Day Trip to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima – Portugal

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The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima (or “Santuário de Nossa Senhora De Fatima” in Portuguese) is located in the small city of Fátima, Portugal.  To give some perspective, it’s roughly 1h30min driving distance or by train, north of Lisbon.

In our 2019 trip to Portugal, the decision to visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima was rooted in Lia’s long-standing desire to explore the city. This desire was deeply connected to her childhood neighbors in Brazil, who hailed from Porto, Portugal. During one of their trips back to Portugal, Lia’s neighbors brought back an image of Our Lady of Fátima for her family. This cherished memento is lovingly kept by her mother, adding a personal touch to our pilgrimage.

So, in this Blog Post we’re sharing our visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, along with helpful tips to ensure you have a delightful experience, or even enhance it with the valuable tips and suggestions we’ve compiled for you.

Please read the entire post for inspiration and make sure to note down all the tips, including questions answered in our YouTube video related to our trip.

Enjoy your reading!

Table of Contents

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Plan a Day Trip to Fátima – Portugal !

Before diving into our visit details, here’s how we planned our trip to Fátima – Portugal. This information will help you grasp the essentials of trip planning and get started on planning your own adventure.

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Excited to explore Portugal by train, we aimed to journey from Fatima to Coimbra and then to Talasnal mountains for breathtaking nature views. Unfortunately, we faced a challenge in finding a direct train from Coimbra to Talasnal, limiting our options for experiencing the beautiful mountain scenery.

So, let’s go over the choices.

1. Guided Tour from Lisbon to Fátima

There are many guided tours where you can manage to get a Day Trip from Lisbon to Fátima.  This is a good option for those of you who don’t want to rent a car.  Since Lisbon city is centrally located, all you need is to book a few extra nights and run various day trips nearby cities.

As for visiting Fátima by guided tours, we highly recommend the professional services from ‘Get Your Guide’. Simply click the widget above to choose the best option for you, or click [insert link] for more details and discover your perfect day tour guides!

2. Rent a car through Auto Europe

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Before visiting Portugal, we knew we would be needing wheels! So we reserved our car online, using Auto Europe!

Renting a car is a fantastic choice for flexibility when exploring Portugal. Although we initially considered trains, they don’t cover every city on our itinerary. Since our planned cities were not close to railways, we chose to rent a car, making it possible for us to visit Fátima, and from there, we took the road for other Portugal destinations.

You can click in the widget bellow or click here to get your 

Explore Fátima with Car: Tips on Parking at the Sanctuary

Adding a helpful tip for renting a car, when we visited Fátima by car in late 2019, the Sanctuary offered free parking with plenty of available spaces. However, we went on a weekday, not the typically crowded weekend. While we’re unsure if parking is still free today, you can try emailing the Sanctuary through their official website by clicking here. Contact information can be found at the bottom of the page.

We’d like to mention that we observed many families touring the Sanctuary in RVs. So, if you’re considering a family trip to Portugal, here’s a useful tip.

3. Start Planning Your Fátima Pilgrimage Today: Get Your Free Planner!

Now you can embark on your pilgrimage journey and plan your visit to this sacred destination with ease. Our comprehensive planner includes all the essential details you need to explore the Sanctuary and immerse yourself in its spiritual significance.

Don’t miss out on this incredible resource – download your Free Planner and Calendar 2024 today and start mapping out your unforgettable experience in Fátima!

Sanctuary of Our Lady Fátima – Free Digital Travel Planner

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    Discover Divine Tranquility: A Guide to Visiting the Sanctuary of Fátima in Portugal

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    If you are catholic, you might have already heard of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima which is located in Portugal. There’s a beautiful history of the Virgin Mary who appeared for three children back in 1917.  The three children of this small town were called Lúcia dos Santos and her two cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

    Francisco and Jacinta Marto departed during the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918, a chapter etched in history. In case you want to read further details on their remarkable story and the pandemic’s impact, click here.

