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20 Best Castles In Portugal To Visit

The castles in Portugal are some of the most epic and historic in Europe and these are the best ones to visit when there.

From old Moorish castles to crusader castles, and more, these will give you a sense of history and stunning architecture when there.

Important: In each castle section is a link to the official website for the specific castle so check there before planning to go to check that it is open for when you want to visit.

Note: Castelo is Portuguese for a castle.


Castelo de São Jorge

Castelo de São Jorge is the first and most logical one to visit as it’s located in the capital, Lisbon. It overlooks the city from a small hill and dates back to the mid-11th-century and the times of the Moors.

It’s open for visitors and is one of the most visited castles in Portugal.

Óbidos Castle

Óbidos Castle is located in the picturesque town of the same name and is one of the more visually impressive castles in Portugal to see.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Almourol

Castelo de Almourol is located in the centre of the Tagus River on a small islet and dates to medieval times.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo dos Mouros (Moors Castle)

The Castelo dos Mouros is one of the oldest castles in Portugal dating to the 11th-century and is not far from the famed Pena Palace of Sintra.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo Guimaraes

Castelo Guimaraes dates to the 11th-century and was initially designed to defend against attacks from the Moors.

It’s open for visitors.

Castle of Santa Maria da Feira 

The Castle of Santa Maria da Feira is a medieval castle dating to the 11th-century but much was added to the castle’s defences over the next centuries. The wall was finally put in place during the 15th-century.

It’s open for visitors.

Braganca Castle

Braganca Castle is one of the most beautifully located castles in Portugal, situated on a hill in the historic city centre.

The origins of the castle date to the early 15th-century.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Mertola

Castelo de Mertola is one of the oldest castles in Portugal dating to the 11th-century, although much of the defences came during the 12th-century.

It’s open for visitors.

Belem Tower

Belem Tower is one of the must-see places when in Lisbon. Essentially it isn’t really a castle in the traditional sense but was built for defensive purposes in defending Lisbon from attack.

Over the years though it was transformed from defence into a lighthouse and then a customs house.

It’s open for visitors.

Tomar Castle

Tomar Castle is actually a convent that used to be a castle before it was given as a gift by King Afonso Henriques in 1159 to the Knights Templar.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Leiria

Castelo de Leiria is situated on a hill overlooking the historic city of Leiria and dates to the 12th-century.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Marvão

Castelo de Marvão is in a very scenic spot on top of a rocky escarpment and has some of the best gardens out of all the castles in Portugal.

It’s open for visitors.

Montemor o Velho Castle

Montemor o Velho Castle has one of the most impressive castle curtain walls out of all the castles in Portugal and dates to the late 11th-century.

It’s open for visitors.

Pombal Castle

Pombal Castle was built in the early 12th-century and became a castle of the Knights Templar.

It’s open for visitors.

Monsaraz Castle

Monsaraz Castle overlooks one of the prettiest and oldest villages in Portugal, Monsaraz. It dates to the 11th-12th-centuries.

It’s open for visitors.

Silves Castle

Silves Castle is one of the best Morrish castles in Portugal and much of the castle was built during the 11th-12th centuries, although like many castles a fortification in the area existed previously on the site, in this case from the 8th-century onwards.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Beja

Castelo de Beja is a medieval castle that changed hands a few times between the Moors and the Christian crusaders during the 11th-12th-centuries especially, which is when the main fortifications were built.

It’s open for visitors.

Castelo de Santiago do Cacem

Castelo de Santiago do Cacem sits on an epic position on a hill and dates to the 11th-century when it was built by the Moorish invaders of the Iberian Peninsula.

It’s open for visitors.

Loulé Castle

Loulé Castle is located in the city of the same name and dates from the 12th-century onwards. Today three towers and the original gate tower remain, connected by the walls.

It’s open for visitors and is free to walk on the walls.

National Palace of Pena

The National Palace of Pena is actually one of the main attractions in all of Portugal but it’s being put at the end of this article as technically it is not a castle but a palace.

It’s open for visitors.


Castles In Portugal

Those are some of the best castles in Portugal you can visit, so if you have an interest in history and old architecture you should try and see at least one of these on a trip to Portugal.

At the very least see the castle in Lisbon!

For more castles take a look at the 30 best castles in Europe to visit.

I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.


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