What makes the city of Braga so special?

Braga is a captivating city packed full of history and tradition situated in the northern part of Portugal lying between mountains, forests, valleys, and green fields is in the centre of one of the most beautiful natural parks of Portugal like the famous Peneda-Gerês and has a lot to offer to its visitors. Known as the “Portuguese Rome” for its numerous squares, churches and chapels – 162 in total – Braga was the largest and most important city in the Roman Empire times and recently has been named European Youth Capital for its young and entrepreneurial vibe.

Famous for its abundance of historic buildings, monuments, gardens and fountains, Braga is a delightful city in the heart of the green Minho region where religious devotion in the form of many churches and other symbols of faith lies juxtaposed with the typical bustle of a modern city complete with restaurants, bars and a renowned nightlife. Braga has been voted by various national and international bodies as one of the best Portuguese cities to live in and also as Portugal's happiest city.

Braga is an exciting destination for architecture and history lovers. Cute, cobbled streets and alleyways leading to impressive squares and plazas make it fun and easy to explore Braga on foot.

If exploring historic buildings isn’t your thing, the area surrounding the city offers plenty of opportunities for day trips and outdoor exploration to enjoy nature.

 

Let’s look at some of the many wonderful things to see and enjoy in Braga:

Nestled up on the hill among the trees, you’ll find this impressive UNESCO world heritage and pilgrimage site of Bom Jesus do Monte just 3km outside the city centre. From the church, the views of the city below are mesmerizing. In the park surrounding the church, you can take a walk, visit the ancient caves, or even take a rowing boat out on the lake.


 

Don’t like the sound of climbing those 580 steps? You can reach the Bom Jesus do Monte via the funicular elevator built in 1882. It’s the oldest funicular in the world that works with a counterweight water balance system.

  

 

You can’t visit Braga without seeing the city’s spectacular Cathedral. The Sé de Braga Cathedral is one of Portugal's most important religious buildings. The gothic style building dates back to 1070 when construction first started, but it took a century to complete.

  

 

A trip to Braga wouldn’t be complete without walking through this stone arch in the historic centre. Originally built in 1512, the purpose of the Arco da Porta Nova was as the city’s main entrance. It connected the medieval city with the world outside the walls and was where the city keys were presented to important people.

  

 

560 meters up the hill from the city centre stands the Shrine of Our Lady of Sameiro, one of the most visited places of Marian worship in Portugal, and also providing a breath-taking view over the city of Braga.

  

 

To break your exploration of churches, visit the Jardim de Santa Bárbara. You’ll find these gorgeous gardens near the Paço Episcopal Bracarense or Episcopal Palace, as it’s called in English. Geometric designs, combined with a large variety of plants and hedges, make these exquisite gardens a pleasant place to spend some time relaxing and exploring.

  

 

Have lunch at the oldest cafe in Braga, CAFE VIANNA dating back to 1858.

The Cafe Vianna has played an essential part in the social life of Braga throughout the city’s history. One of the most famous coffee shops in the city, it was a meeting point for nobles, artists, activists, and everyone in between.

  

 

Feast like a Roman in Braga? Braga’s Roman cake or bolo romano de Braga in Portuguese is a very unique cake. Its recipe dates back to the 2nd century AD. It comes from the famous Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria (in English, On the Subject of Cooking). The cake is made with nuts, honey, and milk. For added luxury, a drop or two of port wine is added to the mix, too. 

  

Make sure you taste one of the signature pastries of the city's - Tibias de Braga too!

  

 

Finish your day of walking and exploring of Braga with a Relaxing Boat Trip behind the Neoclassical basilica of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte near the city of Braga in Portugal. A small pond surrounded by tall trees stands right in its heart. Here colourful handmade boats can be rented for a relaxing row on the water.

  

 

Watch the world go by in the Praça da República dating back to the middle ages, is always buzzing, especially at sundown. The traffic-free square is an important place to visit in the old town and is filled with cafes and restaurants.

  

What a great way to finish a visit to Braga with all that the Portuguese Rome has to offer.

 

And for a bit of change of scenery and if you’re looking to get out of the city for a while, be sure to visit the fascinating and vibrant sea-side city of Porto, just 40 min away by car, where there is no shortage of sights, attractions and foods to delight you.

  

 

The impressive Altice Forum Braga – Competition venue for DWC2023

Situated in Braga´s city centre and easily accessible, Altice Forum Braga is a is undoubtedly a modern interactive and environmentally sustainable multi-purpose building and adapted to the demands of the future. With a capacity to accommodate events of all sizes: from 20 to more than 20 000 people.

Inspired by the Roman heritage of Minho´s capital, Altice Forum Braga has the second-largest concert hall in the country and a conference centre with the largest auditorium in the North of Portugal. It also comprises several complementary areas, such as an art gallery, and an extensive outdoor area with 650 parking spaces.

  

  

  

There  are numerous hotels and self-catering apartments around the  area of Altice Forum Braga. Our proficient travel agent,  Moline Travel ( info@molinetravel.com)  will be happy to assist you in booking your accommodation and transport requirements once you have qualified for the finals.