Guimarães Travel Guide

  • Guimaraes.
    Guimaraes.
    by cachaseiro
  • The historic center of Guimaraes.
    The historic center of Guimaraes.
    by cachaseiro
  • Guimaraes.
    Guimaraes.
    by cachaseiro

Guimarães Highlights

  • Pro
    HORSCHECK profile photo

    HORSCHECK says…

     Quaint historic city centre; panoramic views from the Penha Mountain. 

  • Con
    HORSCHECK profile photo

    HORSCHECK says…

     Guimaraes can get very hot in summer. 

  • In a nutshell
    HORSCHECK profile photo

    HORSCHECK says…

     The cradle of Portugal - Aqui nasceu Portugal. 

Guimarães Things to Do

  • 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...

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  • 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!

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  • Salado memorial

    In 1340 was fought in Salado, near Tarifa, in Spain, the decisive battle where the christian kings of the Spanish kingdoms and Portugal defeated the moors from Granada and Morocco. To celebrate this victory the Portuguese king Afonso IV erected this memorial. It's quite uncommon, a non-religious memorial in the 14th century, and it's nice to see...

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  • Santiago square

    Adjacent to Oliveira square (you just have to pass under the arches) this wonderful square is the best place to appreciate the traditional architecture of the city. The balconies are lovely, and the esplanades, though out of context, don't spoil the general look and are useful to tourists.

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  • Consolação church

    Locally known as St Gualter church, this elegant church is located topping a beautiful garden, close to the historic centre. It was built in the 18th century, with the two high spires added in the middle of the 19th.

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  • City Hall

    One of the most important buildings of Guimarães, St Clara Convent, is now used as City Hall, with the municipal archive occupying the former chapel.

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  • St Anthony Convent

    Built in the 17th century as a convent, this monument suffered in the 19th serious transformations, to be used as hospital. With a great mixture of styles, the original church and cloisters still stand.

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  • "Santa Maria" street

    Maybe the most beautiful street in Guimarães, this narrow street displays many and beautiful houses and palaces. It is one of the first streets of the city, already used in the 12th century.

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  • Oliveira square

    The main square in the historic centre is dominated by Salado monument but still shows some more historic buildings as the church of "Nª Sª da Oliveira" and Domus Municipalis.

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  • Castle park

    The park surrounding the castle is a pleasant space, including three monuments and the gardens of the palace. Not too big its easy to walk, while watching the historic details.

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  • Misericordia

    Since the 15Th century most portuguese cities have their "misericordia" a religious organization dedicated to help poor and sick people. In Guimarães there's a funny coincidence - Portugal was born in Guimarães, lost the independence to Spanish in 1580, and recovered it in 1640, the year when Misericordia church was finished. Classified as a...

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  • Republica do Brasil square

    The so called Republica do Brasil square is a wide and wll gardened avenue, stretching from the entrance of old town to Passos church

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Guimarães Hotels

  • 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

  • Fundador Hotel

    Av. Dom Afonso Henriques 740, Guimaraes, Northern Portugal, Portugal

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3 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...

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  • 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...

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  • A touch of class

    A change from the relatively austere Portuguese cusine (bacalao...no 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.

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Guimarães Transportation

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • From Guimaraes to Penha by cable car

    From Guimaraes I also visited the Penha Mountain which is located about 6 km southeast of the city centre.The Penha Mountain is served by a cable car (teleferico) from just outside the city centre of Guimaraes. The cable car covers a distance of 1700 m and climbs 400 m in altitude. The trip offers panoramic views of Guimaraes.Operating hours are...

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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....

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  • 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...

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  • Shopping Centre

    Guimarães has a big shopping centre on the outskirts of the city (www.guimaraeshopping.pt). 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,...

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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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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.

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Guimarães What to Pack

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Free Guimaraes map 1 more image

    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.

    Website: http://www.guimaraesturismo.com/

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Trains
    • Backpacking

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Guimarães Off The Beaten Path

  • Geres

    Geres is a cosy little village that has grown due its thermal water properties; the correct name of the village is Caldas do Gerês, but it is usually referred to as Gerês. The village is situated on a valley and while walking past main street you will see green slopes around you. The village itself doesn't have monuments or places that are worth...

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  • Citânia de Briteiros

    Citânia de Briteiros is an archaeological site situated about 15km outside Guimarães. This site consists of ruins of a Celtic settlement. The settlement was walled, with walls about 5m high and 2m thick. It is said that on the 1st century it was the political capital of the Callaeci Bracari (pre-roman people with Celtic origins that inhabited the...

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  • Braga

    Braga is the capital city of this district where Guimarães is situated. It is a pleasant city to visit, both the centre where you may follow the “Baroque Route” or the “Roman Route” to discover magnificent churches, palaces and houses of Baroque architecture or Roman ruins, according to the route you decide to follow.Also, a bit off the city centre...

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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...

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  • 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...

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  • Guimarães Hotels

    15 Hotels in Guimarães

    14 Reviews and Opinions

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.

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  • 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...

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  • 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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Explore Deeper into Guimarães
João Franco square
Things to Do
Carmo garden
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Carmo convent
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St. Miguel church of the castle
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Nossa Senhora da Oliveira Church
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Nossa Senhora da Oliveira Church. Interior
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The Castle of San Mamede.
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The Castle of San Mamede, the keep.
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Inside the Castle of San Mamede.
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The Church of Saint Michael .
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança, Part VI.
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança, Part V.
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança, Part IV.
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança, Part III.
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança, Part II
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The Ducal Palace of Bragança
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The statue of Alfonso Henriques.
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Bragança's Palace
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Museum of Alberto Sampaio
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Domus municipalis
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Igreja de S. Miguel
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Castle
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Historic centre - Unesco
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Praça de Santiago
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Igreja de N. Sra. da Oliveira
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Padrão do Salado
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Former Town Hall
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Igreja de S. Pedro
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Igreja de S. Gualter
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Afonso Henriques, founder of Portugal
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Castelo de Guimaraes (2)
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Castelo de Guimaraes (1)
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Downtown Guimaraes, UNESCO site
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Mosteiro de Santa Marinha
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Palace
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Lizards, keep eyes open and camera ready
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Citania de Briteiros (2)
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Citania de Briteiros (1)
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Praça do Toural
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Architecture
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Map of Guimarães

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