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“The old town is like a living museum. Whenever my trip to Guimares comes to mind, I always smile involuntarily. One of the best things about it is that there aren’t big tourist crowds, which would make it impossible to really soak up the historical atmosphere. The old town isn’t really large, but the traditional houses are beautiful with their flower-covered balconies. They’re all brightly colored, too. The prettiest of these houses are in the area around the Largo de Toural. Exploring the city on foot is made easier by the fact that the old town is built on flat ground. The castle and the Paço dos Duques de Bragança are outside the old town, but within walking distance, so you can see everything of interest without using public transport.

Guimaraes - Historical center - Krista photo

Guimaraes - historical center - Krista photo

Guimaraes - facade - Krista photo

Practicals

Transport

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Guimaraes - tuktuk - Krista photo

Food

Guimarães is full of pastry shops, and the quality is outstanding. Even the simple croissant attains a remarkable level of perfection here. One of the best in the city is the Pasteleria Nova Camir (at Largo Toural 105). The pastries and biscuits are fresh from the oven, and the place has a wonderful atmosphere. The Portuguese call an espresso and espresso, but an Americano is called a ‘bica’ here, and it’s worth using the local terms when ordering. In matters of wine, the pride of the region is the vinho verde  or green wine, which is actually a lightly sparkling, fresh white wine. It is called ‘green’ only because it is made from fresh, slightly immature grapes. Beer is also popular in the north of Portugal, and Superbock, which is probably the most popular beer brand in Portugal, is brewed in this region.

Guimaraes - cafe - Krista photo

Guimaraes - cafe - Krista photo

Shopping

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Guimaraes - souvenirs - Krista photo

Fun

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Guimarais - main square with posing Chinese tourist - Krista photo

Background

Guimaraes - square of the historical center-- Krista photo

Destination in brief

Guimarães is a touristy city in the northern part of Portugal. The city is northeast from Porto (road distance 54 km (33 mi), 3 h 30 min driving time from Lisbon.

How do you pronounce Guimaraes?:  Him-are-esh

Population (in 2020): 156,000


Guimarães has no world-famous, sensational tourist attractions.  Still, it is a pleasant experience walk spontaneously, soak up the medieval, renaissance atmosphere of the town, look at the smiling, warm-hearted and restrained locals.  The old town is car-free.

These are the best adjectives to describe Guimaraes: romantic, glamorous, splendid, and dignified.

The Old Town of Guimaraes is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tourist etiquette

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Guimarais - do not disturb the prayers - Kr photo

Attractions

Guimaraes - Church of Our Lady of Oliveira - Krista photo

Paço dos Duques de Bragança (The Ducal Palace of the Bragança)

The palace was ordered built in the 15th Century by Afonso - an illegitimate son of king João I and Inês Pires Esteves - which was the first Duke of the House of Bragança and the 8th Count of Barcelos. This palace is one of the most visited museums in Portugal. A lot of Portuguese school groups come to visit it. 

Castle

Portugal - Guimarais - Castle -Viktor Ohotin's photo

Guimaraes - Castle - Viktor Ohotin's photo

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