Vila Franca de Xira (VEE-luh FRUHN-kah d(ih) SHEE-ruh, /ˈvi.ɫɐ ˈfɾɐ̃.kɐ dɨ ˈʃi.ɾɐ/) municipality has 136,886 residents (2011). It is the southernmost municipality to spread across both banks of the River Tagus. Most of the population lives west of the river. To the east is mostly farmland and nature reserves. There is evidence of settlement dating back to neolithic times. The city is known for its bull-running festivals.
The nation's main motorway, A1 (Autoestrada do Norte), crosses the municipality north to south, providing access from Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto. Other motorways are A9 (Circular Regional Exterior de Lisboa, CREL) and A10 (Autoestrada do Ribatejo or Autoestrada Bucelas–Carregado–IC3).
- 1 EVOA - Espaço de Visitação e Observação de Aves (Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–Su 09:00–19:00, M closed. A place for bird-related conservation, learning, and leisure on 70 hectares (170 acres) of freshwater wetlands. The visitor centre hosts an exhibit, "Where the World Meets the Tagus". Prices vary greatly for different activities; see website for details.
- 2 Fábrica das Palavras, Largo Mário Magalhães Infante 14, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu–Th 10:00–19:00, F 10:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 10:00–17:30 (except Aug), M closed. The "word factory" houses the public library and a cultural centre in a striking contemporary building.
- 3 Museu do Neo-Realismo (Museum of Neorealism), Rua Alves Redol 45, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–F 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–19:00, closed M & holidays. Literary, artistic, and editorial collections related to Portuguese Neorealism. Free.
- 4 Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo (Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve). The Tagus River estuary is the largest wetland in Portugal, providing sanctuary for marine animals and birds. At about 34,000 hectares (84,000 acres), it's the largest estuary in western Europe and regularly hosts 50,000 wintering waterfowl.
- 1 O Comboio, Rua Serpa Pinto 126, ☏ . Th–Tu 10:00–23:00, W closed. Portuguese dining by the train station. Mid-range.
- 2 Restaurante O Forno, Rua Dr. Miguel Bombarda 143, ☏ . W–M 12:00–23:00, Tu closed. Portuguese cooking in a friendly, rustic environment. Mid-range.
- 3 Quinta do TiAlberto, Verdelha Ruivo, Vialonga, ☏ . F–W 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–22:00, Th closed. Countryside dining with views. Mid-range.
- 1 Lezíria Parque Hotel, Avenida Barranco de Cegos 22, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Four-star, 103-room hotel with gym, bar, games room, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. €51-83.
- 2 Hostel DP, Rua António Palha 2, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Two-star, 20-room lodging with free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. €33-53.