Setubal On a Budget
SightsThe best tourist attraction of Setubal is the Fortaleza de Sao Filipe and the wonderful panoramic views from the imposing battlements and solid walls. The castle dates from 1580. The fort is perched high above the city, and the main draw are the outstanding views over Setubal. Setubal castle has been painstaking restored and today is beautiful national monument this was made possible by the transformation of the complex into an exclusive hotel.
The Mercado do Livramento is one of the best-covered markets in Portugal. The market has a wide range of stalls, selling fresh produce through to local handicrafts but the main specialty is the large fish section. The fish market is a chaotic and lively affair, where stall holders and fishwives call out their stock to savvy early morning shoppers. Visiting the market is a morning activity as by lunch all of the fish is sold and stalls are closing.
The main historical monument of the city of Setubal is the Monastery of Jesus, with a 15th- and 16th-centuries church that represents one of the first buildings in the Portuguese late Gothic style known as Manueline.
NeighborhoodsFontainhas (Downtown/Historic Center)
The physical profile of this neighborhood is drawn through narrow and winding streets, on a hillside overlooking the river. Many homes are decorated with architectural details that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Every street, building, facade, sidewalk or porch is a piece of memory of the city. Here, the past recedes periods up to Roman and Phoenician, but a walk in downtown is more than a history lesson; is also wander in a vast open shopping area. Bocage Square is the real starting point to exploring the historical center. From there, the 21st century coexists intimately with Roman and medieval legacy. Just five minutes from the Bocage Square is the Jesus Convent , XV century monument whose facade was recently restored. The Church of Jesus, with twisted columns made in brecha Arrabida Stone, native stone from the mountain, is a popular sight in the historical center. Surrounded by esplanades, Church of S. Juliao shows the rich Manueline portico, where figures engraved into the stone for about 500 years observed daily sale of handicrafts. In this neighborhood you can also get an interesting and beautiful panoramic view of the bay.
Opposite the Historical Center, beyond the Convent of Jesus, is the Troino neighborhood. Due to the earthquake 1755 and with the reconstruction pombalina, the streets are not as winding as in Fontainhas. Nevertheless, the neighborhood spirit remains strong, with terraces and typical cafes serving as meeting points. In the narrow sidewalks, small grills aromatize the streets with the smells of delicious grilled fish that gives fame to Setubal. A few yards away, already at the Plaza Teofilo Braga, is the elegant Sapal Fountain, in Baroque style.
ActivitiesThere is plenty to do in the area, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. One of the most popular is a visit to the Troia Peninsula. Catch the ferry to the beautiful Troia Peninsula and its paradise beaches. From the harbor, after passing in front of Troia's upmarket flats, restaurants and casino, the visitor is led onto a stilted walkway which winds its way to the beaches facing west onto the Atlantic. There are one or two companies offering trips to view the local dolphins.
Here are more great ideas for exciting things to do in Setubal. Hike up to the Fortaleza de Sao Filipe fort with to experience amazing panoramic views over the city. Visit the Mercado do Livramento, which is considered as one of the best food market in Portugal. Wander the cobbled streets of the pretty old town. Drive the along the dramatic Estrada de Escarpa road as it crosses the Serra da Arrabida. Go wine tasting at one of the Muscatel vineyards in Azeitao. Relax on Praia do Creiro beach with its turquoise waters, golden sand and stunning natural scenery. For a little more adventure, hike or cycle along the challenging routes of the Serra da Arrabida.