K.Braga, known as the oldest city in Portugal, was discovered by the Romans as a settlement in a country called Bracara Augusta. After 2000 years, this country was home to magnificent monuments, enjoyable festivals, respected traditions and an unforgettable gastronomic experience. What was Bracara Augusta back then is Portugal's Braga today.
Tourist attractions in Braga Portugal
Currently, this city, which is over two millennia old, excites tourists from different parts of the world. Its charm consists of excellent people, amazing sights, interesting culture, an idyllic climate and extraordinary activities. If you want to maximize your stay in Braga, these activities offer a lot of cultural fun:
Drive through the Arco da Porta Nova
Arco da Porta Nova – Best things to do in Braga Photo via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
This triumphal arch was built in the 18th century and opened in 1512 and designed by world-famous André Soares. It is baroque and neoclassical, a true work of art in the Middle Ages.
It is located in northern Portugal and still welcomes and inspires tourists. The name of this arch means "arch of the new gate" in English.
Let yourself be fascinated by the cathedral of Braga
This Roman Catholic church is a very important building in Portugal due to its historical and artistic value. It consists of three aisles, a Romanesque transept and five chapels.
Legend has it that the first bishop of Braga was St. Peter of the Council. As you enter this church you will notice the fascinating Gothic arches.
This is just the beginning of a nice escapade. The influences on the upper floors are rather baroque. Return to Portugal's memory as you immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this church.
Relax in a spa at Caldas do Gerês
Caldas do Geres photo by Antonio Rui Alfonzo Silva via Descobrir Portugal FB
If you are looking for a retreat, this spa in Gerês is the destination of your dreams. It is surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains that relax your tense muscles and wipe away your worries.
This spa was originally built during the reign of King John V and later frequented by various kings and queens. The twists and turns of the building enabled this building to be demolished and renovated.
Today it remains a thermal bath in the remote heart of Braga, albeit a more modern one.
Visit the Capela da Nossa Senhora da Torre complex
Capela da Nossa Senhora da Torre in Braga Portugal about deposit photos
This tourist place is also known as the Chapel of Our Lady of the Braga Tower. The tower played an important role in protecting the city from damage in the Middle Ages.
The chapel was then built in gratitude for the protection of the entire city after a severe earthquake in 1755.
Today this chapel stands beautifully as it survives the trials of time.
Visit the Igreja de Santa Cruz
Igreja de Santa Cruz Photo via Depositphotos
This Santa Cruz monastery was built between 1132 and 1223. It was the most important monastery house in the early years of the Portuguese monarchy. A visit to this church today shows you many valuable historical pieces.
Although the indispensable pipe organ is in the Baroque style, a large part of this church is in the design of Portugal. This old building is not only a house of prayer, but also the burial place of the first two kings of Portugal. Spend a few hours in this wonderful church and you will surely feel renewed afterwards!
Spend some time at the Igreja da Sao Marcos
Church and hospital of Sao Marcos (St. Mark) in Braga, Portugal
This beautiful church was built in the 18th century and designed by Carlos Amarante and José Fernandes Graça. It contains many enchanting statues that represent many apostles of Jesus Christ.
The statue of St. Mark is one of the notable ones that can be seen here. He was bishop of the Eastern Christian Church and patron of Igreja da Sao Marcos. Both his grave and his statue can be remembered here.
Stroll through Jardim de Santa Barbara
Jardim de Santa Barbara in Braga Photo via deposit photos
This beautiful garden of Santa Barbara was created in 1955 by José Cardoso da Silva. The lush greenery is made even more magnificent by the statues, cedar topiaries and the ruins of a beautiful medieval palace.
In the middle of the garden fountain is the statue of Saint Barbara. She is also known as the great martyr Barbara, an ancient Greek martyr, and a representation of the patron saint of this garden.
Follow the history of the Museu dos Biscainhos
Biscainhos Museum by Sara Silva via Wikipedia CC
In 1665 a beautiful house for Maria da Silva e Sousa and Dr. Constantino Ribeiro do Lago built. Dr. Lago was a man with many titles. He was a knight in the Order of Christ, an Alcalde of Ervededo, the overseer and judge of Braga, Chancellor of Relação, Attorney General of Mitra, and he represented the city in the Cortes of 1667 in Lisbon.
