10 great places to visit in Oeiras
Oeiras is one of the best known municipalities of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, with so much to get to know that you need to come back several times.
The town of Oeiras is located on the coast, about 10 kilometres from the city of Lisbon. Here you will find so much to visit and get to know that you will have to come back a few more times.
Since there are many places to explore, both in the town and in the surrounding areas, we have put together a dozen must-see places:
1- The 12 beaches
Since Oeiras is near the coast, let’s start with the beaches. There are 12 of them: Torre Beach, Laje Beach, Santo Amaro de Oeiras Beach, Fontainhas Beach, Paço de Arcos Beach, Velha Beach, Giribita Beach, Caxias Beach, São Bruno Beach, Cruz Quebrada Beach, Dafundo Beach and Algés Beach.
Some of these beaches (not all have lifeguards) are among the favourites of Lisbon’s holidaymakers – and not only them – who choose them because they are large and where it is more pleasant to be with family or friends.
Transport by train, on the Cascais Line, also helps make the beaches of Oeiras a favourite in the summer.
We took a trip along this coast, stopping at some of these beaches.
2 – Piscina Oceânica de Oeiras (Oeiras Ocean Swimming Pool)
It has a capacity of around 1000 people and is located between Torre Beach and the Oeiras Marina.
Prepared for children and adults alike, the Oeiras ocean swimming pool has two saltwater tanks: one for children, 40 cm deep; and another for adults, with an area of 1,500m2 and depths ranging from 1.2 to 2 metres.
In low season, until the end of June and in September, the pool is open from 10 am to 7 pm, while in July and August, it is open from 9.30 am to 8 pm. You can check the price list here.
3 – Passeio Marítimo de Oeiras (Oeiras Seawall)
Better known as the “paredão” (seawall), the Passeio Marítimo de Oeiras (Oeiras Seawall) is one of the most fantastic places to stroll, skate, cycle or simply enjoy the sea view.
This tour starts at Paço d’Arcos beach and ends near Torre beach. Over its 5.5 kilometres, it passes through places like the dock, the ocean swimming pool and some of Oeiras beaches.
4 – Parque dos Poetas (Poets’ Park)
Parque dos Poetas is one of our favourite parks in Greater Lisbon. It has 22.5 hectares and in it you can find representations of 60 poets, 50 of which are Portuguese and 10 from Portuguese-speaking countries or territories.
It is, without a doubt, a unique park that brings together, in the same space, poetry and sculptural art. It is divided into three areas, where you will find sculptures alluding to 20 poets of the 20th century, as well as troubadour poets, poets linked to the Renaissance and, finally, to the Baroque and Romantic eras.
Once in the park, on the highest side, you will enjoy a spectacular view of the river and ocean, as well as being able to “lose yourself” in the Poetry Time, the Labyrinth, the Island of Love and the Cybernetic Fountains.
5 – Jardins e Palácio Marquês de Pombal (Marquês de Pombal Palace and Gardens)
Classified as a National Monument in 1953, this space in Oeiras counted on the mastery of the architect Carlos Mardel, who was able to create a strategic solution that allowed a more recreational use to be given to this area.
Owner of a cinematographic terrace, the ground floor doors open onto the large garden where you can enjoy walks, the picnic area, games, music and dancing.
Handed over to the Oeiras Council in 2003, the Palácio Marquês de Pombal (Marquês de Pombal Palace) and surrounding gardens have been visited by many curious onlookers, as well as being the venue for various events.
Contemplating one of the best decorative ensembles of the Pombaline period, rich in stucco and tiles, the various pieces of statuary, the marble busts, as well as the various tiled walls and staircases are some of the attractions you will find here.
6 – Fábrica da Pólvora (Gunpowder Factory)
Of extreme importance for the economic and social life of the area, the Fábrica da Pólvora (Gunpowder Factory), located in Barcarena, is one of the places where the residents of the various surrounding areas gather.
After centuries of operation, first as a blacksmith’s shop and then as a black powder manufacturing workshop, in 1995 the Oeiras Town Council acquired the facilities and transformed it into a complex open to all, prepared to host all kinds of cultural, leisure and entertainment events.
At Fábrica da Pólvora (Gunpowder Factory), besides the green spaces, the picnic area and the children’s playground, we suggest a longer visit to the Jardim da Caldeira dos Engenhos (Caldeira dos Engenhos Garden), the Jardim das Oliveiras (Olive Tree Garden), the Praça do Sol (Sun Square), the Edifício Galgas (Galgas Building) and a visit to the ao Museu da Pólvora Negra (Black Powder Museum), where you can attend workshops and outdoor activities.
7 – Aquário Vasco da Gama (Aquarium Vasco da Gama)
Between Algés and Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo is one of the oldest places of knowledge in the country, dating back to 1898. Who doesn’t remember visiting the Vasco da Gama Aquarium with its giant squid when they were little?
The Museum is known for the deep-sea specimens associated with D. Carlos I, considered by many to be the father of modern Portuguese oceanography; and the Aquarium is characterised by the emphasis given to the diversity of marine fauna that occurs in mainland Portugal and in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos, with over 200 species that invite all visitors to take a peek at some of the most incredible marine species on our planet.
8 – Complexo Desportivo do Jamor (Jamor Sports Complex)
The National Sports Centre in Jamor is a multifunctional space that combines sports and leisure.
It is located in the Jamor River valley and has an extensive area – one of the largest in Portugal – which is mainly sought after for sport but also for walks and other outdoor activities, thanks to the surrounding pine forest.
9 – Centro Cultural Palácio do Egito (Egypt Palace Cultural Centre)
The Palácio do Egito (Egypt Palace) has been part of the estate and patrimony of the Oeiras Town Council since 1980, and is located in the historic centre of the town, near the Main Church.
It currently serves as a cultural centre and offers a temporary exhibition hall, a municipal bookshop/shop and three restaurant spaces.
10 – Forte de São Julião da Barra (São Julião da Barra Fort)
Forte de São Julião da Barra (São Julião da Barra Fort) is one of the most important military constructions in the country. The most famous military men and engineers in the service of the kingdom were involved in its construction, like Leonardo Turriano or Captain Fratino.
Like other fortifications, São Julião da Barra also served as a military and political prison. Today it is the official residence of the Minister of Defence.
To visit you have to book in advance. Only then can you admire the terraces, the domed bunkers and the cistern, where cultural events are held regularly.