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Silves is a city in the Algarve. It was the capital of the nominal Kingdom of the Algarve and is of great historical importance.


Silves (SEEL-v(ih)sh, /ˈsiɫ.vɨʃ/)

In 2011, about 11,000 people lived in the main town, and 37,000 in the urban area.

The title "King of the Algarve" was adopted by the Portuguese king in 1249 as a way of affirming dominion over the region that was also claimed by the King of Castile. The kingdom, however, functioned as a province of Portugal, and did not have autonomy or separate institutions. The title was used until 1822.

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

The nearest airport to Silves is Faro (FAO). Flights to Faro are affordable and accessible from most major European cities, particularly the UK and Ireland. In a bid to boost winter tourism, the department of tourism has also worked hard to promote the Algarve as a popular winter destination and this has led to airlines such as Ryanair adding new routes during what is traditionally considered to be the low season.

It is also possible to fly to Lisbon or Porto, both of which are connected to the Algarve by regular coach services.

Intercity bus service is provided by Eva Transportes.

  • 1 Silves Railway Station. PDF timetable. The Linha do Algarve line serves Silves from most Algarve coastal cities. Silves railway station (Q552217) on Wikidata Silves railway station on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Map of Silves

The easiest way to get around Silves is by hiring a car. Public transport is an option although many of the services are not very frequent and are often seasonal. Silves does not have a train stop, however it is possible to use the mezzines stop which is only around fifteen minutes drives from Silves.


Entrance of the Castelo de Silves
  • 1 Silves Castle (Castelo de Silves), +351 282 440 837. When Silves was the Moorish capital of the Algarve, this castle served as an administrative base for the rest of the Algarve. It is of Muslim origin, being formed by rammed earth walls and thick towers. It is the best preserved of its kind in Portugal, with a cistern with a vaulted ceiling and five round arches in the centre. Adult €2.80; child, student, Youth Card holder, senior citizen €1.40; Castle and Municipal Archeology Museum ticket €3.90. Castle of Silves (Q1971757) on Wikidata Castle of Silves on Wikipedia
  • 2 Museu Municipal de Arqueologia (Museum of Archeology), Largo do Município, +351 282 440 800. Daily 10:00-18:00. Standing next to the castle, you can see numerous pieces found in archaeological excavations throughout the city. Inside the museum you can see an old cistern, among other structures in the old Muslim city. Adult €2.10; child, student, Youth Card holder, senior citizen €1.05; Castle and Municipal Archeology Museum ticket €3.90.
Main façade of the catedral
  • 3 Sé Catedral de Silves. It was built at the end of the Middle Ages. The church had many construction campaigns, which changed its appearance. The façade is flanked by two bell towers. The interior has three naves. The transept is covered by a warhead vault. Silves Cathedral (Q1107435) on Wikidata Silves Cathedral on Wikipedia


  • 1 Fiesa (The International Festival of Sand Sculpture), Armação de Pera (3 km (1.9 mi) further on from Zoomarine on the N125). The largest festival of sand sculptures in the world, has been held regularly and annually since 2003 in Pêra. Every year, around 60 artists use 35,000 tons of sand to create various works of art in an area of 15,000 m2 (160,000 ft²). The event is open to the public in the evening, where night lights provide a completely different view of the event. That is accompanied with circus arts, dance, theatre and live music. International Sand Sculpture Festival (Q2893554) on Wikidata International Sand Sculpture Festival on Wikipedia



Fevres de porco (literally, secrets of pork) is a popular local dish.


Superbock - A popular Portuguese beer.


Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Silves 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.