Guimarães Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • Things to Do
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • Things to Do
    by jorgejuansanchez

Guimarães Things to Do

  • The castle

    The Castle of Guimarães (Portuguese: Castelo de Guimarães), is the principal medieval castle in the municipality Guimarães, in the northern region of Portugal. It was ordered constructed by D. Mumadona Dias in the 10th century in order to defend its monastery from attacks by Moors and Norman.It is free of charge, but if I say the truth, I was...

  • Bragança's Palace

    Close to the castle there's a palace built in the 14th in french style, as residence of Bragança family.Abandoned for long time, suffering degradation and looting, it was recovered in 1933 by decision of Salazar, under strong controversy. Today it is a museum.

  • Sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte

    In Braga caught a bus to Tenoes to visit the Sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte. I first reached the church in a funicular and went down walking the steps stopping in its five fountains dedicated to the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

  • Old City Hall

    Old city hall of Guimaraes is situated in front of the church of Our Lady of Olive Tree between the squares of Oliveira and Santiago. So, as you can see the City Hall is typical late medieval building standing on the elder arches probably built yet in XIV century. This building is one of the most recognizable hallmarks of Guimaraes.

  • Remains of medieval fortifications

    Walking in Guimaraes, except the castle of San Mamede and Palace Castle of Dukes of Braganza, you can see everywhere tower and fragments of the wall built mostly in XIV century. Sometime you can meet them very suddenly.

  • Largo do Taural

    Largo do Taural is the square in the central part of Guimaraes surrounded by the houses of XIX-XX century built in Portuguese style. There is also wonderful fountain. To my mind this square express typical Portuguese style and spirit.

  • Monument of Afonso Henriques I

    Alfonso Henriques was the Count of Portugal who was crowned as first king of Portugal. He was not only the first king of new state and new nation but he was first Portuguese monarch who successfully defended his kingdom against foreign military invaders and pretenders. That’s why we can call him the Father of Portugal and Nation. He was born in...

  • The Ducal Palace/Temporary exhibitions

    When we visited Ducal Palace of Dukes of Braganza second time in 2013 we noticed that museum rotating its temporary exhibition. If in 2011 they have an exhibition dedicated to Portuguese regiments billeted in the Palace, in 2013 they organized excellent exhibition dedicated to Portuguese military and civilian costumes of XVIII-XIX century. So, just...

  • The historic city center.

    Guimaraes has one of the best, if not the best, preserved historic city center in Portugal and it's a real joy walking through it.It is protected by UNESCO and is in very well preserved and also still a lively part of the city with lot's of restaurants and cafes so it's a perfect place to stop for lunch if you are touriing northern Portugal.

  • Domus municipalis

    A building with arches between Oliveira and Santiago squares, in the historic center, is what remains of the old City Hall, started in the 14th century.Nowadays it is a museum dedicated to naif painting.

  • The Castle

    It's a landmark to any Portuguese, since it was the cradle of our nationality. In the first visit I saw it fom outside, and it was all. A second visit! Once again without time to enter, but with enough time to take a decent picture. Or two...

  • Penha

    Forget the church - I wrote about it in another tip. The important detail is the church in the horizon, atop the hill. I didn't go there - it is a good pretext for a new visit - but I know that it was great views over the city, a sanctuary, and it is accessible by a ferry cable.Yes... I let it for the next visit!


Guimarães Hotels

  • Pousada Santa Marinha

    For a two days stay, I think we made a good choice. This pousada is a thing of beauty. The personel...

  • Toural

    Largo A. L. Carvalho, Guimaraes, Northern Portugal, 4810-153, Portugal

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Villa Hotel Guimaraes

    Avenida Dom Joao IV, 631, Guimaraes, 4810-532, Portugal

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

Guimarães Restaurants

  • Fabulous!

    In August 2011 we visited Minho region for some days and based our stay in Braga, were we slept in Pousada de S. Vicente. We booked our stay using a promotional pack which offered us one dinner during our stay. Pousada de S. Vicente's restaurant is closed, so they offered us a voucher to have dinner in the restaurant of one of the other nearby...

  • Praça da Oliveira

    Praça da Oliveira has some cafes with outdoor tables. The ambiance is very nice as the buildings surrounding them are antique, classical, historic and classified as monuments. It is also great for people watching as this seems to be a central point for meeting people and enjoy nice sunny days outside.We sat at the cafe by the arcades (don't...

  • A touch of class

    A change from the relatively austere Portuguese cusine ( thank you).Friendly and helpful service by the manager, english speaking. Professional cusine. Traditional style restaurant on 2 floors, tastefully renovated, elegant, located in narrow old town street. Steak on creamy peper sauce. Fish specials.Desserts.


Guimarães Transportation

  • By train to Guimaraes

    I went to Guimaraes by train from Porto. Trains to Guimaraes leave from both Campanha and Sao Bento Station in Porto. There is an almost hourly service between the cities by suburban trains. Some of the connections require a change of trains in e.g. Lousado or Ermesinde.The train trip takes about 75 minutes and a single ticket sets you back only...

  • Walking

    Walking around is no doubt the best option to explore Guimarães. Guimarães' historic centre is somewhat small (but beautifull!) and everything is within a short walking distance. Also, while strolling around you may take some time to admire the architecture, watch people and mingle with locals. Furthermore, there are no steep climbs or uneven...

