Centred around its namesake capital, Braga District sprawls across the rugged terrain of Portugal’s north-west. It shares its borders with the Portuguese districts of Vila Real, Porto and Viana do Castelo and meets Spain within the scenic landscapes of Peneda-Gerês National Park.
Things to do in Braga
One of the district’s most important buildings is the Braga Cathedral, which brings together Gothic, Moorish and Baroque architectural elements. Its main chapel was designed in the early 16th century in a Manueline style and houses a 14th-century statue of the Virgin Mary. Also not to miss near Braga is the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, an important pilgrimage site that is accessed via a monumental Baroque stairway.
Located between the towns of Celorico de Basto and Fafe is the Casa do Penedo, a fascinating “Rock House” that was designed around four large boulders. Originally built as a holiday home in the 1970s, it houses a small museum featuring artefacts and photographs of the house throughout the decades.
Dating back to the 10th century is the Castle of Guimarães, an impressive fortification constructed by order of Mumadona Dias to defend against attacks by Moors and Norsemen. It was designed in a pentagonal shape, with seven rectangular towers, a military square and a central keep to explore. A short walk from the castle is the Convento de Santo Antonio dos Capuchos and the medieval Palace Duques de Bragança.
Getting around Braga
Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport near Porto is the main aviation gateway to Braga District and has flights to destinations across Europe, North Africa and North America. Trains connect from Lisbon to the Braga railway station and buses travel to towns and villages throughout the district. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring Braga District.