Their house was built by Basque artisans from the Biscay province. The house and it is built by Biscay residents and is named "Biscainhos".
Over the centuries, this house was passed on to subsequent generations until it was expanded in 1712. In 1963 a museum was established that gives us the Biscainhos Museum that we know today.
Let yourself be inspired by the beautiful Palacio do Raio
Raio Palace Photo by Joseolgon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC
This richly decorated palace shows a complicated style with influences from the late baroque and early rococo. It was designed by André Soares, a Portuguese architect whose influence on the baroque movement was strongly perceived.
Its use of natural elements is impressive in this fortress. This palace was originally built on behalf of a wealthy merchant named João Duarte de Faria.
In the 1860s, this house was bought by Miguel José Raio, whose name still reflects the name of the attraction.
Appreciate nature in Peneda Gerês National Park
Photo of Peneda Geres National Park via Depositphotos
This park, better known as Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal. It was founded in 1971 and measures 702.90 km2.
It has a fascinating amphitheater-like shape that was naturally shaped by nature. The huge mountains are in inhospitable places and keep the signs of the oldest people.
This national park is said to include 823 species of different flowers and plants. It also houses around 235 animals, many of which are threatened with extinction.
See the chapel of Sao Frutuoso
Saint Frutuoso Chapel in Braga Portugal By Joseolgon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC
In 560 BC A small Roman villa served as a temple to worship the Greek god Asclepius. Almost a century later, the Bishop of Bracara established the São Salvador Monastery in the same place.
Not long after, this building was rebuilt several times until it became the Romanesque church we know today.
Since it was believed that the rebuilding of this chapel was ordered by the bishop and saint Fructuosus of Braga, the chapel got its name after his.
Hike in the Museu Pio XII
Pius XII Museum Photo via Wikipedia CC
Braga is made even more special by this wonderful museum. The Museu Pio XII houses one of the most valuable archaeological collections in northern Portugal, which makes this tourist attraction a must.
It also shows a collection of religious arts and a gallery dedicated to the famous artist Henrique Medina. If you would like to see a medieval tower and a baroque oratory, you would like to go for a walk in this museum.
Appreciate the creativity in the Tibaes Monastery
Tibaes Monastery of Sao Martinho Photo via Depositphotos
This amazing tourist find, also known as the St. Martin Monastery of Tibães, will delight you. It was founded in 1060 and has long been the scene of extravagant and intricate art.
The creativity in this monastery has greatly influenced the art scene in Portugal. Many of the breathtaking designs here are thanks to the architect André Soares, who designed the main altarpiece and the triumphal arch in the main chapel, to name just a few.
Many sculptures were made by the famous José de Santo António Vilaça and the famous Cipriano da Cruz. Churchgoers also appreciate the rococo decoration in this church, which makes this monastery a must if you are from Braga.
Treat yourself to a bite to eat at Cafe Vianna – the oldest café in Braga
Cafe Vianna in Braga Portugal Photo via FB page
Braga has many quaint and dainty cafes that have graced the city for longer than most. Cafe Vianna is a heart-warming café that was founded in 1871.
It was visited by artists, politicians and writers for a quick meal. The Café AstÓria is another must-do café and has been in business since 1928. The Wellington Recheado is a must on this cafe's menu!
Museu de Arte Sacra
Museum of Sacred Art of Sao Paulo Photos via Depositphotos
The Museum of Sacred Art is a must for culture enthusiasts. In this museum you will find artistic ceramics, refined jewelry as well as impressive paintings and carvings.
If you understand the history of the churches in Braga and want to review the life of Jesus Christ, this wondrous museum is the place to be.
To help you plan your visit to Braga, we've listed sights and other amazing things to do in Braga, Portugal. We have also listed some of the best travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodations.
Are you looking for the best hotels, resorts and cheap flights in nearby cities? Check out our list of budget hotels and resorts in Braga through Agoda, or check out the available Airbnb hotels in the city.
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