The city receives many passers-by and one day visitors. In just one day, it is crucial for visitors and tourists to choose the best itinerary for Braga.
Arriving by train or bus
Both the train and the bus station are also very central and close-by. This means you can easily follow what we believe is the best itinerary for Braga.
- Arco da Porta Nova
Especially when arriving by train, this will literally be your entry door to Braga’s Old Town. This iconic archway is one of Braga’s most know spots. The arch – and entry – never had an actuall door. Thus, it is says that the traditional expression “Are you from Braga? You left the door open!” originated from here.
- Sé de Braga
Sé de Braga, known by foreigners as Braga’s Cathedral, this was the first ever cathedral in the country! The cahedral was categorized as a National Monument in 1910 and is one of the most important buildings in Portugal. It also made way to yet another traditional saying among Minho residents: “Older than Sé de Braga!”
For those who are fond of Religious Art, visiting Sé de Braga is said to be an amazing experience. You can explore the temple, the chapels and even visit the tombstones of iconic people from the history of Portugal. The entry fee is only 2€.
- Igreja da Misericórdia
This is another one of Braga’s important churches. It is right behing Sé de Braga and was ordered to be built around 1560 by Count D. Diogo de Sousa. The church, however, suffered many changes and renovations until it got to its current aspect in the late 1800’s.
- Jardim de Santa Bárbara
Saint Barbara’s Garden is probably the most beautiful garden in Braga. It’s in the heart of the Old Town and it feels like a fresh breeze in the middle of so many buildings. It isn’t just the wonderful colors that make Jardim de Santa Bárbara a great escape and a must-go to place. The garden is home to medieval archways that make for a perfect setting for a photoshoot. Or, as many Braga locals also do, a perfect setting for a wedding proposal.
By now you should be ready for lunch! We strongly suggest one of DeGema‘s burgers, which are named after traditional Braga sayings and insults. It is right in from of Jardim de Santa Bárbara and that’s the excuse you’ll need to choose it over anything else.
This is what your first part of the visit will look like:
- Café Vianna & Braga Archways
After a good lunch meal, time for some quality coffee! Café Vianna, situated in the archways, is one of the oldest café houses in Braga and well worth the visit! The café still has a lot of its old days decorations and it’s a sweet, loving place to hang around. Sure, a cup of coffee will cost you a bit more than in other cafés. Trust us, though, it’s worth it!
- Convento dos Congregados
Built in the XVII, this building was many things already! Since 2016, however, this building is home to the Faculty of Music of University of Minho.
- Theatro Circo de Braga
The XX century theater is os most importance to Braga’s culture history. First inaugurated in 1915, it was home to many success and premieres, but also had its bad turns with crisis. After severe renovations, it re-opened in 2006 and, nowadays, it’s recovering its old greatness.
- Irmandade de Santa Cruz
Somewhat known as the church of the roosters, the Church of Santa Cruz has an interesting legend to it. It is said that whoever finds three roosters in its façade will be married soon. Because of this, it is common to see many people looking up to try and find them.
- Spirito Cupcakes & Coffee
When it’s time to have an afternoon snack, we recommend the famous Spirito Cupcakes & Coffee. Before Starbucks became a thing in Braga, Spirito was our version of the worldwide know coffee house.
Psst! If you prefer somewhere a little less touristic try the Frigideiras shop and their local snack!
- Biscainhos Museum
The ancient home of the Bertiando’s family was built in the XVII century. Since 1978 it’s been turned into a Museum whose purpose aims to show the richness of old Renaissance families. If the museum is not exactly your thing, we still recommend paying a quick visit to the gardens.
That’s it! This is a full-day tour of Braga’s Old Town.
Driving to Braga
Both have stunning views over Braga and are definitely worth the visit.
And if you have to choose one? Well, here it will depend on what you enjoy most.
- If you prefer a good view
Definitely Sameiro! Even though Bom Jesus has stunning views over Braga as well, Sanctuary of Sameiro allows you to feel as if Braga is at your feet! All of this while you’re overlooking the city through what has been called as “The Gates to Heaven”.
- If you want something else to see and enjoy
In that case, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus has many more things to enjoy – including the oldest funicular in the Iberian Peninsula! Bom Jesus has a great, big garden, cafés to hang around, the impressive Bom Jesus church and (for the bravest) the stairways. The Bom Jesus starways are Braga’s welcome card in every Google search.