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17 Best Things to Do in Guimarães, Portugal in 2024

Best things to do in Guimaraes Portugal Birthplace

Guimarães just may be the most underrated city in Portugal. While most people visit Guimaraes on a day trip from Porto they truly miss out if they don’t give this historic city in Northern Portugal at least a few days on their Portugal Itinerary. Often referred to as the birthplace of Portugal, this ancient city was the first capital of Portugal. As you wander its cobblestone streets, it is easy to understand why it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every stone tells a story of battles fought, kingdoms born, and cultures merged.

Guimarães – The Birthplace of Portugal

We spent a week in Guimarães and two full days on a guided tour of the old town and Vino Verde wine region. We fell in love with this remarkable city and will show you why it should be added to your Portugal itinerary.

Known as Cradle City, Guimaraes is located in the northwest region of Portugal, just a short distance from Porto. We flew into Porto and then took a private transfer to the city. However, Guimarães is well-connected by train. When returning to Porto we hopped on the public train for just a few euros and were there within the hour.

For those arriving by air, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto is the closest international gateway, located approximately 50 kilometers away. From the airport, visitors can catch a direct train from Porto’s São Bento or Campanhã stations.

Driving to Guimarães is another great option. We rented a car when in Portugal and loved having the flexibility to get around. Car rentals are reasonable in Portugal, and the highways are well-maintained and easy to navigate.

Most people visit Guimarães on day trips, but it is worth spending at least two nights in this beautiful town in the north of the country.

Top Things to Do in Guimarães

Top things to do in Guimaraes Portugal

While Guimarães is often overlooked for the likes of Lisbon, The Duoro Valley, or Porto, you will be surprised with just how many things there are to do in Guimarães. It is the jumping-off point for exploring the Vino Verde wine region, there is a fascinating old city and plenty of bars and restaurants like its other more famous cities, but there are far fewer crowds making it one of our favorite places to visit in Portugal. So, let’s explore the many reasons to visit Guimarães, Portugal.

1. Explore Guimarães Castle (Castelo de Guimarães)

Best things to do in Guimaraes Portugal Guimaraes Castle

Guimarães Castle (Castelo de Guimarães) is a symbol of Portuguese identity and independence and is designated as a national monument….

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