municipality and city in Portugal
Europe > Iberia > Portugal > Tagus Valley > Ribatejo > Vila Franca de Xira

Vila Franca de Xira is a city and municipality in Ribatejo, Portugal.


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.

Visitor informationEdit

Get inEdit

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).

Comboios de Portugal provides commuter train service to several stations in the municipality.

Get aroundEdit

Map of Vila Franca de Xira


  • 1 EVOA - Espaço de Visitação e Observação de Aves (Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area), +351 926 458 963, . 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, +351 263 271 200, . 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, +351 263 285 626, . 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, +351 263 273 080. 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, +351 263 282 106. W–M 12:00–23:00, Tu closed. Portuguese cooking in a friendly, rustic environment. Mid-range.
  • 3 Quinta do TiAlberto, Verdelha Ruivo, Vialonga, +351 21 952 1953. 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, +351 263 276 670, . 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, +351 926 070 650. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Two-star, 20-room lodging with free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. €33-53.


Go nextEdit

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