Top things to do and eat in Guimarães – Portugal

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A city hidding some Unesco’s Gems, beautiful houses covered with Azulejos and twisted little streets

Guimarães is a very small but gorgeous city, rather quiet (except for the celebration of Saint Nicolas and the trainings before that) interested in history and tradition, quite touristic and very charming… This is the city where Portugal was born, and you can definitely feel the pride of its citizens about that.

An ancestral rivalry divides Guimarães and Braga  but i’m still not quite sure why. Soccer is certainly part of it, the fame of their Universities (both cities have the complementary universities of the other one), Size maybe, budget, tourism ? But from my point of view, actually it seems that everything separates these two cities. When one is growing within altenative solutions, technology, sciences and underground, the other one excels at tradition, architecture, design, ancient and antique… And as a nod to sporting Braga and vitoria SC after seeing all those tags and graffities on our way to Guimarães, I don’t think either Guimarães, nor Braga “é merda” and I actually find both cities very complementary…. Like their universities !

This said… Here we go, zoom on portugal and on Guimarães and follow the guide for a 2 to 3 days city trip.


As always… Little walk in the “centro historico” – Do not forget to get lost in the streets

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Possible stop at “Cor de Tangerina” for lunch

This is a big vegetarian / organic restaurant in a very old house close to the castle. The place is very charming, the restaurant has a cute patio where you can enjoy both the view and the sunlight on a sunny day. Food is very good and tasty but very expensive for Portugal… Too bad. A bit more than 10 euros for a plate when you know that you can have a “menu do dia” for 5 € in a traditional restaurant including soup/main/dessert or coffee, no comment. As I said in my introduction, alternative here is more a marketing tool than a political tool or a way of living. But in its category, this restaurant is still worth trying – says the “permacultur-er” !

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Don’t miss paço dos duques de Bragança… (palace of the ducs of Bragança)

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… keep walking up to the castle of Guimarães and enjoy the view

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Downtown you can try the “menu do dia” at “cantinho dos sabores”

A real old fashioned inn where you sit at your neighbors’ table and talk with them about life, world, politics… All in portuguese (well, no, more in sign language but not the official version) and where you pay 5 euros for soup / main dish / coffee ! Real grand-ma’s recipes and a nice and dynamic atmosphere for a meal served with a huge smile. I definitely recommend this one.

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Take a walk  and go to “Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Consolaçao e Santos”

Passing by Largo do toural and “Jardim Publico da Alameda” if you didn’t visit this part of town while getting lost the first day. 

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Largo do toural

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Jardim Publico da Alameda

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Have a tea time break at “Supremo gosto”

“Supremo Gosto” is a pastelaria, unfortunately it’s a chain but their pastries are really good. On a sunny day you can even enjoy the terrace with the view on “Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Consolaçao e Santos” or you can take away your pastries and go to the castle park which is just a few minutes walking from there.

My recommendation would definitely be to go for a little bit of everything as they sell tiny versions of all their pastries.

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Go on a tiles hunt…

I know I’ve already recommended this one in Braga but chasing the pretty “Azulejos” in portugal is a bit of a national sport… for visitors… doesn’t matter the city.

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And now I just have to wish you a good trip, enjoy !