15 Best Things To Do In Braga, Portugal In One Day

Bom dia! Welcome to Braga, one of the oldest cities in Portugal and definitely the most religious one. Thanks to a huge number of churches, as many as 47, it’s often called the Rome of Portugal. What’s more, it’s an important stop for many walking Camino Portugues, one of the spiritual routes leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. But don’t worry if you aren’t a religious person – Braga has many more attractions to offer than just churches! Stay with us and discover things to do in Braga, Portugal in one day.

Interesting fact. An ancient Celtic tribe Bracari most likely founded Braga. Later, around 136 BC Romans conquered the region and called the city Bracara Augusta.

Things To Do In Braga, Portugal In One Day
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Braga, Portugal FAQ

Where is Braga located? 

Braga is located in the North of Portugal in the Alto Minho region in the Braga District. It’s the fourth most populated city in the country after Lisbon, Porto, and Amadora.

Is Braga worth visiting?

Yes, Braga is an interesting city worth visiting. It’s one of the biggest and most modern places in Northern Portugal with a charming historic center where you can feel like stepping back in time. It’s a place that has something to offer to everyone – there are museums, amazing viewpoints, restaurants with delicious food, and of course dozens of churches.

What is Braga known for?

Braga is best known as a city of churches, as they are literally on every corner. Besides that, the city is known for its pleasant old town, interesting architecture, museums, historical buildings and landmarks. A bit out of town, you’ll find some great viewpoints and… more churches. 

How many days do you need in Braga?

It depends on what you want to do and see in the city. One day is enough to see all the main Braga attractions, both in and outside the city, but without spending too much time in the churches or museums. If spiritual experiences and/or exploring museums interests you, we recommend staying at least 3 days in Braga.

Which is better: Braga or Guimaraes?

It depends on your preferences! Both places are very popular travel destinations in North Portugal but also they are totally different and hard to compare. In our eyes, Guimaraes is all about the medieval vibe, and Braga is about the churches. For us, Guimaraes is the unquestionable winner. But it’s best to visit both cities and form your own opinion.

Things to do in Braga Portugal in one day - Explore Old Town
Things to do in Braga in one day - Explore old town
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Things to do in Braga, Portugal

Braga Old Town Streets

The best way to get to know Braga is to stroll among its charming old town streets, its historical center. There you’ll get a chance to admire old buildings, historical landmarks, and countless churches, and have a delicious coffee in one of many cafes. Just let yourself be carried away and sooner than later you’ll discover every corner. Braga Old Town is fairly compact and easy to explore on foot.

Among Braga’s old town streets, you’ll find points of interest like the Cathedral, Arch of the New Gate, Republic Square, Raio Palace, Garden Of Santa Barbara, Biscainhos Museum, and Museum of Archeology D. Diogo de Sousa. And of course many churches, restaurants, cafes, and small shops.

Braga Tourist Office is located in the heart of the city, on Avenida da Liberdade, just right next to Republic Square.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Braga

Exploring Braga Old Town Streets
Braga Old Town Street near Republic Square
Things to do in Braga Old Town in Portugal
Old charming buildings in Braga Old Town
Statue on the balcony in Braga Old Town near Cathedral
Braga Old Town Streets with Cathedral view

Republic Square

Republic Square (pt. Praça da Republica) is located in the heart of Braga. Locals, as well as travelers, love this beautiful square. Locally it’s known as Arcada Square, thanks to the 18th-century arcade building. For a long time, it served as a sheltered place for merchants selling their products. 

Nowadays, in this big, traffic-free area you’ll find a beautiful fountain (pt. Chafariz da Praça da República), restaurants, and cafes, including two really famous: Cafe Vianna (oldest cafe in Braga, dating back to 1858) and Café Astoria. There is also a big green space, Park Avenida Central.

Republic Square, Praca da Republica, in Braga Old Town
Building in Republic Square. Praca da Republica, in Braga

Braga Tower

Behind Republic Square, you’ll find an important historic landmark. 30m high Braga Tower (pt. Torre de Menagem) is the last standing remains of the 13th-century fortified castle which was demolished in the early 20th century. 

Avenida da Liberdade

While still on Republic Square don’t miss a stroll along Avenida da Liberdade, Braga’s main shopping street lined with beautiful and colorful flowers. This is also where you’ll find 20th-century Theatro Circo, which is considered one of the most beautiful theaters in Portugal. 

Learn more iconBook now: Braga and Guimarães Full-Day Trip

Avenida da Liberdade in Braga, Portugal
Shopping streets in Braga - Avenida da Liberdade
Avenida da Liberdade in Braga, Portugal

Raio Palace

Raio Palace (pt. Palácio do Raio) is an impressive building located in the Braga old town, best known for its spectacular blue facade covered in blue azulejos. It was designed by Andre Soares and built in the 1750s as a private residence of Joao Duarte de Faria, a wealthy merchant, and knight of the Military Order of Christ, better known as the Knights Templar. Nowadays Raio Palace is classified as a Property of Public Interest.

Raio Palace was renovated in 2014-2015 and now is home to a small museum. Inside you can learn about the history of Braga, as well as see various religious artifacts. Entrance cost €2 (April 2024). To check out opening hours visit scmbraga.pt website.