Close this search box.

Things to Do in Guimaraes: A Friendly Guide to Exploring the City

Share Article

If you’re looking for a charming city with a rich history and plenty of things to do, Guimaraes should definitely be on your list. Located in northern Portugal, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been dubbed the “cradle of the nation” for its role in the country’s founding. With its well-preserved medieval architecture, lively squares, and excellent food, Guimaraes is a great destination for a day trip or a longer stay.

One of the must-see attractions in Guimaraes is the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a stunning 15th-century castle that was once the residence of the first Duke of Braganza. The castle has been beautifully restored and is now open to visitors, who can explore its grand halls, intricate tapestries, and beautiful gardens. Another highlight is the Guimaraes Castle, which dates back to the 10th century and offers sweeping views of the city from its ramparts.

For a taste of local culture, head to the Largo da Oliveira, a picturesque square lined with cafes and shops. Here you’ll find the Church of Our Lady of Oliveira, a beautiful Gothic church that dates back to the 14th century. The square is also home to a lively market on Saturdays, where you can pick up local crafts and souvenirs. And of course, no visit to Guimaraes would be complete without trying some of the local cuisine, which includes hearty stews, fresh seafood, and delicious pastries.

Historical Landmarks

If you’re interested in history, Guimaraes is the perfect place for you. There are several historical landmarks that you can visit and learn about the fascinating past of this beautiful city. Here are some of the must-visit historical landmarks in Guimaraes:

Guimaraes Castle

Guimaraes Castle is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It was built in the 10th century and served as the residence of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. The castle has undergone several renovations over the years, but it still retains its medieval charm. You can take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its history and architecture.

Ducal Palace

Another must-visit historical landmark in Guimaraes is the Ducal Palace. This palace was built in the 15th century and served as the residence of the Dukes of Braganza. The palace is now a museum and houses several collections of art and artifacts. You can explore the palace and learn about the life of the Dukes of Braganza.

Largo da Oliveira

Largo da Oliveira is a beautiful square in the heart of the city. It’s surrounded by several historical buildings, including the Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. This church was built in the 14th century and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. You can also visit the city’s old town hall, which is located in the square.

Igreja de Sao Francisco

Igreja de Sao Francisco is another beautiful church in Guimaraes. It was built in the 15th century and is known for its Gothic architecture. The church is located in the historic center of the city and is a popular tourist attraction. You can take a guided tour of the church and learn about its history and architecture.

Overall, Guimaraes is a city rich in history and culture. If you’re interested in learning about the past, make sure to visit these historical landmarks.

Cultural Experiences

If you’re looking for an enriching cultural experience in Guimaraes, there are several places you can visit to learn more about the city’s history and art. Here are three must-visit cultural centers:

Vila Flor Cultural Centre

Vila Flor Cultural Centre is a beautiful building that houses a variety of cultural events and exhibitions. The center has a theater, an art gallery, and a bar where you can enjoy a drink while taking in the stunning architecture. The exhibitions change regularly, so there’s always something new to see.

Sao Mamede Cultural Center

Sao Mamede Cultural Center is another great place to visit if you’re interested in art and culture. The center is housed in a 16th-century building and has a collection of contemporary art from local and international artists. There are also regular cultural events, such as concerts and theater performances.

Guimaraes Shopping

Guimaraes Shopping is a modern shopping center that offers a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. While it may not seem like a cultural experience at first glance, the shopping center is actually home to a variety of art installations and exhibitions. Take a stroll through the mall and discover the hidden cultural gems.

Overall, Guimaraes has a rich cultural heritage that is worth exploring. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or just want to experience the local culture, these three cultural centers are a great place to start.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Guimaraes has plenty of options to keep you entertained. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to try during your visit.

Penha Mountain

Penha Mountain is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. With its stunning views and diverse flora and fauna, it’s easy to see why. The mountain is home to several hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels. Some of the trails lead to beautiful waterfalls and natural pools, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day.

City Park

City Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a more relaxed outdoor experience. The park features several walking paths, gardens, and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. There’s also a small lake where you can rent paddle boats and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the water.

