Braga is the third largest city in Portugal and it was our destination of choice for a day trip from Porto.
It was an interesting taxi ride to Porto Campanhã train station in rush-hour traffic. It seems the only rules of the road are to give way to no one and beep everyone. Beeeeeeeeep!
Train to Braga from Porto
We had a free espresso in the first class carriage. With more caffeine in my system I was ready to see what Braga had to offer. Even if heavy rain showers were forecast throughout the day.
Arco da Porta Nova and Braga’s narrow streets
This portal leads to the narrow streets of Braga’s city centre. These were full of little shops and cafes. One of which we had to take refuge in to avoid the first rain shower of the day.
Whilst sipping on a beer and watching the world go by, I noticed a little dog guarding an entrance to a shop opposite. Every time someone tried to enter he’d stop them with his barking. I wonder how much business this shop gets with its canine security guard?
Sé de Braga
What makes this cathedral really unique is that it’s made up of several different architectural styles. Two of which were romanesque and baroque.
Praça da Republica
We then made our way up to Praça da Republica. This long plaza has a number of outdoor cafes and bars. With the second heavy rain shower of the day commencing we had to enter one of these for a snack.
At the top end of the plaza is the pretty Igreja da Lapa. And right behind this are the remains of the Castle of Braga.
Jardim da Santa Barbara
The garden is bordered by the Episcopal Palace which adds to the garden’s charm. The scent was so strong from the flowers and plants that I thought it would set my hay fever off. Ah-choo!
Tibias de Braga
It wasn’t disappointing earlier, the ferrero cake I had was immense. Even if the waitress was quite miserable.
Roman Thermae of Maximinus
We struggled to find the ruins as there’s no directions to it and there’s little signage on the site. This probably explains why it wasn’t very busy on our visit. They even struggled to find change for our entry fee.
Once we finished watching a video reconstruction of the excavation we explored the ruins. It was set over a small covered area with some interpretation to explain the layout.
It was then back to the station to get our train back to Porto.
We really enjoyed our visit to Braga despite the poor weather. We would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a day trip from Porto.