10 things to do for free in Braga
Braga is one of Portugal’s lesser known tourist attractions but it is all the better for it and is an extremely welcoming place for the budget-friendly traveller. So, without further ado let’s dive right into our 10 things to do for free in Braga, a handy guide to ensure you don’t miss anything, without spending a penny.
① Arco da Porta Nova (Arch of the New Gate) is emblematic of the city and was completed in 1532. It is predominately in the Baroque style and adorned with allegorical figures of the city.
② Jardim de Santa Bárbara (Garden of Santa Barbara) is a nice spot to take break while walking around town. Nice features include the broken ruins of an arch from a former medieval palace and the Gothic wall of the Archbishop’s Palace, which dates back to the 14th & 15th centuries.
③ Museu D. Diogo de Sousa (Museum of Archaeology; Rua dos Bombeiros Voluntários) was founded in 1918 and moved to the current building in 2007. Its collection mostly comprises of items found in excavations that took place in Braga with pieces from the Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages.
It is Free on Sunday: 9.30 am – 2 pm.
④ Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mount; Estrada do Bom Jesus) is located 5km away from the town centre but is arguable Braga’s finest attraction. The chapel on the hill is precious and the view afforded over the city is breathtaking. Also be sure to check out the extraordinary zigzag staircase replete with allegorical fountains. Although, perhaps best on the way down!
⑤ Termas Romanas do Alto Cividade (Remains of Roman Baths; Rua Dr Rocha Peixoto) are the remains of an extensive bathing complex – with a theatre attached – dating back to the 2nd century AD, which were probably abandoned in the 5th century. It is Free on Sunday 2 p.m.-5/6 p.m. (summer/winter).
⑥ Praça da República (Republic square) is popularly referred to as Arcada, and is a broad public square and city of life in Braga. It is the perfect place to start and finish your day and offers a great opportunity to people watch.
⑦ Museu dos Biscainhos (Biscainhos Museum; Rua dos Biscaínhos) is Braga’s premier art gallery and houses a permanent collection of Decorative arts and crafts including furniture, ceramics, European and Oriental porcelain, European Glass, European and Portuguese watches and clocks. It is Free on Sunday 12 pm – 3 pm.
⑧ Fonte do Ídolo (Fountain of the Idol; Rua Raio) is a Roman fountain located in the civil parish of São José de São Lázaro and is dedicated to the Gallaecian and Lusitanian gods Tongoenabiagus and Nabia. It was built during the era of Roman Emperor Augustus and is also Free to visit on Sunday: 4 pm – 5.30 pm.
⑨ Palácio do Raio (Palace of Raio; Rua do Raio) is a Baroque-era residence, designed by André Soares da Silva and is notable for its rococo face covered in azulejos tiling. It is, unfortunately, closed to the public, but definitely still worth seeing from the outside.
⑩ Sé Catedral (Braga Cathedral; Rua Dom Paio Mendes 10) is one of the most important monuments in the city of Braga and is a wonderful a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline and Baroque styles. It is free to visit although some of the side chapels do demand an entrance fee.