"Is the beautiful land situated
In a fresh and delightful plain
A steep rock leaning against it,
Where the Castle is the most beautiful show;
Of two joyous rivers surrounded,
And of fresh, graceful greenery, surrounding valleys green, gloomy,
Who cut down the gentle rivers "
Francisco Rodrigues Lobo
In the coastal center of the country, between Lis River and Leiria was born Leiria, its foundation is contemporary of the Christian reconquest movement, was D. Afonso Henriques, first King of Portugal, who after conquering Leiria, had his Castle built.
Since always the Castle of Leiria remained as a monumental symbol of the city and its history.
Leiria is the center of a rapidly developing region, agriculture, cattle raising, molding, ceramics and plastics industries, some of the region's industries.
The landscape of the region is marked by an extensive pine forest that extends to the coast, largely planted by King D. Dinis (the farmer).
Leiria, has a population of 126 897 inhabitants, occupies an area of 565 Km2 and is capital of District composed by 16 Counties: Alcobaça; Alvaiázere; Ansião; Battle; Bombarral; Queen syrup; Castanheira de Pera; Figueiró dos Vinhos; Leiria; Marinha Grande; Nazaré; Óbidos; Pedrógão Grande; Peniche; Pombal; Port of Mós.
Things to Do
O Castle of Leiria, is the most famous monument and a true symbol of the city. Great and imposing, within its walls breathe history and enjoy a fantastic view of the whole city, especially if we climb to the top of its Tower of Menagem. The Castle is well preserved and, in the days of medieval market, it seems that we retreat to the times of the average age.
A Praça Rodrigues Lobo is the main square of the city, the heart of the city, surrounded by cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, with a superb view of the castle. The square is totally closed to traffic, it is a place of excellence to feel the city, often it is used to "stage" of diverse artistic and cultural activities.
A Leiria Cathedral, located in the heart of the city, built in the 16th century, as a result of the creation of the diocese of Leiria. It is classified as a national monument since 2014. The architecture is simple, but with details of great beauty.
O Museum of Leiria is another of the attractions of this city, this museum, with an exhibition area of approximately 1000 m2, tells the history of the city through various municipal art collections and thousands of archaeological pieces, it also has pieces of furniture, ceramics, glass and antique painting and contemporary.
Festivals and Celebrations
The annual festival of the city Leiria designated by May Fair generally occurs throughout the month of May and is one of the largest fairs in the region. The fairground occupies an area of 50.000 m2 and counts every year with the presence of approximately 500.000 visitors and more than two hundred exhibitors in various areas of different economic activities. There are exhibitions of gastronomy, and crafts. The associations and parish councils have a great involvement, every year in the Fair of May.
Another relevant event is the Medieval Leiria, takes place in July and for three days, the castle and the historic center are invaded by an intense medieval atmosphere, the city returns to the past. Visitors can truly feel what life was like in Leiria in the days of the Kings. The streets and alleys fill up and we can see merchants, nobles, knights, artisans, mystics and craftsmen. There is even room for a parade of historical characters, weapon demonstration, medieval supper and fool's performance.
The section 28, is more than a coffee. It's an eclectic place where you can indulge in a brunch, with the delicious hot croissants coming directly from France, drink one of the numerous cocktails, a good glass of wine ... and talk to friends to the sound of jazz. A place with a lot of soul.
Learn more about Apartado 28
Address: Rua Almeida Garret, 2400-137 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 471 696
A very relaxed and pleasant space, located in the garden of Leiria, in the square Luís de Camões. In the esplanade has the Castle of Leiria like canvas. Meals are very well made, from the starters to the dessert. During the week there are always different menus at lunch time.
Address: Jardim Luís de Camões, 2400-172 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 735 436 / (+ 351) 927 547 317
Family restaurant and very welcoming, the cuisine is home-made and tasty. It has a wood oven, essential in the recipes of this house.
Highlight for the wine list which features over 1000 references.
Address: Rua Professores Portelas Nº23, 2415-534 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 855 355
Situated in a small town near Leiria, the restaurant Tromba Rija is a rustic and comfortable house, the professionalism of the service and the quality of the products is the dominant note for over 50 years. It owes its name to the feijoada which is still on the list today.
Address: Rua Professores Portela, 22, Marrazes, Leiria, Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244852277
João Gordo Brewery
A place of worship in the city, it is the right place for those who are looking for a good snack.
The service is good, the space is pleasant and the food tasty.
The clams are varied and very fresh.
Address: Rua Dom Carlos I 29, 2415-406 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 881 483
I Love You - I Love You
Area inspired by traditional Portuguese tavernas, Taverna Mata Bicho is located right in the heart of Leiria, in Praça Rodrigues Lobo. Cozy atmosphere, great variety of dishes, quick and professional service.
Address: Praça Rodrigues Lobo 3 | Building Zuquete, 2400-217 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 821 723
Meeting point in the historic center of Leiria, in the Plaza Francisco Rodrigues Lobo, always with the Castle on the horizon. You can have lunch or snack or just snack. At night it also doubles as a bar.
