On a plateau between the coast and the mountains, VISEU is one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets. It was named “Viso” by the Romans because of its great views, and it was from an embankment just outside town that Viriatus, the head of a local independence movement, waged war against its Roman occupiers. According to most polls, modern Viseu has the best quality of city life in Portugal, and it doesn’t take long to find out why. Its old town, clustered round a sturdy cathedral, is wonderfully unspoilt, while a burgeoning modern town is made up of wide avenues, leafy parks, a university and diverse array of shops, including the eye-popping Palácio do Gelo shopping centre.

Home to one of the region’s most appealing museums, the Museu de Grão Vasco, Viseu is also close to some of Portugal’s best vineyards: fruity local Dão wines can be found in all of the restaurants. The main annual event is the agricultural fair-cum-festival of the Feira de São Mateus which runs from mid-August until its climax on September 21 (Dia do São Mateus).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Undiscovered Portugal: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Portugal: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Although Portugal is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, it is surprisingly easy to get away from it all and escape the crowds. Most people hea…

17 Jan 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
What’s all the fuss about Lisbon?

What’s all the fuss about Lisbon?

Those in the know have been quietly enjoying Lisbon’s charms for years, but the city is currently having a bit of a moment. In recent times, it’s seen the o…

12 Jan 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

From Gothic monasteries and riverside palaces, to Moorish castles that loom over terraced hillsides, Portugal has a good deal of striking places to stay. Its c…

12 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month