peace), a 40-metre piece made of steel, created by José Aurélio and the large pond, with its swans and mallards.

Jerónimos Monastery

The magnificent Jerónimos Monastery is considered the most prominent monument of Lisbon. It certainly is the most successful achievement of the Manueline architecture style - also known as Portuguese late Gothic - a sumptuous ornamental style dated from the first decades of the 16th century, which incorporates maritime elements and representations of the Discoveries.

Monument to the Discoveries

Padrão dos Descobrimentos, or Monument to the Discoveries, is a monument that celebrates the Portuguese who took part in the Age of Discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is located on the estuary of the Tagus River, in the Belém quarter, where ships used to depart to their often unknown destinations in the days of the discoveries.

Belém Tower

The Belém Tower was built in homage to the patron Saint of Lisbon, São Vicente. It is located at the former mooring location of the Grande Nau (Big Ship), that formed a defensive position with the São Sebastião tower on the other bank of the river. Located in the right bank of the Tagus River, the tower was originally entirely surrounded by water. Today it is incorporated in the dry land and represents one of the greatest highlights in Portugal.

Sintra

The town of Sintra is an incredible attraction. The combination of its natural beauty and stunning architecture led to its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, as a Cultural Landscape. Sintra has long hosted artists and writers from around the world, and reached its height in the 19th century, in the heart of the romantic era.

Cascais

The picturesque town of Cascais is one of the major attractions of the area, with its important architectural and artistic works, and is definitely worth a visit.

Shopping

Lisbon has all the qualities of a major European capital and offers a unique shopping experience. If you like to begin with traditional shops, there’s nothing better than the downtown area, with its distinctive and picturesque shops which have remained unaltered for decades. As you walk to the Chiado zone you’ll find a more glamorous and diverse range of options, including design shops and bookshops, with products that you might not find anywhere else. In the Avenida da Liberdade, you’ll find the top international brands.


INESC TEC - Laboratório Associado