Top 10 Things to Do in Braga: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring this Charming City


Braga is a charming city in the north of Portugal that is steeped in history, culture, and traditions. Known as the “Rome of Portugal” for its many churches and religious heritage, Braga is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture. In this article, we will explore the top 10 things to do in Braga that will help you make the most of your visit.

I. Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary

The Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary is one of the most famous landmarks in Braga and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sanctuary is located on a hill overlooking the city and is accessible by a stunning staircase that features several chapels and fountains along the way. The sanctuary itself features a beautiful baroque church, a museum, and stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.

To visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, you can take a taxi or public transportation from the city center. Once you arrive, you can climb the staircase or take a funicular to the top. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

II. Explore the Historic City Center

The historic city center of Braga is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city. The center is filled with narrow streets, historic buildings, and charming plazas that are perfect for strolling and people-watching. Some of the highlights of the city center include the Praça da República, the Fonte do Ídolo, and the Arch of New Gate.

To explore the city center, we recommend starting at the Praça da República and wandering through the streets, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. You can also take a guided walking tour to learn more about the history and architecture of the city.

Braga City Hall (Paços do Concelho)

III. Admire the Braga Cathedral

The Braga Cathedral, also known as the Sé de Braga, is one of the oldest and most important landmarks in the city. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and features a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. The interior of the cathedral is also stunning, with beautiful chapels, altars, and artwork.

To visit the Braga Cathedral, you can walk from the city center or take public transportation. Be sure to dress appropriately, as the cathedral is a religious site.

IV. Visit the Garden of Santa Barbara

The Garden of Santa Barbara is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. The garden features lush greenery, a small pond, and stunning views of the city. It’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day of sightseeing.

To visit the Garden of Santa Barbara, you can walk from the city center or take public transportation. The garden is free to enter and is open during daylight hours.

V. Discover the Citania de Briteiros Archaeological Site

The Citania de Briteiros Archaeological Site is a fascinating site that dates back to the Iron Age. The site features the ruins of a Celtic settlement that was occupied from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD. The site is located about 20 minutes from Braga and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in history and archaeology.

To visit the Citania de Briteiros Archaeological Site, you can take a guided tour or drive yourself. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the site is quite large and involves

VI. Visit Palácio do Raio

Palácio do Raio is a magnificent 18th-century palace located in the heart of Braga’s historic center. Built in the Rococo style, the palace features intricate stonework, ornate balconies, and a beautiful central staircase. Today, the palace houses a hotel and restaurant, but visitors can still admire its stunning architecture and historic significance. A visit to Palácio do Raio is a must for anyone interested in the history and culture of Braga.

VII. Experience the Festive Spirit of Braga at Festa de Sao Joao

The Festa de Sao Joao is one of the biggest and most festive celebrations in Braga. The festival takes place every year on June 23rd and features street parties, parades, traditional food and drinks, and fireworks. The festival is a great way to experience the local culture and celebrate with the locals.

To experience the Festa de Sao Joao, we recommend planning your visit to Braga around the festival dates. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance, as the city can get quite busy during the festival.

VIII. Taste the Local Cuisine

Braga is known for its delicious cuisine, which features fresh seafood, grilled meats, and hearty stews. Some of the must-try dishes in Braga include the bacalhau (salt cod), cozido (meat and vegetable stew), and francesinha (a sandwich filled with meats and covered in melted cheese and sauce). There are also plenty of local wines and beers to sample.

To taste the local cuisine, we recommend trying some of the local restaurants and cafes in the city center. Be sure to ask for recommendations from locals or your hotel staff.

Francesinha – Portuguese sandwich

IX. Shop for Souvenirs

Braga is a great place to shop for souvenirs, with plenty of local shops and markets selling traditional crafts, ceramics, textiles, and food products. Some of the best places to shop in Braga include the Mercado Municipal (municipal market), the Feira de Velharias (flea market), and the Centro Comercial Braga Parque (shopping mall).

To shop for souvenirs, we recommend exploring the city center and visiting some of the local markets and shops. Be sure to haggle for the best prices and take home a piece of Braga to remember your trip.

Mercado Municipal

X. Attend a Cultural Event

Braga is a city that is rich in culture, and there are many events and festivals throughout the year that showcase the local traditions and arts. Some of the must-attend cultural events in Braga include the Semana Santa (Holy Week), the Festival de Teatro (theater festival), and the Festas de Nossa Senhora da Torre (religious festival).

To attend a cultural event, we recommend checking the calendar of events for the city and planning your visit around one of the festivals or events. Be sure to book your accommodations in advance, as these events can attract large crowds.


Braga is a city that offers something for everyone, with its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and lively cultural scene. We hope that this guide has given you some inspiration for your visit to Braga and that you enjoy exploring all that this charming city has to offer.


Frequently Ask Questions

The best time to visit Braga is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. The summer months can be quite hot and busy, while winter can be chilly and rainy.

Braga is easily accessible by train, bus, or car. The city has its own train station, which is connected to major cities like Porto and Lisbon. There are also regular bus services from various locations throughout Portugal. If you’re driving, Braga is located just off the A3 highway.

Some traditional foods to try in Braga include codfish dishes, cozido (a meat and vegetable stew), caldo verde (a soup made with kale), and broa (a type of cornbread).

Yes, Braga hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Holy Week celebrations, the Braga Romana festival (which celebrates the city’s Roman heritage), and the Braga Barroca festival (which showcases baroque music and arts). Be sure to check the calendar of events for upcoming festivals and events.

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