How much time do I need in Évora? Truthfully, a minimum of two nights. And definitely more, if you are interested in seeing small villages in the countryside.
If you spend a single night in Évora, you will literally have to rush just to fit in the principal sites. I would probably recommend skipping Évora and extending your stay in some other part of Portugal if you only have a single night to spend here. If you are staying over to break up a trip, consider staying an extra night.
The city itself (within the walls) has enough things to see to occupy a full day if you hurry. If you take your time, you could spend a minimum of two days exploring all the city has to offer. By way of comparison, Óbidos, is often viewed as a corollary city to Évora. It is beautiful and exceptionally located, but Évora, in our opinion, is different in the following respects:
If you are interested in visiting some of the smaller villages in the area, we selfishly recommend using the hotel as your base to explore the greater Alentejo region. Roads are very good, not busy, and you have a few significant advantages:
We recommend villages that are anywhere from a 20 minute to 1 hour and 15 minute drive.
If you still only have a single night in Évora, we will obviously do everything possible to maximize your experience here.