Braga – Many visits for 2 good reasons

Braga
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Tradition and Development

Visiting Braga - Stairs
Visiting Braga – Bom Jesus stairs

Known as the archbishop’s town this conservative and traditional town has grown in a rather harmonious way.

It is a very good point to spend several days mixing the visits to its local attractions with some small trips around it, enjoying the best Portuguese landscape.

Known as the archbishop’s town this conservative and traditional town has grown in a rather harmonious way.

It is a very good point to spend several days mixing the visits to its local attractions with some small trips around it, enjoying the best Portuguese landscape.

​Cathedral

Braga
Visiting Braga – Cathedral

A common expression in Portuguese language may be translated “… it is older than the cathedral of Braga”.

What you may visit is, nowadays, not exactly something of the older references in Portuguese culture, but a complex of old and very old chapels, each one with its own history.

​Started in the 11th century is a landmark in Portuguese cultural history, and houses a rich religious treasure, with a separated visit.

All the information is available in:

Site:

​Saint “João do Souto” church

Braga
Visiting Braga – S. João do Souto

Right in the centre of city, this temple comes from the 12th century.

​Several times rebuilt (the last one in the 19th century) it lost most of its original elements, but still deserves to be seen.

​Saint Barbara Gardens

Braga
Visiting Braga – S. Barbara

A nice garden in the centre of Braga, close to the medieval Archbishop’s Palace, is dedicated to this saint, whose statue tops the central fountain, dating from the 17th century.

​Castle

Braga
Visiting Braga – Castle

More than 90% of the castles, stand in a high hill, easy to see from distance.

That was not the case of Braga, where the castle almost disappeared engulfed by construction.

​The main tower, that was probably built in the beginning of the 14th century, is all that lasts today, and, to find it, you may search Castelo street, in the centre of town.

​City Centre

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Visiting Braga

Though many attractions ob Braga are spread in and out of town, a stroll in the lively city centre is mandatory.

History and tradition are present in each street or square.

​Liberdade avenue

Braga
Visiting Braga

One of the largest avenues in Braga, this is the main axis of the historical centre.

​Coming from the 16th century, it was being enlarged and re-baptized, until its actual look and name.

​Bom Jesus do Monte

Braga
Visiting Braga – Bom Jesus

It is always nice to rediscover Bom Jesus. By day or by night, it is a lively place, where one thing is now missing: the famous “canudo” used to see Braga from the distance. ​

Built in the transition from the 18th to the 19th centuries, this big church was an ambitious project to integrate several popular initiatives started in 1629 with a chapel.

Braga
Visiting Braga – Bom Jesus

Staircase

Braga
Visiting Braga – Bom Jesus

Included in the most visited complex of Braga – the shrine of Bom Jesus do Monte – the staircase is a wonderful piece of art, full of symbolism and precious details. Descending in a zigzag, each landing is decorated with chapels and fountains, all of them with a different theme.

​According to the place where you have parked, you may plan your descent by foot, using the old water-moving funicular (the oldest in Iberia, but still safe and working) in your way up, or to do it in reverse order.

Gardens 

Braga
Visiting Braga – Bom Jesus

More than a sanctuary, this complex in a mountain overlooking the city, is Braga landmark.
This gem of Portuguese Baroque surrounded by pleasant gardens, is the right place to “ver Braga por um canudo” (locals will explain you the meaning of this popular phrase), and spend a couple of relaxing hours.

​Sameiro

Braga
Visiting Braga – Sameiro

Close to Bom Jesus, another sanctuary, built in the 19th century, stands in the hills overlooking Braga.

Though missing the garden and the great views over town, Sameiro is an important pilgrimage place, and interesting to visit.

Many years later I returned there… by night.

​A different perspective, a calm stroll in a hot night, overlooking the city.

​Nice.

​Falperra

Braga
Visiting Braga – Falperra

Close to Braga, Falperra is a mountain often used to motor racing. It’s a beautiful trip, ending in Santa Maria Madalena church, also called Falperra church.

It’s a beautiful building from the 18th century, with good tiles inside.

​Without the visibility and attraction of Bom Jesus and Sameiro, this church is generally considered the third element in the sanctuaries tour in the outskirts of Braga.

​​Citânia de Briteiros

Braga
Visiting Braga – Briteiros

Maybe I should post this tip under Briteiros, but this village has nothing else remarkable, and the “Citânia” happens to be outside it.

So, I think it may be included in Braga (or Guimarães), as something a little more distant, but easy to include in the mandatory trip to Bom Jesus and Sameiro.Citânia de Briteiros is an archaeological site from the iron age, with Celtic and roman adding. Two original houses were rebuilt.

Signposted in the ways to the sanctuaries.

