Braga is located in Northern Portugal. We spent some time here and found some true hotspots that you need to check out. Sure, you will want to visit Bom Jesus do Monte and it’s also on this list. However, did you know that you can eat Croughnuts here? Check out our places in Braga that we fell in love with!
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Braga – A gem in Northern Portugal
We had never heard of Braga before but while visiting Parque Cerdeira in Northern Portugal, we were advised to visit Braga. And we are super glad that we listened and decided to go to Braga. It’s an old town with a population of 175 000. It’s most famous for Bom Jesus do Monte – a pilgrimage site with a special staircase up to the chapel. However, after spending several days in Braga, we found a couple of special spots.
Whether you like shopping or visiting old places – Braga has something to offer to everyone. And, there are also some really nice treats that you can get while here. Here are our favorites that we would like to share with you guys…
Shop until you drop
There are two large shopping malls to choose from. Braga Parque and Braga Shopping. Our favorite was the Parque since it’s bigger. It is also here that you can find the greatest pastries ever! We ended up buying pastries with the taste of Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Bueno. And yes, it tasted just as great as it looked. At Braga Parque, you can also visit all the regular brand stores like New Yorker and H&M.
This shopping mall can easily keep you busy for several hours and if you get hungry – there’s a huge food court where you can pick and choose what to eat.
Address: Quinta dos Congregados.
Website of the shopping mall in Braga.
Bom Jesus do Monte
This is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located a short way outside of the city, this is a place that you can’t miss out on. Take the bus here and enjoy this beautiful sanctuary and the gardens that surround it. Bom Jesus do Monte is a popular pilgrimage site and it has an old history. The funicular that connects the bottom of the hill with the sanctuary is very special and runs with the help of water.
We were most fascinated by the amazing stairs at Bom Jesus do Monte. Super impressive with a rich history and different kinds of fountains that make you raise your eyebrows. It’s free of charge to visit and you can spend several hours – just wandering the premises of the place. Enjoy your visit and make sure to take lots of pictures of this heritage site.
Take a walk in the city center
There are several beautiful buildings and quaint streets in the city center of Braga. This city is said to be the oldest in the whole country and it might be right. While strolling around here, you’ll see so many nice buildings that will take your breath away. Several of the buildings allow you to enter. However, as long as you visit the church, you can enjoy the other buildings from the outside.
In the 12th century, the city became the seat of the Portuguese archbishops and the town became the religious capital of the country. Today, Braga is a town that has many visitors each year, and that flourishes. The city has a lot to offer and you will want to spend time here – getting lost among the beautiful buildings.
The church itself is not that spectacular. The magic lies in the pipe organ. Inside the Braga Cathedral, they might have the nicest pipe organ we have ever seen before. And that’s saying a lot since we have been inside hundreds of cathedrals over the years. This cathedral is really old… in fact, this is Portugals oldest cathedral since it was the first one that was built in the country.
Walk around this whole place and make sure to look at all the details. Because there are more nice things in here even if the organ is the most impressive one. Cathedrals and cloisters are often very impressive and the one in Braga is no exception.
Eat Healthy in braga
Mini and I often make jokes about food and how the food tastes better when it’s not healthy. The less healthy the better the taste. However, Braga has proved us wrong because they have some great, tasty healthy, and fresh food that is really great tasting! At Sanno, they serve several different poke balls. They have vegetarian and vegan options. We had lunch here and it was good.
Sanno is a franchise so if you are lucky you might find it in other cities. In Braga, it’s located close to the Croughnut place – and that was the next stop during our visit in Braga. Eat healthy and splurge on the dessert right?! If you are up for some Italian food, we can recommend Caffe Italy which serves some good and genuine Italian dishes.
Croughnuts in Braga – oh how good treats!
Have you heard about Croughnuts? If not, it’s a combination of croissant and a donut all in one. And, yes they are just as tasty as you are imagining that they are. There are several different flavors to choose from. Mini and I decided to try a hazelnut one and we both felt that we made the right choice. The croughnuts bar is called dow! and the people working here are all super nice and friendly.
Croughnuts are not that well-known in Portugal so it’s a pretty special thing that they are selling them in a city like Braga. Otherwise, you’ll have to go to Lisbon to be able to buy one. We noticed that Braga was pretty great when it came to cakes, treats, and sweets. High quality and at a fair price!
Jardim de Santa Barbara
After stuffing yourself with all the treats and cakes, it might be time to take a walk. And what better place than to visit the garden of Santa Barbara. Located at the same place as the archbishop’s palace. In fact, you can see the palace but you are not allowed to visit the palace. But, it’s nice to be able to take a walk inside the garden. This place is very well kept and it’s not that big.
If you are traveling in the country, you might also visit the beautiful garden that is located in Faro. The Jardim de Santa Barbara is impressive despite the smaller size of the garden. Make sure to check it out while being in Braga because it’s well worth a visit.
Braga by motorhome
The city of Braga is a motorhome-friendly town and you can get around pretty easily by motorhome. However, it’s preferable to leave the motorhome at camping and walk or take the bus to the city center. We stayed at the Camping Braga and we walked into the city center and back. The camping has all the facilities that you might need and if you visit during the summer, you can swim in the pool too.
If you love soccer this is the camping for you! Right next to the camping there is a soccer field and they play here pretty often. The music gets loud and you can enjoy the game from one part of the camping too, how awesome is that?! Other than that, this camping is a quaint and a nice place.