Visiting Braga for Father’s Day (and some fun facts about the city)

Travelling with your father can be a good plan for Father’s Day…

Father’s Day is a special occasion to honor and celebrate the love and guidance of fathers and father figures. It is a day to show appreciation and spend quality time with the person who has played an important role in our lives. For those looking for a unique way to celebrate Father’s Day, traveling with your father can be a fantastic option. Not only is it a great opportunity to bond and create memories, but it also allows you to explore new places and experiences together. From exploring historic sites to trying new cuisines, there are countless possibilities for a fun and meaningful trip with your father. In this article, we will explore some ideas and tips for traveling with your father on Father’s Day.

Here you have a couple of things to do while in Braga with your father:

  1. Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary – This iconic religious monument is one of Braga’s most popular attractions, and offers breathtaking views of the city. Take the funicular or climb the 573 steps to reach the top and enjoy the panoramic view.
  2. Take a brewery tour – Braga is known for its traditional beer-making, and there are several breweries in the city that offer guided tours and tastings. This is a great way to learn about the history of beer in Braga and sample some local brews.
  3. Explore the historic centre – Braga’s old town is filled with historic buildings, narrow streets, and charming squares. Take a walking tour of the city to learn about its rich history and architecture, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city’s cafés and shops.
  4. Enjoy a traditional meal – Braga is known for its delicious cuisine, including roast pork, cozido (a stew made with meat and vegetables), and bacalhau (salt cod). Take your father to a local restaurant and savour the flavours of Braga’s culinary traditions.
  5. Watch a football match – If your father is a football fan, he may enjoy attending a match at the Estádio Municipal de Braga, home of the Sporting Clube de Braga. This is a great opportunity to experience the passion and excitement of Portuguese football.

1. Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary

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Bom Jesus do Monte is a famous religious sanctuary located just outside of Braga, Portugal. It is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the city, and a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims alike. The sanctuary is set atop a hill, and is easily identifiable by its grand Baroque staircase and monumental fountain at the entrance.

Visiting the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary is an experience that is both spiritual and cultural. The site offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere, where visitors can reflect and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. The sanctuary is also filled with stunning art and architecture, including intricate sculptures, frescoes, and tiles that date back to the 18th century.

One of the main attractions at Bom Jesus do Monte is the famous staircase, which consists of 573 steps that lead up to the church at the top. Visitors can choose to climb the stairs or take a funicular to the top, where they will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape.

At the top of the hill, visitors can explore the sanctuary’s church, chapels, and gardens. The church is a beautiful example of Portuguese Baroque architecture, with intricate carvings and stunning frescoes on the ceiling. The chapels are also worth a visit, as they contain a number of important religious artifacts and works of art.

2. Take a brewery tour

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Braga is famous for its traditional beer-making, and taking a brewery tour is a great way to learn about the history and culture of beer in the city. There are several breweries in Braga that offer guided tours and tastings, where you can see the beer-making process firsthand and learn about the ingredients and techniques that go into creating the perfect brew.

One popular brewery in Braga is the Bracara Beer Factory, which offers tours and tastings of their craft beers. During the tour, visitors can see the brewing process from start to finish, and learn about the different types of hops, malts, and yeasts that are used to create unique and flavorful beers. After the tour, visitors can sample the different beers and enjoy a drink in the brewery’s taproom.

Another popular brewery in Braga is the Vadia Brewery, which specializes in creating traditional Portuguese beer. The brewery offers tours and tastings where visitors can learn about the history and cultural significance of beer in Portugal, as well as taste different types of beer and enjoy a snack or meal in the brewery’s restaurant.

Taking a brewery tour in Braga is not only a fun and educational experience, but it also allows you to support local businesses and learn about the unique beer-making traditions of the city. Whether you are a beer enthusiast or just looking for a unique way to celebrate Father’s Day, a brewery tour is a great option.

3. Explore the historic centre

Braga’s historic centre is a charming and picturesque area that dates back to the Roman era. It is filled with narrow streets, beautiful plazas, and magnificent buildings that reflect the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. One of the most impressive landmarks in the historic centre is the Cathedral of Braga, which dates back to the 11th century and features a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture.

Other notable sites in the historic centre include the Archbishop’s Palace, the Santa Barbara Garden, and the Roman ruins of Cividade de Briteiros. The city’s lively and colourful markets, such as the Mercado Municipal and Praça do Mercado, are also worth exploring for their variety of fresh produce, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Visitors can take a guided walking tour of the historic centre to learn about the city’s history and culture from knowledgeable guides. The tour will take you through the charming streets and alleys of the city, passing by various monuments and landmarks, and giving you the chance to admire the beautiful buildings and churches.

