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Derived from the latin for ‘a good view’, Viseu is an unspoilt city in Central Portugal. It lies in the heart of the famous Dao winemaking region between the mountain ranges of Serra da Estrela and Serra do Caramulo. The best places to stay in Viseu provide the ideal base for enjoying the delights of both the charming town and surrounding countryside.
Viseu has a long history, it was a stronghold of the Lusitanian tribe in early Roman times, later being ruled by first the Moors then the Christians in the 8th and 9th centuries. From the 14th century it became a wealthy trading centre and today the feel of prosperity survives with the surrounding Dao vineyards and winemaking. The university adds a youthful vibe too.
The main square at the top of the town is where you'll find the renowned Cathedral de Viseu - dating from the 13th century, it is one of the oldest monuments in the area and one of the most treasured. The 18th century rococo church of Our Lady of Mercy sits in the same square and the panoramic views from here are simply breathtaking.
What not to miss
- Centro Historico - the centre of the old town with its fine churches, palaces, galleries and also restaurants and shops.
- Adro da Se - the main square and its magnificent view.
- Cathedral da Se - one of the finest Gothic/Romanesque churches in Portugal
- Museum Gran Yasco - located in the old Bishops Palace which dates back to 1563 - it's a permanent echibition of the (local) renaissance artist Vasco Fernandes.
Use our guide to the best places to stay in Viseu and start to plan your holiday.
The best places to stay in Viseu
For a luxury guesthouse
- Casa da Se is a beautifully restored 18th century property in the centre of the town. The interiors are elegant and sophisticated with plenty of artworks, antiques and vintage pieces. It's also superb value with rooms starting from only €80 per night including breakfast.
- Viseu is easy to access by road being very close to the motorway network linkining to all major cities and also Spain and the coast. The closest airport is Porto which is 1hr 45mins by car (although there is a small private airport).
- Weather - Viseu enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. So you can expect warm dry summers (its altitude helps to keep the temperatures lower in July and August) with average highs in the mid twenties celcius. The rainy months are generally January to May and October to December.
- If you are planning to explore the surrounding area and want to hire a car, check out the choice with our online partner, Rentalcars.
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Best Hotels in Viseu
Casa da Se 12 rooms from £70Viseu (R. Augusta Cruz 12)
In a beautifully renovated 18th century building this luxury guesthouse offers elegant and sophisticated rooms in the heart of the historical centre of Viseu. Interiors are tastefully done with antiques, artworks and vintage furniture that are also for sale to guests. A lively bar on site.Local exploring - Located in the historical centre, close by to many important sights, restaurants and shopsSights nearby - Right next to Viseu Misericordia Church and the CathedralFull of characterTraditional