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Caldas da Rainha is a city in Portugal's Oeste region, about 10 km (6.2 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean and 90 km (56 mi) north of Lisbon. Absent from most travellers' itineraries, this charming city is a great place to experience authentic Portugal without hordes of tourists. Caldas—as locals call it—offers visitors countless experiences to enjoy: a beautiful park, a bustling farmers' market, several museums, shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars. For visitors seeking a beach holiday, Foz do Arelho and Salir do Porto in Caldas municipality are popular destinations.

Caldas da Rainha is an artistic city, and artworks can be found beyond its several museums. Caldas' main park contains many statues and sculptures, as do most of the city's roundabouts and pavements (sidewalks). Caldas is home to a school of fine arts and design and a vocational school for ceramics. The city centre has many excellent examples of Art Nouveau architecture, with beautifully tiled exteriors. You can take some of the art home with you, in the form of world-renowned ceramic creations from the Bordallo Pinheiro factory. In recognition of its crafts and folk art, UNESCO added Caldas to its Creative Cities Network in 2019.

Understand[edit]

Statue of Queen Leonor, founder of Caldas da Rainha, standing regally on Largo Conde de Fontalva, more popularly known as Largo da Rainha (Queen's Square).

The city of Caldas da Rainha (KAHL-duhzh duh rruh-EE-nyuh, /ˈkaɫ.dɐʒ dɐ ʁɐ.ˈi.ɲɐ/) has around 30,000 residents, who are known as Caldenses. Caldas serves as the seat of a municipality—also named Caldas da Rainha—with a population of 50,898 (2021, preliminary), including the city proper and the surrounding rural communities. Caldas serves as seat of the Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste (West Intermunicipal Community), made up of twelve municipalities with over 362,000 people. See Oeste for details on the other eleven municipalities.

Caldas is in the historical Estremadura province and in the Leiria district. Caldas is in the Centro (Central) tourism region and was part of the old Costa da Prata (Silver Coast) tourism region, a designation which survives in the name of a four-star hotel and other businesses in the city and region.

History[edit]

Caza Real, a former royal residence, now houses the Museu do Hospital e das Caldas, a museum dedicated to the thermal hospital and the city.

For centuries, the sulphurous curative waters were Caldas da Rainha's main attraction. The city's name can be translated as "Queen's Hot Springs", "Queen's Spa", or "Queen's Baths".

Caldas da Rainha was founded by Queen Leonor de Avis (1458–1525, also known as de Lencastre or de Viseu), wife of King João II (1455–1495). One day in 1484, while travelling from Óbidos to Batalha, she found a group of peasants bathing in foul-smelling waters by the roadside. She stopped to inquire about this strange sight, and the bathers told the queen about the waters' curative powers. She decided to try the waters and was pleased to be quickly relieved of an affliction she had been suffering. The queen ordered a thermal hospital built on the site of those waters, so that others may enjoy the relief that she felt. Construction began the following year, 1485, and the first patients were admitted in 1488. Work continued until about 1496–1497. To fund the hospital and the adjoining church, the queen used income from her landholdings and sold her jewels. The thermal hospital still stands to serve those with certain illnesses.

In 1511, King Manuel I, brother of Queen Leonor, declared Caldas da Rainha a town. In 1821, the town became a municipal seat. Caldas was elevated to city status in August 1927.

During the 20th century, Caldas housed refugees and prisoners of several wars, including South Africa's Second Boer War, World War I, in which Portugal joined the Allies, and World War II, when Portugal remained neutral. On 16 March 1974, officers and enlisted soldiers from the army base in Caldas unsuccessfully attempted to stage a coup d'état against the autocratic Estado Novo government more than a month before the successful 25 April Carnation Revolution.

Orientation[edit]

Map of the municipality, showing the current post-2013 freguesias (civil parishes).

The municipality of Caldas da Rainha includes not only the city of Caldas da Rainha but also numerous surrounding rural communities. Beyond the two freguesias (civil parishes) that make up the city, the municipality has 14 rural civil parishes, each containing various settlements. In 2013, the 16 freguesias became 12 following a controversial nationwide local government reorganisation.

City[edit]

Praça da República (Republic Square), popularly known as Praça da Fruta (Fruit Square), hosts the daily farmers' market. The pink building on the right is the old city hall.

The city of Caldas da Rainha is divided into two civil parishes—Nossa Senhora do Pópulo and Santo Onofre—separated from each other by the railway tracks. Although a compact city, Caldas da Rainha has several distinct neighbourhoods in each parish.

  • 1 Nossa Senhora do Pópulo. (pop. 16,114 in 2011) Nossa Senhora do Pópulo forms the eastern half of the city, containing most points of interest to travellers. Most sights are located in the neighbourhoods of Centro (centre) and Zona Histórica (historical zone). Other neighbourhoods—mostly residential but with some amenities—include Bairro Azul, Bairro Lisbonense, Avenal, and Encosta do Sol. Merged with Coto and São Gregório in 2013. Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (Q1278896) on Wikidata Nossa Senhora do Pópulo on Wikipedia
  • 2 Santo Onofre. (pop. 11,223 in 2011) Santo Onofre comprises the western half of the city of Caldas da Rainha. It is more residential and less touristy than Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, but it does contain amenities such as the municipal library, a sports complex, the Expoeste exhibition centre, several large supermarkets, and various cafés and restaurants. Neighbourhoods include Bairro (Além) da Ponte, Bairro dos Arneiros, Bairro das Morenas, and Cidade Nova. Merged with Serra do Bouro in 2013. Caldas da Rainha - Santo Onofre e Serra do Bouro (Q20059433) on Wikidata Caldas da Rainha — Santo Onofre e Serra do Bouro on Wikipedia

Rural civil parishes[edit]

Atlantic Ocean overlook with picnic area in Serra do Bouro.

If you want to see the Portuguese countryside, visit the rural civil parishes of Caldas da Rainha municipality. You will find friendly faces, family farms, green rolling hills, and lovely centuries-old, white-washed churches and chapels. Each parish celebrates its patron saint with an annual festival, typically centred around the parish's church. During the summer months, when many immigrants return home to visit family, the parishes hold festivals with music, dancing, and food—grilled pork and sardines are popular dishes. Beyond churches, the villages tend to be light on tourist sights, but you can find many cozy lodgings and delicious restaurants with authentic Portuguese cooking.

Western[edit]
  • 3 Coto. (pop. 1,344 in 2011) Coto is the smallest in area of the municipality's civil parishes. Sights include the 18th-century Capela de São Jacinto (Chapel of St. Hyacinth) and the 17th-century Igreja Paroquial de Nossa Senhora dos Anjos (Parish Church of Our Lady of the Angels). Merged with Nossa Senhora do Pópulo and São Gregório in 2013. São Gregório (Q1585029) on Wikidata Caldas da Rainha — Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, Coto e São Gregório on Wikipedia
  • 4 Foz do Arelho. (pop. 1,339 in 2011) The town of Foz do Arelho, often shortened to just "Foz", is the most popular destination in Caldas municipality outside the city. It is the place for travellers seeking sun, water, and sand. Foz has two beaches: one on the Atlantic Ocean and one inland on Lagoa de Óbidos (Óbidos Lagoon). Foz offers many lodging options, the highest concentration in the municipality outside the city of Caldas. Foz do Arelho (Q429713) on Wikidata Foz do Arelho on Wikipedia
  • 5 Nadadouro. (pop. 1,904 in 2011) Located on Lagoa de Óbidos (Óbidos Lagoon), Nadadouro offers water activities and camping. Locals make their living from fish, seafood, and agriculture. The parish is reputed for holding the best Carnaval festivities in the municipality. Visitors may wish to see Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, the village's 19th-century church. Nadadouro (Q1963184) on Wikidata Nadadouro on Wikipedia
  • 6 Salir do Porto (Logo CP 2.svg to Salir do Porto). (pop. 797 in 2011) Although it borders the Atlantic, Salir do Porto has only a riverside beach and no ocean beach. It's known for having the country's highest sand dune at 50 m (160 ft). Local legend holds that Salir is where caravels were built for explorers of the Age of Discovery during the reigns of Kings Afonso V and João II. Sights include Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Church of Our Lady of the Conception), the 18th-century parish church. Merged with Tornada in 2013. Salir do Porto (Q575984) on Wikidata Salir do Porto on Wikipedia
  • 7 Serra do Bouro. (pop. 703 in 2011) Serra do Bouro is the least populous of Caldas' civil parishes. It lies on the Atlantic Ocean, but there are no beaches here. Its cliffs overlook the sea. The 16th-century Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora dos Mártires (Mother Church of Our Lady of the Martyrs) features some Manueline details. Merged with Santo Onofre in 2013. Serra do Bouro (Q2273978) on Wikidata Serra do Bouro on Wikipedia
  • 8 Tornada. (pop. 3,561 in 2011) Located just north of the city, Tornada is the most populous civil parish outside the city. Along the N8 road (called Estrada de Tornada by locals), you can find restaurants, big-box stores, automotive services, and other businesses. If you have a car, it may be worth a look, but probably not if you don't have private transportation. Sights include Capela de Chão da Parada / Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação, a 17th-century chapel. Merged with Salir do Porto in 2013. Tornada (Q2296684) on Wikidata Tornada e Salir do Porto on Wikipedia
Eastern[edit]
  • 9 A dos Francos. (pop. 1,701 in 2011) The town of A dos Francos has existed since the 11th or 12th century. Local legend holds that Portugal's first king gave these lands to the French in appreciation for help in conquering Lisbon. Estação da Mala-Posta do Casal dos Carreiros is a 19th-century rural postal station, where tired horses were exchanged for fresh ones. Ecclesiastical sights include Capela do Espírito Santo (Chapel of the Holy Spirit), which dates from the 12th century; Ermida de Vila Verde de Mato, a 17th-century chapel; and Igreja de São Silvestre, the 18th-century baroque parish church. A dos Francos (Q300627) on Wikidata A dos Francos on Wikipedia
  • 10 Alvorninha. (pop. 2,987 in 2011) Alvorninha holds a popular Sunday market, Mercado de Santana. This farming community was the site of Portugal's first agricultural school. Sights include Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Visitação, a 16th-century church with Manueline entryway and azulejo tiles; Capela de Almofala / Capela de Santo António, a 16th-century chapel; and Capela de São Francisco, a 17th-century chapel. Alvorninha (Q449596) on Wikidata Alvorninha on Wikipedia
  • 11 Carvalhal Benfeito. (pop. 1,279 in 2011) Carvalhal Benfeito offers mountains, hills, and valleys with a beautiful panorama of varied landscape. Carvalhal Benfeito (Q1046099) on Wikidata Carvalhal Benfeito on Wikipedia
  • 12 Landal. (pop. 1,051 in 2011) Landal is called capital da codorniz (capital of quail). Sights include the 18th-century mother church Igreja do Divino Espírito Santo (Church of the Divine Holy Spirit), the nearby 18th-century limestone cross in a small square, and the 16th-century Capela de Santa Susana. There is a museum dedicated to rural life and another in an old schoolhouse. Landal (Q1258001) on Wikidata Landal on Wikipedia
  • 13 Salir de Matos. (pop. 2,583 in 2011) Sights in Salir de Matos include Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Necessidades (Our Lady of Needs), a 17th-century church in the village of Casal da Areia; the 17th-century Capela de Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy); and Igreja de Santo António (Church of Saint Anthony), the 18th-century parish church. Salir de Matos (Q1327055) on Wikidata Salir de Matos on Wikipedia
  • 14 Santa Catarina. (pop. 3,029 in 2011) The town of Santa Catarina is called the Terra de Cutelarias (Land of Cutlery). If you're in town, the 16th-century parish church, Igreja de Santa Catarina, is worth seeing. Its large campanile towers over the small town. Check out the nearby pillory while you're there. Santa Catarina (Q784525) on Wikidata Santa Catarina (Caldas da Rainha) on Wikipedia
  • 15 São Gregório. (pop. 955 in 2011) Named for Pope Gregory I (c. 540 – 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, São Gregório remains a land of agriculture, producing mainly fruit and wine. Sights include Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, a 17th-century chapel in the village of Fanadia; and Igreja de São Sebastião e Santa Ana da Fanadia, an 18th-century church. Igreja de São Gregório (Church of St Gregory), the parochial church, is notable among Caldas' rural churches for its 20th-century architecture. Merged with Nossa Senhora do Pópulo and Coto in 2013. São Gregório (Q1585029) on Wikidata Caldas da Rainha — Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, Coto e São Gregório on Wikipedia
  • 16 Vidais. (pop. 1,155 in 2011) The economy of this rural community depends on growing fruit and winemaking. Local artisans make wicker baskets. Sights include Capela de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, an 18th-century chapel. Vidais (Q652696) on Wikidata Vidais on Wikipedia

Climate[edit]

Caldas da Rainha
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
88
 
 
15
6
 
 
 
51
 
 
16
6
 
 
 
55
 
 
18
8
 
 
 
69
 
 
19
10
 
 
 
54
 
 
21
12
 
 
 
16
 
 
24
14
 
 
 
10
 
 
25
15
 
 
 
16
 
 
26
16
 
 
 
72
 
 
25
15
 
 
 
101
 
 
22
12
 
 
 
80
 
 
18
8
 
 
 
92
 
 
15
7
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
3.5
 
 
59
43
 
 
 
2
 
 
61
43
 
 
 
2.2
 
 
64
46
 
 
 
2.7
 
 
66
50
 
 
 
2.1
 
 
70
54
 
 
 
0.6
 
 
75
57
 
 
 
0.4
 
 
77
59
 
 
 
0.6
 
 
79
61
 
 
 
2.8
 
 
77
59
 
 
 
4
 
 
72
54
 
 
 
3.1
 
 
64
46
 
 
 
3.6
 
 
59
45
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Caldas da Rainha experiences a "warm-summer Mediterranean" climate (Köppen climate classification Csb, if you're into that sort of thing), sometimes called "cool-summer Mediterranean". This is the same climate as in Porto, San Francisco, and Cape Town, with lower temperatures than those experienced in "hot-summer Mediterranean" cities such as Rome, Los Angeles, or Perth.

