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Portugal Braga and Guimarães in northern Portugal


Braga (population 160,000) has an historic center with many 18th century houses covered in colorful decorative tile. It was settled in Roman times and in the 12th century was the country's religious capital. Many religious festivals are still held here. An elegant cafe, Cafe Brasileira, is in the city center.

Location: Portugal - Minho - Braga
Website: Portugal Tourism - Visit Portugal

The famous church Bom Jesus do Monte, built in the late 18th century, sits on a hillside above Braga and is a pilgrimage site and tourist attraction. It's long staircase goes down the hillside to the town. There are good views from the church.


Bom Jesus do Monte, stairs down to Braga.

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The historic center of Guimarães (population 52,000) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a 10th century castle, a 15th century palace and several other medieval sites. The city combines the old and the new resulting in a thriving and pleasant city full of people, shops and restaurants. This is a good place to make your base in northern Portugal or come in from the countryside for exciting day in town.

Location: Portugal - Minho - Guimarães

Website: UNESCO - Guimarães

The historic center of Guimarães is delightful. The main sites are:

- The main square in old town (Largo da Oliveira is full of restaurants and cafes.

- The castle (Castelo de Guimaraes) is the remains of 10th century castle and birthplace of Portugal's first King, Afonso Henriques.

- The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza (Paço Dos Duques De Bragançamore), is a 15th century palace.

Try a local favorite Portuguese pastry, pastel de nata (custard tart).

Outside of town we visited the Parque de Roldes with a small Roman bridge on a river.


Remains of 10th century castle. Birthplace of Portugal's first King, Afonso Henriques.

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