Address: Praça Rodrigues Lobo 5, 2400-217 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 836 256
Space Eça - Coffee & Wine
A gourmet cafeteria that evokes the memory and legacy of Eça de Queiroz. A very welcoming space where you can taste delicious Portuguese specialties and good wines by the glass with an excellent value for money.
It has a library with the classics of Portuguese literature and contemporary literature, highlighting Eça de Queiroz.
Address: Rua Barão de Viamonte, 10 A, Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 091 950
Where to stay
Tryp Leiria 4 *
Located in the city center, opened since 2015 the Hotel TRYP Leiria has 70 rooms, restaurant, Lounge bar and three meeting rooms, fully equipped, with capacity for 200 people.
To learn more about Tryp Leiria
Address: Rua Manuel Simões Maia, 2415-520 Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 24 9900
Hotel Apartamentos Villas da Fonte - Leisure & Nature 4
Located in Aroeira, parish of Monte Redondo, municipality and district of Leiria, the Hotel Villas Villas de la Fonte - Leisure & Nature excels for comfort and tranquility.Ideal for groups and families.
To learn more about Vacation Specials
Address: Rua Central, nº 15, Aroeira, 2425-601 Monte Redondo Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 004 031
Lisotel - Hotel & Spa 4 *
Located at 7 Km from the city center, the Lisotel - Hotel & Spa is the first thematic hotel of the county of Leiria. This modern hotel has seven different themes and pays homage to the region's main love stories, providing guests with comfort and tranquility.
Address: National road 109, Km 161,4, 2415-206 Regueira de Pontes, Leiria
Contact: (+ 351) 244 820 460
Palace Monte Real 4 *
Located at 15 Km from Leiria and integrated into a vast private property of 24 hectares, Palace Monte Real overlooks the green and tranquility.
It has 2 tennis courts, 18 mini-golf holes, children's playground, artificial lake, gardens, bar and terrace.
It has 101 rooms, 1 is communicating and 5 suites.
Address: Rua de Leiria, Monte Real 2425-039, Portugal
Contact: (+ 351) 244 618 900
The culinary tradition of the region of Leiria is quite rich and diverse and, above all, delicious.
It is a gastronomy recognized for its creativity, where the mixture of different foods and ingredients generate unusual and tasty dishes. On the coast of the region, dishes based on seafood such as Seafood Soups, Grilled fish stews and fish stews. In the interior and in the hills the flavors of the Meats and the Sheep and Goat Cheeses, that mark the dishes, like the Vegetable and Bean Soup Salad and Stew with Lamb, or Chicken in the PucaraThe Migas of Leiria, Highlighting the popular Chanfana de Chainça (locality near Fátima), a typical dish made of goat meat (old) that after marinating for one night will cook in a frying pan on a low heat, adding little and a few marinade sauce, the confection of this dish is quite time consuming.
At the end, the meat is placed on a "bed" of slices of bread and topped with the sauce.
In the gastronomy of the region also stands out its sweets, in particular the conventual sweets, the Bread of Ló of Alfeizeirão and Tortas de Aljubarrota deserve to be proven by the visitor.
But the typical sweetness of the city of Leiria is, without a doubt, the Brisa do Lis, made from almonds, sugar and eggs, is much sought after by locals and visitors alike.
This convent sweet is associated with the old convent of Santana (meanwhile demolished), where the sisters made it. According to the account, the secret of the manufacture of Brisas do Lis was passed by a nun to a friend of her, owner of Café Colonial. Over time the production of the Brisas do Lis was spreading through the pastries of Leiria.
In terms of craftsmanship the region of Leiria is well known for its lacquered mud, porcelain (famous for the dishes of Calda da Rainha) wicks, bedspreads and tapestry. However, the manufacture of glasses from Marinha Grande continues to dominate the crafts of the district of Leiria.
It is the closest beach of Leiria, large beach, with extensive sand and great esplanades by the sea.
This beach is nice, clean and quiet, ideal for spending family time and for long walks.
The famous sardine festival takes place on this beach during the month of July.
Beach of São Pedro de Moel
One of the most beautiful beaches in the area, the views are fantastic and the lighthouse is very beautiful.
The environs are superb, the very well kept house and the green of the pinewood combine perfectly.
The beach is magnificent, extensive, but with almost always very rough sea.
There is a bike lane (Atlantic Cycleway) that allows long walks, either on foot or by bicycle.
Praia da Vieira
After crossing the pine forest, you come to Praia da Vieira, which is still a great tourist and summer resort with good infrastructure.
The marginal, sidewalk to the Portuguese, gives a very characteristic touch to the beach.
It also has a car park with a very generous area.
Foz Do Arelho Beach
The Foz do Arelho beach, next to Óbidos Lagoon, is a long sandy beach with great terraces and good restaurants. This beach is famous for its wild sea.
The Foz do Arelho Beach offers visitors two very different realities, on one side open sea beach, much appreciated by surfers, on the other the lagoon of Óbidos, calm and serene, adored by the little ones. Attention, the low temperature of the water is the brand image of this beach.