Summer temperatures top out at 26 °C (79 °F) on average, and the light rain doesn't exceed 16 mm (0.63 in) monthly. Winter lows average 6 °C (43 °F). Caldas, like most of Portugal, rarely sees any snow.

Visitor information[edit]

  • 1 Turismo Caldas da Rainha (Tourist Information Office), Rua do Provedor Frei Jorge de São Paulo 5A (at E end of Praça da República (Praça da Fruta); Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 240 005, . May–Aug: Tu–Th 10:00–19:00, F–M 10:00–13:00 & 15:00–19:00; Sep–Apr: Tu–Th 10:00–18:00, F–M 10:00–13:00 & 15:00–18:00. In addition to tourism information, this space includes a shop with regional products and artisanal goods, a café–restaurant, and loos (restrooms). A gallery holds occasional exhibitions of local arts and crafts.
  • Município das Caldas da Rainha (municipal website), +351 262 240 000, . The municipal website provides extensive travel information in Portuguese. Sections include Agenda Viva (events schedule), Como chegar (how to arrive), Onde Ficar (where to stay), Onde Comer (where to eat), O Que Fazer (what to do), O Que Visitar (what to visit), Visitas Guiadas (guided tours), Onde Comprar (where to buy) and Transporte Municipal (municipal transport). A drop-down menu at the top of the page allows translation into English, French, or Italian.
  • Caldas da Rainha - City Guide. Caldas da Rainha - City Guide is a tour guide on your phone, tablet, or smartwatch. The app includes itineraries, sites of interest, and an events calendar. It is available for both iOS and Android. The app is sponsored by the Câmara Municipal (city council).

Get in[edit]

Caldas da Rainha's location within Portugal.

By plane[edit]

Lisbon airport[edit]

The nearest airport is Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS IATA) in Lisbon, about 85 km (53 mi) south of Caldas da Rainha. There are several options to reach Caldas from Lisbon Airport:

  • Bus: Rodoviária do Oeste. Take the Lisbon Metro  Vermelha  from Aeroporto station and transfer at Alameda station to  Verde  or at Saldanha station to  Amarela . Either line will get you to Campo Grande station, where you can take Rodoviária do Oeste's Rápida Verde bus service.
  • Bus: Rede Expressos. Take the Lisbon Metro  Vermelha  from Aeroporto station and transfer at S. Sebastião station to  Azul  to Jardim Zoológico station, near the Sete Rios bus terminal. AeroBus Line 2 also travels between the airport and Sete Rios. Next, follow the directions for the Rede Expressos coach bus to Caldas da Rainha.
  • Rail. The rail station nearest the airport for service to Caldas is Entrecampos. Take the Lisbon Metro  Vermelha  from Aeroporto station and transfer at Saldanha station to  Amarela  to Entre Campos station. AeroBus Line 1 also travels between the airport and Entrecampos. From here take Comboios de Portugal's Linha do Oeste to Caldas da Rainha. (The rail station in written Entrcampos, but the metro station is written Entre Campos.)
  • Taxi. From the airport to Caldas da Rainha takes about an hour and will cost around €90-100. Base metered fare will be about €45.31. Heavy traffic may push the fare up to €52.95. A 20% surcharge applies 21:00–06:00, so about €58.98. Luggage adds €1.60 per piece, and there is a booking fee of €0.80, if applicable. Tolls on the A8 motorway total €4.85. For trips outside Lisbon, taximeters are rarely used, so you'll need to negotiate the fare with the driver. If the meter is used, the rates are doubled for trips outside of Lisbon. Keep in mind that the driver needs to get back to Lisbon and cannot pick up passengers until they reach that city. Remember to tip about 10%.
  • Drive. Upon exiting the airport, follow the signs to A8 OESTE. Next, follow the directions in the By car section. Tolls on the A8 motorway total €4.85.

Porto airport[edit]

Although farther away, 246 km (153 mi) to the north, Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO IATA) in Porto is a viable alternative to Lisbon. To reach Caldas from Porto:

  • Bus. From the airport, take the Porto Metro (Metro do Porto)  E  to Senhora da Hora or Trindade and transfer to the  A ,  B ,  C , or  F  to Campo 24 de Agosto (~27 min, €2). Take a Rede Expressos bus to Caldas. A few trips are direct, but most involve one or two transfers. Travel time is about 3 hr–4 hr 40 min, and fares are €18.50.
  • Rail. From the airport, take the Porto Metro  E  to Senhora da Hora or Trindade and transfer to the  A ,  B ,  C , or  F  to Campanhã (~30 min, €2). From Campanhã station, take a Comboios de Portugal (CP) Alfa Pendular (AP) or Intercity (IC) train to Coimbra-B and transfer to an InterRegional (IR) train to Caldas. Travel time is about 4 hr 20 min–5 hr 20 min. Second class fares are €23.15 for AP and €20.10-20.15 for IC, and first class fares are €27.40 and €23.35-24.70, respectively. (Cheaper fares are available for trips involving commuter trains, which take longer, or for tickets bought five or more days in advance.)
  • Drive. Take the VRI (Via Regional Interior) south for 2.5 km (1.6 mi) to A4 for 2.3 km (1.4 mi) to A28 for 3.6 km (2.2 mi) to A1 for 179 km (111 mi) to A8 for 52 km (32 mi). Next, see the By car section to determine the best exit for your specific destination in Caldas.

By bus[edit]

For most intercity connections, including Lisbon, the bus is faster than the train.

  • 1 Bus Terminal (Terminal Rodoviário), Rua Coronel Soeiro de Brito 35 (at Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra; Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  to Terminal Rodoviário or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Montepio), +351 262 831 067. M–F 05:30–21:15, Sa 07:30–12:30 & 15:00–18:30, Su 07:30–12:30 & 15:00–19:00, at other times buses stop outside the terminal. The bus terminal is located in the city centre and serves all intercity bus routes. Expresso and Rápida buses use Terminal A. Other services, including non-rapid Rodoviária do Oeste, RoCaldas, and non-local companies, use Terminal B. Connecting the two terminals is a waiting area with ticket and information booths, departure info. screens, and restrooms. If you have a wait for your bus, you might want to check out the Capristanos café/bar/waiting room for a refreshment or a quick bite. It's been here since 1949, when the bus company itself was called Capristanos.
  • Rede Expressos (Rede Nacional de Expressos), +351 21 75 24 524, . This national coach company offers express service from numerous cities, including: Aveiro (2 hr–3 hr 20 min, €15.20), Coimbra (1 hr 50 min–2 hr 25 min, €13.30), Leiria (40 min–1 hr 20 min, €6.70), Lisbon–Oriente (1 hr 10 min, €5) Lisbon–Sete Rios (1 hr 10 min, €8.30), Nazaré (30–40 min, €6), Peniche (30 min, €6), and Porto (3 hr 15 min–4 hr 10 min, €18.10).
  • Rodoviária do Oeste (RDO), +351 262 767 676, . This regional coach company provides service from communities in the Oeste and surrounding regions. Routes serve Leiria, Alcobaça, Nazaré, and São Martinho do Porto from the north; Lisbon, Peniche, Cadaval, Bombarral, and Óbidos from the south; and Santarém, Rio Maior, and Benedita (Alcobaça) to the west, among other places. RDO also offers two Rápida (rapid) services to Caldas.
    • Rápida Verde (Green Rapid). RDO offers frequent service on the Rápida Verde from Óbidos (15 min), Bombarral (30 min), and Lisbon–Campo Grande (1 hr 15 min). Peak-direction rush-hour service runs every 15 min. Off-peak service is every 1–2 hr. In Caldas, the bus stops at both the city-centre bus terminal and at Expoeste. At Lisbon–Campo Grande, Rápida Verde buses board west of the metro station, at the bus terminal on Avenida Padre Cruz, using stop numbers 26 and 27. From Lisbon: adults €8.10, children 4–12 €4.05, children under 4 free, seniors 65+ €6.45, youth/student cards €6.85, monthly travelcard (including Via Azul & Verde, combined w/Metro & Carris) €80, 6 prepaid tickets €42.05, 22 prepaid tickets €126.10.
    • Rápida Rosa (Pink Rapid). RDO offers Rápida Rosa service from São Martinho do Porto (20 min), Nazaré (32 min), Leiria (1 hr 10 min), and select stops in between, with two round trips each weekday. From Leiria: adults €7.35, same-day round trip €12.45, children 4–12 €3.65, children <4 free, 6 prepaid tickets €25.25, monthly pass €90.15.
  • FlixBus. FlixBus offers coach bus service from Paris, as well as several other cities in France and Spain.

By train[edit]

Caldas da Rainha Railway Station, before the frog scuplture fountain was added in front.
  • 2 Caldas da Rainha Railway Station (Estação Ferroviária de Caldas da Rainha), Largo da Estação de Caminhos de Ferro (at the W end of Avenida 1º de Maio; Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  Estação CP). 06:00–21:00 daily; ticket window: 05:55–11:30, 12:00–16:30, 17:00–19:45 (closes 17:35 Sa Su & holidays). The train station is in the city centre, on the border of the two urban civil parishes. While awaiting your train, enjoy the beautiful tiled walls, showing motifs of local life and history. Estação Ferroviária de Caldas da Rainha (Q587866) on Wikidata
  • 3 Salir do Porto Railway Halt (Apeadeiro de Salir do Porto), Travessa do Apeadeiro, Salir do Porto (Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas routes 103, 111, 118). Other than the main Caldas da Rainha station, Salir do Porto has the only train stop in the municipality. Three regional trains in each direction between Leiria and Lisbon stop here daily. Salir do Porto halt (Q18483298) on Wikidata
  • Comboios de Portugal (Logo CP 2.svg CP, Trains of Portugal), +351 707 210 220. PDF timetable. CP's Linha do Oeste (Western Line) offers multiple daily Regional and InterRegional trains to Caldas da Rainha from cities along Portugal's west coast, including Lisbon–Santa Apolonia (2 hr 6 min–2 hr 33 min, €9.20-10.15), Lisbon–Entrecampos (1 hr 55 min–2 hr 23 min, €8.95-9.95), Torres Vedras (38–49 min, €4.05-4.45), Leiria (44 min–1 hr 1 min, €5.25-5.80), Figueira da Foz (1 hr 41 min–1 hr 48 min, €9.20), Coimbra (2 hr 07 min–2 hr 42 min, €10.50-12.90), and points in between. Old infrastructure and meandering hills mean that the train is often slower than the bus.

By car[edit]

Motorways[edit]

Caldas da Rainha is served by two autoestradas (motorways, expressways, or freeways).

A8–Autoestrada do Oeste[edit]
Map of A8's route.

A8 Autoestrada do Oeste, the principal motorway serving Caldas, provides access from Lisbon in the south via Loures, Torres Vedras, Bombarral, and Óbidos. It provides access from Leiria and Marinha Grande to the north. Numerous junctions with other motorways and roads provide connections from the rest of the country. There are four exits serving Caldas:

  • Exit 17 Gaeiras / Caldas da Rainha (Sul) – provides an approach via N8 to the southernmost areas of the city.
  • Exit 18 Caldas da Rainha / Foz do Arelho – leaves you on N360, which is convenient to much of Caldas and to Foz do Arelho.
  • Exit 19 Caldas da Rainha / Zona Industrial – puts you on Avenida Atlântica, which is convenient to northern areas of the city and for Foz do Arelho via the newer Variante Atlântica. It offers a less congested route into the city centre.
  • Exit 20 Tornada – leaves you on N8 a few kilometres north of the city.
A15–Autoestrada do Atlântico[edit]
Map of A15's route.

A15 Autoestrada do Atlântico connects from Santarém and Rio Maior to the east, serving several of Caldas' rural civil parishes. In Santarém, it meets up with A1 (Autoestrada do Norte), which allows access from many major cities.

  • Exit 2 Gaeiras / A-dos-Negros – serves Caldas' rural civil parish of São Gregório (N115).
  • Exit 3 for Landal / A dos Francos (N361) – also serves Vidais (N114).

National roads[edit]

Several estradas nacionais (national roads), which are not grade separated, serve the city and municipality. Nowadays, they are prefixed with the letter N, but older signs will show EN.

  • N8 (Estrada da Estremadura), once the main highway of the region, runs right through the centre of town. It runs south to Torres Vedras and Loures, a suburb of Lisbon; and north to Alcobaça.
  • N114 goes west to Óbidos and Peniche; and east to Rio Maior, Santarém, and Évora.
  • N114-1 connects the city centre with N114 to the east.
  • N115 runs south to Cadaval and Loures.
  • N360 runs from Foz do Arelho in the municipality's extreme west, through the city, and east to Benedita in Alcobaça municipality. The portion between Caldas and Foz is known locally as Estrada da Foz.
  • N361 runs from Landal and A dos Francos, in the municipality's southeast corner, west to Cadaval, Bombarral, and Lourinhã; and east to Rio Maior.

Routes from major cities[edit]

The câmara municipal (city hall) recommends the following routes from other major cities in the country.

  • Albufeira 315 km (196 mi): A2A13A10A1A15 – 2 hr 50 min
  • Braga 280 km (170 mi): A3A1A8 – 2 hr 30 min
  • Castelo Branco 190 km (120 mi): A23A1A15 – 1 hr 45 min
  • Coimbra 128 km (80 mi): A1A8 – 1 hr 10 min
  • Évora 194 km (121 mi): A6A15 – 1 hr 50 min
  • Lisbon 90 km (56 mi): A8 – 55 min
  • Porto 230 km (140 mi): A1A8 – 2 hr
  • Viseu 205 km (127 mi): IP3A1A8 – 1 hr 50 min

Get around[edit]

Map of Caldas da Rainha, showing pre-2013 freguesia (civil parish) boundaries.

