Far-flung in the northern corner of Portugal, Braga finds itself snuggled between valleys and mountains. The city’s natural landscape is intercepted by human touch in the form of pedestrianised streets, broad plazas and formal gardens.
Portugal’s third-largest city stands out as a prominent religious centre. The sound of the chiming bells will lead you to historical churches, such as the Romanesque-style Cathedral of Braga and Sameiro Sanctuary – a Marian shrine perched atop a hill. Climbing the 380-feet staircase of the UNESCO-listed Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, is often the highlight of a trip to Braga. You can enjoy sweeping views of the city from the summit of this Christian pilgrimage site.
Braga offers a good selection of historical attractions. You can wander around Praça da República – a public square – and then unwind at one of the historical cafés. A visit to the Biscainhos Museum, a former residential palace, will give you a closer look at the lives of Portugal's nobility. You can also make your way to the sprawling Braga Episcopal Palace and walk through its adjoining Santa Barbara Garden lined with shrubs and flowerbeds.
The Sá Carneiro International Airport in Porto is the closest airport to Braga, just about 50 km away. Upon landing in Porto, you can take an hour-long train ride or reach Braga in 40 minutes by bus.