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Guimaraes Travel Guide, Portugal

Guimaraes might not be the largest or the most populous cities of Portugal, but it is certainly not without charm. In fact, the small city of Guimaraes is considered to be the very cradle of Portuguese culture, the place where “Portugal was born” as its inhabitants proudly declare. Unsurprisingly, the country’s oldest and most majestic castle can be found in Guimaraes. The Royal Castle and the palace are one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, as well as World Heritage Sites. The city is steeped in history and culture, but it is also a great place for fun and nightlife. Both amateur historians and fun-loving adventurers will surely find something to their taste in Guimaraes. This Guimaraes Travel Guide offers some basic information about this charming city.

Guimaraes Travel Guide - Transport

If you are planning to make your journey by plane, you can land at Francisco Sa Carneiro (Pedras Rubras) international airport, located at about seven miles from Porto. The airport is an important transport hub for the northwestern Iberian Peninsula, as large as the one in Valladolid. There are plenty of flights to and from destinations all over Europe, and good connection with the American continent as well. From the airport, you can easily get a taxi to the city, or you can use the airport’s so-called Aerobus, or one of the city buses to get to town.

If you choose to travel by train, you can very easily find connections to Guimaraes from most Portuguese cities. It takes about four hours to get from Lisbon to Guimaraes, but you may not always find a direct connection. Another affordable and quite decent way to travel to Guimaraes is by bus. Portugal’s national bus company, Rede Expressos, runs regular services between Guimaraes and various cities in the country. You can also rent a car, especially if you are doing a tour of the peninsula, but in this case, you should be prepared and bring a good map with you, although Portuguese highways are well marked and connected. Although there is a local bus service in the city, this Guimaraes Travel guide recommends that you get around on foot, this way you’re guaranteed to get an eyeful of all the must-see spots of the city center.

Guimaraes Travel Guide - Accommodation

If atmosphere is what you’re looking for when you’re choosing accommodation and you don’t mind being a bit far from the city centre, then you will definitely enjoy Casa de Sezim, a smallish guesthouse located in an amazing 18th century building. The interior is beautifully decorated and there are countless old photographs dotting the hotel’s walls. All the usual amenities are offered, and there is also an excellent wine-cellar where you can taste some famous local wines. Fundador Hotel is an unpretentious but very comfortable hotel in the heart of the city, where you can find modern facilities and friendly staff. If you prefer business hotels, you should check out Hotel Toural, a large and very modern hotel in the city centre, close to the main tourist attractions such as the old town.

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