    Lúcia dos Santos gracefully passed away at the age of ninety-eight in the charming city of Coimbra, Portugal. You can discover the enchanting history of Fátima and the children through various online sources that share their captivating story in full detail.

    However, by visiting the Sanctuary of Fátima, you’ll truly experience what happened with Lúcia, Jacinta, and Francisco.  Where you will be able to explore and discover details of the events by visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, which includes a full site to explore and the Museum of the Shrine of Fátima.

    In the serene surroundings of Fátima lies the final resting place of the blessed souls—Lúcia, Jacinta, and Francisco. Honored for their profound connection to the Marian apparitions, these three children were beatified by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000.

    You can visit their burial in the main Church of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, that adds a sacred dimension to the pilgrimage site, inviting visitors to reflect on the extraordinary journey of these young visionaries and the spiritual significance they hold.

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    If you are interested to know more about the sanctuary or history behind of one of the most important event for the Catholic Church, you can start with Wikipedia or many other sites.

    Unveiling Our Journey Through Fátima Sanctuary – Our Itinerary Explained

    As we were going to Coimbra, we decided to make a quick stop in Fátima. We grabbed our car in Lisbon and drove north to Fátima. The highways in Portugal are well-maintained, though there are tolls. But I suppose that’s the cost for having excellent roads!

    Pro Tip: We highly recommend if you rent a car that you ask for the transponder.  Because there are quite a few tolls and this will avoid you stoping and searching for change all the time.

    We arrived at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima on a beautiful and warm weekday morning, just before lunchtime.

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    We weren’t sure if the parking was free, but a kind lady, seeing us searching for information, informed us that it was indeed free— at least it was free parking during the weekday back in 2019.

    After parking our car, we started to walk towards the main church, and the Sanctuary immediately embraced us with faith, peace, and positive energy.

    Personal and Emotional Experience

    For some people, it can be an emotional experience to visit Fatima.  This was the case for Lia of Discovering Destinations.  It was a very special and emotional day that brought her great memories from her childhood.

    As a child, she used to watch the movie of Our Lady of Fatima. Also, she remembered when her Portuguese neighbours brought her mother an image from their visit to the Sanctuary. More than 40 years later, her mother still keeps the same image of Our Lady of Fatima in her living room to bless her house.

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    In and Around the Sanctuary of Lady Fátima – Portugal

    Fátima, Portugal, is a small town renowned for its deep religious significance, particularly the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, attracting pilgrims from around the world.

    The town is moved by faith and devotion to Our Lady Fatima.  As for the Sanctuary, our suggestion is to start visiting the main Church of Lady of Fátima where visitors can explore the beautiful interior adorned with religious artwork, witness the revered statue of Our Lady of Fátima, and participate in religious ceremonies and prayers.

    Inside the main church of Our Lady of Fátima, visitors will also discover the final resting place of Lúcia, Jacinta, and Francisco, the three visionary children, creating a poignant connection to the sacred history of Fátima. 

    Then, depending on your itinerary you can:

    Visit the Chapel of the Apparitions:

    The Chapel of the Apparitions is just outside of the main Basílica and it’s considered the “heart” of the Shrine of Fátima since it was in this lace of the Chapel that our Lady talked to the little shepherds.

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    In the Chapel of the Apparitions, you can contemplate the sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, which as per official website of the Sanctuary, ‘it was offered in 1920 by Gilberto Fernandes dos Santos, from Torres Novas, blessed on  May 13, of that year, in the Parish Church of Fatima, and brought to the Chapel one month later.

    In the Chapel of the Apparitions and nearby, you can also:

    • Assist the mass and join the Rosary prayer;
    • You can light a candle next to the Chapel;
    • Explore the Big Holmoak, the tree where the little Shephers waited Our Lady’s coming.

    We recommend that you check the official website hours of operation, for Masses and other events.