Caldas da Rainha has plentiful signposts pointing toward popular sights, civic amenities, large commercial establishments, nearby communities, the A8 motorway, and Lisbon. Street signs are typically located above eye level on corner buildings. These are often made of decorative ceramic tiles. Not all intersections are clearly signed, so a maps app on your smartphone can come in handy. Many places are named for kings or queens and use the honorific royal title Dom or Dona, usually abbreviated D., before the monarch's given name.

Caldas da Rainha has several streets and squares that locals call by older or more descriptive names rather than their current official designations. Visitors are likely to encounter these places (official name → colloquial name):

  • Largo Conde de Fontalva → Largo da Rainha
  • Largo da Rainha D. Leonor → Largo da Copa
  • Praça 5 de Outubro → (Antiga) Praça do Peixe
  • Praça da República → Praça da Fruta
  • Rua Alexandre Herculano → Rua do Jardim
  • Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis → Rua das Montras
  • Rua Dr. José Saudade e Silva → Rua da Electricidade
  • Rua Vitorino Fróis → (Rua da) Estrada da Foz

On foot[edit]

Street signs in Caldas da Rainha are often decorative and elaborate.

Caldas da Rainha is a compact city. Most locations of interest are within 10–15 min walking distance. Although Caldas is in a hilly region, most of the inclines in the city centre are manageable by people of moderate fitness. Sidewalks (pavements) tend to be narrow, sometimes nonexistent.

The city centre offers several car-free streets, usually with retail shops, including Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis (Rua das Montras), Rua Alexandre Herculano (Rua do Jardim), Rua da Liberdade, Praça 5 de Outubro, and a block of Rua Miguel Bombarda.

There are no traffic lights or walk/don't walk signals in the city. Crosswalks are marked with zebra stripes, often accompanied by a blue sign with a black-and-white icon depicting a pedestrian using such a crossing. Drivers are pretty good about yielding to pedestrians using the crosswalks.

Although Caldas can present difficulties for people with disabilities, the city has made accessibility improvements and continues to do so. Many crosswalks in the city centre have dropped kerbs (curb cuts) allowing improved access for wheelchairs, prams (strollers), and other mobility devices.

By bus[edit]

  • FozBus. Weekends mid-Jul–mid-Sep, daily 1–15 Aug. Summer shuttle bus service within the town of Foz do Arelho.

TOMA[edit]

TOMA minibus on Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra in central Caldas da Rainha.
  • 4 TOMA, Customer service office: Praça 25 de Abril 43 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 262 240 000, . M–F 07:30–19:30, Sa 08:00–14:00, Su no service. TOMA is the local minibus service that runs within the city during the day on weekdays and in the morning and early afternoon on Saturdays. TOMA operates about every 30–40 min on three lines. The Linha Azul (blue line) runs hourly outside rush hour. All lines serve the city centre and each line serves other neighbourhoods of Caldas. Several city centre stops are served by all routes: Câmara, Centro de Saúde, Chafariz, Cinco Bicas / CCC, Heróis da Grande Guerra, Hospital, Montepio, and Rainha. Single ride bought on board €1.10, or €0.55 with prepaid "TTT" (Título de Transporte do TOMA); Viagem-a-Viagem (by trip): initial purchase of card & 12 trips €5.50, refill 15 trips €5.50, 35 trips €11, 80 trips €22, 150 trips €33; Dia-a-Dia (by day): initial purchase of card & 6 days €5.50, refill 13 days €11, 27 days €22, 45 days €33, 65 days €44; free for ages ≤14 or disabled. TOMA (Q17026147) on Wikidata TOMA (Caldas da Rainha) on Wikipedia
    • System diagram (does not reflect Orange and Blue line extensions in spring 2021)
    • Linha  Azul  (Blue line) – a circuitous two-way route that serves eastern, northern, and western portions of the city, including Expoeste (exhibition centre) and Mercado Semanal (weekly market). The route differs somewhat in each direction.
    • Linha  Laranja  (Orange line) – a one-way figure-8 loop serving western areas of Caldas, including Bairro Azul, Rua Vitorino Fróis (Rua da Estrada da Foz), Biblioteca (library), and Fonte Luminosa (fountain).
    • Linha  Verde  (Green line) – a one-way figure-8 loop goes to southern parts of the city, including Centro d'Artes (arts centre) and Fonte Luminosa (fountain).

RoCaldas[edit]

  • RoCaldas (Rede RoCaldas; Rede de Transportes), +351 707 200 334, . RoCaldas, operated by Rodoviária do Oeste, provides bus service to rural communities in Caldas da Rainha municipality. Twenty-two routes connect the city bus terminal to outlying villages. Five routes connect A dos Francos to its nearby communities, and three routes operate from Santa Catarina to its environs. The most popular route for visitors is probably the 125 which connects Caldas bus terminal to the beach at Foz do Arelho. Routes 103, 111, and 118 go to Salir do Porto, the other beach destination in the municipality.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis in Caldas da Rainha are black with a light green roof. Older cabs have a creamy beige colour. There are two taxi stands in the city and two elsewhere in the municipality. If you are not near one, call the number for the nearest one, and the next available taxi will come pick you up.

  • 5 Rua Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco Taxi Stand (on the street that connects city hall with the bus terminal), +351 262 831 098.
  • 6 Praça da República (Praça da Fruta) Taxi Stand (at the northeast corner of the city's main square), +351 262 832 455.
  • 7 Foz do Arelho Taxi Stand, Avenida do Mar (adjacent to the beach), +351 919 304 824.
  • 8 Tornada Taxi Stand, Rua dos Choupos (N of the city just off the N8 road), +351 917 211 560.

By car[edit]

Driving in Caldas is not recommended. The city centre has many narrow one-way streets. On-street parking is hard to find near attractions. Given the compact nature of the city and the proximity of the sights, it is easier to park for the duration of your visit and get around on foot or using TOMA.

The city does not have any traffic lights. Intersections are controlled with "STOP" signs or roundabouts (traffic circles). You will find traffic lights in some of the surrounding villages, where they slow down cars travelling through populated areas.

Parking[edit]

The municipality operates three centrally located underground paid parking garages:

  • 9 Centro Cultural e de Congressos Car Park (CCC), Rua Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor. 24 hours daily. At the cultural and conference centre. 350 spaces across three levels. 60 min free, 90 min free Su & holidays, each 15 min €0.20, 8:00–19:00 > 5 hr €4, 19:00–08:00 €2 max.
  • 10 Praça 25 de Abril Car Park. 24 hours daily. Located on the square with the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (1950s church), city hall, and the courthouse. It's a block from bus station and near eating and shopping. 60 min free, each 15 min €0.20, 08:00–19:00 > 5 hr €4, 19:00–08:00 €2 max.
  • 11 Praça 5 de Outubro Car Park (Antiga Praça do Peixe). 24 hours daily. Near restaurants, bars, and shopping. 60 min free, 90 min free Su & holidays, each 15 min €0.20, 8:00–19:00 > 5 hr €4, 19:00–08:00 €2 max.

Other car parks in the city include:

  • 12 Avenida General Pedro Cardoso Car Park (between Rua 31 de Janeiro and Avenida General Pedro Cardoso, between Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste and police station). 24 hours daily. Outdoors. Free.
  • 13 Bombeiros Voluntários das Caldas da Rainha Car Park (Volunteer Firefighters), Rua Miguel Bombarda 53. Uncovered.
  • 14 Montepio Rainha D. Leonor Car Park, Rua Montepio Rainha Dona Leonor 4B (between Rua do Montepio Rainha D. Leonor & Rua Capitão Filipe de Sousa). M–F 08–20:00, Sa 08:30–13:30, Su closed. Outdoors. 15 min or fraction €0.25, 08:00–20:00 (i.e., all day) €6, 20:00–08:00 (overnight) €3, 24 hr €8.50.
  • 15 Parada Car Park, Rua Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 39 (adjacent to Parque Dom Carlos I). 24 hours daily. Outdoors. Free.
  • 16 Parque Siprocal, Rua Fonte do Pinheiro 31 (off Avenida 1º de Maio), +351 962 980 794. Daily 08:00–22:00. Indoor garage.

Car rental[edit]

A vehicle is unnecessary and discouraged for visiting the city, but if you are staying in a rural civil parish or using Caldas as a base for further exploration, you might wish to rent a car.

See[edit]

Museu José Malhoa in Parque D. Carlos I. A statue of the artist stands in front.

Caldas da Rainha is packed with sights. There are numerous museums, mostly dedicated to art. Be sure to check out some of Caldas' lovely Art Nouveau buildings throughout the city centre.

If your time in Caldas is limited, the following sights will make the most of your visit:

  • Parque Dom Carlos I – The city's delightful main park is a favourite destination for visitors.
  • Praça da Fruta – The daily outdoor farmers' market offers a glimpse of daily life in Portugal and of the fresh, delicious produce of the region.
  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo – The city's 16th-century mother church, a national monument, is included on most travellers' must-see lists.
  • Museu José Malhoa – This art museum in the park is full of captivating pieces.
  • Museu da Cerâmica – This museum in an old manor house displays local and global ceramic works.
  • Centro de Artes — The Arts Centre has five museums, largely dedicated to sculpture. There's an outdoor sculpture garden, and the centre hosts temporary exhibits.

Museums and art[edit]

Museu da Cerâmica (ceramics museum), located in an old manor house.
Museu do Ciclismo, the cycling museum.
A non-contemporaneous portrait of Queen Leonor by José Malhoa displayed in his namesake museum.
  • 1 Casa Museu São Rafael (Museu Galeria São Rafael), Rua Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 53 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Centro d'Artes), +351 262 839 380, . M–F 09:00–12:30 by appointment, closed Sa Su & holidays. This museum is dedicated to the ceramic works produced by the Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro factory next door (Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro under current Portuguese spelling rules), including some original pieces by Bordallo Pinheiro from the late 19th century.
  • 2 Centro de Artes (Arts Centre), Rua Dr. Ilídio Amado (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Centro d'Artes), +351 262 840 540, . M W–F 09:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, Sa Su 09:00–13:00 & 15:00–18:00; closed Tu, 1 Jan, Easter, 1 May, 25 Dec. The arts centre is a collection of five museums, largely dedicated to sculpture, but also including paintings, drawings, and prints. The museums are Atelier-Museu António Duarte, Atelier-Museu João Fragoso, Museu Barata Feyo, Museu Leopoldo de Almeida, and Espaço da Concas. Beyond the works in the museums, there are numerous sculptures displayed throughout the grounds. The centre hosts temporary exhibits in galleries in the museums. Guided tours are available by appointment. Free. (Q18484289) on Wikidata
  • 3 Museu da Cerâmica (Ceramics Museum), Rua Dr. Ilídio Amado 97 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Centro d'Artes), +351 262 840 280, . May to Sep: Tu–Sa 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–18:00, Su & holidays 10:00–14:00 & 15:00–18:00; Oct–Apr: Tu–Sa 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, Su & holidays 10:00–14:00 & 15:00–17:30; closed M, 1 Jan, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 15 May, 25 Dec. Situated in a late Romantic manor house, the Ceramics Museum displays a wide collection from Caldas, from around Portugal, and from other places on the globe. The museum holds pottery pieces from the 17th through early 20th centuries, with emphasis on local artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. The collection also includes tiles and tile panels. €3; 50% discount for 65+, student & youth cards, and others; free for age 12 & under, resident citizens Su & holidays until 14:00; complete admission details. Museu de Cerâmica (Q6940625) on Wikidata Museu de Cerâmica (Caldas da Rainha) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Museu do Ciclismo (Cycling Museum), Rua de Camões 57 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 240 000, . Tu–F 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, Sa Su 10:00–12:30 & 14:30–17:00, M closed. This small museum is dedicated to the history of cycling in Portugal. Several historical bicycles are on display. Free. Museu do Ciclismo (Q10333888) on Wikidata
  • 5 Museu do Hospital e das Caldas (Museum of the Hospital and of the Hot Springs), Rua Rodrigo Berquó (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Cinco Bicas  Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 830 300, . Tu–Sa & holidays 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, Su 09:00–12:00, closed M. Housed in the Caza Real (royal house), this museum presents the history of the thermal hospital and its hot springs. Until the end of the monarchy, the building served as home to the hospital directors as well as lodging for the royal family when they visited Caldas. In 1992, restoration was undertaken, along with installation of the museum. The museum offers tours of the hospital and its associated heritage. €3, €1.50 for retirees and youth card holders, free to age 14. Museu do Hospital e das Caldas (Q10333904) on Wikidata
  • 6 Museu José Malhoa, Parque D. Carlos I (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 831 984, . May–Sep: Tu–Sa 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–18:00, Su & holidays 10:00–14:00 & 15:00–18:00; Oct–Apr: Tu–Sa 10:00–12:30 & 14:00–17:30, Su & holidays 10:00–14:00 & 15:00–17:30; closed M, 1 Jan, Easter Sunday,1 May, 15 May, 25 Dec. Located in the Parque Dom Carlos I, this small yet intriguing museum displays painting and sculpture from the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on Portuguese naturalism and the works of José Malhoa (1855–1933). The collection includes pieces by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, such as the evocative sixty-sculpture set Passion of Christ. You won't find world-famous works here, but many pieces are fascinating and make the museum worth a visit. Don't miss the bas-relief figures on the façade of the building, which was Portugal's first purpose-built museum. The building is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). A handheld English audioguide is available. General admission €3; 50% discount for 65+, student & youth cards, and others; Su & holidays until 14:00: free for age 12 & under and resident citizens. See complete admission details. José Malhoa Museum (Q6292942) on Wikidata José Malhoa Museum on Wikipedia
  • 7 Queen Leonor Statue (Estátua de Rainha Dona Leonor), Largo Conde de Fontalva (Largo da Rainha) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha). 24 hours daily. The Queen stands regally in a roundabout, facing the park and welcoming visitors to the city centre. The statue was created by sculptor Francisco Franco (no, not the Spanish dictator) and was inaugurated 15 September 1935. Free.
  • 8 Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro and Zé Povinho Statues, Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis (Rua das Montras) (near Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra; Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra). 24 hours daily. Take a selfie with illustrator, caricaturist, sculptor, and ceramicist Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro and his homage to the Portuguese everyman, Zé Povinho. Raphael sits on a wooden bench with enough room for you and a friend, and Zé stands behind him. Free.
  • Rota Bordalliana (Bordallo Pinheiro Route), throughout the city centre. 24 hours daily. This collection of 20 ceramic art works inspired by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro are spread throughout the city centre. The human figures are about life size, while the animals and plants are mostly larger than life. See a list of pieces and their locations here or here. Free.
  • 9 SILOS Contentor Criativo (SILOS Creative Container), Rua Filinto Elísio s/n, Moagem CERES, Edifício Fábrica I (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 912 288 809, . M–Sa 10:00–20:00, closed Su. Opened in 2010 in disused grain silos near the train tracks, SILOS provides ateliers, working space for artists, most of whom are students at Caldas' art and design school (ESAD). You can visit the artists' creations at the on-site Gallery Farinha, which can be booked on their Facebook page.

