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Travel - Guimarães

The city of Guimarães


Guimarães is a unique and special city! It is distinguished by its heritage, its inspiring landscape, its entrepreneurial capacity, its sense of belonging and the dynamism if its inhabitants.


The origin of the city of Guimarães goes back to the tenth century since it was here, in 1128, that the Portuguese nation was founded and D. Afonso Henriques was recognised as the first king of Portugal.


The importance of its cultural worth and investment in its heritage resulted in a network of high quality infrastructures and renovation of the historical centre, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage, in 2001 (see detail at


Guimarães is the seat of a densely populated district with more than 160 000 inhabitants, and as such is the second largest municipality outside the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto in terms of residents and has one of the youngest populations in Europe –almost 50% of its inhabitants are less than 30 years old.


Alongside the traditional significance of the textile industry, other sectors have emerged with a higher technological element and having a significant economic impact, confirming the strategic importance of the University of Minho as a generator of knowledge and innovation for the city and the region.


Come and get to know our unique region where customs and traditions from the past live alongside innovation and progress.


There are infinite possibilities, from adventure to relaxation through to cultural pursuits, waiting to greet the visitor who chooses this authentic destination.

For further information please consult the pages Guimarães Tourism ( and Porto and The North of Portugal (



Places to visit in the region


Guimarães Castle

Guimarães Castle, located in the very centre of the city, has been constructed in the X Century, ordered by Mumadona Dias, with the purpose to defend the city from the Muslims. The first name of the Castle was "São Mamede Castle", name given by Mumadona. The first king, Afonso Henriques, lived in this Castle, and started conquering Portugal from the Muslims from this place. Very well kept, the castle is of the greatest historical symbols in Portugal. It has been classified by UNESCO, as World Heritage.


Dukes of Braganza Palace

Dukes of Braganza Palace (in Portuguese - Paço dos Duques de Bragança) was probably built between 1420 and 1422, for Afonso, Count of Barcelos - bastard son of king John I of Portugal and future Duke of Bragança. Today, the Palace of the dukes is classified as a National Monument - 1910 - and has in its structure, a museum and the main façade in the 2nd floor is destined to the Official Residence for the Presidency of the Republic.


Penha Mountain

Penha Mountain, is the only mountain in Guimarães, when you can have a wonderful view over the city. You can go there through an elevator, where you can taste a little more of the mountain spirit, and at the same time get different views of the city.


Largo da Oliveira (Olive Square)

Largo da Oliveira (Olive Square), one of the most beautiful places in the city, where you can really feel the ancient times. It's a good place to sit and have a drink and look at old construction and typical houses. Here you have Igreja da Oliveira (Olive Church) and the Padrão do Salado.


Casa de Sezim (Sezim Manor)

Casa de Sezim (Sezim Manor), located in Nespereira (about 5 km away from the city centre), has astonishing saloons decorated with hand painted wallpaper from 19th century from the french painter Roquemont. The beauty of Casa de Sezim is not only in its harmonious lines or the impressive façade of its majestic entrance, as within its walls hang early XIX century panoramic wallpapers, scenes from both of the new and old world, of sufficient rarity to have become a motive of international curiosity in recent years. You can enjoy the gardens and the property, as well as taste the famous wine (Vinho Verde).The surroundings are attractive for the hiking and mountain biking. You can also sleep there on request, in a charming and historical place, where romance is sparkling everywhere.



Links of interest


3B’s Research Group, University of Minho

ICVS – Life and Health Sciences Research Group

University of Minho

AvePark – Science and Technology Platform

CCVF – Vila Flor Cultural Centre

Guimarães Tourism

Guimarães Municipal Council

Palace of the Dukes of Bragança