Things To Do In Guimaraes
Widely considered to be the birthplace of the idea of Portugal as a country, Guimaraes tends to be the most historically significant and relevant city to visit for visitors. The sheer history and age of the city can truly be felt on walking the streets and exploring iconic monuments like the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, the Guimaraes Cathedral and Largo da Oliveira. Some of the other best things to do include visiting natural landmarks like the Monte da Penha which offers panoramic views of the city or cultural landmarks like the Alberto Sampaio Museum. The city is a dream for those who love art and history. To learn more about the most popular tourist activities, check out this article.
Palace of the Dukes of Braganza
One of the best things to do in Guimaraes is to explore the stunning Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, an icon of the city. The structure was first built in 1420’s by the then ruler King Afonso who was also the Count of Barcelos. It is surrounding by stunning orchards and displays heavy influences from the Gothic style of design that continues to characterize so many similar structures. This is a great activity for lovers of history and design.
A UNESCO World Heritage certified part of town, visiting the charming Historic Centre or Old Town of Guimaraes is another one of the most popular things to do. The narrow, cobblestone lanes are complimented by historic structures like cathedrals, abbeys, grand plazas and even manors like the Moto Prego. It is a great place to learn about the evolution of the city.
The Guimaraes Castle is one of the most significant historic structures in the county. It was first constructed in the 10th century and would go on to become the home of King Afonso Henriques, the first real ruler of Portugal. It is steeped in deep history and cultural heritage, and makes for one of the best tourist activities around.
Monte da Penha
Monte da Penha is a hilltop spot and travelling up to this lookout point is one of the most popular tourist activities. It is best reached via cable car and offers visitors incredible views of the city and surrounding countryside. The patio surrounding Pope Pius IX’s statue used to be a religious pilgrimage point for hundreds of years. This is a great activity for photography lovers.
Alberto Sampaio Museum
A museum visit is always a fun way to spend the day and one of the most popular tourist activities is to visit the Alberto Sampaio Museum, which forms a part of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. It was first created in the 13th century and is home to a number of intriguing artefacts, paintings, manuscripts and sculptures from the not just the city but the rest of the country as well.
Largo da Oliveira
Exploring the Largo da Oliveira, which is the plaza in front of the Nossa Senhora Church is another fantastic activity to learn more about the rich and diverse cultural and historic heritage of Guimaraes. It has a lovely café which is a great place to unwind and catch up with friends. It is surrounded by various other charming buildings and monuments.
Rua de Santa Maria
The Rua de Santa Maria is one of the most frequented spots in the city and exploring its confines continues to be one of the best things to do as well. Its origins dates back to the 15th and 16th century, where it was frequented by nobleman and royalty alike. There are variety of spectacular historic monuments here, including the Casa do Arco and Casa dos Peixotos.