Situated in the north of Portugal, Braga is one of the oldest cities of Portugal, but is also the youngest city in the country and one of the youngest in Europe.
Built over 2000 years ago, "Bracara Augusta" was rightly founded by Augustus, standing on one of the main Roman roads of the Iberian Peninsula, as it was an administrative seat of the Roman Empire. The region of Braga was situated in the Roman province of Galécia (now Galicia) and during the Middle Ages Braga even competed with Santiago de Compostela in power and importance. Today, Braga is one of the oldest Dioceses in Portugal, a place where you can still feel this ancient legacy, finding many roman and medieval archaeological remains.
Braga is the third largest metropolitan area in Portugal, with around 200 thousand inhabitants, being the capital of Minho’s region. The combination of contemporaneity, culture and heritage of this young and vibrant city was recently recognized by the award of Best European Destination in 2021.
Places to Visit
Sé Catedral de Braga - Braga’s Cathedral is also the oldest in the country and was built in the 12th century by the parents of Portugal’s first King, D. Henrique and D. Teresa, who are buried there. Braga is to this day one of the country’s main religious centres, having the Holy Week Celebrations and the São João Festival as the highlights in its liturgical and touristic calendar.
Bom Jesus do Monte - The monumental set off “Bom Jesus do Monte”, like mentioned in some books about Braga, is for sure, the biggest, the most magestic, the most symbolic and poetic sacro-mount built in Europe, were religious, baroque, rococo and neoclassical architecture predominates. It was recognized, in 2003, World heritage humanity by UNESCO.
Palácio/Museu dos Biscainhos - The Palácio dos Biscainhos is located on the street that gave it its name, in allusion to the craftsmen from Biscay, who settled here in the 16th century, and who worked on the urban development of Braga. The Biscainhos Museum, housed in a Baroque palace, is a landmark period in the history of Braga.
Café A Brasileira
Café A Brasileira is one of the most emblematic cafes in the city of Braga. It is located in Largo Barão de São Martinho, in the historic center of the city, having been renovated in 2008/2009, with the architectural project being the responsibility of architect Sérgio Borges.
Museu Nogueira da Silva
The Museum owes its Foundation to the legacy made in September 1975 by António Augusto Nogueira da Silva in favor of the University of Minho. The museum has a varied collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestry, jewellery, porcelain, glass and earthenware. The house has a French-inspired garden, with flower beds surrounded by boxwood, crowned in the background by magnolias surrounding a baroque fountain from an old farm in Gualtar.
Mosteiro de Tibães
Comprising a large building and a walled fence, the monastery we see today was built/rebuilt, decorated/redecorated throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. With a functional architecture, it presented a clear separation between the areas of prayer, work and leisure and those of communication with the outside, and also between the areas occupied by the resident community and the others reserved for use as the mother house of the Congregation.
Theatre Circo is undoubtedly the most charismatic cultural venue in Braga. It was conceived in 1906 by a group of people from Braga, led by Artur José Soares, José António Veloso and Cândido Martins. The renovated Theater presents itself as a unique space, combining the tradition of the Italian stage with one of the most technically sophisticated infrastructures in all of Europe.
Livraria Centésima Página
100ª Página opened to the public in 1999 and in 2005 it moved to Casa Rolão in the heart of the city of Braga. 100ª Página also has a cafeteria and a garden where you can breathe tranquility. It is in this space that, every day, you can find several options for lunch or for a break throughout the day, in the company of a good book.
Other sites to visit: Theatre Circo, Alto da Cividade, Fonte do Ídolo, Arquivo Distrital de Braga, Biblioteca Pública de Braga, Livraria Centésima Página
Your trip to Braga would not be complete without a visit to Guimarães…
The city of Guimarães is proudly recognized as the “cradle of Portugal”Guimarães historical centre is a “hidden pearl” and was classified by UNESCO, in 2001, as a world heritage site. It is possible to find many interesting spots within walking distance, such as beautiful squares, meadering medieval streets and the castle. In 2012, Guimarães was one of the European Capitals of Culture.
More about Braga:
More about Guimarães:
Eating in Braga
Braga is now a contemporary and multicultural city, with many different places to eat and delicatessens for all tastes and pockets, but among the gastronomic specialties of Braga it is worth mentioning Bacalhau à Braga, à Narcisa or à Minhota, and the famous dessert Pudim Abade de Priscos.
How to arrive
From Porto Airport to the City Center of Braga:
by bus (Campus de Gualtar, 55,9 km)
- Getbus - https://www.getbus.eu/pt/braga-aeroporto-braga
- FlixBus - https://www.flixbus.pt/
by taxi - as of October 2022 a standard taxi ride at off-peak hours was of around €65.
by train - at the Train Station of São Bento (Porto city center) or at the Station of Campanhã (transfer station) it is possible to catch a train to Braga (visit www.cp.pt)
From Lisbon to the City Center of Braga:
- Rede de Expressos - www.rede-expressos.pt
- FlixBus - https://www.flixbus.pt/
by train - From Lisbon to Braga you can travel by Alfa Pendular. Timetables Lisbon-Braga/Braga-Lisbon are available at: http://www.cp.pt/passageiros/pt/consultar-horarios
A favorable ecosystem for mobility
An active city by nature. For sure, you will always have access to good commuting options!