Churches and buildings[edit]

Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor, the spa hospital responsible for the existence of the city.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, with the thermal hospital directly behind.
Nossa Senhora da Conceição, a Roman Catholic church in the heart of Caldas.
  • 10 Antiga Câmara Municipal (Old City Hall), Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis 1 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra). The lovely pink old city hall stands on Praça da República (Praça da Fruta). The seat of the municipal government was moved to a larger brutalist building, and the old edifice now houses civil parish offices of the União das Freguesias das Caldas da Rainha - Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, Coto e São Gregório. The building was dedicated in 1750, as indicated by the "MDCCL" etched on its façade. An inscription above the clock shows "1841", when the clock and bell were added. The building is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). Edifício dos Paços do Concelho das Caldas da Rainha (Q66814144) on Wikidata
  • Art Nouveau Architecture (Arquitetura Arte Nova), throughout the city centre. 24 hours daily. Caldas da Rainha is home to many fine examples of Art Nouveau buildings. This style was popular worldwide between 1890 and 1910, but it flourished in Portugal from 1905 to 1920. You can identify Art Nouveau by its beautiful tile façades, ornate wrought iron embellishments, and decorative stonework. Walk around the city centre to find many more gems. Free.
  • 11 Ermida do Espírito Santo (Hermitage/Chapel of the Holy Spirit), Largo João de Deus (uphill SE of the thermal hospital Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta). Mannerist and baroque chapel built in the 16th century and rebuilt in the 18th century. The building is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). (Q10300906) on Wikidata
  • 12 Ermida de São Sebastião (Hermitage/Chapel of Saint Sebastian), NE corner of Praça da República (Praça da Fruta) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta). 16th-century mannerist and baroque chapel. Remodeled in the 18th century, the chapel is covered in tiles depicting the life of Saint Sebastian. The building is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). Tours can be arranged through the Museu do Hospital e das Caldas. Ermida de São Sebastião (Q10273954) on Wikidata
  • 13 Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor (Queen Leonor Thermal Hospital), Largo Rainha Dona Leonor (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC), +351 262 830 300, . The raison d'être of Caldas da Rainha, the thermal hospital was founded by Queen Leonor after experiencing the healing properties of the sulfurous hot springs on this site. The older building (labeled Hospital Termal above the glass entrance doors) was begun in 1485, and the newer one (labeled Balneário Novo) was completed in 1750. The hospital continues to operate to this day, subject to closures when impurities are found in the water. The waters are rich in minerals, particularly sulphur, and are prescribed to treat joint and respiratory ailments. Tours can be arranged through the Museu do Hospital e das Caldas. Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor (Q10298488) on Wikidata
  • 14 Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Church of Our Lady of the Conception), Praça 25 de Abril (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 262 832 029, . Visit: M–Sa 09:00–20:00, Su 08:30–13:00 & 17:00–19:00; Mass: M–Sa 19:00; Su 09:00, 10:15, 12:00, 18:00; 1st Sa of month 09:00. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição is a modern church built in the early 1950s to accommodate the city's growing population. Construction began on 20 August 1950, with a blessing from the cardinal–patriarch of Lisbon and the presence of the minister of public works. The cardinal–patriarch inaugurated the church 14 months later on 21 October 1951. The façade and décor aren't as bleak as other mid-century houses of worship, but compared with older churches in Portugal, Nossa Senhora da Conceição seems plainer and less elaborate. Its interior is mostly bright white sparingly adorned with some blue azulejo tiles, statues, and stations of the cross. This does give it an airy, open, and sunny look. Free. Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Q10300361) on Wikidata
  • 15 Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (Church of Our Lady of the Pópulo), Largo Conselheiro José Filipe (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Cinco Bicas / CCC), +351 262 832 029, . Visit: Tu–Sa 14:00–17:00, closed M & holidays; Mass: M–Sa 11:00, Su 09:00. Built in 1500 as the royal chapel associated with the thermal hospital, this church features Late Gothic, Manueline, and Mudéjar styles. At the behest of Queen Leonor, Pope Julius II elevated the chapel to mother church of Caldas. The interior is lined with tiles, including original Hispano-Arab tiles on the side altars. The Passion triptych over the triumphal arch has drawn the interest of art historians. Since 1910, the church has been a National Monument, the only one in Caldas. Tours can be arranged through the Museu do Hospital e das Caldas. Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (Q10300527) on Wikidata Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo on Wikipedia

Nature and outdoors[edit]

Chafariz das Cinco Bicas, a baroque water fountain.
Pavilhões do Parque in Parque D. Carlos I.
  • 16 Chafariz das Cinco Bicas, Rua Diário de Notícias (between Praça da República and the modern hospital, Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC). 24 hours daily. The grandest of Caldas' fountains, this baroque waterworks was built in 1749 and is noted for the five spigots from which its name derives. The five stars surrounding the spigots represent five of the seven Pleiades of Greek mythology. The other two Pleiades are represented on the other 1749 baroque fountains: Chafariz da Estrada da Foz and Chafariz da Rua Nova. This fountain and its sisters were constructed to provide water to the populace. They were not primarily initially decorative, though they are so now. Cinco Bicas remains in good working order, but don't drink. The fountain is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). Free. Chafariz das Cinco Bicas (Q16934803) on Wikidata
  • 17 Chafariz da Estrada da Foz, Rua Vitorino Fróis, near number 10 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Rainha). 24 hours daily. Built in 1749, this fountain was built in conjunction with Chafariz das Cinco Bicas. While not as grand, the fountain's age and good condition make it an interesting stop for visitors who enjoy baroque waterworks. It is also more integrated into the urban fabric, less standalone than Cinco Bicas. The fountain no longer functions; its purpose now is decorative and historical. The fountain is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). Free.
  • 18 Chafariz da Rua Nova, Largo D. Manuel I (up the hill from Largo da Rainha D. Leonor / Largo da Copa, where the thermal hospital is located, Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC). 24 hours daily. Caldas' third baroque fountain built in 1749, not as grand as the Cinco Bicas fountain, but still a pleasant sight. When you first approach the underused but lovely square, you will see a fountain in the centre, but this is not your target. Chafariz da Rua Nova is against a wall near a staircase leading to an upper lane. The fountain is classified as Imóvel de Interesse Público (Property of Public Interest). Free.
  • 19 Fonte Luminosa (Luminous Fountain), Rotunda dos Arneiros (Rotunda da Fonte Luminosa) (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  to Fonte Luminosa). 24 hours daily. Although Bairro dos Arneiros is a lively residential area, Fonte Luminosa is one of Santo Onofre's few sights of interest for most visitors. This modern fountain, renovated in the summer of 2020, shoots jets of water illuminated by coloured lights. While you're here, check out some of the restaurants, cafés, and shops around and near the square. Free.
  • 20 Jardim da Água (Water Garden), Between the hospital and the city & hospital museum / royal palace (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC). 24 hours daily. A whimsical "garden" with water features, accented with ceramics, tiles, and towering sculptures. It was designed by master ceramicist Luis Ferreira da Silva (1928-2016) and built in the 1990s. This installation is one of the country's largest urban ceramic works. It honors two of the city's iconic symbols: water and ceramics. Free.
  • 21 Mata Dona Leonor (Queen Leonor Woods), Rua Diário de Notícias (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Belver or Hospital). 24 hours daily. If the park is too urban for your taste, visit the adjoining Mata Dona Leonor. Tree-lined trails make for quiet, pleasant walks. You can also find picnic facilities. Planted during Queen Leonor's era, the forest was meant to protect the source of the hospital's hot springs. Trees include pine, oak, sycamore, and acacia. Free. Mata Rainha D. Leonor (Q10327239) on Wikidata
  • 22 Parque Dom Carlos I (Parque D. Carlos I, King Charles I Park) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha). This delightful park serves as the main green space in Caldas da Rainha. The paths through the flowerbeds and trees make for a pleasant walk. Visitors can rent a rowboat to circumnavigate the small lake around a little island. The boathouse is now used for art exhibitions, as is the Céu de Vidro ("glass sky"), a skylight-covered pathway between two old buildings that connects the park to the thermal hospital. The Museu José Malhoa sits in the middle of the park. The park contains numerous statues and sculptures, some of historical figures, others more whimsical and fun. The Pavilhões do Parque ("park pavilions") are several interconnected buildings, originally intended as a spa resort for the thermal hospital. They served various purposes in the past. These lovely buildings, which serve as a sort of emblem of the park, have unfortunately been allowed to decay and are on the verge of ruin. Their beauty is still evident, however, and their reflection on the lake makes for a popular photo opportunity. Word is the buildings will be revived as a hotel. The park's amenities include a playground, picnic area, tennis courts, and restrooms. The park is named for King Carlos I (Charles) who reigned from 1889 until his assassination in 1908 at the age of 44. In January 2021, Evasões magazine called the park, "One of the most beautiful parks in the country (perhaps the entire world)". Parque D. Carlos I (Q10344933) on Wikidata
  • 23 Penedo Furado de Foz do Arelho, Intersection of Rua Eng. Luís Paiva e Sousa & Rua Garejau, Foz do Arelho (NW of Caldas off the N360 road; a short hike from RoCaldas bus route 125). 24 hours daily. This huge boulder with an arched opening was formed by rain and wind erosion. It is millions of years old and dates back to the Jurassic period. Free.
  • 24 Reserva Natural Local do Paul de Tornada (Tornada Marsh Local Natural Reserve), Rua do Paul 12, Tornada (4 km (2.5 mi) N of Caldas, reachable via N8 road), +351 262 881 790, . The Paul de Tornada is a marsh with an ecosystem containing protected flora and fauna. Paul de Tornada (Q10346308) on Wikidata

Squares[edit]

  • 25 Largo Frederico Ferreira Pinto Bastos (Bus-logo.svg Verde  to Ponte). 24 hours daily. You will find this small, pleasant square in the Bairro Além da Ponte section of Santo Onofre. Away from the usual tourist track, this urban pocket provides a glimpse of typical life in a Portuguese neighbourhood. You may wish to sit at one of the outdoor cafés, or you can grab a beverage or light meal at one of the surrounding eateries and enjoy it on a public bench. The disused water pump served as the population's source of well water back in the days before homes had indoor plumbing. A few trees lend the square a feeling of city oasis. On Saturdays, the square hosts Mercadinho Das Águas Santas, a small market of handicrafts, culture, and food. Free.
  • 26 Largo Rainha Dona Leonor & Largo Dom Manuel I (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC). 24 hours daily. These two adjacent squares lie in the heart of Caldas' Historic Zone. Largo Rainha D. Leonor—also known as Largo da Copa—houses both buildings of the thermal hospital and provides access to the park. Largo D. Manuel I has the Chafariz da Rua Nova water fountain as well as a more modern fountain. Both plazas are picturesque and offer excellent viewpoints for photos. You can find a few cafés and restaurants on or just off the squares. Free.
  • 27 Praça 5 de Outubro (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra—slightly farther but with no incline—or Rainha—closer but with a climb up a steep hill). 24 hours daily. This square used to host the fish and seafood market until it moved indoors elsewhere in town. Nowadays, the plaza is a centre of dining and nightlife, with numerous restaurants, cafés, and bars. Many feature outdoor seating. Music and other entertainment often grace the square. The square's name means 5 October and commemorates the 1910 revolution in which King Manuel II was deposed and Portugal was established as a republic. Free.
  • 28 Praça 25 de Abril (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara). 24 hours daily. This square acts as a civic centre of sorts and hosts three "great powers": the brutalist modern city hall building (Câmara Municipal), the mid-century Church of Our Lady of the Conception (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição), and the courthouse (Palácio da Justiça). This plaza holds the city's huge artificial Christmas tree each year and is a primary meeting point for the annual Carnaval (Mardi Gras) parade. The square's name refers to 25 April, the date of the Carnation Revolution in 1974 that overthrew Portugal's authoritarian Estado Novo government. Free.
  • 29 Praça da República (Republic Square) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta). 24 hours daily. The city's grandest public square hosts the daily farmers' market and is called Praça da Fruta (Fruit Square) by the locals. The plaza is surrounded by many examples of fine architecture. Don't miss the lovely pink old city hall and several Art Nouveau buildings. You can find a respite from urban explorations with drinks and pastries at the kiosk on the plaza's southwestern end or at one of the area's many cafés. You might wish to also visit the square after the farmers' market finishes for the day, in order to appreciate the beautiful patterns of the stone calçada portuguesa pavement. Free.

Do[edit]

Caldas da Rainha offers plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied, indoors or out, from culture and performing arts to beaches and sporting activities. The year's calendar is packed with holidays, festivals, and celebrations.

