Discover all the amazing things to do in Braga Portugal in a day whether you are here for a day trip from Porto or staying here for the night. Visit Bom Jesus do Monte, Sameiro Sanctuary, Braga Cathedral, and find the best accommodation options and the easiest way to get here. #CultureTravelWithSoumya #Braga #Portugal

One Day Itinerary For Braga Portugal

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Soumya

This One-Day Itinerary for Braga, Portugal, was contributed by Alexandrina Nikolova, who has lived and traveled extensively in Portugal.

Braga, or Roma Portuguesa as it was known previously, is a city with a great history. It was established as a Roman settlement around the 1st century BC.

Later, Braga was exposed to Germanic invasions from the north, which took over the city. Eventually, during the Reconquista, Braga became the main center of Christianity in Portugal, and many religious buildings were built in the region.

Today, Braga is one of the most visited cities in Portugal. That is no surprise because the city is culturally and historically rich. Braga is known as the religious center of Portugal due to the many churches and monasteries that abound in the area.

It is also home to the oldest cathedral of Portugal, which is also the seat of the Archdiocese, Sé de Braga.

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Discover all the amazing things to do in Braga Portugal in a day whether you are here for a day trip from Porto or staying here for the night. Visit Bom Jesus do Monte, Sameiro Sanctuary, Braga Cathedral, and find the best accommodation options and the easiest way to get here. #CultureTravelWithSoumya #Braga #Portugal

Is Braga worth visiting?

Braga is the third largest city of Portugal, but it is not as crowded as Lisbon and Porto.

The city has a quite chill vibe combined with some of Portugal’s finest monuments. One of these stunning monuments is Bom Jesus do Monte with its phenomenal staircase depicting the ascent to heaven.

When in Braga, you can also steal a short trip to the Melgaço and Monção thermal spas in Minho or the miraculous waters of Caldelas. Filled with hot springs like those of Sao Miguel, these places make for the perfect relaxing getaway.

Portugal’s religious center is a highly recommended day trip from Porto and is definitely worth the visit.

However, to be able to see everything in a day in Braga, you need a good itinerary. This one-day itinerary of Braga, Portugal, below covers all the notorious landmarks in the city and its suburbs.

Pro Tip: Take the sweat out of planning. Book this highly recommended day trip to Braga and Guimaraes from Porto.

Things to do in Braga Portugal in a day

We started the trip by going up to Bom Jesus do Monte and then visiting the Sameiro Sanctuary.

At noon, we returned to the city center of Braga to explore the other landmarks and religious buildings suggested by locals. To learn more, read below.

Bom Jesus do Monte

The sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga and its impressive staircase.
The sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga and its impressive staircase.
Image credits: Pixabay

Bom Jesus do Monte is the most visited landmark in Braga. And that is no surprise because the monument is simply jaw-dropping.

This religious site was finished in the 18th century when pilgrimages were blossoming.

Many pilgrims who were walking the El Camino would stop by Bom Jesus do Monte and climb it to the top on their knees. This way, they would show their faith, devotion, and gratitude to God.

The Sacred Staircase of Bom Jesus

The staircase of Bom Jesus do Monte is a truly breathtaking Baroque masterpiece. It is also known as the Sacred Way and is built in a zig-zag manner. It has 577 stairs going up to the Basilica and a beautifully arranged garden at the top.

Walking up to the top of the stairway requires some effort, but the climb is absolutely worth it.

While climbing up, you can observe the fascinating fountains of the religious complex. Some of them are the Fountain of the Wounds of Christ and the fountains of all five senses. Eventually, you can see the Fountains of Virtues, which represents faith, hope, and charity.

How to get to Bom Jesus do Monte?

Since Bom Jesus is located in Tenões right outside the city of Braga, the easiest way to get here is by bus from the Braga train station. Look out for Bus #2 or the one that has an inscription of “Bom Jesus” on it.

The ticket is 1.65 euros and can be purchased from the bus driver. It stops right at the funicular that goes up to Bom Jesus do Monte.

From there, you can decide if you wish to climb the 577 stairs, which is recommended, or use the funicular for 1.50 euros.

Recommended: 17 Most beautiful heritage places to visit in Portugal

Sameiro Sanctuary

Sameiro Sanctuary Braga
The beautiful Sameiro Sanctuary in Braga
Image credits: Alex Nikolova

Another must-visit religious place in Braga is the Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Sameiro, which is located pretty close to Bom Jesus do Monte. It was built around the 18th century, too, but is not as famous or crowded as Bom Jesus.

Sameiro Sanctuary is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and houses a huge altar of the Virgin Mary inside. It is the largest shrine in Portugal, which makes it one of the most important religious buildings in the country.

In addition, the Sameiro Sanctuary has some of the most beautiful views over the city of Braga.

How to get to Sameiro Sanctuary and back?

The easiest way to Sameiro is to climb Bom Jesus do Monte and then go up the road through a little forest. The road ends in a small village, which leads to the Sameiro Sanctuary.

To get back to Braga, you can wait at the bus station near the sanctuary for Bus #88, which runs every 30 minutes.

