Tuk tuk tours of Braga offer an easy and eco-friendly way to explore the city. Customize your experience for maximum benefit!
Tuk tuk tours can also be an enjoyable and safe activity to keep children occupied on rainy days, making for the ideal way to get around town.
Braga’s city center offers a great experience when traversing on foot, boasting picturesque city gardens and historic monuments as well as narrow streets that feature traditional family-run stores and restaurants.
Praca da Republica is Braga’s main city center and features most of its major attractions such as government buildings and landmarks, Avenida da Liberdade is lined with shops and restaurants; you’ll also find public squares like Praca da Republica here.
Be sure to visit Braga’s city center when in Braga and do not miss the Arco da Porta Nova, an iconic arch that stands as one of its most significant historical landmarks. Once part of a medieval wall, now serving as entrance into its historic core.
Attractions to visit in Braga include its Cathedral of Braga – Portugal’s oldest church and second-oldest cathedral worldwide – which offers stunning interiors and architecture.
If you want to see inside this historic church, there’s a free guided tour available that can give you access. On it you will learn about its rich history as well as what it signifies for the city of Braga.
Other notable churches in the city include Igreja de Santa Cruz, which is known for its stunning architecture, as well as Igreja da Misericordia, a Gothic church known for its intricate details and interior designs.
Visit Igreja de Sao Marcos, an impressive Romanesque church known for its striking design. Take some time during your trip to Braga to pay this religious landmark a visit – it will definitely enrich the experience!
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is an iconic pilgrimage church atop a hill and one of Braga’s top tourist spots. Accessible via stunning stairs or one of the world’s oldest water-powered funiculars, its breathtaking panoramic views offer incredible sights of Braga from above.
Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary
The Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a top landmark of Northern Portugal, boasting an iconic baroque staircase, many shrines, small gardens, stunning views over Braga and rich in history.
Tenoes Sanctuary near Braga serves as an important Christian pilgrimage site, notable for its monumental, 116-meter (381 feet), baroque stairway.
Religious pilgrims as well as architecture and history enthusiasts often make the trip. Guided tours may also be included on day trips that focus on Braga or Porto’s food and wine scene.
Visitors to the sanctuary may choose between visiting on foot, car, or funicular. Built as the first water balance Bom Jesus do Monte funicular in 1882 for use on the Iberian Peninsula, its three minute ride can take visitors directly up Mount Espinho.
If arriving by car, follow a road that winds around the peak of a hill before parking at any of several parking lots; alternatively you may opt to park free behind the church.
For visitors from Braga taking day trips to visit the Sanctuary, allow yourself a few hours to fully explore it all: admire its gorgeous staircases and soak in breathtaking views.
Book a guided tour prior to arriving and learn about the history and people behind the Sanctuary. Tours can be booked in English, Spanish, French or Italian online and arranged upon your arrival.
Planning your visit, it is also wise to factor in lunch breaks and any religious services taking place during your trip, which could greatly enhance your experience of the sanctuary as these can often become very busy times of day.
Early morning or late afternoon are optimal times for visiting a sanctuary, when the sun will be out and landscapes at their most dramatic. Also make sure it doesn’t rain – these will ensure optimal viewing conditions!
Tibaes Monastery stands as one of the most breathtaking monastic ensembles in Portugal. Once serving as the mother house of the Benedictine order, its abundant wealth allowed for construction of beautiful cloisters and churches that still stand today.
Those interested in colorful religious buildings will love this place. Its courtyards are lined with large azulejos tiles and the church, constructed between 1628 and 1661 in Mannerist style, is widely considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces. Furthermore, Andre Soares (1720-1769), born in Braga, produced the gold-gilded altarpiece as his masterpiece work.
As well as taking a tour in a tuk tuk, hiring a guide could give you even greater insight into this landmark building’s history. From its inception in 17th and 18th century Portugal until today it has been completely reworked, becoming one of the most spectacular monastic ensembles available today.
After visiting the Monastery of Tibaes, make sure to spend time at Santa Barbara Garden, an exquisite and peaceful space nearby. Boasting stunning flower-filled gardens and architecture that offers ample opportunity for relaxation, this garden makes an excellent stopover before moving onto other destinations in Spain or even further abroad.
Once back in town, don’t miss Arco da Porta Nova: an impressive triumphal arch that marks Braga’s official entrance. First constructed during the 16th century as an entranceway for troops entering Braga from Portugal, its baroque design has since been renovated for maximum aesthetic pleasure.
Basilica of Our Lady of Sameiro, not too far from Braga and one of Portugal’s most beloved pilgrimage sites. Climb the dome for stunning views across Braga or explore the crypt below the sanctuary – both are must-see spots!
Make sure to stop by Alto da Cividade to visit the nearby Roman Baths of Braga and Museum of Archeology – they are magnificent and can easily be visited on your own, though please plan your trip well in advance as these attractions do not operate on weekends.
Santa Barbara Garden
Make time when visiting Braga to discover its lovely municipal garden, adjacent to the 14th-century Archbishop’s Palace. Filled with luxurious buildings and fountains surrounded by vibrant flowers, it’s a wonderful spot for leisurely strolls among nature.
Other than Santa Barbara Garden, other top attractions in this coastal city include the Granada Theatre – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, both considered historical treasures. If you want something really unusual and adventurous, go on a paranormal tour around town with local experts in this half-day trip that covers ghost tales as well as sampling award-winning local wines!
The Spanish Garden Inn is an attractive boutique hotel decorated in the stylish Mediterranean style and surrounded by a lush garden. The lobby features a small fireplace, cream-colored armchairs, and paintings depicting Santa Barbara.
At Hotel Park Plaza, the 23 rooms are a pleasure to stay in with their exposed wood beams set against white walls and ceilings, gas fireplaces, private balcon or patio access, free breakfast service, Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, small outdoor pool access and underground parking – making for a delightful stay!
Just three blocks from State Street, this charming hacienda-style property can be found at the heart of Presidio district. Nearby restaurants and shops as well as museums make this home ideal for living!
This upscale hotel is an excellent way to escape and unwind among its beautiful green gardens. Rooms feature climate control, TV, coffee/tea makers, as well as en suite bathrooms and hair dryers; guests also take pleasure in enjoying a complimentary continental breakfast each morning.