Living Figueira 12 months a year

Esplanada Silva Guimarães – Figueira da Foz’s panoramic balcony



Situated in a privileged location, in the middle of New Neighborhood – the area of choice for vacationers in Figueira da Foz -, surrounded by the most important hotels in the city and a rich and varied gastronomic offer, the Esplanade Silva Guimarães is much more than a panoramic viewpoint to the river, sea and mountains.

We went for a walk, before arriving at the Esplanade. But we show you the final result. Well, isn’t that a nice postcard?

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz

We leave from the renovated Municipal Garden of Figueira da Foz and start climbing up Rua Cândido dos Reis, where we find a set of emblematic points that in the last century marked the memory of the vacationers who chose Figueira da Foz as their vacation destination.

The Parque-Cine, a cultural space of excellence (since demolished) that in the first decades of the 20th century hosted the great cinematographic premieres of the time, settled here.
If you are curious, make an appointment at the brand new space Quartel da Imagem da Figueira da Foz, right next to the São Julião Mother Church, where the history of Parque-Cine is well exposed and documented.
For now, ignore the shabby shack on the left, the inglorious Labor Building. He was ill for a few years and is in treatment, waiting for better days. We went on our way.

Figueira da Foz riding arena and casino

We cross the iconic Rua dos Casinos and pass by the Picadeiro, where today, among others, are Casa Havanesa (the century-old bookstore now transformed into a Bar-Restaurant), Pizzeria Luzzo (once the Casino Europa) or The Fogg Pub. The stop is fully justified, depending on whether you are thirsty or hungry. One day we will take the test more calmly.

Havanesa, Pizzaria Luzzo, Fogg Pub in Figueira da Foz

We continue in a westerly direction, we register the Bijou Restaurant as a future place also to try, and before crossing Rua Miguel Bombarda, we look with curiosity to the left, where we glimpse in the distance, beyond the Mondego, the Cabedelo Beach, which will remain for another closer visit and swimwear, surfboard, or both.

Figueira da Foz cabedelo

Keeping our course, we walked a few more steps, then met the grand Esplanade Silva Guimarães.

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz

Esplanada Silva Guimarães – or simply “A Esplanada”, as the locals call it – is the most splendid balcony in Figueira da Foz! It is the perfect blend of tranquility, ample space and stunning views. From there we can reach the arrival of the Mondego to the sea, the Fort of Santa Catarinathe long and increasingly verdant urban sandy beach, the endless Atlantic, the fine jaggedness of the Serra da Boa Viagem, the colorful and picturesque village of Buarcosand the lively movement of exercising bodies along the wide sidewalks of Avenida 25 de Abril, in a constant crossing with bicycles, of the most varied shapes and forms.

View of Fort Santa Catarina from the Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz

It is impossible to remain indifferent to such a diversity of elements that nature and man have brought together. The esplanade perfectly fulfills this role of a large observatory, bringing us sensations of tranquillity and satisfaction that only the contemplation of such elements can provide. In short: arrive, contemplate, breathe. In this or any other order.

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz

Note also the great Clock TowerThe building was built in the 1940s with the purpose of “signal maritime navigation and break up the horizontality of the beach a bit” (, and that demolishes any excuse of the distracted kids to get home later: from the Esplanade it is impossible not to know the time!
It is one of the most iconic monuments of Figueira da Foz, one of those that usually end up included in any graphic manifestation born in these parts. Take a look.

View from the Clock Tower, at Esplanada Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz

The iconic monuments of Esplanada Silva Guimarães do not stop there. It is in this huge open space that the renovated Castelo Engenheiro Silva is located, one of the city’s ex-libris and where medieval and Manueline elements are present, if we do not fail to know the history.
Built between the 19th and 20th centuries, its construction is due to Francisco Maria Pereira da Silva, a hydrographic engineer who was linked to the desassoreamento of the bar and the Mondego River. It was generously given to the municipality in 1931 by its last owner, the daughter of Francisco Maria.

Esplanade Silva Guimarães, Núcleo Laranjeira Santos Figueira da Foz

Since 2020, the Figueira da Foz Tourist Office has been installed on the first floor of its interior. Going up the stairs (or the elevator), we come across the Laranjeira Santos Contemporary Art Center, which will deserve our full attention in the future, as well as the Temporary Exhibition Room.

Laranjeira Santos Contemporary Art Center Figueira da Foz

In the south corner of the esplanade we find another monument of bathing motifs – the Casa das Conchas, of revivalist and eclectic architecture, pleasant to look at from any angle, where stands out on its exterior a significant set of beautiful tiles with marine motifs and Art Nouveau influences.
Casa das Conchas was the residence of Baldaque da Silva, an important hydrographic engineer from Figueira da Foz, of whom we will tell some stories one day.

Casa das Conchas Figueira da Foz

Finally, on the border of the esplanade, adjacent to Casa das Conchas, is the Hotel Costa de Prata ***, which offers its guests a sea and river view. From the northern point of the esplanade rises the imposing Sweet Atlântico Hotel ****, which offers majestic views over the ocean, Buarcos and the mountains.

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz and Hotel Sweet

If Esplanada Silva Guimarães lends itself to short, eye-popping walks, it is not far behind for other types of mobility, whether by bicycle for families, tricycle for the little ones, scooters and skateboards for the more radical. It is therefore advisable to keep an eye out to the left or right, lest you get bumped while contemplating the most stunning sunset in Portugal (until proven otherwise).

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz sunset

And no one dares to leave the space without indulging in the internationally renowned ice creams of the Emanha! Together with the Delights of Portugal, a Deniart and the restaurant Brasserie de l’Horlogesituated on a stage even higher than the terrace itself, provide not only a wide range of sweets, refreshments and exquisite dishes, but also add an extra touch of panorama to the most beautiful terrace in Figueira da Foz.

Esplanade Silva Guimarães Figueira da Foz




Pedro Silva