  • Driving

    Arriving in Guimarães by car is fast and easy (by highway), both when driving from Porto or Braga, the main cities nearby. Also, from Lisbon the access is by highway (toll payment). Highways and local roads to Guimarães are very well signalized so you should have no trouble in finding your way to Guimarães. Once in Guimarães park your car as the...


Guimarães Shopping

  • Fly London shoes

    For all Fly London shoes fans: Fly London shoes are made in Portugal, near Guimarães. The company is named Kyaia. The best news: they have a outlet store where they sell previous seasons for only as low as 35 Euro/ pair (women's shoes). Sometimes, there isn't a lot of choice concerning sizes/ colours/ models, it all depends on season and visitors....

  • Used books and flea market

    Under the stone arcades between Praça de Santiago and Praça da Oliveira you will find a small flea market (just about 2 or 3 different vendors). The biggest choice is for used books, as the vendor has a very long table covered with diverse books. There is also a vendor with house stuff where, if you are lucky, you will find some nice deal or...

  • Shopping Centre

    Guimarães has a big shopping centre on the outskirts of the city ( The shopping centre, opened every day between 10am and 10pm or 11pm (weekends), offers a wide variety of shops, of main makes and chains (don’t expect to find typical commerce there). Examples of makes you may find there are Massimo Dutti, Levi's Store,...


Guimarães Local Customs

  • The olive tree legend

    In Portuguese the word for "olive tree" is oliveira. Notice that the square is named Praça da Oliveira, meaning Olive Tree Square, and also the church is named Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, meaning Our Lady of the Olive Tree. Why the Olive Tree? There is a legend that says that there was a olive tree on this square, nowadays named Praça da Oliveira on...

  • Portuguese beer

    The north of Portugal is especially famous for its portwine from the Douro Valley. Nevertheless, there are also some well known beers available in Portugal. Sagres beer is brewed by the Central de Cervejas brewery in Vila Franca de Xira. Since 2008 the brewery is under control of a joint venture of the breweries Heinken and Carlsberg.Superbock beer...

  • Be sure to eat breakfast before you...

    As elsewhere in the region, it is virtually impossible to find a place serving a full meal before noon. So have a breakfast, or you will be limited to a few places serving cheap small sandwiches or tea/ coffee with a pastry.


Guimarães What to Pack

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Free map and guide of Guimaraes

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jul 27, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: As Guimaraes will be the European Capital of Culture in 2012, the local Tourist Office is well equipped with all sorts of helpful free maps and brochures.

    I got myself a city guide with a map of the historic city centre as well as descriptions of the main sights in English. Additionally I picked up another free map which also covered the area outside the city centre.

    Guimaraes has two Tourist Offices: One is located at the square Praca de S. Tiago right in the heart of the historic city centre, while the other one can be found just outside the southern end of the city centre at the Largo Valentim Moreira de Sa.


    Free Guimaraes map Free Guimaraes guide
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Guimarães Off The Beaten Path

  • Camara Municipal de Guimaraes

    Building of Camara Municipal or City Council is situated at Rua de Santa Maria not far from the Church Nossa Senhora de Oliveira. It is worth to spend there twenty minutes an take several nice pictures. Rua de Santa Maria, Guimaraes

  • Convent of Saint Anthony

    This convent was built in XVII century and was reconstructed several times in XVIII century. Nowadays church of convent still survived. Rehabilitation clinic is situated in all other buildings of that convent. You will easily find church and convent of Saint Anthony just near the Palace of Dukes of Braganza at the Rua Doctor Joaquim de Meira.

  • Cultural Center Vila Flor

    This is excellent cultural center with shop, restaurant and other services opened in 2005 five. Such cultural institutions are really necessary is such cities of great cultural heritage as Guimaraes. Works from Monday through Friday9:30-12:30 and 14:00-18:30Closed on Saturdays and Sundays


Guimarães Sports & Outdoors

  • Mountain Biking in Penha - Guimaraes

    Penha Mountain have some of the greatest trails you can ride in the Region (specially downhill). If you doing a bike trip this is a place to"must"go.The teleferico (mountain cable-car) has bike carrying cars.There are local bike shops, and usually lots of riders (specially on weekends) that can ride with you along the trails. Bike, helmet, gloves...

  • Estadio D. Afonso Henriques

    The Estadio D. Afonso Henriques is home to the local football club Vitoria Guimaraes.The stadium was built in 1930, but was massively renovated in 2003 just before the Euro 2004 which was held in Portugal. It hosted two group matches during the Euro 2004.The current capacity of the stadium is 30.165. Unfortunately it is a very modern stadium, so I...

  • Guimarães Hotels

    15 Hotels in Guimarães

Guimarães Favorites

  • Historic center

    UNESCO world heritage, Guimarães has carefully preserved its historic center, well prepared for tourism. It's nice to be attracted for a traditional building, with a nice yard, and verify that is no more than... a cafe. Strolling in the historic center is a pleasant experience.

  • Statues

    I think that this is the third time that I analyse in VT a statue from Cutileiro. I must confess that I met the artist a couple of times, found him wise and gentle, but... I can't understand his art.In Guimarães I saw two statues of our first king, one from Soares dos Reis, created in the 1874, and the other from Cutileiro in 2001. In my picture...

  • Igreja de Sao Miguel

    Inside the park that encompases the Castelo de Guimaraes, Paco do Duques and the staute of Afonso Henriques, there is a small church. Not much remains aside from the walls and the floor, but there are some interesting carvings to be found that mark the burial places of knights who fought with Afonso Henriques.


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