Indoors[edit]

  • 1 Bowling Caldas, Avenida Vasco da Gama 77 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Piscinas), +351 262 824 348, . W–M 11:00–00:00 (closed Tu). Ten lanes of bowling plus snooker, video games, and Thursday karaoke. The restaurant's menu includes salads, omelets, fish, meat, pizza, pasta, and a kids' menu. Beverages include coffee, soda, milkshakes, hot chocolate, beer, wine, and liquor. Bowl. Eat. Drink. Repeat. M W Th €4/game, F–Su & holidays €4.50/game.
  • 2 Centro Cultural e de Congressos (CCC, Cultural and Conference Centre), Rua Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Cinco Bicas / CCC), +351 262 094 081, +351 262 889 650, . Information & ticket booth: M Tu 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–18:00, W–F 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–21:00, Sa & holidays 15:00–18:00; cinema days: 2 hr before film–end of film; night shows: 15:00–end of performance; afternoon shows: 10:00–13:00, opens 2 hr before performance. The main performing arts centre in Caldas da Rainha hosts music, theatre, film, and dance events, as well as conferences and exhibitions. The centre has a café called Momentos (Moments). (Q18483750) on Wikidata
  • 3 Cineplace La Vie (formerly Vivacine at Vivaci), Rua Belchior de Matos 11, in the La Vie shopping centre (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha). Opens 15:00, closes after last session. This is the only full-time cinema in Caldas. Tu–Su standard tickets €6.70; seniors, students, and youths €5.80; M all tickets €5.70; 3D ticket +€1.50, 3D glasses +€1.
  • 4 Expoeste, Av. Infante D. Henrique 2 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Expoeste, Rodoviária do Oeste's Rápida Verde), +351 262 832 321, . Caldas da Rainha's main exhibition centre hosts a variety of events including car shows, bridal expos, animal exhibitions, toy fairs, and holiday celebrations.
  • 5 Federação Portuguesa de Badminton (Portuguese Badminton Federation), Avenida Vasco da Gama 1 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  to CAR Badminton), +351 262 839 020, . Whether you're a participant or a spectator, Caldas is the destination in Portugal for badminton. The country's governing body is located here, as is its high-performance sports centre (training and competition venue). It hosts national and international championships. Federação Portuguesa de Badminton (Q1400333) on Wikidata
  • 6 Indoor Karting Caldas da Rainha, Rua João Reis 16A (in the industrial zone NW of the city; reachable via either Estrada da Foz / N360 road or Avenida Atlântica; walk from Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas route 125 bus to Foz do Arelho), +351 262 823 020, . Th–Tu 16:00–22:30, closed M. Indoor go-karting on a 315 m track. 10 min €12, 15 min €17, 20 min €20, 30 min €30.
  • 7 Infinite Roll, Rua Raul Proença 12B (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Câmara or  Azul  to PSP), +351 262 381 911, . Tu–F 15:30–20:00, Sa 15:00–20:00 & 21:00–00:00, closed Su M. Infinite Roll is a board game club and shop. They also have card games and roleplaying games. They host game nights, tournaments, live streams and events. This is the destination for geek culture.
  • 8 Teatro da Rainha (Queen's Theatre), Rua Vitorino Fróis / Largo da Universidade, Edifício 2 (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Biblioteca), +351 262 823 302, . This theatre troupe puts on several productions each year.

Outdoors[edit]

The beaches at Foz do Arelho.
The beach at Salir do Porto.
  • 9 Caldas Rugby Clube, Campo de Rugby, Complexo Desportivo, Avenida Dobrynine (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  to Rugby). Rugby is not as popular as football (soccer) in Portugal, but the country manages to field an active league. Caldas plays in the league's second tier. Caldas Rugby Clube (Q2933721) on Wikidata Caldas Rugby Clube on Wikipedia
  • 10 Caldas Sport Clube, Campo da Mata, off Rua Diário de Notícias (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Univ. Católica), +351 262 832 918, . Football (soccer) is the leading sport for participants and spectators in Portugal. Come cheer the local team. Once in the top division, Caldas nowadays plays in Portugal's third division, confusingly called Campeonato de Portugal. The club celebrated its centennial in 2016. Caldas Sport Clube (Q2933726) on Wikidata Caldas S.C. on Wikipedia
  • Cycling, +351 963 168 245, . Caldas municipality has over 22 km (14 mi) of bicycle paths, along five routes. These include an 8 km (5.0 mi) portion of Estrada Atlântica (Atlantic Road), which goes through other municipalities for a total length of 62 km (39 mi): Alcobaça, Marinha Grande, Leiria, and Pombal.
  • 11 Escola de Vela da Lagoa de Óbidos (Óbidos Lagoon Sail School), Rua Eng. Luís de Paiva e Sousa 105, Nadadouro, +351 262 978 592, . 10:00–sunset, Sep & May closed Tu, Oct–Mar closed Tu–Th, Apr closed Tu W. Learn canoeing, windsurfing, catamaran, kitesurfing, SUP/paddle board, surfing, foiling, wing foil, and optimist (small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15) on Óbidos Lagoon. They offer courses, group lessons, private lessons, and team building. They rent equipment and will assist with accommodation and gear storage and repair. Their bar offers beverages and light meals.
  • 12 Federação Portuguesa De Pentatlo Moderno (Portuguese Modern Pentathlon Federation), Rua 15 de Agosto 8B (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  to Fonte Luminosa), +351 211 307 709, . Caldas is home to the Portuguese Modern Pentathlon Federation, and the city hosts some events, including the 2021 European U17 & U19 Youth Championships (28 Aug–5 Sep).
  • 13 Lagoa de Óbidos (Óbidos Lagoon) (N360 / Estada da Foz; Bus-logo.svg RoCaldas route 125). Lagoa de Óbidos is situated between Caldas da Rainha (Foz do Arelho and Nadadouro civil parishes) and Óbidos (Vau and Santa Maria civil parishes). The lagoon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It offers many aquatic activities, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kiteboarding, jet-skiing, waterskiing, stand-up paddling. The beaches on the shore offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and making sandcastles. Lagoa de Óbidos (Q1800558) on Wikidata Lagoa de Óbidos on Wikipedia
  • 14 Praça de Touros (Bullring), intersection of Rua da Praça de Touros and Rua 31 de Janeiro (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Montepio). Controversial among even the Portuguese themselves, bullfighting continues to be a somewhat popular spectator sport in this country. The bullring in Caldas hosts several bullfights each year. As a minor consolation, in Portugal the bull is not killed in the ring within the sight of spectators. This 3,250-seat arena, inaugurated 13 June 1883, also hosts concerts and other spectacles. Caldas da Rainha bullring (Q10353469) on Wikidata
  • 15 Praias de Foz do Arelho (Foz do Arelho beaches), Avenida do Mar, Foz do Arelho (exit 18 off the A8 motorway, then NW on Estrada da Foz / N360; or exit 19 off A8, then NW on Avenida/Variante Atlântica; Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas route 125). Foz do Arelho has the two closest beaches to Caldas da Rainha, about 10 km (6.2 mi) NW of the city centre. One faces the Atlantic Ocean (Praia do Mar), and other is on the calmer Lagoa de Óbidos (Foz do Arelho–Lagoa). They are connected by a narrow channel. These beaches are popular with both Caldenses and visitors. Both beaches have earned the coveted Blue Flag (Bandeira Azul). The criteria for Blue Flag beaches cover four main areas: water quality; environmental information and education; environmental management; and safety and services. Free.
  • 16 Praia de Salir do Porto (Salir do Porto Beach) (Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas routes 103 & 111; Logo CP 2.svg Comboios de Portugal train service (3 daily round trips)). The calm waters of this riverside beach near an enclosed bay make Salir do Porto a popular beach destination for families with young children. Free.
  • 17 Skate Parque (Skatepark), Rua Vitorino Fróis 32 (Estrada da Foz) (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  to Biblioteca). 24 hours daily. Concrete ramps and metal rails to practice skateboard and bike tricks. Free.

Events[edit]

Praça 25 de Abril before renovation. The building on the right houses the municipal government. The edifice on the left is a courthouse (Domus iustitiæ, "house of justice" in Latin).

There's always something going on in Caldas. In addition to the events listed below, be sure to keep an eye on what's happening at the Centro Cultural e de Congressos (CCC), Expoeste, Escola Superior de Arte e Design (ESAD.CR), and the museums. Local newspapers and websites will list upcoming events.

Winter (Dec–Feb)[edit]

  • Caldas Street Food Festival, Avenida 1º de Maio, +351 914 512 247, . Early Dec. Annual street food festival. Come enjoy some delicious grub al fresco and in the shadow of the city's gigantic Christmas tree.
  • Natal (Christmas) (throughout the city, especially in the centre). 25 Dec, with associated events throughout the month. Caldas da Rainha does not take Christmastime lightly. Decorations and lights can be found in abundance. The main (artificial) tree is found at Praça 25 de Abril. This site includes a large, illuminated "Caldas da Rainha" sign, perfect for selfies and pics. Nearly 50 city streets and squares are strung with lights and various iconic buildings are lit up. Check out the festive store windows decorated to compete for a prize from the local chamber of commerce. Roving bands and musicians delight the populace and visitors with holiday melodies.
  • Ano Novo (New Year's Eve), Praça da República (Praça da Fruta). Dec 31–Jan 1. Welcome the new year with music and fireworks in the city's main square. Free.
  • Carnaval (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday), Avenida 1º de Maio, Praça 25 de Abril, and Avenida da Independência Nacional. Moveable feast based on the date of Easter; Feb or early Mar. Traditionally, Carnaval celebrated one last hurrah with a huge party before the long Lenten season of repentance that precedes Easter, Christianity's most important holiday. Nowadays, Carnaval in Portugal takes on a more secular aspect, with less attention paid to religion. Festivities begin several days before, with a party for senior citizens and a children's parade. Celebrations culminate in a grand parade with costumed revelers and floats along Avenida Primeiro de Maio, the wide avenue that connects the railway station to the city hall. Young and old dress up, some preferring to make a political statement, others honouring the latest Marvel superhero or Disney princess, or dressing as fruits and vegetables.

Spring (Mar–May)[edit]

  • World Press Cartoon, Cultural and Conference Centre (CCC), Rua Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor, +351 910 622 299, . Early May. Annual press cartoon contest, featuring caricatures, editorial, and gag cartoons. World Press Cartoon (Q24944652) on Wikidata World Press Cartoon on Wikipedia
  • Festas da Cidade (Feriado Municipal, Municipal Holiday). 15 May. Caldas da Rainha celebrates itself with an annual municipal holiday. Music, fireworks, the presentation of medals of merit, and the inauguration of civic works mark the occasion. Associated events are held throughout the month.
  • Oeste Lusitano, Parque D. Carlos I, . Mid-May. Come see the pure-blood Lusitano horses.
  • Caldas Late Night, throughout the city, . Late May–early June 15:00–00:00. Caldas Late Night is a three-day celebration of music, art, performance, multimedia, and design. It's been organised annually by students of Escola Superior de Artes e Design (ESAD, school of art & design) since 1992. Free.

Summer (Jun–Aug)[edit]

  • FALU–Festival Artístico de Linguagens Urbanas (Artistic Festival of Urban Languages), . Summer, with capstone in Oct. This urban arts festival runs throughout the city during the summer. In its first year (2020), six murals were created on buildings throughout the city. Like much in Caldas, the festival's name is a double entendre. It sounds like the Portuguese words for both "I speak" and "phallus".
  • Caldas Anima. Jul–Aug. The city holds numerous events under the Caldas Anima banner: magic, theatre, circus, music, film, festivals, and fairs.
  • Expotur - Festa de Verão / Tasquinhas (Summer Festival / Food Stands), Expoeste, Avenida Infante D. Henrique 2 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Expoeste). Early to mid-Aug. An annual 10-day celebration of summer at the Expoeste exhibition centre. Visitors can taste foods from communities throughout the municipality and watch folk dancers in traditional costumes. There are exhibits of handicrafts and ethnography. Free admission.
  • Assunção de Nossa Senhora (Assumption of Our Lady). 15 Aug. Caldenses celebrate this late-summer national/Catholic holiday with a fair that has lots of food and rides. The city also holds a bullfight on this day.
  • Frutos, Feira Nacional de Hortofruticultura (National Fruit and Horticulture Fair), Parque D. Carlos I, +351 262 839 724, . Late Aug. M–Th 17:00–24:00, F 17:00–01:00, Sa 15:00–01:00, Su 15:00–24:00. Caldas celebrates fruits in the park. Food and drink abound. Musical entertainment nightly at 22:00. There will be 200 exhibitors and over a dozen restaurants, bars, wineries, traditional Portuguese smoked meats and charcuterie. There will also be entertainment throughout the city during this event. Concerts €3-5; 10-day tickets €15; children under 12 free.

Autumn (Sep–Nov)[edit]

Learn[edit]

Caldas da Rainha is home to several institutions of professional, vocational, arts, further, and higher education. Among these are a few language schools where visitors can learn Portuguese.

  • 2 Caravela School (Escola Caravela–Português para estrangeiros, Portuguese for Foreigners), Rua Alexandre Herculano 40 (Rua da Jardim) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Montepio or  Laranja  Verde  to Terminal Rodoviário or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 915 674 470. Caravela offers Portuguese instruction in several formats, including 2 wk/44 hr intensive, 9 wk/45 hr extensive, and 2 wk/40 hr mini-group and online courses. Private lessons (90 min face-to-face or online) are also available. The school will arrange accommodation and transport upon request. Intensive and extensive courses €300, mini-group €320, online €240, 1 private lesson €27 (€125 for 5).
  • 3 The English Centre, Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 89 (Centro Comercial D. Carlos I Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 842 924, . M–F 09:30–13:00 & 14:00–19:00, Sa Su closed. This school offers courses in Portuguese for foreigners, from beginner to advanced. Classes are offered weekdays at 2 hours per week (120 min once a week) or 3 hours per week (90 min twice a week). Short 40-hour summer courses are available in July and August (2 hr x 20 weekdays).
  • 4 Lancaster College - Instituto de Línguas (Lancaster College - Language Institute), Rua Professor Abílio Moniz Barreto 70 (in the "McDonald's building"; Bus-logo.svg Azul  Quinta dos Canários), +351 262 408 739, . M–F 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–19:00, Sa Su closed. Lancaster College offers courses in Portuguese for foreigners, from beginner to advanced. Courses run for a total of 60 or 90 hours, taught once or twice a week.

