About an hour drive inland from Porto you´ll find Guimarães, also referred to as the birthcity of Portugal. The pretty historic town is therefore a great opportunity for a daytrip from Porto and I´d definitely not miss it.
How to get there and getting around
If you have a car, like we did this time, take the A3 and A7 to get to the city. You can also get there by train from Campanha Station in Porto for around three euros. Once you arrive the whole city center is super walkable.
What to see & which viewpoint to check out
Wander through the historic center
To be completely clear, the most beautiful thing to see is the old city center, with its cute houses and inviting squares, that is illuminated with little lights at night. Just wander the pretty alleys and enjoy, that tourism hasn´t arrived too much yet and you can still enjoy some tranquility.
Take the cable car up to Penha and get the best view of Guimarães
It´s becoming somewhat of a tradition, that I´m always taking the cable car, if a city has one. Ok, there haven´t been that many times either, but I always try to do so. For 3,50 round trip you get beautiful views of the town and some pretty nice Villas on the hillside. Once you arrive up there you can walk among the huge rocks, that from a rare landscape and enjoy some amazing views and a good long stroll.
The castle lies right on one side of the old town center. It is one of those castles, that look exactly like they´ve just jumped out of a book, with grey plain stones and straight, regularly lined up battlemens on top of the towers.
Where to eat
Adega do Ermitão
Up in Penha and a hidden behind rocks – the bar is actually inside of a little cave – you can find this simple and authentic place, that serves some delicious Portuguese Food. They are for example known for their flat bread, that comes straight from the wood oven and that is served with Portuguese chouriço, bacon or fried sardines. You can eat inside the cave with the bar or outside under some big trees on little green wooden tables. During winter they´re only open at the weekend though, so make sure, you check their hours.
On the little square Largo da Oliveira in the heart of Guimaraes´ beautiful center, this Café makes for the perfect place to sit outside and have a coffee or snack before going on exploring the alleyways.