Multiusos de Guimaraes

Multiusos de Guimaraes is a sports complex that offers a variety of outdoor activities. The complex features a large outdoor pool, a skate park, and several sports fields. It’s a great place to spend a day with friends or family, playing sports and enjoying the sunshine. There are also several cafes and restaurants on site, so you can refuel after a long day of activity.

Overall, Guimaraes is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful natural scenery and wide range of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Culinary Journey

When it comes to food, Guimaraes is a true paradise for foodies. The city is known for its traditional Portuguese cuisine, local cafes and bakeries, and wine and tapas bars. Here are some of the best places to indulge in the city’s culinary delights.

Traditional Portuguese Cuisine

If you want to experience the true flavors of Portugal, head to Restaurante S. Gião. This charming restaurant serves delicious traditional dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes include Bacalhau à Brás, a dish made with salted cod, potatoes, onions, and eggs, and Arroz de Pato, a flavorful duck and rice dish.

Local Cafes and Bakeries

For a quick bite or a sweet treat, head to one of Guimaraes’ many cafes and bakeries. Café Milenium is a popular spot for coffee and pastries, while Confeitaria Clarinha is known for its delicious cream-filled pastries and cakes. If you’re in the mood for something savory, head to Casa Lourenço, a local bakery that serves delicious bread and pastries.

Wine and Tapas Bars

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy some wine and tapas, head to Taberna Trovador. This cozy wine bar serves a variety of local wines and delicious tapas, including cured meats, cheeses, and olives. Another great spot is Tasca das Tias, a traditional Portuguese bar that serves delicious petiscos (small plates) and a variety of local wines.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, a sweet treat, or a glass of wine, Guimaraes has something for everyone. So why not take a culinary journey through the city and discover all the delicious flavors it has to offer?

Festivals and Events

Guimaraes is a city that is always bustling with activity, and there are many festivals and events that take place throughout the year. Here are a few of the most popular ones that you should definitely check out during your visit:

Gualterianas Fair

The Gualterianas Fair is one of the most popular events in Guimaraes, and it takes place in August. This fair is a celebration of the city’s patron saint, Saint Gualter, and it features a wide variety of activities and events. You can expect to see parades, concerts, street performers, and much more. There are also plenty of food and drink stalls where you can sample some of the local cuisine.

Nossa Senhora da Consolacao e dos Santos Passos

The Nossa Senhora da Consolacao e dos Santos Passos is another popular festival in Guimaraes, and it takes place in September. This festival is a religious celebration that honors the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of Consolation. During the festival, there are parades, processions, and religious services. You can also expect to see plenty of traditional music and dancing, as well as food and drink stalls.

Overall, if you want to experience the lively and vibrant culture of Guimaraes, attending one of these festivals or events is a must. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have a great time and make some unforgettable memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Guimarães?

Guimarães is a city rich in history and culture. There are many attractions worth visiting, but some of the top ones include the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, the Guimarães Castle, and Largo da Oliveira. You can also visit the Alberto Sampaio Museum and the Martins Sarmento Museum to learn more about the city’s history.

Can you recommend some unique experiences in Guimarães?

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Guimarães, consider visiting the Penha Mountain. It offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape. You can also take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain. Another unique experience is taking a guided tour of the city’s medieval streets and alleys.

What are the best dining options in Guimarães?

Guimarães has a rich culinary tradition, and there are many great dining options to choose from. Some of the best restaurants in the city include Cozinha da Terra, which serves traditional Portuguese cuisine, and O Castelo, which offers a variety of seafood dishes. You can also try the local specialty, “bacalhau,” which is a salt cod dish.

Are there guided walking tours available in Guimarães?

Yes, there are several guided walking tours available in Guimarães. You can take a tour of the historic city center, which includes the Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. You can also take a tour of the city’s museums and art galleries.

What is the estimated time to explore the main sights in Guimarães?

The estimated time to explore the main sights in Guimarães can vary depending on your pace and interests. However, most visitors can see the top attractions in one or two days. If you want to explore the city in more detail, you may need three to four days.

How do you travel between Porto and Guimarães?

The easiest way to travel between Porto and Guimarães is by train. The journey takes around one hour, and there are several trains that run throughout the day. You can also take a bus or hire a car, but the train is the most convenient option.

You might also like