Buy[edit]

With over 600 commercial establishments, Caldas da Rainha dubs itself the "Capital of Traditional Commerce". The centre of town has several shop-lined streets with many mom-and-pop stores and boutiques. Main shopping streets include Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra, Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis (Rua das Montras), Rua Alexandre Herculano (Rua do Jardim), Rua Capitão Filipe de Sousa, Rua Miguel Bombarda, Rua da Liberdade, and Rua de Camões. The outskirts of town feature several big-box stores and hypermarkets (superstores).

If you're looking for a Caldas souvenir, buy some of the famous local ceramic pottery. The Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro factory produces useful and decorative pieces. For those who enjoy naughtier mementos, Caldas is known for its ceramic phalluses, which like the real thing come in various sizes and can be found all over town.

If you enjoy bargain hunting, head for the Chinese-immigrant-owned shops (lojas chinesas). Some can be quite large. Merchandise at these cheap stores includes household needs, home decor, small appliances, clothing, and toys. The emphasis is on price over quality, so don't expect familiar brands.

Passaporte Viver Caldas da Rainha[edit]

The city council in cooperation with ACCCRO–Associação Empresarial das Caldas da Rainha e Oeste and local businesses has launched Passaporte Viver Caldas da Rainha. Upon checking into a participating Caldas lodging for a minimum two-night stay, guests will receive one "passport" per room that includes two vouchers for €10 each that can be used at participating local merchants. The program runs through 11 June 2022.

Markets and shopping centres[edit]

La Vie Caldas da Rainha Shopping Centre
  • 1 Centro Comercial Avenida, Rua do Jasmin (Just off Avenida 1º de Maio; look for the tall, crown-shaped yellow neon sign; Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  Estação CP). This small shopping centre is rather old-school, but it refuses to die. It doesn't get as many visitors as in days past, but several businesses have managed to survive. It's not worth a special trip, but if you happen to be on the avenue, pop in for a look around.
  • 2 Centro Comercial D. Carlos I, Rua Dr. José Saudade e Silva (Rua da Electricidade) (Between Rua Heróis da Grand Guerra and Rua Coronel Andrada Mendoça Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), . M–Sa 08:00–20:00, Su closed. This two-storey shopping centre is in the middle of town. The centre is dominated by small businesses. You'll often find yourself attended to by the shop owner.
  • 3 Centro Comercial Rua das Montras, Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis 64 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra). This small, cozy shopping centre was opened in 1985. The centre's several shops are largely devoted to gift items. It's a good place to browse when you need ideas on what to get for the hard-to-shop-for person in your life. It offers a convenient passage between Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis (Rua das Montras) and Rua Alexandre Herculano (Rua do Jardim). It has an entrance to the Europeia Hotel.
  • 4 Feira de Velharias (Flea Market), Parque D. Carlos I (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Rainha), +351 262 832 321, . 2nd Su of each month 09:00–17:00. This monthly flea market in the park offers a great variety of goods for sale, from dishes to records and towels to clothing to home décor. Free entry.
  • 5 La Vie Caldas da Rainha Shopping Center (formerly Vivaci Centro Comercial), Rua Belchior de Matos 11 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 870 020, . 09:00–23:00 daily. The largest shopping mall in Caldas da Rainha has four floors with 60 shops and services, including clothing, gifts, home décor, a large appliance and electronics store (Rádio Popular), a bookstore (Livraria Bertrand), and a supermarket (Auchan). The centre includes a food court with 15 restaurants (both Portuguese and international) and a five-screen cinema (Cineplace). Clothing stores include several owned by Zara parent company Inditex: Bershka, Lefties, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, and Zara Kids (but not Zara itself). Other international brands include Calzedonia, Claire's, Intimissimi, and Flying Tiger Copenhagen. The 440-space garage offers 2 hours of free parking.
  • 6 Mercado do Peixe (Fish Market), Rua Alexandre Herculano 94 (Rua do Jardim) (alternate entrance via Rua Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor; Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Cinco Bicas / CCC). Formerly located on Praça 5 de Outubro (which was popularly called Praça do Peixe, "Fish Square"), the city's once lively open-air fish market was moved into this more subdued indoor location. The move has meant fewer customers and fewer vendors, also a result of Portugal's growing dependence on supermarkets. But the fish market is still the place to find fresh fish and seafood caught in the waters near Caldas. When you buy here, you're buying local.
  • 7 Mercado de Santana, Rua do Mercado, Alvorninha (near the N114 road). Su 07:00–14:00. Located at the confluence of Alvorninha, Rio Maior, and Benedita (Alcobaça), Mercado de Santana claims to be Portugal's largest open-air market. Variety from clothing to animals and housewares to fruits and vegetables. Prepared food is also on offer.
  • 8 Mercado Semanal (Feira, Weekly Market), Rua Diário de Notícias (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Mercado; or walk uphill E of the Praça da República (Praça da Fruta) past the hospital). M 07:00–14:00. Caldas da Rainha's weekly market is held every Monday. The market is a great source for cheap basics including clothes, shoes, linens, tools, and housewares. Plants and small animals are also for sale here. A few kiosks serve down-home Portuguese cooking.
  • 9 Praça da Fruta (Farmers' Market), Praça da República (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta), +351 910 434 699, . 07:00–15:00 daily, except 1 Jan & 25 Dec. Caldas da Rainha's central main square, Praça da República, hosts Portugal's only daily outdoor farmers' market, located here since the 15th century. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, you can buy bread, cheese, flowers, Caldas' famous pottery, and other handicrafts. The most typical of local produce is the pêra rocha (rock pear).

Shops[edit]

The Bordallo Pinheiro factory, source of Caldas' world-famous ceramics.
  • 10 Bordallo Pinheiro Factory Store & Outlet, Rua Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro 53 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Centro d'Artes), +351 262 880 568, . M–Sa 10:00–19:00, Su 14:00–19:00. You can find Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro's (1846–1905) ceramic creations all over the world. But what better place to buy your decorative and useful fruit-, vegetable-, plant-, and animal-shaped wares than at the source? The most popular design might be the cabbage-shaped soup tureen. The Golden Girls had one proudly displayed in their kitchen.
  • 11 Coccodrillo, Rua Tenente Sangreman Henriques 7 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Chafariz or Montepio), +351 916 198 884, . M–F 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–13:00 & 14:30–19:00, closed Su. Fashion for children up to 14 years old. This is the sole Iberian branch of this Polish chain.
  • 12 Drogaria das Caldas, Rua Alexandre Herculano 90 (Rua do Jardim) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta  Laranja  Verde  Terminal Rodoviário), +351 262 108 249. M–F 09:30–19:00, Sa 09:30–13:00, closed Su. Don't let the name mislead you, Drogaria das Caldas does not have drugs or medication. Their products are for personal and household hygiene and beauty. They carry an extensive selection of Portuguese soaps that make good gifts. They also have various retro beauty and hygiene items.
  • 13 Executiva, Rua Miguel Bombarda 2 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 832 054, . M–F 10:00–19:00, Sa 09:30–19:00, Su closed. Fine ladies wear for work or festivities.
  • 14 Loja do Ca**lho!, Rua da Liberdade 19 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 965 617 353, . This shop offers various styles of ceramic decoration, with an emphasis on the phalluses for which Caldas is renowned. They self-censor their name, which includes a rude Portuguese word for phallus.
  • 15 Mercearia Pena, Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 51 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 832 580, . M–F 09:00–13:00 & 15:00–19:30, Sa 09:00–13:00. More than just a grocery store, Mercearia Pena has been selling quality traditional Portuguese foodstuffs since 1909. Especially noted for its home-ground coffee, the small shop also carries cod, sausages, cheese, spices, cookies, dried legumes and fruits, and more.
  • 16 Ramiro, Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 57 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 832 298, . In business since 1952 and now owned by the founder's son, Ramiro offers ready-to-wear and made-to-measure men's clothing. Products on offer include suits, shirts, ties, hats, and overcoats.
  • 17 Sportino, Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 123 & 125 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 832 267, . M–Sa 10:30–13:30 & 14:30–19:30, Su closed. This local sportswear chain was founded in Bombarral in 1982. They carry international brand names—like Adidas, Levi's, Nike, Puma, Timberland—as well as new names to explore. Their forte is footwear, but you'll find clothing and accessories here as well. They also have "Premium" (Rua Almirante Candido dos Reis / Rua das Montras 54) and "Outlet" (Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 98A) locations in Caldas as well as an authorised retail location of Barcelona clothier Desigual (Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 98).
  • 18 Surfoz Action Sports (Surfoz Surfshop), Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 14A (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 833 732, . M–Sa 10:00–20:00, Su 14:00–20:00. For your surfing, skating, bodyboard, BMX, and other action sports needs.

Eat[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under €10
Mid-range €10-20
Splurge Over €20

Caldas da Rainha offers a wide array of eateries. Beyond tasty traditional Portuguese cuisine, you'll find Continental (European), Brazilian, Asian, and fast food places. Several restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options. Caldas has more worthwhile restaurants than we can possibly list, so explore the city to discover more eateries. There are many good restaurants in the villages around Caldas, so it is worth wandering beyond the city limits, especially if you have a car. If you're self-catering, you'll find many supermarkets and neighbourhood grocery shops, as well as the farmers' market and fish market.

Savoury dishes typical of Caldas include ensopado de enguias da lagoa (stewed lagoon eels), bacalhau à lagareiro (cod in olive oil), caldeirada (fish stew), and polvo à lagareiro (octopus in olive oil).

If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss out on cavacas das Caldas. These sugar-encrusted confections are about the size and shape of a small bowl. They can be found throughout the city, but especially on Rua da Liberdade and in the farmers' market. They come in a smaller spherical version called beijinhos das Caldas. Other sweet treats include beijinhos em flor (bite-sized biscuits topped with colourful, flower-shaped sugar), trouxas de ovos (sweet poached eggs), lampreias de ovos (egg and sugar confection shaped like lampreys), and pão-de-ló (sponge cake).

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Cairo Cairo, Rua Vitorino Fróis 40 (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  to Biblioteca), +351 911 060 609. Sa–Th 10:00–22:00, F 10:00–21:30. Egyptian cuisine, including falafel, hummus, lamb or vegetarian stuffed vine leaves, veal or vegetarian stuffed peppers, kofta, and couscous.
  • 2 Churrasqueira Xaneca, Rua José Pedro Ferreira 21 (at Rua Dr. Leonel Sotto Mayor across from Centro Cultural e de Congressos; Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC), +351 262 880 732, . Daily 08:00–22:30. Affordable grilled chicken to eat in or take out. Lots of other dishes are also on offer: soup, fish, meat, bread, and savoury pastries. They have two other locations: Rua do Avenal 22A and Rua Professor Manuel José António 7A, near Fonte Luminosa.
  • 3 Flavours of India, Calçada da Praça 5 de Outubro 5 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Rainha), +351 936 740 633. M–Sa 12:00–15:00 & 18:30–20:00, closed Su. Flavours of India is a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, family-run Indian restaurant. €4-10.
  • 4 La Piazza Pizzaria (La Piazza de Rimini), Praça 5 de Outubro 14A (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 262 834 426. M–Sa 11:30–22:00, closed Su. La Piazza offers a variety of pastas, including several preparations of penne, tagliatelle, tortellini, strozzapreti, and spaghetti. They also have several different salads. And with a name like that, they have pizza, of course—thirty different kinds in four sizes: 24 cm (9.4 in.), 31 cm (12.2 in.), 36 cm (14.2 in.), 50 cm (19.7 in.). You can eat indoors, but if it's a nice day out, you'll want to sit in the plaza that gives the restaurant its name. €4-10.
  • 5 Pizzeria Novo Mundo, Rua da Praça de Touros 25B (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Chafariz), +351 262 842 969, . M–Sa 11:30–22:00, Su closed. Be adventurous and try a Portuguese take on pizza. While the menu does include some tamer pizzas, consider the Pizza Tropical (mushrooms, peach, pineapple, corn, and banana) or the Pizza Vegetariana, Atum e Ovo (vegetables, mushroom, tuna, and egg). They deliver.
  • 6 O Poço do Zé (Joe's Well), Largo de Santa Helena, A dos Francos (S of Caldas, a short drive off the N115 road), +351 262 949 222. Tu–Sa 12:00–14:30 & 19:00–22:00, Su 12:00–15:00, closed M. Traditional Portuguese cooking in the countryside. The menu is heavy on grilled dishes. The dining room offers gorgeous views of the green rolling hills. The property includes a 26 m (85 ft) deep well and a tree covered in wine bottles.
  • 7 Rei dos Frangos (King of Chickens), Rua Diário de Noticias 59C (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Cinco Bicas / CCC or Hospital). Rei dos Frangos specialises in grilled chickens and other grilled meats and fish and other cooked dishes. This small regional chain has 19 locations, with two in Caldas. A good option if you're looking for takeaway. Their other location is at Rua Professor Abílio Moniz Barreto 10B, near the health centre.
  • 8 O Selim, Rua do Parque 17 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 841 122. M–F 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–21:30, Sa 12:00–14:00, closed Su. O Selim (the Saddle) offers Portuguese regional and traditional cuisine, such as meat and fish, including several preparations of codfish. They are located on a side street just off Praça da República.
  • 9 TBAC - The Bread And Coffee, Rua Coronel Soeiro de Brito 34A (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Montepio or  Laranja  Verde  to Terminal Rodoviário), +351 262 831 062, . M–F 09:30–18:30, closed Sa Su. Quirky fast food, ice cream, coffee, and more. €3-10.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 10 Adega do Albertino, Rua Júlio Sousa 7, Imaginário (a bit E of town just off the N114-1 road; Bus-logo.svgseveral RoCaldas routes), +351 262 835 152, . Tu–F 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–23:00, Sa Su 11:00–13:00, closed M. Since 1989, Adega do Albertino offers traditional Portuguese cuisine in a rustic country setting. The extensive menu includes many options for appetisers, fish, meat, and desserts. Reservations accepted by telephone only.
  • 11 Bella Milano, Rua Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro 11 (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  to Bairro Azul), +351 262 835 440, . Daily 11:00–15:00 & 18:00-23:00. Excellent and affordable Italian cuisine in Bairro Azul. The extensive menu offers a variety of pizza, pasta, salad, and desserts.
  • 12 A Capelinha do Monte, Praça 5 de Outubro 22 (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 262 832 031, . W–Sa 10:00–22:30, closed Su–Tu. Homey traditional Portuguese food, with an emphasis on steak.
  • 13 Delhi Darbar, Rua General Amilcar Mota 21 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Parque or Centro Paroquial), +351 262 104 526. M 18:00–23:30, Tu–Su 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–23:30. Indian cuisine in a colourful setting. The extensive menu lists over 150 items, including many vegetarian options. €9-27.
  • 14 Geo Restaurante, Hemiciclo Joao Paulo II 9A (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 914 025 995, . M–W 12:30–15:00, Th–Sa 12:30–15:00 & 19:00–22:00, closed Su. Chef Archil Shinjikashvili, a Georgian immigrant, opened Geo in October 2019. Geo fuses Portuguese, Georgian, and other cuisines, bringing new dishes to Caldas. The quirky décor is worthy of Lisbon, Brooklyn, or Berlin. €10-25.
  • 15 Naco na Pedra, Rua do Casal 5, Salir do Porto, +351 936 069 473. Th–Tu 12:00–14:30 & 19:00–22:15, closed W. This countryside steakhouse offers an extensive menu beyond beef with global flavours. They have a long wine list. €12-25.
  • 16 Safflor, Hemiciclo João Paulo II 15 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Câmara), +351 262 097 851, . M–F 12:30–15:00 & 19:00–22:00, closed Sa Su. Modern Dutch and Indonesian cuisine by Chef Martijn Castricum. We can visit various other corners of the globe with special weekly menus. €8-25.
  • 17 Restaurante Tijuca, Rua de Camões 89 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 824 255. M–Sa 09:00–00:00, closed Su. Tucked away below street level at a corner on the plaza with the thermal hospital, Tijuca offers unpretentious and tasty fare in a cozy, convivial atmosphere. The efficient hostess/waitress(/owner?) flits from table to table, making recommendations and taking orders in several languages.
  • 18 Toca da Onça, Travessa da Cova da Onça 21 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra or  Azul  to Praça da Fruta), +351 262 978 111. Tu–Sa 12:00–02:00, closed Su M. Bistro, tapas bar, and pub on a quiet alleyway in the city centre. They have wine, cocktails and craft beer to accompany your small plates. The atmosphere is youthful and cosy.

