From Coimbra, we took a two hour train ride for €9.60 to Tomar. Here are the things we liked most.
In 1160, Knights Templar Grand Master Gualdim Pais, made Tomar home.
Tomar eventually became the seat of the Order of the Knights Templar.
The center of the complex is the Rotunda or typical circular Templar Church.
Darlene said it’s the coolest church she has seen.
Following the dissolution of the Knights Templar in 1319, the Order of Christ took over and expanded the complex.
Note the aqueduct on the left side bringing water to the convent.
The convent doesn’t just have a cloister, it has eight cloisters.
The convent had a lot of unique architectural features.
Though simple, I loved the giant dining hall with marble tables.
€6 admission fee to the Convent and Castle. Open 9:00 – 17:00
Wander the Castle Grounds
You can wander the castle grounds for free.
You can even walk the ramparts.
Between the convent castle and the grounds, we spent over four hours there.
Praca da Republica
The main square of old Tomar with the Templar castle above on the hill.
I don’t know what it is, but I really liked this town square. I think it was the black and white stonework. I felt like I was walking on a chess board.
John the Baptist Church
On the opposite side of Praça da Republica lies John the Baptist Church. It’s not spectacular but worth going in since it’s free.
Wander the Old Town
With cobbled pedestrian streets, wandering the old town can be an enjoyable way to pass an hour.
Mata Nacional Dos Sete Montes
The National Forest of Seven Hills is a nice park, near the convent and castle, for a picnic, walk, or even a run as there is about a 3K loop.
The Matchbook Museum
We did not go, but if you are looking for something quirky, try the Matchbook Museum, with over 43,000 matchbooks.
No smoking please. You don’t want to burn the place down.
Summary: Things to do in Tomar Portugal
Tomar is nice but nothing spectacular. The Convento do Cristo and Templar Castle are the main reasons to come to town.
Tomar doesn’t feel very touristy, which we liked. But not being touristy meant that there weren’t a lot of restaurant choices.