Braganca Mini Guide
Where is Braganca?
Braganca is a city in north east Portugal. It lies on the Sabor River and is south of the Culebra Mountains. It is close to the Spanish Border and sits next to the Montesinho National Park.
Braganca Airport is just 8km from the city and has connecting flights to Lisbon
and you can take a taxi from the airport. Car hire is also a good option for your transfer and to explore the surrounding area, as public transport is limited. There is no rail service in this area but express buses can get you there from cities in Portugal. Once you are there, the city is quite compact so it is easy to walk around.
What can I see There?
The Cidadela or old town is up a short steep hill. There you will see the renaissance cathedral and the 12th century octagonal town hall, the largest and oldest in Portugal. The Church of Santa Maria has a vivid depiction of the Assumption on its ceiling and you can visit the Abade de Bacal Museum, which has curios and instruments of torture. The old town walls are well preserved and from there you can look down on the city. There you can also find the Torr de Menagem, a castle keep from the Dukes of Braganca Castle. In the gardens, you will see an iron age stone boar with a cross stuck in its back. The Castle is also home to the Meseu Militar, where you will find military items from the medieval times to the present. You can also cross over into central Spain
from Braganca but make sure you have told us of your intentions so we can ensure you are fully insured.
Myth and Mystery
Part of the castle is known as ‘princess tower’ as it is said that Leonora, wife of the Duke of Braganca was imprisoned there by her jealous husband. The Church of Sao Vincente in the town was where tragic lovers Dom Pedro and Ines de Castro secretly married in 1354.
What can I see out of Town?
For a quiet day out and to see the area’s natural beauty, go to Montesinho National Park. It is the most remote part of Portugal and one of the wildest regions in Europe. There you can hike or go horse riding and enjoy nature and explore the ruins of medieval houses clustered together. You can see wildlife such as boars, otters and eagles too.
Stay at the Estalagem Turismo for the best of both worlds. It is on the outskirts of the city and close to the National Park. The rooms are traditional with balconies and a countryside view. There are 2 swimming pools and a sun terrace for you to relax or you can enjoy the gardens. The hotel restaurant serves Portuguese cuisine and has a large wine list.