Guimarães

Guimarães Castle, from the X century

Guimarães is a city in Minho, Portugal and is one of the most historical cities in Portugal, said to be where "Portugal was born". It is the first city of Portugal, and have a beautiful Castle, and a Palace to visit, from the beginnings of the country. The Castle has been classified as one of the New Portuguese Seven Wonders. The first King (D. Afonso Henriques aka D. Afonso, I of Portugal) is still being idolized by the city. Placed about 50 km from Porto, Guimarães is placed near to a mountain, Penha, with wonderful views to all the city.

Guimarães will be the European Capital of Culture 2012, a great honor to this city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Get in

By plane

Guimarães Train Station

The easy way to go to Guimarães by plane is to fly to Porto/Sa Carneiro/Pedras Rubras,Maia. Oporto international airport(OPO), and then catch a train or a bus to Guimarães. It's about one hour from Oporto to Guimarães, by bus, and almost one hour and a half by train.

There are very low cost airlines flying to Oporto, the ones that fly from more places are Ryanair and EasyJet. Also, coming from Paris, Transavia, or, coming from Barcelona Clickair. Certainly, more low cost airlines are flying to Oporto, but the other ones have fewer trips per day.

Once you get to Porto Airport, you can catch the following transports to Guimarães:

Train/Metro

Catch the Metro to Campanhã Station or São Bento Station and then get a train to Guimarães. Duration: 2h00 Price (approx.): €5 Metro Porto Train

Bus transfer

Direct transfer to Guimarães from Porto Airport and vice versa, it works everyday. Duration: 50 min Price: €7,5 one-way - €12 go & return more information here

Táxi

The táxis are located on the arrivals floor at Porto Airport. Duration: 40 min Price (approx.): €60

By train

It's the cheapest and the best way to arrive in Guimarães. The Portuguese company CP is the one that provides travel by train. If you come from Lisbon you have some, but few, direct travels to Guimarães. It's about four hours. From Oporto, you have a train every hour.

If you come by train from Europe, on InterRail, for example, you have always to go to Oporto first, and then you catch the train to Guimarães. This trip can give you the best attractions. One is the cheapest price, and the other is the wonderful views, passing over some small rivers, and small villages, in rural Portugal.

By car

You have a lot of highways going to Guimarães, from Braga, Porto, Felgueiras, Chaves, and others. If you are coming from the south of Portugal there is no difficulty at all. The Portuguese highways are all very well connected, and you only have to go straight to Oporto, and then in Oporto you catch A7 (Highway 7) which goes to Guimarães. It's quite easy.

By bus

Rede Expressos, a national bus company, and is the best way to get to Guimarães. With this company you can travel from almost every (big) city in Portugal (i.e. Lisbon, Oporto, Coimbra).

If you are traveling by cities near to Guimarães, like Braga, for example, or even Oporto, you always have to ask to people (a very common thing in Portugal) where you can get a bus to Guimarães (you can try this in the cities within about 50 km). You may make a lot of stops during the trip, but it's a way to better get to know the North.

Get around

City view from Penha

In Guimarães, there is a bus that lets you travel through the city centre. But there is not a very big city centre so you probably will prefer to walk by foot and enjoy the harmony of this medieval city. If you usually purchase a long time ticket in other cities, to travel, here you may not afford it. But, if you want to travel by bus, the tickets price are about €1,25.

To go to Penha Mountain the best solution is getting the Elevators - Teleférico da Penha - and climb up. If you prefer to have a walk through the mountain it's very safe, and you have nice roads to go up, but it will take about 30 minutes.

Renting a car can be a very nice solution, because, in a small city there is not many traffic jams, and if you want to stay in a place "far" from the centre, it can be a wonderful transport. It's not so expensive to rent a car. But, if you want to feel the city, you can make longer trips, because the city centre has a lot of small medieval streets, that you can only enjoy walking.

See

Praça da oliveira (Oilve Square)
Dukes of Braganza Palace

Eat

Mid-range

Templo da gula, Rua São Gonçalo, 1673, serves modern cuisine, with a menu that changes every season.

Drink

An escapade to Largo da Oliveira is always the best choice, it recalls you some places in Spain with lots of lovely cafes.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, April 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.