Download GPX file for this article
38.5333-8.8833Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Setúbal is a city in the Lisbon Region, on the northern bank of the Sado River estuary. The city is connected with the nearby Arrábida hills natural park, which offers an unspoiled nature and beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. A dolphin colony inhabits the Sado River. Across the river on the south bank lies the peninsula of Tróia, a place with vast white/golden sand beaches where several luxury hotels and resorts were recently built. The Tróia peninsula can be sighted from the city, across the river. Albarquel, Figueirinha, Galápos, Galapinhos, Creiro and Portinho da Arrábida are some of the city's many beaches, located in the north bank of the estuary, at the very beginning of the Arrábida hills.


Setúbal is a coastal town, known for its fishing activities, traditions and industrial area. It's the capital of the Setúbal district. You might also want to check out Serra da Arrábida, for the nature part of Setúbal.

Setúbal is notable for the industries of pulp, paper, cement, fertilizers, pesticides, other phytopharmaceutical products, thermal power, shipbuilding and ship repair. There is a lot of automobile assembling industr. The Port of Setúbal was the 4th busiest port in Portugal in 2012, with 7.4% of the cargo throughput in the country.

Get in[edit]

Plaza del Ayuntamiento

By plane[edit]


By train[edit]

You can access Setúbal by trains from Lisbon, and most towns in the surrounding area. You also have lots of trains from anywhere to Lisbon, if there is not a direct train to Setúbal, you might want to consider getting one to Lisbon, and then to Setúbal.

By car[edit]

It shouldn't be a problem to find your way, Setúbal is a major town in the area, so, if you are around, you will have signs to point out your way. It is approximately 48 km (30 miles) south of Lisbon.

By bus[edit]

There are buses that serve from Lisbon to Setúbal every day and almost every hour a day, if you're in the capital it won't be a problem. There are also buses that serve the surrounding area towns.

By boat[edit]

The Tróia is a peninsula near Setúbal, and that is probably the only way to commercially reach Setúbal by boat.

Get around[edit]

Map of Setúbal

Buses serve the whole town and are generally OK on schedules and quality.


Fuerte de San Felipe
Azulejos in Fuerte de San Felipe

The city of Setubal lacks in attractions. There isn't much to see in the city, but a lot to admire in the surrounding areas: the Castle of Palmela, the Tróia Peninsula (quite adorable beach and architecture with the new luxury resorts), Serra da Arrábida (combining mountain areas, picnic spaces and the beach), the beautiful beaches and traditional fishing places in Sesimbra, the ancient but modern big cities of Almada and Seixal (closer to Lisbon) overlooking the Tejo (Tagus river), are all quite nice & lovely.

Downtown Setúbal is probably the place to go if you want to see the best parts of the city. Just ask how you can get to Avenida Luísa Todi, and the rest will work out just fine. You can see some of the nicer monuments, architecture and daily life there. Also, at the end of the venue you will enter Arrábida. And anywhere to the sides is filled with shops and typical streets with humble tascas (small coffee shops) where some of the best seafood in the country is served at cheap prices.

  • 1 Livramento Market (Mercado do Livramento), Avenida Luisa Todi 173, 2900-462. Mercado do Livramento (Q61987420) on Wikidata
  • 2 Castle of S. Filipe (Castelo de São Filipe), Estrada do Castelo de São Filipe, 2900-300. A 16th- and 17th-century fortress on the north bank of the Sado river, overseeing the city. The fortress was converted into a luxury hotel. Castelo de São Filipe (Q8963003) on Wikidata Fort of São Filipe de Setúbal on Wikipedia
  • 3 Casa da Baía (Bay House), Avenida Luísa Todi, 468, 2900-456 Setúbal, +351 265545010.
  • 4 Moinho de Maré da Mourisca.


You might want to go to Arrábida to enjoy nature at its best in the Setúbal area, but be careful, it's really not that hard to get lost there. Also, in Avenida Luisa Todi, and if want to experience the typical morning for many people, you can go to the fish market and see things around. Theatre Luisa Todi, if you are a theatre fan; shows will be in Portuguese, though.

You can also go for a walk in Bonfim park; it's near the bus terminal, and near the Luisa Todi venue.

  • Watch football at Vitória FC. In 2020 they fell foul of registration requirements and were double-relegated to Campeonato de Portugal, the third tier of soccer in the country. Their home ground Estádio do Bonfim (capacity 15,000) is next to the park.
  • 1 Vertigem Azul (Blue Vertigo), Rua Praia da Saúde 11D, 2900-572, +351 265 238 000, . Dolphin watching


  • 2 Galapinhos Beach (Praia de Galapinhos). Galapinhos beach (Q62125906) on Wikidata
  • 3 Figueirinha Beach (Praia da Figueirinha). Figueirinha Beach (Q10352598) on Wikidata
  • 4 Albarquel Beach (Praia de Albarquel). Albarquel Beach (Q4709424) on Wikidata Albarquel on Wikipedia
  • 5 Galápos Beach (Praia de Galápos). Galápos Beach (Q62126041) on Wikidata
  • 6 Creiro Beach (Praia do Creiro). Creiro Beach (Q62513087) on Wikidata
  • 7 Coelhos Beach (Praia dos Coelhos). Coelhos Beach (Q49324251) on Wikidata


There are several schools in Setúbal, and a polytechnic institute that is becoming nationally famous for its quality. It offers courses on the most varied areas ranging from Sports to Business Administration, Nursing or Mechanical Engineering.


There are many shops spread around the city, as normal. In the Luisa Todi area you will find many small shops and bigger clothing shops mostly. And there is the Shopping Center Alegro Setúbal, for your bigger needs.


There are many typical restaurants where you can eat good grilled fish and typical food. There's also a good deal of fast-food shops and pizza places. You can also find Indian and Japanese food.





There's a nice selection of bars in downtown Setúbal.


Most hotels and accommodation you can find are probably downtown (once again, Luisa Todi Avenue) and there is also a hotel near the Bonfim, which is near the bus station.





Stay safe[edit]

Setúbal is considered a generally safe area but it has some of the major problematic neighbourhoods in the country.

There are some parts of the city you might want to avoid, but the shabbiness will warn you of that. By day even in those parts you shouldn't have any problems, but be cautious. Take the usual precautions, mostly at night, in downtown Setúbal, but usually you won't have a problem. Avoid being alone but if you find yourself in that situation, just walk in very well lit places and with many people around or call/grab a taxi to take you to your destination.


Go next[edit]

Routes through Setúbal
LisbonAlmada  NW A2-PT.svg SE  Alcácer do SalFaro

This city travel guide to Setúbal is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.