Setubal is primarily an industrial city but always had a close connection to the sea. The city has a colorful fishing harbor, the largest fish market of Portugal, a popular urban park and the Troia Peninsula ferry terminal. Within the charming historic center is a maze of narrow alleys, hidden plazas and traditional shops.
The city of Setúbal is located on the northern bank of the Sado River estuary, approximately 48 kilometres (30 miles) south of Portugal's capital, Lisbon. It is also the seat of the Setúbal District.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Setúbal was the most important center of Portugal's fishing industry, particularly sardines. None of the many factories then created are operating today. However, the existing maritime ports, either traditional, commercial and the new marines, keep the city links to the ocean and water well alive and vibrant. Tourism, based on the beautiful existing natural conditions plus excellent hotels, resorts and infrastructures, is one of the city's most appreciated resources, due to its interconnection with the Sado (river) on one side and Atlantic Ocean on another, having a coast line with both.
The city is also connected with the nearby coast of the Arrábida hills natural park - which offers an unspoiled nature and beautiful beaches to the Atlantic Ocean. A dolphin colony inhabits the Sado River. Across the river on the south bank lies the peninsula of Tróia, a place with vast white/golden sand beaches where several luxury hotels and resorts were recently built. The Tróia peninsula can be sighted from the city, across the river. Albarquel, Figueirinha, Galápos, Galapinhos and Portinho da Arrábida are some of the city's many beaches, located in the north bank of the estuary, at the very beginning of the Arrábida hills.