10 Things to do in Guimaraes, Portugal
Guimaraes is a city in the northern part of Portugal. It is known as the birthplace of the nation, and it has a long history and culture that can be seen throughout the city. There are plenty of things to do in Guimaraes, from visiting historical sites to experiencing the local cuisine. Here are 10 of the best activities to do while in Guimaraes.
1. Visit the Castle of Guimaraes
The Castle of Guimaraes is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The castle dates back to the 10th century and was the first home of the Portuguese monarchy. It is a great place to explore and learn about the city’s history. The castle is open to visitors every day from 9am to 6pm.
2. Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Guimaraes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. Here you can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. There are also many historic sites to explore, including the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza and the Church of St. Francis.
3. Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary
The Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary is a historic church located on a hilltop just outside of Guimaraes. The sanctuary is home to beautiful gardens, a chapel, and a stunning view of the city. The sanctuary is open to visitors on weekdays from 9am to 6pm.
4. Enjoy a Meal at a Local Restaurant
Guimaraes is home to a variety of restaurants and cafes that serve up traditional Portuguese cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, you’ll find something to enjoy in Guimaraes. Some of the local favorites include the Casa da Picanha restaurant and the Taberna do Caracol.
5. Go Shopping at the Santa Luzia Shopping Center
The Santa Luzia Shopping Center is a great place to go if you’re looking for some retail therapy. The mall has a variety of stores, including international brands and local boutiques. There’s also plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can take a break from shopping.
6. Take a Tour of the City
There are several companies that offer guided tours of the city. These tours are a great way to learn more about the history of Guimaraes and get an in-depth look at the city. The tours usually last around three hours and take you to some of the most popular sights.
7. Visit the Church of St. Francis
The Church of St. Francis is a Gothic-style church located in the heart of the city. The church was built in the 13th century and is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate interior. The church is open to visitors daily from 9am to 6pm.
8. Explore the Paço dos Duques de Bragança
The Paço dos Duques de Bragança is a palace located in the Old Town of Guimaraes. The palace was built in the 15th century and is now home to the Ducal Museum, which contains a variety of artifacts from the city’s history. The palace is open to visitors every day from 10am to 6pm.
9. Visit the Mateus Palace
The Mateus Palace is a beautiful 18th-century palace located just outside of Guimaraes. The palace is home to the Mateus Garden, which is filled with lush greenery and beautiful sculptures. The palace is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
10. Go Hiking in the Montemuro Mountain Range
The Montemuro Mountain Range is located just outside of Guimaraes and is a great place to go hiking. The range is home to a variety of trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some fresh air.
5 Things to Avoid in Guimaraes, Portugal
1. Avoid Late Night Walks
Guimaraes is generally a safe city, but it is best to avoid walking alone at night. Stick to well-lit areas and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. It is also a good idea to stay in groups and to avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
2. Avoid Unlicensed Taxis
It is important to only use licensed taxis when traveling around the city. Unlicensed taxis may be cheaper, but they are not reliable and may not be safe. Always make sure to check the license plate of the taxi before getting in.
3. Avoid Overpaying for Souvenirs
Souvenir shopping is a great way to remember your trip to Guimaraes, but it is important to avoid overpaying. Shop around at different stores and compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Don’t be afraid to haggle if necessary.
4. Avoid Pickpockets
Pickpocketing is a common problem in cities like Guimaraes, so it is important to take precautions. Always keep your belongings close to you and never leave your bag or wallet unattended. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
5. Avoid Eating at Tourist Traps
While there are plenty of great restaurants in Guimaraes, there are also a lot of tourist traps. These restaurants often charge high prices for low-quality food. Do your research before choosing a restaurant and always ask locals for recommendations.