Day-trip ideas from Porto: Guimarães

Guimarães, located 55 km north of Porto. is a very important city in Portugal’s history. It is associated with the foundation of the country and its identity, it’s known as Portugal’s birthplace. The city was first named as Vimaraes, a name derived from Vímara Peres – a man that, in the 9th century, made this place the center of the Portucalense County.

This beautiful medieval village and its historical center were inscribed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001. Guimarães is a very popular tourist destination and has great things to offer! Here are our tips on what to do and what to see there:

Guimarães Castle: Originally built in the 10th century, to protect a monastery from barbarian attacks. In the 12th century, King Henrique decided to live in the castle and make huge improvements in the primitive construction, making it bigger and stronger. The tickets to visit cost 2€!

Guimarães Castle.

Palace of the Dukes of Bragança: In the 15th century, by King Afonso (the bastard son of King João I) built this palace to be his and his second wife, D. Constança de Noronha, residence. The huge fortified house – filled with chimneys! – is open to public visitation. Ticket costs 5€ (but you can buy a ticket for both the Palace and the Castle for 6€!).

Palace of the Dukes, in Guimarães.

And visit Casa da Memória (Memory House), an old plastic factory that now houses a permanent exhibition on the city’s history and culture. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, the ticket cost 3€ (4€ if you want a guided tour).

Casa da Memória – House of Memories.

We hope you enjoyed our tips and go visit Guimarães! AtWill is always here to help if you have doubts about Porto or Portuguese cities nearby. If you need something, please contact us!

Photos: DRCNorte|Visit Portugal |Wikipedia.