Splurge[edit]

  • 19 Afinidades, Rua do Provedor Frei Jorge de São Paulo 1 (in the Turismo building; Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Praça da Fruta), +351 935 885 438, . Tu–Sa 11:30–00:00, Su 11:30–14:30, closed M. Modern Portuguese cuisine on Praça da República (Praça da Fruta). Fine local ingredients combined with global sophistication. €15-40.
  • 20 Funky Sushi Bar, Rua Júlio César Machado 3A (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Chafariz), +351 918 159 601, . Tu–F 12:30–22:30, Sa Su 12:30–15:00 & 18:30–22:00. Creative sushi in an environment reminiscent of Japan. Extensive menu includes uramaki, hossomaki, temaki, niguiri, gunkan, and sashimi. €6-40.
  • 21 Kabuki Sushi, Rua Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro 12 (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  to Bairro Azul), +351 262 083 138. Tu 12:30–22:30, W–Su 12:30–14:30 & 19:30–22:30, M closed. Offering all manner of sushi delights in the Bairro Azul neighbourhood.
  • 22 A Lareira, Rua da Lareira 35, Alto do Nobre, Nadadouro (NW of town, between the two main roads to Foz do Arelho; Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas 125), +351 262 823 432, . Su–Th 12:00–16:00, F Sa 12:00–16:00 & 19:30–22:30. Portuguese and international cuisine, served in the countryside. €10-30.
  • 23 Maratona, Praça 25 de Abril 15 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 262 841 483, . Daily 08:30–22:30. International and traditional Portuguese cuisine, including a selection of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. €10-35.
  • 24 Sabores d'Italia, Praça 5 de Outubro 40 (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 262 845 600, . Tu–Su 12:30–14:30 & 19:00–22:00, closed M. Possibly the most upmarket restaurant in Caldas, Sabores d'Italia serves as genuine Italian cuisine as you are likely to find in Portugal. This is the only restaurant in Caldas listed in the Michelin Guide ("The Michelin Plate: Good cooking" and "Comfortable restaurant"). €18-55.
  • 25 Solar dos Amigos, Rua Principal 49, Guisado, Salir de Matos (Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas 113 & 118, some Rodoviária do Oeste buses), +351 262 877 135, . M Tu Th F 12:00–15:00 & 09:00–23:00, Sa Su 12:15–15:45 & 19:00–23:30, closed W. Opened in 1975, this rustic, family-owned restaurant in the countryside has bullfighting decor. The menu features extensive choices of meat and fish. Special for Saturday lunches only is Cozido á Portuguesa, a hearty, traditional dish of boiled pork, beef, and vegetables. Sunday's lunch special are oven-roasted pork, roast veal, and roast lamb. The dessert display case offers numerous temptations.
  • 26 Yasuke Japanese Restaurant, Rua do Parque 5 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Rainha or  Azul  to Praça da Fruta), +351 913 206 387, . M 07:30–23:00, Tu W 12:30–15:00 & 19:30–23:00, Th F 12:30–15:00 & 19:30–23:30, Sa 13:00–15:30 & 19:30–23:30, closed Su. Chef Jailton Santos has served sushi to the Emperor of Japan.

Drink[edit]

A café in Parque D. Carlos I.

Caldas da Rainha is home to several bars, many pastry shops and bakeries, and numerous cafés. You can find cafés all over town, including in residential neighbourhoods.

Bars[edit]

  • 1 Baco's Wine Bar, Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra 103 (terrace / first floor, store 5) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 912 477 228, . M 13:00–16:00, Tu–Sa 13:00–23:00, closed Su. Located in the centre of town, Baco's Wine Bar offers small plates and light bites to satisfy your appetite while you imbibe your wine. The outdoor terrace offers cushioned seating with views of pedestrianised Rua Dr. José Saudade e Silva (Rua da Electricidade) and the little shopping centre across the street. €10-20.
  • 2 Bar 120, Praça 5 de Outubro 33 (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 262 831 562, . M–F 09:30–03:00, Sa 13:00–03:00, closed Su. Bar 120 specialises in gin and tostas (toasted sandwiches, a sort of Portuguese panini). Outdoor seating allows guests to enjoy one of Caldas' pleasant plazas.
  • 3 Bar Déjà Vu, Praça 5 de Outubro 12B (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 967 234 442, . M–W 13:00–03:00, Th F 13:00–04:00, Sa 20:00–04:00, closed Su. Bar Déjà Vu is a lively watering hole on Praça 5 de Outubro. Enjoy seating on the outdoor esplanade.
  • 4 Caldas Bar (Caldas Bar 1955), Rua Coronel Soeiro de Brito 26 (in front of the bus terminal; Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Verde  to Terminal Rodoviário or  Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Montepio), +351 914 426 091, . 08:00–20:00. Founded in 1955, this bar is reputed to serve the best bifanas (thinly-sliced marinated pork cutlet sandwiches) in Caldas. €2-5.
  • 5 Central Bar Caldas, Rua Filinto Elísio s/n, Edifício Moagem Ceres (SILOS Contentor Criativo) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Rainha), +351 910 726 887. M–Th 13:00–02:00, F 13:00–03:00, Sa 14:00–03:00, Su 14:00–01:00. Central Bar's vibe is cool and artistic. The bar's windows offer views of the Bairro Lisbonense neighborhood and of passing trains.
  • 6 Daiquiri Bar, Praça 5 de Outubro 5 (Antiga Praça do Peixe) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra or Rainha), +351 262 842 069. Tu–Sa 13:00–22:30, closed Su M. Another popular nightlife joint on Praça 5 de Outubro. Enjoy your beverage al fresco in the outdoor esplanade.
  • 7 Démodé, Rua Filinto Elísio 34B (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 914 541 921. Tu–Sa 21:30–03:00, closed Su M. Accompany your beer or shots with DJs playing indie, electronic, funk, and rock.
  • 8 Pateo do Baco, Rua Sebastião de Lima 26 (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  to Bairro Azul), +351 912 306 232. W-Su 12:00–02:00, closed M Tu. Pateo do Baco (Bacchus's Patio) is a wine bar with a convivial atmosphere. Beyond alcohol, they offer various savory snacks.
  • 9 WalkAbout, Rua António Silva e Sousa 1 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  Centro Paroquial), +351 914 257 383. M–Th 15:00–02:00, F Sa 15:00–03:00, Su 17:00–02:00. Located on the southern edge of town, WalkAbout offers a friendly atmosphere and cool vibe.

Cafés[edit]

  • 10 Café Central, Praça da República 69-71 (Praça da Fruta) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 838 787, . Su–Th 08:00–19:30, Fr Sa 08:00-00:00. Founded in the 18th century, this café on the city's main square serves a variety of light meals and desserts, as well as coffee and tea.
  • 11 Citrus Coffee, Praça da República 78 (Praça da Fruta) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 966 320 104, . M–Sa 09:00–19:00, Su 10:00–19:00. Citrus serves coffee and healthy food. They offer a smoothie and juice bar. Located on Praça da República, its first floor (2nd to Americans) offers a nice view of the plaza and its farmers' market. Several vegan options are available. Citrus offers alfresco seating.
  • 12 Confeitaria Calé - Pastelaria Comtradição, Rua Dr. Miguel Bombarda 30 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 844 530, . 07:30–19:30 (closed Su). Bakery and patisserie with plenty of seating in a great people watching locale. Pastel Pelicano (pelican pastry) is a local speciality. There's a second location at Rua Montepio Rainha Dona Leonor 26.
  • 13 Dimas Café, Avenida 1º de Maio, at intersection of Avenida da Independência Nacional (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 918 990 443. Daily 06:00–20:00. This café is at the intersection of the "avenues". It has plenty of outdoor seating.
  • 14 Gelataria Puzzle, Rua de Camões 59B (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha,  Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 880 959. Daily 14:00–19:00. This ice cream shop/café/snack bar sits across from the park. They have some outside seating, along with indoor seating.
  • 15 Pastelaria Baía (Rei das Cavacas), Rua da Liberdade 33 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 832 349, . Daily 07:30–20:00. "The King of Cavacas" (and other regional sweets) sits on the plaza by the thermal hospital. Grab a coffee, a pastry, and an outside table to relax and watch.
  • 16 Pastelaria Dona Leonor, Rua de Camões 23 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 084 923. Su–F 07:30–19:00, closed Sa. Enjoy a variety of pastries and other sweet treats with your coffee. There is plenty of seating inside. If it's a nice day, try to snag one of the limited outside tables, which face onto Parque D. Carlos I.
  • 17 Venezia Caffè, Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis 98 (Rua da Montras) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 961 961 443. Su–F 07:19:30, closed Sa. Found at the crossroads of Caldas' main shopping streets, Venezia Caffè offers an optimal spot for people watching. Get yourself a coffee, pastries, or gelato and sit outside or inside, depending on the weather.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under €50
Mid-range €50-70
Splurge Over €70

