We went to Guimarães basically to visit friends who live there and we weren’t expecting much.
Wow, how wrong we were! Guimarães is a lovely town that should be included by anyone visiting the north region of Portugal!
It is a well preserved town and we loved the day we spent there. The cobblestone streets are charming and the city is great for architecture enthusiasts.
Guimarães was chosen the European Capital of the Culture for 2012. There’s always a lot of interesting things happening there.
We went all the way to the top (Parque da Penha), also called “Serra Penha” (Penha Hills) where we had excellent city views. You can go there walking thru a forrest or taking the car or even the cable car. We went by car on a steep and windy road that is 4 miles long.
We also visited Pousada de Santa Marinha, a gorgeous building from the 12th Century that was once a Monastery. The building was totally restored and won an important Architectural prize in 1985. If you would like to stay in a beautiful and comfortable place this “pousada” looks as an excellent option!
We didn’t overnight in Guimarães and after spending the day we returned to Porto, to our rental apartment.
Other things you can’t miss while there:
- Historic downtown
- Largo da Oliveira
- Paço dos Duques de Bragança
- Guimarães Castle
- Largo do Toural
Other attractions include the cable car, but we didn’t ride on it.