    Quick note about lighting a candle at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima:
    • The candles are displayed in different sizes because some people just light one for theirselves or for the loved ones, and there are a huge number of people that made promises to achieve a goal as example: get well from a disease, illness, or find a job, get married, etc … So they promise if they get what they are expecting they can get a different size of candles to light on;
    • Candles are conveniently provided next to the Chapel for everyone. It seems to be complimentary, as we didn’t spot anyone selling them. However, there are different sizes available with corresponding prices, and you can simply deposit the money in the nearby boxes.

    The Museum of the Shrine of Fátima

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    The Museum of the Shrine of Fatima, founded in 1955, offers a compelling exploration of the shrine’s history and the Message of Fatima. According the official website of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, now in January 2024, although some permanent exhibitions are currently unavailable, the museum presents temporary exhibitions providing insights into the Shrine’s development and the global impact of Our Lady of Fatima’s cult. It’s a must-visit for a rich and meaningful experience.

    There is a small entrance fee, should you choose to visit (we think it was roughly 1 euro per person). It’s a guided tour, so no possibility for a self guided tour.  The tour takes roughly 45 minutes.

    During the tour, you can see all objects offered by those who previously visited.  The offerings come from visitors in search for a miracle or from those who already received one in the name of Lady Fatima.

    Additionally, during the tour, you will learn more about the history of Our Lady Fatima and objects that people gave. We weren’t able to visit because we missed the cutoff time.

    If time permits during your visit, you should consider the tour as it would be a great addition to your visit.


    The Sanctuary is about Faith, pictures are allowed, however it’s important to keep quiet and respect the areas where people are praying.

    Films projection in the Shrine of Fatima

    According to the Sanctuary Official Website,  “you can watch films projections in the Shrine of Fátima for free in the projection room under the North Colonnade, behind the Holm oak. The room has 55 seats, and if you have a large group, you can reserve other available rooms. To make reservations, contact the Information Office in person or via email at postoinfo@fatima.pt“.

    Berlin Wall – Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima – Portugal

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    One of the attractions of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal is a piece of the monument from the Berlin Wall.

    You will find it on the south side of the Rectory, and according to Portugal Virtual tourism website, Virgilio Casimiro Ferreira, a Portuguese emigrant to Germany, generously donated this segment. It stands here as a thankful memorial, symbolizing God’s intervention and the fulfillment of the promise made at Fátima for the fall of Communism.

    The way of the Cross (Via Sacre)

    The Way of the Cross in Fátima, also called Via Sacre, Portugal, offers a powerful pilgrimage experience.

    Located near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, it is a series of 14 stations representing Jesus Christ’s journey to crucifixion.

    Pilgrims can follow the path, marked by statues and artwork depicting significant moments, reflecting on the passion and sacrifice.

    To visit, head towards the Sanctuary’s southern part, near the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.

    The Way of the Cross is a poignant spiritual journey, providing a meaningful connection to the religious history of Fátima. 

    Places of Cult and Prayer

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    Just a review, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal provides a serene space for worship and prayer, featuring various places of cult and reflection.

    • The main focal point is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, where pilgrims gather for religious ceremonies and Mass.
    • The Chapel of the Apparitions holds a special significance, marking the spot where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to the three shepherd children. Here, visitors can engage in prayer and contemplate the spiritual essence of Fátima.
    • Additionally, the Sanctuary offers opportunities for pilgrims to participate in the praying of the Rosary and light candles, creating a tranquil atmosphere for personal devotion. These sacred spaces within the Sanctuary cater to individuals seeking a connection with their faith and a moment of quiet contemplation.

    You can find out more about places of cult and prayer in the official Website of The Sancturary of Our Lady of Fátima – Portugal.

    You can also check the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima virtual map at the Portugal Virtual Tourism website, that gives an easier way to find out what to visit when you get there.

    Your Fátima Journey: Common Questions Answered and Simple Tips for a Smooth Visit

    You can plan the visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima on a day trip. Hopefully maximizing your time using the recommendations based on our experience.

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    How can I get from Lisbon to Fátima?