Sé Catedral de Braga

Sé Catedral de Braga, or the Cathedral of Braga, is the oldest religious building in Portugal and is believed to have been the first building built in Braga.

Today, you can visit the Sé Cathedral in the city center, ensconced cozily among old residential buildings. An admission ticket worth 2.50 euros allows you to enter the cathedral.

The interior of the cathedral is gold-plated and absolutely stunning. On both sides, there are beautiful golden Baroque ornaments accompanied by purple flags, which make the entire place even prettier.

If you look up at the ceiling, you can see one of the most incredible artworks in Portugal.

Recommended: Visit Se Cathedral in Lisbon, one of the city’s many beautiful attractions.

Braga’s City Center

Braga city center
Braga City Center
Image credits: Pixabay

The historic city center of Braga is sprinkled with fascinating Roman ruins. One of them is Arco da Porta Nova, one of the oldest gates of the city. This gate is the best place in Braga to enjoy a romantic sunset over the city.

Another landmark in the city center of Braga is Igreja de Santa Cruz, one of the most popular churches here. That is due to an interesting legend that goes something like this.

If you see two roosters on the façade of the church, you will get married that same year. If less or more than two, better luck next time.

Other landmarks worth a visit are Jardim de Santa Barbara and the Braga Castle. The castle consists of only one tower, which can be visited for free and offers a beautiful view of the city.

Raio Palace

Last but not least, you can also visit Raio Palace, which is quite close to the city center. It is the most notorious Baroque building in the city made famous as the residence of a wealthy Portuguese merchant family.

Today, Raio Palace is more or less the cultural center of Braga, housing enviable collections of sculptures, paintings, and sacred books within its opulent rooms.

The best part is that there is no admission fee, and everybody is welcome to visit it during its working hours from Tuesday until Saturday.

Best time to visit Braga Portugal

Braga Old City
Braga sign in the city of Braga in North Portugal.
Image Credits: Alex Nikolova

The best time to visit Braga is between May and October. The weather is warm and dry. The warmest months are July, August, and September.

May is the busiest month for tourism in Braga, closely followed by the summer months of July and August. November is the least busiest.

Recommended guided tours for Braga

Hotels in Braga, Portugal

Travelers usually visit Braga as a day trip from Porto. But if you are planning to stay for a night or two, there are some great accommodation options in the city and nearby.

Vila Gale Collection Braga: Situated in a central location in Braga, Vila Gale Collection is a sprawling property that comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a bar. The hotel is actually a beautiful restored old convent in the heart of the city and is popular for its helpful staff.

Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes: If you are looking to splurge and wish to stay in one of Portugal’s famous pousadas, try Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes in the nearby city of Guimaraes. Guimaraes is another heritage site in Portugal, and you can easily combine the two cities for a culture-filled weekend. The pousada is a 12th-century monastery built by the first queen of Portugal. It features luxurious rooms and an amazing 9-hectare garden.

Ibis Budget Braga Centro: If you are traveling on a budget, you may want to choose Ibis, which provides you with clean beds and rooms and a decent breakfast buffet. What guests love about Ibis Budget Braga Centro are its central location and friendly staff.

How to get to Braga? | Porto to Braga

There is no airport in Braga. Thus, the best way to get there is to fly to Porto, the nearest airport. From Porto, there are a couple of options.

If you are at the Porto Airport, then it is best to get a bus provided by GetBus. The ticket costs 8 euros one way. The ride usually takes less than an hour, and you can go to Braga pretty fast.

However, if you are staying in Porto and want to visit Braga in a day, it would be best to hop on the train. It costs around 4 euros and takes around an hour to get there. Another good option is to get a Rede Expressos bus from 24 de Agosto Metro Station, which would be slightly faster.

About the Author, Alex

Alex - Guest Author for Braga Itinerary

Alex is a blogger at EarthOSea who has extensively travelled around Europe for the past 3 years. She has lived in Portugal in 2019 where she got familiar with the Portuguese culture, traditions and language.

Alex’s specialty is mainly in travelling in a sustainable and less harmful to the environment way and she focuses more on budget travel. Along with that, she loves hiking and discovering uncharted islands, but she also loves staying at the beach with a book in hand.

You can follow Alex on Facebook and Pinterest.

Loved our itinerary for Braga? Pin it for later reference!

Discover all the amazing things to do in Braga Portugal in a day whether you are here for a day trip from Porto or staying here for the night. Visit Bom Jesus do Monte, Sameiro Sanctuary, Braga Cathedral, and find the best accommodation options and the easiest way to get here.

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

9 thoughts on “One Day Itinerary For Braga Portugal

  1. I enjoyed the walk between Bom Jesus and Sameiro, but Sameiro Sanctuary was mad hideous by the absolute nuclear bomb of concrete that surrounds the entire grounds. It made me sad to see such awful treatment of what was probably green space/gardens.

    I would advise walking the grounds behind Bom Jesus and then skipping Sameiro. Also, the taxi from town to Bom Jesus was 7 euro and drops you at the top. It was money well spent for me. Thanks for the itinerary.

    1. Hi Daniel, that sounds horrible. It definitely does not sound like a great time to visit Sameiro at the moment. I will let my other readers know. Thanks for the information.

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