In addition to exploring the city’s historic sites, visitors can also enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Braga’s cafés, restaurants, and shops. The historic centre is home to numerous restaurants and cafés where you can taste traditional Portuguese cuisine and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while taking in the surroundings.

4. Enjoy a traditional meal

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Braga is known for its rich culinary heritage and delicious traditional dishes. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Father’s Day with a meal, Braga offers a variety of options that are sure to satisfy any appetite.

One of the most popular dishes in Braga is the roast pork, or “Leitão Assado.” This succulent meat is slow-roasted to perfection, resulting in tender, flavorful meat with crispy skin. Other popular dishes include “Cozido à Portuguesa,” a hearty stew made with various meats, vegetables, and beans, and “Bacalhau à Braga,” a dish made with salt cod, potatoes, onions, and eggs.

In addition to these traditional dishes, Braga is also known for its excellent wine and cheese. Some popular wines include Vinho Verde, a light and refreshing wine with a slightly effervescent taste, and Douro, a full-bodied red wine made from grapes grown in the Douro Valley. Local cheeses, such as Queijo da Serra and Azeitão, are also worth trying.

There are many restaurants and cafes in Braga that serve traditional cuisine. One popular spot is the “Taberna Belga,” which offers a variety of Portuguese and Belgian dishes in a cozy, rustic atmosphere. “A Casa dos Frangos” is another popular restaurant that specializes in roast chicken and other grilled meats.

No matter where you choose to dine in Braga, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and memorable meal with your father on Father’s Day. Don’t forget to toast to the occasion with a glass of local wine!

5. Watch a football match

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Watching a football match in Braga can be a thrilling experience, especially if your father is a football fan. Braga has a strong football culture, and the city’s team, Sporting Clube de Braga, is a source of pride for many locals. The Estádio Municipal de Braga, also known as the “A Pedreira” (the Quarry), is the team’s home stadium and can hold up to 30,000 spectators. The stadium has a modern design and offers a great atmosphere for watching football matches.

Attending a match with your father is a unique opportunity to share in the excitement and passion of Portuguese football. The stadium is filled with enthusiastic fans who cheer on their team with chants and songs, creating an electric atmosphere that is hard to replicate elsewhere. You and your father can enjoy the thrill of the game together and bond over your shared love for football.

Before attending a match, it is important to plan ahead and purchase tickets in advance. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the stadium, as well as any safety guidelines. Wearing the team’s colors and bringing along some snacks and drinks can also add to the experience.

We also found some fun facts about Braga that we thought would be interesting for you to know:

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  1. Braga is the oldest city in Portugal, dating back to Roman times. Braga, known as Bracara Augusta during the Roman era, was established as a major city in the 1st century BC. It served as the capital of the Roman province of Gallaecia, and became an important center for trade, commerce, and culture in the region. Today, Braga is still a city steeped in history and tradition, with many landmarks and monuments that reflect its ancient past.
  2. The city is known as the “Rome of Portugal” due to its abundance of churches and religious monuments. Braga has been an important religious center since the early days of Christianity, and today it is home to numerous churches, monasteries, and shrines. One of the most famous is the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, which features a grand staircase with 573 steps leading up to the church. The city’s religious architecture is a major draw for tourists, and has earned it the nickname “Rome of Portugal”.
  3. Braga is famous for its festivals and cultural events, including the Festival of São João. The Festival of São João, celebrated in June each year, is one of Braga’s most popular events. It involves a range of festivities, including street parties, music, dancing, and fireworks. Other festivals and events in Braga include the Holy Week celebrations leading up to Easter, the Braga Romana festival (which celebrates the city’s Roman heritage), and the Festas de São João do Souto (a religious festival with processions and music).
  4. The city is home to Portugal’s oldest university, the University of Minho. The University of Minho was founded in 1973 and is known for its research in fields such as engineering, economics, and computer science. It is located in the nearby town of Guimarães, but many of its students and faculty members live in Braga. The university has a strong international reputation and attracts students from all over the world.
  5. Braga is the birthplace of Portuguese national hero, Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira. Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira was a 14th-century military leader who helped to secure Portugal’s independence from Spain. He was canonized as a saint in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI, and is regarded as a national hero in Portugal. Braga is proud of its association with Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira, and there are several monuments and statues dedicated to him in the city.
  6. The city is home to Portugal’s oldest cathedral, the Sé de Braga. The Sé de Braga, also known as the Braga Cathedral, was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest cathedrals in Portugal. It is known for its Romanesque architecture, particularly the intricate carvings on the portal and the cloister. The cathedral is an important pilgrimage site and a symbol of Braga’s religious heritage.

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