    • Personally we think that the best way to visit Fatima is renting a car, as we already mentioned in the beginning of this article. We felt the road conditions were great and clearly indicated.  Plus, it’s nice to drive in a foreign country/city.
      As mentioned in our detailed Eurail video, the plus side to renting a car is that you have the flexibility to plan your own schedule !  Plus, it’s possible to plan other small trips, which is what we did.
    • If you prefer a guided tour, you’ll find many companies that offers tour from Lisbon to Fatima. Simply, Google it !
    • We saw many motorhome trailers in the Sanctuary parking lot.  It never crossed our mind, but this could be a great option for those like to this mode of transportation !

    What is the best time to visit Fátima Sanctuary?

    We visited the city of Fátima in October 2019 during the week. We don’t know if it was luck, but it was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and warm weather. Since it was a weekday, the sanctuary had fewer people in the morning, with more arriving in the afternoon. This allowed us to enjoy the afternoon with fewer people around.

    We also saw in some research on Google, that the best time to visit the Sanctuary of Fátima is during the pilgrimage season, which peaks from May to October. May 13th and October 13th, in particular, draw large crowds due to the anniversary celebrations of the apparitions. These months generally offer pleasant weather, but it’s advisable to check the specific events and religious ceremonies scheduled during your preferred time of visit. Keep in mind that Fátima may experience increased visitation during significant religious dates, so plan accordingly for a more serene experience.

    Are there guided tours available to visit the Fátima Sanctuary?

    Yes, guided tours are available for the Sanctuary of Fátima. Many tour operators and local guides offer guided tours that provide insightful information about the history, significance, and spiritual aspects of the sanctuary. These tours often cover key points of interest, including the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Chapel of the Apparitions, and other important sites.

    Whether you prefer a group tour or a more personalized experience with a private guide, there are various options to enhance your visit to Fátima Sanctuary.

    Is there an entrance fee for Fátima Sanctuary?

    No, there is no entrance fee for the Sanctuary of Fátima itself. Visitors can access the main religious sites, such as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Chapel of the Apparitions, without any charge.

    However, certain activities or attractions within the sanctuary may have separate fees. We recommend to check in advance if there are any fees associated with specific guided tours, exhibitions, or events that you may choose to participate in during your visit.

    What are the opening hours of Fátima Sanctuary?

    The opening hours of the Sanctuary of Fátima can vary, so it’s recommended to check the official website or contact the sanctuary directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

    Generally, the sanctuary is open to visitors throughout the day, but specific hours for the Basilica, Chapel of the Apparitions, and other facilities may differ. Checking the official schedule will ensure you have the correct information for planning your visit to the Sanctuary of Fátima.

    You can also check the official schedule for Fátima Sanctuary “Clicking Here” .

    Are there hotels or accommodations near Fátima Sanctuary?

    Yes, there are numerous hotels and accommodations near the Sanctuary of Fátima to suit various preferences and budgets.

    Fátima is a popular pilgrimage destination, and as such, it offers a range of lodging options, including hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. Many of these accommodations are within walking distance of the sanctuary, providing convenience for pilgrims and visitors.

    It’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons, to secure your preferred lodging.

    Can I attend Mass at Fátima Sanctuary?

    Yes, you can attend Mass at the Sanctuary of Fátima.

    The sanctuary is a significant religious site, and daily Masses are held in various languages, accommodating the diverse international pilgrims who visit.

    Review their full Program by “Clicking Here”, where you will be re-direct to the Sanctuary Official Website, and see the dates, time and language each mass is scheduled.

    Is there a dress code for visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady Fátima – Portugal?

    There is no strict dress code enforced at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Visitors are encouraged to dress modestly and respectfully, considering the religious and sacred nature of the site.

    It’s advisable to avoid overly revealing or inappropriate clothing as a sign of respect for the religious atmosphere.

    Additionally, if you plan to attend a mass or religious ceremonies, wearing slightly more formal attire is appreciated.

