Nighttime Magic in Beja, Portugal

beja, portugal by night

I am hopelessly in love with Portugal.

When I lived in Spain for two years, the school that I worked at was within let’s-go-grab-a-coffee distance from the Portuguese border.

My friends, then-boyfriend (now husband <3), and I would hop over to Portugal on a pretty regular basis to yes, grab a coffee,  but also to just stroll the cobblestoned streets, admire the tiled buildings, and wander the beautiful mix of historical and natural beauties that you can find in literally every city, town, and village of this precious country.

dark street in beja, portugal

Tomás and I came to love Portugal so much that we decided to honeymoon there, and now, when we return to Spain every summer to visit his family, we always make sure to spend a few days in our favorite neighbor nation.

streets of beja, portugal at night

This past June, our Portuguese destination of choice was Beja, a wonderful little city in the Alentejo region of south-central Portugal.

During our two days in Beja, we slept in a 13th century convent, strolled around a 13th century castle (good century, that 13th), and ate way too much of the most delicious artisan bread.

beja, portugal at night

But the part of that trip that burns the most brightly in my mind is the evening walk we took through the center of the city.

The shops were closed, but the street lamps and neon glowed bright, and the winding lanes felt simply enchanted as we slowly traversed  a part of the city that felt touristy by day, but just magical by night.

fountain in beja, portugal

We passed some other couples, as well as a few families with small children also out enjoying the fresh night air. But overall, the city felt uninhabited — silent, sleeping, and solely existing for our personal enjoyment.

optometrist sign in beja, portugal

I am not at all a night owl, and even when traveling prefer to spend my evenings curled up in bed with a good movie or a better book. However, after this sultry evening in Beja, I am much more curious about venturing out to experience nighttime versions of the places we visit.

portrait in beja, portugal

Have you ever found a place transformed from day to night? Which do you find more magical?

8 thoughts on “Nighttime Magic in Beja, Portugal

  1. I love seeing these magical places through your eyes. I agree with Danielle. It is on my bucket list. I was lucky enough to make a quick day trip shopping in a quaint Portugal town, but these night pictures are beautiful!! Calgon….take me away!

  2. Nighttime magic indeed! Wow, Elizabeth what beautiful photos and a great article. I feel like I am right there with you!! I was thinking about how I am such a creature of habit, I really don’t see much of a country at night, since I would rather be snuggled in bed, but it is interesting to see such a markedly different perspective. If I looked through all of my photos, I don’t think I would have a single one at night – except when I was in Scandinavia and it didn’t get dark until Midnight!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Fiona! You must have been in Scandinavia during the summer … I spend a few weeks in Sweden/Finland a couple years ago but it was late November so the sun was setting around 3 or 4 pm! :-)

  3. I just saw your post and it have brought me a lot of memories. I am now 22years old and last summer I have spent 2 months and a half with my friend on a design work experience at IPBeja. We are in love with that place,we used to do the same thing, go on late night walks with a glass of wine, every night going to a different direction. Its really not about the beautiful buildings, Beja is about the people, the culture that they have, the way of living; it feels really homely and as you said magical. We have made couple of friends over there which we really miss. I miss walking everywhere, going to Continente by walk, and to the centre, Plaça da Republica, Parç de Cidade always taking the Mango smoothie….and so on.

    We went a day to Monte Gordo (the most beautiful beach I have ever seen!), Carvoeiro (1 day), Zambujeiro, Porto and Lisbon, and I can really confidently say that I am in love with that place!

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