A small city in Western Portugal, Caldas da Rainha was founded in the 15th century. Throughout its existence, the city has become synonymous with two things – its still-thriving pottery industry and the natural hot springs that are said to have therapeutic qualities. Indeed, its name roughly translates as “The Queen’s Hot Springs”, as a former monarch established the city. Today, Caldas da Rainha is known for being a major arts destination in Portugal. There are plenty of venues dedicated to visual art and design, often intertwining with its pottery industry. As it has a thriving student popular, it also has a lot going on for people who seek a vivid nightlife and no shortage of bars and restaurants to enjoy some of the local food.
The narrow roads in the centre of Caldas da Rainha mean that you need something small and nippy to get around; a supermini would be more or less ideal.
Driving in Caldas Da Rainha
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The main highway passing the city is the A8, which goes between Lisbon to the south and Leiria to the north.
Caldas da Rainha has a ring road going around the city centre, the N360. From there, you can get to most of the major or minor routes.
Parking spaces are more prevalent on the outskirts of the city centre, particularly near the main supermarkets, although some spaces are available during weekday lunchtimes.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Centro Cultural e de Congressos (CCC) is a new facility in the city centre. Primarily, the CCC is a live performance centre, with its main auditorium hosting live music, theatre, dance and even screening films.
Although it’s a little similar to the CCC, Exposete is an indoor event space which hosts everything from markets to craft fairs. Many events held there will allow you to buy a few homemade ceramics which are a speciality in the city.
Comprised of three museums, the Centro de Artes is a good place to see artworks such as ceramics and sculptures created by locals. Nearby, there is a ceramics museum which displays how important they are to Caldas da Rainha.
Some of the city’s famous hot springs are used at the Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor. One of the oldest spas in the world, it provides plenty of therapies using the water to help you unwind should you need it.
Lisbon Portela Airport (Aeroporto de Lisboa) is the nearest air terminal, lying 28 miles south of the centre of Caldas da Rainha. The airport is the largest and busiest in Portugal, with flights heading to destinations all over the world. There are two passenger terminals.
The A8 will take you southbound to Lisbon. Once there, you should try to get onto the A1 via the A36 eastbound, as it has a turn-off leading to the airport.