Are you curious to know about Braga? This is the right place where you can know about the most beautiful places to visit in Braga Portugal. Braga is located in the North of Portugal and was founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago under the name Bracara Augusta.
It is one of the oldest Portuguese cities and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world. Considered the capital of Minho, Braga is the third largest city in the country, after Lisbon and Porto. Braga has so many sightseeing, amazing places to visit. In 2012 it was European Youth Capital and in 2019 it was considered the second-best European tourist destination.
Braga is known as “ Portuguese Rome ” due to the many beautiful churches that are found there. But other treasures are hidden in this city that you cannot miss – such as beautiful monuments, gastronomy, handicrafts, traditions, and popular and religious festivals. Braga is one of the Portuguese destinations with the richest historical heritage in the country. The city impresses with the number of churches, gardens, and squares per square meter. Below we have listed the 15 most beautiful places to visit in Braga Portugal.
1. Basilica of the Congregates of Braga
The Basilica dos Congregados was built in the 18th century (but completed only in 1964 with the construction of the west tower) and was part of the former Convento dos Congregados in Baroque style. Inside the church, you can admire four granite statues representing Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David and in the chancel the stucco characteristic of the Rococo style of the city of Braga.
2. Braga Central Avenue
We suggest starting the route in the heart of the city, the former Campo de Santana, known since 1912 as Avenida Central, right in front of the Arcade. The avenue was commissioned by D. Diogo de Sousa in the early 16th century and is also a historic landmark for the inauguration of electricity in Portugal. It was the place that experienced light for the first time, 120 years ago, on the night of S. João. It is one of the most attractive and charming places in Braga Portugal.
3. Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte
The sanctuary is formed by the Church of Bom Jesus, the Bom Jesus elevator, and a park. To get to the church, you need to climb the 573 steps or use the funicular elevator, which goes from the upper part of Braga to the sanctuary. In the park, there are gardens, lakes (one of them with boats for rent), a playground, picnic tables, restaurants, and other structures.
4. House of Crivos
Going down Rua de S. Marcos, we’ll see what typical Braga houses were like in the 17th and 19th centuries. XVII and XVIII. Casa dos Crivos is the only house that remains from those times when the main facades were clad with wooden structures, hiding the windows and allowing one to see outside without being seen – architecture that mirrored the climate of profound religiosity that, at the time, prevailed. lived in the city.
5. Arcada da Lapa in Braga
Located in Praça da República , the arcade was built in 1715 where part of the city’s castle wall was located. This sheltered place served for a long time for the city’s merchants to sell their products. Between 1761 and 1764, the Church of Lapa was built in the middle of the arcade due to the growing devotion of the inhabitants to Nossa Senhora da Lapa.
6. Church of the Third
Located at the back of Arcada da Lapa, the Church of the Third was built in 1690 by the Franciscan Order. At first glance, the church is nothing out of the ordinary, but I invite you to go inside to admire the beautiful tile panels.
7. Garden of Santa Barbara
This is one of the emblems of the city of Braga, characterized by the beauty of its floral motifs and which makes a visit there essential: the garden of Santa Bárbara. Located next to the medieval wing of the Paço Episcopal Bracarense, it owes its name to the 17th century fountain topped by the statue of Santa Bárbara in the center of the garden.
8. Palácio do Raio
Built between 1752 and 1755 in Baroque and Rococo style, the palace was restored in 2015. The ceilings of the palace’s ten rooms have colorful designs and many details, matching the architecture of the place and the pieces on display (sculptures, paintings, pieces clothing, sacred art and documentation).
9. National Park
Comprising Serra da Peneda and Serra da Gerês, this is the only national park in Portugal. Paradise for nature lovers, the area has some viewpoints from which you can admire the entire region. The highlight is Pedra Bela, 830 meters high. Among more than 100 villages, its main attractions are the Misarela Bridge, the Nossa Senhora da Peneda Sanctuary, the Castro Laboreiro and the Arado Waterfall.
10. Biscainhos Museum of Braga
Created in 1978, the Museu dos Biscainhos is installed in the palace of the same name, built in the 17th century and which served as a home, among others, to the counts of Bertiandos, an important family of the Portuguese nobility; also received King D. Luís I. The museum presents to the public several spaces that reveal the daily life of the Portuguese nobility between the 17th and 19th centuries.
11. Chapel of Our Lady of the Tower
Built between 1756 and 1759 as a way of thanking Our Lady for having protected Braga during the great earthquake of 1755 that destroyed Lisbon, the chapel is located in the Torre de Santiago. As well as being able to admire the beautiful façade of the chapel and the tower, know that you can also discover its five-story interior and the Pio XII Museum located in Largo de Santiago.
12. Braga Santa Cruz Church
Built in the Baroque and Mannerist style of the 17th century , the Church of Santa Cruz was rebuilt less than 100 years later because it was in danger of collapsing. The façade, which still remains from the “first version” of the church, was restored in 2000 and is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of all the churches in Braga.
13. Church of San Marcos
Inaugurated in 1836 and owned by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Braga, a Catholic institution that helps the poor and the sick, the Church of São Marcos was the one that surprised me the most. Unlike the Church of Santa Cruz, this church fascinated me for its interior thanks to its unique style, different from the interiors of all the other churches in the city. During my visit, I had the feeling of being in the National Pantheon, in Lisbon, but in a smaller size.
14. Palace of Lightning
Built in 1755 by an important city merchant, this palace began to be known as Palácio do Raio after its sale in 1853 to Viscount Miguel José Raio . In 1882, the viscount’s heirs sold the palace to a local bank, which later resold it to Santa Casa da Misericórdia. This institution installed some services of the Hospital de São Marcos here. It is mentioned as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Braga Portugal.
15. Picoto Viewpoint of Braga
Located less than 3 km from the historic center of Braga, this viewpoint is located on Monte do Picoto . From here, you will have a fantastic 360º view over the city and over the sanctuaries of Bom Jesus do Monte and Sameiro.right next to the viewpoint you will find Picoto Park (Rua João Evangelista de Araújo Vieira) where you can do various activities such as tree climbing, climbing and paintball.
Most beautiful places to visit in Braga Portugal
- Basilica of the Congregates
- Central Avenue
- Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte
- House of Crivos
- Arcada da Lapa
- Church of the Third
- Garden of Santa Barbara
- Palácio do Raio
- National Park
- Biscainhos Museum
- Chapel of Our Lady of the Tower
- Santa Cruz Church
- Church of San Marcos
- Palace of Lightning
- Picoto Viewpoint