Pópulo church

Braga
Visiting Braga – Pópulo

Church from the 16th century rebuilt in the 19th

Church “Senhora-a-Branca”

Braga
Visiting Braga – Senhora a Branca

Church from the 18th century

“São Victor” church

Braga
Visiting Braga – – S. Victor

Sober church from the 17th century

“A pedreira” – Stadium

Braga
Visiting Braga – Pedreira

Soccer stadium famous due to its special integration in the landscape

Braguesa

Braga
Visiting Braga – Guitars

Strolling through the streets of Braga, a store caught my attention. I’ve known for a long time about the existence of a typical Braga viola – the “bragueza” – and I was curious to look for it. Unsuccessfully! With so much variety, and without wanting to bother the seller because I didn’t intend to buy, who would be able to identify it?

Circus Theatre

Braga
Visiting Braga – Circus theatre

Built in 1915, the circus theatre occupied (and continues to occupy) a central space in Braga’s cultural planning. After extensive restoration work at the end of the century, the building was acquired and started to be managed by the municipality.

Avenue

Braga
Liberdade avenue

The longest avenue in the city is also the most beautiful. Located right in the center, it has a wide commercial coverage, and protected circulation for pedestrians.

Good references Vianna cafe

Braga
Braga

Historic restaurant

You can’t miss this cafe and restaurant, with the esplanade in Braga centre.

​It is mandatory a stop and a ice cream or drink (or more), in this nice place, in the middle of the historic area.

 didn’t taste the food, only a drink, but, with its location I suppose that it must be pricey (though good, I heard!)

Address: Republic square

Good references Frigideiras

Eating in Braga
Eating in Braga – Frigideiras

This coffee shop got a great reputation with an exclusive pastry, with meat, that took the shop’s name – Frigideira.

Well located, in the centre of town, it is always full (and frigideiras are not bad).

Address: 1, S. Joáo do Souto sq

Directions: Near the centre

I recommend Casa Pimenta

Braga
Eating in Braga – Casa Pimenta

Traditional food

I was taken there by Horacio expressly to eat “papas de sarrabulho”, a local dish that is the restaurant’s landmark.

Wrong day!

No “papas”!

I ate some delicious “bolinhos de bacalhau” (codfish pastries) with codfish rice and went out satisfied.

“Papas” will wait for next time.

Favorite Dish: It will be “Papas de Sarrabulho”, for sure.

Address: 46-48 Conde de Agrolongo sq

Phone: +351 253262119

I recommend A Cascata

Braga
Eating in Braga – A Cascata

Good fast food

I’m always suspicious when eating in malls – fast food is not my kind of meal.

This time (as a matter of fact… each time I have to risk) we were in a rush, we were there, and I accepted, once more.

Well, I must confess that I enjoyed the meal, the price, and the efficiency of service.

​Nothing to complaint.

Favorite Dish: Francesinha à Cascata

Address: in Braga Parque mall

I recommend Estarolas

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Eating in Braga – Estarolas

It was a recommended restaurant, and it was a pity that we couldn’t eat Bacalhau na Broa. It was, in any case, a good lunch, in a very beautiful place, with good service and reasonable prices.

I recommend Tasquinha do Becas

Braga
Eating in Braga – Tasquinha do Becas

A family restaurant, with homemade food and a simple and unpretentious presentation.

The duck rice is very good. and overall, all 6 of us enjoyed our lunch.

I was not allowed to pay, but the prices seemed popular.

I recommend Verde Minho

Verde minho
Eating in Braga – Verde Minho

A very intense travel program included a quick lunch in Braga, and we chose this self-service, which we already knew and guaranteed us the objective. It was excellent. In a few minutes we had a very good lunch, for less than €10 each. It will continue to be an option, whenever necessary, in Braga or Albufeira, where we were also well served this year.

Site: Verde Minho

I recommend Lamaçães – Accessible and cheap

Hotel Lama??es
Hotel Lama??es

Close to the university, in a calm and safe residential area, this three star hotel has a good quality-price ratio.

Lamaçães1
Lamaçães

Modern construction, cleanliness, no luxury or extra service to increase the price, it is a nice option for those who just want to sleep a good night and to have a decent breakfast.

Phone: +351 253 603 680

Website: Hotel

St John festivities

Memories of Braga
Braga

Better than Porto – they say! Well, I never attended it in Porto

Braga park – Big and well located

Braga park
Braga park

The biggest commercial place in Braga (I think!) this mall is exceptionally well located, not far from the centre.

Each time I go there it seems… bigger with new spaces successively opening.

What to buy: All, and… a coffee.

The lady in the small coffee stand surprised me – it is not too common merging a fabulous dispatch and efficiency, with a great sympathy.

Top professionalism!

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