Lodging in Caldas da Rainha varies from run-down pensões (boarding houses) to well-appointed city-centre hotels to cozy rural homes to seaside properties. The gamut accommodates a wide range of budgets.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Hostel 4Nomads, Rua Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 13 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  to Montepio or  Laranja  Verde  to Terminal Rodoviário), +351 936 204 440, . Check-in: 15:00–18:00, check-out: 00:00–10:00. Hostel 4Nomads offers low-cost lodging in the heart of the city. Rooms types include a private room with a double bed, two private rooms with a single bed, a family room with a single and a double bed, a three-bed female dormitory, and a mixed dormitory with six bunk beds. Amenities include Wi-Fi, shower, bath, and kitchen. Rooms with double beds have a TV. Minimum of 2 nights, maximum of 30. €18-40.
  • 2 Hotel Residencial Central, Largo Dr. José Barbosa 22 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 932 339 443. Check-in: 14:00–21:00, check-out: 11:00–12:00. If you are on a tight budget and can get by with no frills, you may wish to consider this hotel. Located on a small square about a block from Praça da República, this two-star, 23-room, establishment offers basic lodging. They do have free Wi-Fi, and reception is open 24 hours. €24-32.
  • 3 Residencial Dom Carlos, Rua Camões 39A (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 832 551, . Check-in: 15:00–19:00, check-out: 11:00–12:00. The three-star, 18-room establishment is across from the city's main park. Free breakfast included. €27-48.
  • 4 Hotel Dona Leonor, Hemiciclo João Paulo II 9 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 262 842 171, . Check-in: 14:30–00:00, check-out: 08:00–12:00. This three-star, 30-room establishment is centrally located, adjacent to the mid-20th-century Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Church of Our Lady of the Conception). Amenities include private bath, air conditioning, direct telephone, 70-channel television, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. The ground floor has a cozy yet dated (retro?) lounge. Free breakfast included. €35-50.
  • 5 Nova Delpa AL, Rua Emídio de Jesus Coelho 20 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 832 742, . Check-in: 14:00–23:00, check-out: 08:00–12:00. Cozy, centrally located alojamento local (local accommodation). Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. €36-47.
  • 6 Olhos Pretos Pensão Residencial, Rua do Rosário 10 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta), +351 262 843 001. Check-in: 15:00–20:00, check-out: 00:00–11:00. This three-star, 32-room, city-centre "residential pension" offers very basic accommodation for travellers on tight budgets. €35-36.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 7 Água d'Alma Hotel (formerly Hotel Penedo Furado), Rua das Camarções 3, Foz do Arelho (just off Estrada da Foz / N360; Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas route 125), +351 262 979 610, . Check-in: 15:00–00:00, check-out: 08:00–12:00. This three-star, 28-room hotel offers free breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi, and parking. The hotel is in the middle of Foz do Arelho town (with all the small-town amenities) and about 900 m (3,000 ft) from Lagoa de Óbidos. Água d'Alma has a modern and intimate bar where guests can enjoy watching the fish in the aquarium while sipping their drinks. €48-108.
  • 8 Caldas Internacional Hotel, Rua Dr. Artur Figueirôa Rego 45 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Quinta dos Canários / Hotel), +351 262 830 500, . Check-in: 14:00–00:00, check-out: 07:00–12:00. Three-star, 83-room hotel at the northern approach to the city. Facilities include bar, restaurant, hot tub, swimming pool, and gym. Room amenities include air conditioning, mini-bar, direct telephone, and satellite television. Breakfast included. €50-110.
  • 9 Hotel Campanile Caldas da Rainha, Rua Fernando Ponte e Sousa 12 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  to Parque or S. João de Deus), +351 262 109 500, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. New three-star, 82-room hotel that opened April 2021. It is operated by Campanile, a Flagworld brand. Amenities include free parking, 24-hour front desk, room service, free Wi-Fi, a bar, and accessible facilities.
  • 10 Casal da Eira Branca, Rua Casal dos Pedreiros 3, Infantes, Salir de Matos, +351 934 549 185, . Check-in: 15:00–21:00, check-out: 09:00–12:00. This 5-room rural property has a year-round pool, covered and heated in cooler weather. They offer free Wi-Fi and free parking. There's a game room with table tennis and billiards. Pets are allowed. €50-61.
  • 11 Hotel Cristal Caldas, Rua António Sérgio 31 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 262 840 260, . Check-in: 15:00–00:00, check-out: 06:00–12:00. This three-star, 115-room hotel is near the city centre, just a block north of the courthouse. Amenities include the Mestre Bordalo restaurant, a piano bar, swimming pool, meeting rooms, conference facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Free breakfast included. €45-61.
  • 12 Europeia Hotel, Rua Almirante Candido dos Reis 64 (enter through Centro Comercial Rua das Montras or via Beco do Forno; Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Heróis da Grande Guerra), +351 262 839 320, . Check-in: 14:00–00:00, check-out: 00:00–12:00. This three-star, 55-room hotel is located in the heart of the city's shopping district. Property amenities include Wi-Fi, a sitting area/lounge on each floor, a breakfast room, a cocktail bar, a billiard lounge, meeting rooms, and a business centre with internet access, 24-hour front desk, laundry service, and ironing service. Free breakfast buffet included. €37-52.
  • 13 Orbitur Foz do Arelho, Rua Maldonado Freitas, Foz do Arelho (just off N360), +351 262 978 683. If you're looking for a camping holiday, Orbitur's campground in Foz do Arelho offers several options from caravans and tents to mobile homes and bungalows. You can also rent a space and use your own equipment. Price list.

Splurge[edit]

  • 14 19 Tile, Rua General Queirós 46 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 910 435 284, . Check-in: 16:00–22:00, check-out: 07:00–12:00. 19 Tile is a boutique hotel where each of the 7 rooms was designed by a different ceramic artist. Among numerous amenities are a shared kitchen and dining room. You can pick up local ingredients (Praça da Fruta is steps away) and cook and enjoy them onsite. €70-96.
  • 15 Casas dos Infantes (Houses of the Princes), Rua 1 de Novembro 33, Infantes, Salir de Matos, +351 918 306 320, . Check-in: 15:00–20:00, check-out: 07:00–12:00. Enjoy a quaint countryside family stay at this rural bed & breakfast. Four refurbished country properties offer distinctive stays. Property amenities include free parking, free Wi-Fi, bicycles available, children's activities, highchairs available, BBQ facilities, outdoor fenced infinity pool with view, in-room breakfast, picnic area, terrace with sun loungers and umbrellas, laundry service, and washing machine. Room features include desk, seating area, sofa, clothes rack, kitchenette, microwave, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer, iron, refrigerator, and kitchenware. Free breakfast included. €59-127.
  • 16 Flamboyant B&B, Rua do Moinho 11, Serra do Bouro (just off the M566 municipal road; Bus-logo.svg RoCaldas routes 111, 118, 124), +351 918 851 757, . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:30. Flamboyant has three suites, as well as a renovated windmill where you can stay. It's located in a quaint, hilly countryside village not far from the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include Wi-Fi, air conditioning, infrared heating, eco-friendly toiletries, hairdryer, Nespresso, organic tea, water, fresh fruit & biscuits. €110-140.
  • 17 Hillside House - Suites & Spa, Rua Joaquim Frutuoso 4, Monte das Barreiras, Foz do Arelho, +351 262 979 384, . Check-in: 15:00–18:00, check-out: 08:00–11:00. Choose from five suites or five residences with sea or mountain views. Outdoor swimming pool, bar, lounge, garden, terrace, free parking, free Wi-Fi, spa and wellness centre, tea/coffee maker in all rooms, pets allowed. €106-170.
  • 18 Inatel Foz do Arelho, Rua Francisco de Almeida Grandela 17, Foz do Arelho (on Estrada da Foz / N360 from Caldas da Rainha; Bus-logo.svgRoCaldas route 125), +351 262 975 100, . Check-in: 17:00–00:00, check-out: 08:00–12:00. Three-star, 94-room accommodation across from the lagoon beach. Amenities include gymnasium, bar, restaurant, meeting rooms, game room, Wi-Fi throughout, and private parking. €42-90.
  • 19 Quinta da Foz, Largo do Arraial, Foz do Arelho, +351 969 785 047, . Check-in: 14:00–20:00, check-out: 12:00. A traditional 16th century farm with four spacious rooms, which combine classical furnishings with modern conveniences. Free parking, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker in room, pets allowed. Wake up to the sounds of singing peacocks. €98-108.
  • 20 Quinta Japonesa (Japanese Farm), Rua da Boavista 147, Vale das Cuvas, Carvalhal Benfeito, +351 262 926 300, . Check-in: 16:00–22:00, check-out: 09:00–10:00. Quinta Japonesa offers rustic luxury accommodation in the countryside. Choose from two apartments, an entire holiday home, or one of three "glamping" tents. €120-130.
  • 21 Sana Silver Coast Hotel, Avenida Dom Manuel Figueira Freire da Câmara (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Rainha), +351 262 000 600, fax: +351 262 000 601, . Check-in: 14:00–00:00, check-out: 00:00–12:00. The Sana Silver Coast Hotel was built on the site and in the style of the venerable old Grand'Hotel Lisbonense. A construction mishap sent the original hotel's façade tumbling down and prevented its intended reuse, so the new hotel was built from scratch. The hotel's 88 rooms offer the only four-star accommodation in the city of Caldas da Rainha. Room features include soundproofing, air conditioning, room service, safe, VIP room facilities, minibar, and flatscreen TV. Property amenities include free Wi-Fi, bar/lounge, banquet room, conference facilities, meeting rooms, concierge, 24-hour front desk, business centre with internet access, laundry service, dry cleaning, ironing service, and free breakfast buffet. The Lisbonense Restaurant offers Portuguese and Continental cuisine, with about equal parts meat and fish, and even a vegetarian option and a children's menu. €67-105.

Stay safe[edit]

Emergency services[edit]

Pharmacies[edit]

There are seven pharmacies in the city proper. They take turns being open 24 hours. You can find the current farmácia de serviço online, on the door of each pharmacy, on electronic signs in the city centre, and in local newspapers. Several rural communities have farmacies. They can help you via telephone during off hours. You can call the nationwide hotline 1400 for pharmacy assistance 24/7.

Connect[edit]

The city dialing code for Caldas da Rainha is 262. The postal code is 2500.

  • 7 Biblioteca Municipal das Caldas da Rainha (Public Library), Rua Vitorino Fróis s/n (Rua da Estrada da Foz) (Bus-logo.svg Laranja  Biblioteca), +351 262 841 728, . Oct–Jun: M Sa 13:30–19:00, Tu–F 10:00–18:00, Su closed; Jul–Sep: M 13:30–19:00, Tu–F 10:00–13:00 & 14:30–18:00, closed Sa Su & holidays. Wi-Fi available. Biblioteca Municipal de Caldas da Rainha (Q100999009) on Wikidata
  • 8 CTT Correios (Post Office; Edifício dos Correios, Telégrafos e Telefones), Rua Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 3 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Montepio  Laranja  Verde  Terminal Rodoviário), +351 262 840 040. M–F 09:00–18:00. Whether using CTT's services or just passing by, don't miss the blue tiles and the ceramic CTT logo on the side of the 1970s post-office building.
  • 9 CyberNet, Rua Raul Proença 19B (Bus-logo.svg Azul  PSP  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara), +351 914 771 740. M–F 10:00–13:00 & 14:30–19:30. Well, apparently there still exists an internet "café". They also sell desktops and portable computers and offer repair and support.

Cope[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

Caldas da Rainha has two weekly newspapers covering local happenings and events. Other area news sources, both paper and online, also cover Caldas.

  • Gazeta das Caldas. Local newspaper published on Fridays.
  • Jornal das Caldas. Local newspaper published on Wednesdays.
  • Oeste Global (Jornal Oeste Online). Regional digital newspaper associated with Jornal das Caldas and other nearby local papers.

There are several newsstands in Caldas.

  • 10 Quiosque Bernardino (Bernardino's Kiosk), Rua José Malhoa 16 (next to Ermida de São Sebastião Bus-logo.svg Azul  Praça da Fruta  Azul  Laranja  Verde  Cinco Bicas), +351 262 842 810. 06:30–17:00 daily. Newsstand on the NE corner of Praça da República (Praça da Fruta).
  • 11 Quiosque da Teresa (Teresa's Kiosk), Avenida 1º de Maio 10 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Laranja  Verde  Câmara). 07:00–20:00 daily. Newspapers and magazines, both Portuguese and international.

Radio[edit]

Places of worship[edit]

Interior of Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo.

For Roman Catholic worship services, see Mass times for Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição and Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Pópulo.

Caldas da Rainha has numerous non-Catholic houses of worship, including Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Evangelical, Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter-Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Spiritualist. A few churches offer services in English, but most will be in Portuguese.

Gyms[edit]

  • 12 Balance Club, Rua General Amílcar Mota 45 (Bus-logo.svg Verde  to Centro Paroquial), +351 262 083 054, . M–F 07:00–21:00, Sa Su 09:00–13:00. A 1,500 m2 (16,000 ft²) club with three group class studios, outdoor training zone, hi-tech cardio zone, nutrition, and personal training.
  • 13 Fitness Factory, Rua da Praça de Touros 57 (Bus-logo.svg Azul  Escola D. João II), +351 912 807 548, . M–F 07:00–22:30, Sa 9:00–20:00, Su & holidays 09:00–13:00. This small national chain offers group classes, personal training, and nutritional counseling. They have cardio, free weights, and resistance training. This gym is a good option for travellers, as long-term commitment is not required.
  • 14 Queen's Fitness Club - Quinta da Oliveira, Avenida Timor Lorosae (Bus-logo.svg Verde  S. João de Deus), +351 915 594 428, . M–F 07:00-23:00, Sa 09:00–13:00 & 16:00–20:00, Su 10:00–13:00. Queen's Fitness Club's 10,000 m² area offers group classes, personal training, strength and cardio training, and nutrition advice. They also have a swimming pool and outdoor space. No commitment required.
  • 15 Queen's Fitness Club - Rua do Funchal (Queen's Fitness Club II), Rua do Funchal, 39, cave (basement) (Bus-logo.svg Azul  to Escola D. João II), +351 912 068 799, . M–F 07:00–22:30, Sa 09:00–13:00 & 16:00–20:00, closed Su. The amenities at this smaller branch include group fitness classes, personal training, and indoor running track.

Go next[edit]

Destinations to go next.

Óbidos.

With its central location and good transport connections, Caldas da Rainha serves as an excellent home base for exploring other destinations in Portugal's Oeste subregion along the country's central west coast. Travellers can reach many cities in Portugal from Caldas using various modes of transport.

  • 1 Alcobaça – See the Real Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça, a WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery. Or visit São Martinho do Porto, which has a protected bay beach popular with families.
  • 2 Batalha – See the Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória, a WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery.
  • 3 Bombarral – See Bacalhôa Buddha Eden, Europe's largest Oriental garden.
  • 4 Fátima – Visit Portugal's most famous pilgrimage site, where Catholics believe the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children six times in 1917.
  • 5 Lisbon (Lisboa) – The nation's capital is about an hour away by the expresso or rápida buses. It makes a good day trip. The Jerónimos Monestary and Tower of Belém are WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • 6 Nazaré – A picture-postcard beach town, renowned for its surfing. Don't miss the funicular ride to the upper town and the excellent seafood restaurants serving the local catch.
  • 7 Óbidos – Caldas' nearest neighbour is a walled medieval hilltop town. The Oeste's must-see destination.
  • 8 Peniche – Beaches and water sports, with access to the Berlengas archipelago.


Routes through Caldas da Rainha
CoimbraLeiria  N test caption S  Torres VedrasLisbon
Leiria ← (IC9 to Nazaré or Alcobaça) ←  N A8-PT.svg S  Óbidos (→ IP6 to Peniche) → Lisbon


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