    Comfortable and conservative clothing, covering shoulders and knees, is generally considered appropriate for both men and women during a visit to the sanctuary.

    Is photography allowed inside Fátima Sanctuary?

    Yes, you can take pictures inside the Sanctuary of Fátima, of the basilicas, chapels, and other areas of the sanctuary. However, it’s important to be respectful and considerate of the religious nature of the site. During Mass or other religious ceremonies, it’s advisable to refrain from taking photos to maintain a solemn atmosphere. Additionally, specific areas or exhibitions within the sanctuary may have restrictions on photography.  If you’re unsure, just ask on-site staff for clarification.

    Suggestions for Dining Options Near Fátima – Where Should I Eat?

    During our visit to the Sanctuary of Fátima, we ate a buffet-style lunch in a restaurant called ‘Restaurante International Shopping’ located in a small mall next to the Sanctuary. However, it has since closed. 

    But we believe there are many others restaurants around the Sanctuary that you can search on Google, as example:

    • Holy Family Restaurant, located at R. da Sagrada Família 5, 2495-402 Fátima, Portugal;
    • Pregaria da Ira, located at R. de São João de Deus 11, 2495-456 Fátima, Portugal;
    • Casa Plátano Restaurant, located at Av. de Dom José Alves Correia da Silva 218, 2495-402 Fátima, Portugal.

    Just remember to check reviews and consider making reservations, especially during peak times or pilgrimage seasons. Enjoy your dining experience near the Sanctuary of Fátima!


    Where can I buy souvenirs in Fátima, Portugal?

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    There is a strip mall and small indoor shopping mall located at R. Cónego Manuel Nunes Formigão N°54, that is walking distance from the Sanctuary, in direction of the Berlin Wall.

    An extra tip, we found the prices at strip mall were cheaper and they had just about the same items for sale.

    If you have more time to explore Fátima, we are sure you will find more stores. Also feel free to review the Official Online Store of the Sanctuary “Clicking Here”.

    Thus, if you seek additional information about the history of Fátima before visiting the Sanctuary, you can always visit Amazon online store to discover essential insights before your trip to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal with informative books on Amazon.

    Where is the best place to park when visiting Fátima Sanctuary in Portugal?

    There are several parking options near Fátima Sanctuary.

    The sanctuary itself has designated parking areas, and it’s where we parked. It was free for our ‘October 2019’ visit.  However we are not sure about the remainder of the year.  Surely it’s busier during the summer time and weekends.

    We also saw many trailers in the parking lot, which should be a great option.

    However, there are also public parking lots in the vicinity. Additionally, many hotels in the area offer parking for their guests. It’s advisable to check for any signage indicating parking regulations and fees. Overall, finding parking near Fátima Sanctuary is usually accessible, providing convenience for visitors.

    Where to Stay When Visiting Fátima Sanctuary?

    We didn’t stay in a hotel because we traveled by car and only spent the afternoon at the sanctuary.

    However on our way to the Sanctuary, we noticed numerous hotels. We believe there are accommodations to suit every taste and budget as well.

    While individual preferences may vary, here are a few highly-rated hotels near the Sanctuary of Fátima in Portugal:

    Remember to check recent reviews and ratings to ensure the accommodation meets your specific preferences and requirements. Additionally, consider booking in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.

    Join us on a visual journey in our Fátima Vlog, available on YouTube!

    Don’t Miss Our Fátima Vlog on YouTube! Immerse yourself in the visual journey and enhance your experience. Click the link to watch now and subscribe for more travel adventures!

    Thanks for Reading !

    Always delighted to assist, we sincerely hope our blog about visiting The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal has been enriching, inspiring you to begin planning your trip!

    Please share your feedback from your visit!

    Lia and Serge | Discovering Destination

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    Hello from Discovering Destinations ! We are a couple, Eli and Serge, that love to travel and share our experiences with those want to discover the world with Great Tips!  CLICK TO KNOW MORE!

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