The Portuguese city of Viseu has an attractive historical center and is situated in one of the country's nicest wine regions. The city's prosperity, both now and in the old days, can be gathered from the richness of the old buildings, but also from the city's modern architecture. The showpiece is the Romanesque and Gothic cathedral (Sé) in the old center.
The city has approximately 50,000 inhabitants.
Viseu is centrally located in Portugal about 50 kilometers from the Atlantic coast. The city lies in the so-called Beira Alta, between two mountain ranges, the Serra da Estrela and the Serra do Caramulo. From these mountains many rivers and streams flow through the area. This is the famous Dão wine region.
Viseu is the capital of the Dão wine region and wine-trade and research of vinicultural methods therefore form an important part of local economy. Both the Dão Wine Institute and the Solar do Vinho do Dão are based in the city. The city is also known for its black pottery and copper and iron appliances. The conglomerate Visabeira (with interests in telecommunications, construction, real estate, tourism and other services) is headquartered in Viseu. There are also many institutes for higher education.
The nearest international airport is Porto Airport. It's situated 140 car kilometers northwest of the city, at about an hour and a half-drive from Viseu. It's easily reachable by rental car via the A25 and then the A1.
Viseu has good public city transport, exploited by bus company STUV. Buses run frequently and the material is modern. A funicular connects the square Adro da Sé in the old city with the Forum in the new city. There are also bus connections with several other Portuguese cities, including Porto and Lisbon. Visue has no train station.
It's easy to find your way around Viseu by rental car. Via the inner ring (Estr. da Circumvaiaçao) you can easily drive from one part of the city to another. Finding a free parking place in the street isn't that easy, but fortunately there are several parking lots and some garages. Viseu lies near freeway A25 which runs from the Portuguese port city of Aveiro to Salamanca in Spain. Southwest of town this freeway crosses the A24/IP3, an important north-south connection. When driving by rental car from Viseu to Nelas you'll pass many vineyards.
Viseu has a large choice of accommodations ranging from basic guesthouses to five-star hotels. There's also a youth hostel (Pousada de Juventude). In addition, there are accommodations just outside the city, for example in the Urbanização Quinta do Bosque west of Viseu, where you'll find an enormous, modern hotel and conference center. One of the city's best hotels is Pousada De Viseu, which is housed in an impressive building of a former hospital.
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