The fascinating Dom Dinis walled hilltop castle was where the Bragança family lived before Paço Ducal was built. Part of it has been transformed into the Museu de Arqueologia & Museu de Caça – a must-visit.

Surrounding the castle is a cluster of village houses and peaceful overgrown gardens. There’s a 16th-century Manueline pelourinho (pillory; the prison used to be nearby), with sculpted frogs.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Museu de Arqueologia & Museu de Caça

0.02 MILES

Inside the historic castelo looming above Vila Viçosa is an intriguing collection of relics, plus some less appealing animal skins and assorted taxidermy…

2. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição

0.07 MILES

Within the castle walls is this brilliantly tiled 15th-century church. It is also known as Solar da Padroeira, Home of the Patron Saint – the Virgin’s…

3. Terreiro do Paço

0.38 MILES

The 16,000-sq-metre palace square is ringed by the Paço Ducal, an enormous palace, the heavy-fronted Agostinhos Convent and graceful Chagas Nunnery. In…

4. Paço Ducal

0.39 MILES

The dukes of Bragança built their palace in the early 16th century when the fourth duke, Dom Jaime, grew tired of his uncomfortable hilltop castle. The…

5. Café Águias d’Ouro

10.22 MILES

This photogenic cafe – built in art-nouveau style between 1908 and 1909 – is worth seeing for both the exterior and interior (don’t overlook the upstairs…

6. Cavalry Barracks

10.29 MILES

Just north of the square Rossio Marquês de Pombal, you’ll find a few monastic buildings that were converted into cavalry barracks and today house a modest…

8. Lago do Gadanha

10.31 MILES

Near the centre of town stretches this marble-edged water tank, called the Lago do Gadanha after its scythe-wielding statue of Neptune.