Casa da Sé Viseu

Casa da Sé Review - Viseu

Nicky Reiss

Are you looking for something a little different, a unique place to stay, where you can enjoy friendly service, luxurious bedding and exquisite antique furniture for a reasonable price? The Casa da Sé (Book this hotel with is that place, a self-described "small luxury hotel" where you will feel tempted to stay for longer than planned.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

Arriving in Viseu by bus from Guarda, I walked up the hill to the old town, and without GPS finding the hotel was a challenge. Once you know the roads, however, it is easy to find and conveniently located; I suggest taking a taxi from the station, or taking a good look at the map first.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

There is no hotel parking (there were no cars when it was built), but there is free parking in the vicinity. The receptionist who greeted me spoke fluent English and was friendly and helpful, taking my small suitcase into her care as I had arrived well before the check-in time.

Casa da Sé may be overlooked by some because it is listed under "Viseu Bed and Breakfast" in Trip Advisor; however, I recommend taking a close look at what it has to offer before making your choice of a place to stay in Viseu.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

The location in the heart of the old town is perfect for anyone who enjoys walking around old narrow streets and absorbing the history of a city. It is just yards away from Viseu Cathedral, the church of the Misericordia, the tourist office, and the Museu de Grão Vasco. The Portugal Visitor recommended restaurant, O Hilario, is also close by - I ate lunch there twice and enjoyed the friendly, family-run restaurant.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

Each of the twelve rooms in the Casa da Sé is unique, with its own furniture and decorations, and with varying sizes of rooms and ensuite bathrooms available. I was traveling alone and had a comfortably-sized room on the top floor, with a spacious ensuite bathroom (large shower, no tub), located next to the guests' lounge. The sheets and towels were all of the highest quality, soft, plentiful, and luxurious. There is also a bridal suite – a good excuse to come here and renew your wedding vows if you missed your chance the first time around.

There is free wifi throughout the hotel. Just off the lobby, there is a small lounge room where drinks, tea and coffee, and snacks are served. The breakfast room, also off the lobby, is cozy and boasts a large continental-style buffet.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

I have coeliac disease and had informed the hotel in advance. To my delight (I love breakfast) they went out of their way to make a gluten-free cake, provide gluten-free bread, and also gluten-free cereal. I have never been treated so well anywhere else. Their breakfast buffet is a large smorgasbord of breads, cereals, cheeses, cold meats, yoghurt, and many other delights. I was only sorry not to be able to eat more.

Casa da Sé Viseu.

One word of caution: the square around the hotel hosts several popular restaurants and bars where people stay out enjoying themselves until the early hours. The windows of my top floor rooms were the original old style and offered no soundproofing.

In reviews elsewhere I've noted complaints about the noise, however, I also read reviews stating that the soundproofing was effective. I believe the rooms on the lower floors have modern, and more soundproof, windows. Do check on this when making a reservation; otherwise, if noise bothers you, bring earplugs. Casa da Sé is still an experience to be cherished and enjoyed.

I stayed at the Casa da Sé, Viseu, in August 2014.

Casa da Sé Viseu, Portugal.

Access - Getting There

Casa da Sé Viseu (Book this hotel with
R.Augusta Cruz, Nº12, 3500-088 Viseu, Portugal

Another recommended place to stay in Viseu is the Hotel Avenida.

© Portugal Visitor

Getting From Salamanca or Madrid to Porto by Bus

Salamanca or Madrid to Porto by Bus

There are buses from both Salamanca and Madrid in Spain to Porto in Portugal via Guarda.

Getting From Salamanca to Porto by Bus.

Buses are operated by ALSA/Internorte and take 6 hours and 15 minutes from Salamanca and 9 hours, 15 minutes from Madrid. The bus station in Porto where these international buses depart is at Casa da Musica on the Porto metro.

Presently the bus leaves Salamanca bus station at 12.45pm and arrives in Porto at 6pm. Returning to Spain from Porto the bus leaves Casa da Musica at 10.15am and should arrive in Salamanca at 5.30pm.

Getting From Salamanca or Madrid to Porto by Bus.

The bus from Portugal to Spain usually goes via Aveiro. Price for a one-way ticket is presently 44 Euros.
(Note: there is an hour difference in time between Spain and Portugal.)

The bus stops on the Spanish side of the border at a service station for a break for food. There are occasionally delays at the border.

Madrid to Salamanca is pleasantly done by train and then bus to Porto. If you are doing the whole leg by bus the journey takes 10 hours. The bus leaves from Av. de America at 9 am and arrives in Porto at 6 pm. Single is 50 Euros with the return fare 84 Euros.

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Aqueducts in Portugal

Aqueducts in Portugal

Portugal has long been dry and arid especially in the south. Portugal has a number of historic aqueducts that were built to bring water from the hinterland to the cities.

Aqueducts in Portugal


The Romans were the first to build aqueducts in Iberia and there are remains of 3 km-long aqueduct in Conimbriga near Coimbra.

The Muslim occupation of Portugal also brought new techniques in both water storage and its transportation over distance.

Aqueducts in Portugal.
Vila do Conde
Where can you see aqueducts in Portugal?

Aqueducts in Portugal can be found in Vila do Conde (Aqueduct of Santa Clara), Serpa, Evora (the Aqueduto da Agua de Prata), Elvas (Aqueduto da Amoreira), Braga (Sete Fontes), Obidos, Tomar (Aqueduto de Pegões) and famously in Lisbon (Águas Livres).

The Aqueduto de São Sebastião in Coimbra runs close to the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) in this historic city. The aqueduct was built in the late 16th century, possibly the work of the Italian architect Filippo Terzi (1520-1597), who was active in Portugal at the time and is famous for his work on the Convent of Christ in Tomar.

Aqueducts in Portugal
Serpa city walls and its aqueduct

The 18th-century Águas Livres that brought water to Lisbon was 18 km long. Construction began in 1731 under Italian architect Antonio Canevari and finally brought water to the capital in 1748. After that work was continued by a number of Portuguese architects until 1799.

Aguas Livres aqueduct, Lisbon, Portugal.
Aguas Livres Aqueduct, Lisbon, Portugal
Aqueduto de Pegões
Aqueduto de Pegões, Tomar
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Igreja Matriz de Mertola

Igreja Matriz de Mertola, Alentejo

The Igreja Matriz de Mértola in Mertola in the Alentejo region of southeast Portugal is only one of two churches in the country that have been built over mosques following the Reconquest in the 13th century. The other is in nearby Serpa.

Igreja Matriz de Mertola, Alentejo
The church stands over a former mosque

The Igreja Matriz is registered as a National Monument and retains the Moorish arched doorway and the mihrab - a niche pointing to Mecca.

Igreja Matriz de Mertola.
The church is now a protected, National Monument

Hotels in Mértola

Recommended places to stay in Mértola include the Beira Rio guest house, the Quinta do Vau, the Hotel Museu with an archaeological museum next door, and the Casa da Tia Amalia across the river in Além-Rio. See here for a complete listing of hotels in Mértola.

The Igreja Matriz is registered as a National Monument
The Igreja Matriz is registered as a National Monument

Other Churches in Portugal

Igreja da Misericórdia de Chaves

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