Staying in Braga: Useful tips & links
Staying in Braga can be a tricky business. Cheap accommodation isn’t exactly abundant and there is no city centre camping that will help you save a few extra pennies. Nevertheless, here are the two cheapest sleeping options in the city, just be warned that in the summer demand creeps up, so perhaps it’s worth booking ahead.
Truthostel / ex-Residencial Avenida (Avenida da Liberdade 738) is the cheapest accommodation option in Braga. There are two room options available 4 bed mixed dorms (11.25 €) and privates (25 €) and the hotel is ideally located right in the city centre. WiFi is included, although its reliability is in question, and there have been some grumbles over the cleanliness. But it’s a hostel, it’s cheap, so what do you expect?
Braga POP Hostel (R. do Carmo 61 3º) is the city’s most popular hostel and is again perfectly located in the centre. Accommodation options include 6 bed mixed dorm (15 €) 4 bed mixed dorm (17 €) and privates (18 €) and the hostel comes well reviewed. Facilities include WiFi, breakfast and a common room.
Braga is a large university town, which helps to ensure a lively nightlife throughout the year. Clubs are open at the weekends and on Wednesday, the main student night, but don’t expect them to get busy until late. There are two major nightlife centres in Braga, each catering to a specific audience:
→ University Zone: Located to the east of the centre, near the University campus there are several smaller bars where students come together for a beer at the end of the day. The prices tend to be cheaper and the atmosphere more earthy.
→ City Centre Zone: In the historical centre, you will find a larger selection of pubs and clubs. The bars tend to be more fancy and the prices slightly higher.
Things to Try & Buy
In the city of Braga itself, souvenirs can be quite limited but ideas include textured linens, pottery & ceramics and woodcarvings, which can all be bought around the city centre. However, a little to the west of the towards Barcelos, in the hamlet of São Paio Merelim, is a highly regarded textile factory that transforms flax into high quality linens, which make an interesting and unique gift.
Braga’s cuisine is an undeniable mix of flavours from both sea and land. The most common food is bacalhau (salt – dried cod) which is ubiquitous in Portugal, but other notable local specialities include polvo grelhado (grilled octopus), cabrito assado no forno (roasted kid), arroz de pato (duck with rice, smoked sausage, sweet carrots, and onions) and frigideira de carne (shredded beef, minced onions, red peppers, and spices in an earthenware dish topped with puff pastry).
To drink, be sure to try vinho verde (green wine) which has a peculiar but not unpleasant taste, a little less acidic than normal whites. If you looking for somthing non-alcholoci then coffee is the way forward. Try ordering um café (a small shot of strong, rich coffee) served with a cinnamon stick meant for stirring, or uma galão (a shot of coffee topped with full-fat milk).
WiFi in Braga shouldn’t be too hard to find. In the centre and around the university there are numerous cafés and bars that offer internet services, and failing that, you can always try one of the many hotels in the city. Check out this useful map with some free WiFi spots marked:
written by: Jon