In this article, we have listed the 10 best places to visit in Braganca Portugal. This municipality in the north of Portugal, in Trás-os-Montes, was crucial in the defense of the Portuguese border and carries a historical legacy of great importance in the constitution of the nationality. Celts, Romans, Arabs, and other peoples occupied the territory and even neighboring Castile coveted this piece of Terra Fria from Trás-os-Montes.
The Bragança district is part of the Meseta Ibérica Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO. It benefits from a natural heritage of rare beauty and diversity, amazing places with beautiful highlights, counting, within its territory, with two natural parks. Having said that, it is not surprising that the slogan of the most recent tourist promotion campaign reads “ Bragança Naturally ”. The truth is this: Bragança is much closer than you think and has many arguments to be a top destination for a getaway, a cultural tour, and even an extended vacation. Below you will read about places to visit in Braganca Portugal. For more travel articles about Portugal check this category and for all articles about Europe check this list.
1. Montesinho Natural Park
Montesinho Natural Park is one of the largest protected areas in Portugal. It extends over more than 75,000 hectares and has an altitude of over 1,500 meters. The forests are vast and provide perfect habitats for many species such as wolves, wild boars and golden eagles. Many people use this park for hiking. It is one of the most beautiful highlights of the Braganca Portugal.
2. Citadel of Bragança
The Citadel of Bragança or Castelo de Bragança stands on a column that towers over the city. It was built in the 12th century by Benedictine monks and has been preserved ever since. At the end of the 14th century, it was rebuilt and strengthened. Inside the walls there are some unique buildings, such as the Church of Santa Maria and the Gothic pillory. It is one of the main places to be visited in Bragança, with many beautiful spots to be discovered.
3. Museum of the Abbot of Baçal
The Abade de Baçal Museum in Bragança is considered one of the best in the country and is located between the Citadel and the Sé Cathedral. The museum includes ancient ceramics, sacred art, tombstones from Roman times, religious artifacts and animal depictions.
4. Military Museum of Bragança
This museum was founded in 1929 and since then has maintained a rich original collection of light weapons from the 12th century to the 1st World War. The museum occupies the entire interior of the Citadel tower.
5. Monastery of Castro de Avelãs
This monastery was built in the 12th century by Benedictine monks. It was the nucleus of the most remarkable monastic life in Nordeste Transmontano until the 16th century. Inside, the church is nowadays reduced to just its transept. The clay architecture that the monastery presents is exemplary. In 1387, the monastery received the Duke of Lencastre as a guest.
6. Village of Rio de Onor
If you have some extra time in Bragança, try to visit Aldeia de Rio de Onor. It is a beautiful place, super interesting and with typical local buildings. It is a quiet and reserved village, but perfect for a quick walk and even to taste regional delicacies, such as grilled ribs or codfish dishes. It is listed by us as one of the places to visit in Braganca Portugal.
7. Se Cathedral
The Sé Velha de Bragança , as it is called, was built in the 16th century and soon occupied by Jesuit monks who founded a college on its premises. It’s a place you shouldn’t miss in Bragança. Nowadays it remains preserved and boasts a golden altar and several very elaborate paintings on the ceiling of the sacristy.
8. Church and Convent of San Francisco
This massive 13th-century building (rebuilt over a pre-existing medieval structure) was initially a convent, which has undergone several renovations over the years. Later, the conventual area was adapted for the installation of the military hospital, and today part of the building is used as the District Archive of Bragança .
9. River of Onor
One of the 7 Wonders of Portugal Villages, Rio de Onor is a village literally crossed by the invisible line of the border with Spain and by the river with which it shares the name. Inserted in the Montesinho Natural Park, the village blends into the landscape of this remote Trás-os-Montes whose greatest asset is its people. From the flowery verandas of the typical shale houses, you can still hear the rionorese dialect.
10. Church of Santa Maria
Discover other unmissable attractions such as the Church of Santa Maria (or Nossa Senhora do Sardão), the oldest in Bragança. It is believed that the Church of Santa Maria is the oldest in the city of Bragança. Since its construction in 1580, the Romanesque-style Church has been modified over the next 2 centuries, resulting in a Baroque style.
10 Best Places to visit in Braganca
- Montesinho Natural Park
- Citadel of Bragança
- Museum of the Abbot of Baçal
- Military Museum of Bragança
- Monastery of Castro de Avelãs
- Village of Rio de Onor
- Se Cathedral
- Church and Convent of San Francisco
- River of Onor
- Church of Santa Maria