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Day Trip to Braga from Porto: Is it Worth it?

Every list of recommended best day trips from Porto by train I could find contains a day trip to Braga, the third-largest city in Portugal and home to the church Bom Jesus do Monte, one of the most famous landmarks in Portugal.

So, when I spent a month in Porto, I had to do a day trip to Braga. And even though I enjoyed my day trip to Braga from Porto it wasn’t my favourite day trip from Porto I did. But more on that further down.

Getting from Porto to Braga

2 women sitting inside the BRAGA city letters on a Day trip to Braga from Porto
Me and my friend on our Braga day trip from Porto

It’s quite easy to get to the city of Braga from Porto by direct train but it does take some time, between 1 and 1.5 hours depending on what train you take.

You can get a slow urban train (U) for €3.25 one way or a faster Alfa Pendular train (AP) for €15.10 one way.

The urban train sets off at São Bento station, a popular site in Porto known for its tile works. The urban train also stops at Campanhã station, where the fast train sets off.

You can check the Porto to Braga train timetable on the Portuguese railway homepage.

I went for the urban train since it’s cheaper and it sets off at São Bento train station. And as soon as I walked into this stunning train station on my first day in Porto, I thought it would be really cool to actually catch a train from there.

The day trip from Porto to Braga was a perfect reason to finally catch a train from the beautiful train station.

🤩 You can also take a small group tour to Braga!

Best things to do in Braga

Braga is not called the religious center of Portugal, or the Portuguese Rome, for nothing. There are LOTS of religious buildings in Braga and they are considered the most famous attractions and the best things to do in Braga Portugal.

Did you know that Braga is the oldest city in Portugal? I was really surprised about that.

Bom Jesus do Monte

stairs leading up to a church
Bom Jesus de Monte in Braga

The most famous sight in Braga is definitely Bom Jesus do Monte, it’s one of the most visited landmarks in Portugal. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Portuguese National Monument and the main reason people do a day trip to Braga.

The sanctuary of Bom Jesus is on top of the hill overlooking the city centre of Braga. So you have great panoramic views of Braga and the surrounding areas.

The Portuguese landmark Bom Jesus de Monte is a bit outside the city but with good bus connections. The Braga bus stop is right in front of the Braga train station and you can pay the driver.

I would recommend visiting in the morning because then the MANY steps are still more in the shade.

Otherwise, you can also get the funicular to the top. The surroundings of the church are stunning and you get a nice view of the city as well, the church itself is nothing special in my opinion.

Bom Jesus is a pilgrimage site, so there are quite a few people visiting for spiritual reasons. But we just went there to enjoy the beautiful views.

View out of a cave to a cathedral
View from a little cave behind the church

🤩 Take a guided tour to Braga so you don’t need to worry about how to get to Bom Jesus do Monte!

Cathedral of Braga

The second and last church I want to mention is Braga Cathedral or Sé de Braga. But there are plenty more religious sites you can explore in Braga, like the Igreja de Santa Cruz.

I read, that the cathedral of Braga has a bit of every architectural movement in it, but to be honest I don’t know enough about architecture to have noticed that. I did notice however how amazing the organ looked.

A big organ inside a church in Braga
The organ in Braga Cathedral

We had to enter through a side door and pay a bit for the entrance to see the church and the courtyard. Included in the ticket price is also the courtyard, where a small fountain is surrounded by a lot of flowers.

🤩 A guided tour of Braga Cathedral is included in this day tour from Porto to Braga!

Jardim de Santa Bárbara

A big flower garden with some ruins of a church in the back
The beautiful flower garden Jardim de Santa Barbara in the heart of the city

I noticed that most cities in the north of Portugal don’t have that many flowers in the city landscape. I assume it is because it gets quite hot and it doesn’t rain much.

That’s why I noticed the beautiful gardens and flower arrangements in Braga even more, they are just so colourful and pretty. So it’s really nice to just walk around the city and discover them.

Speaking of flowers, my highlight was the Jardim de Santa Barbara. A small garden in the middle of the city with flowers, a fountain and an old arch.

We had a drink in the restaurant right next to the garden. To tell you the truth the drinks weren’t great, but the location is fantastic with the view of the garden of Santa Barbara.

Best way to do a Braga day trip

Walking up the pretty baroque stairs to Bom Jesus and enjoying the view over Braga was really amazing. But otherwise, there’s not that much to do in Braga.

So, the best way to see Braga is to combine it with a visit to the city of Guimarães. There you can see the medieval castle, where the first. king of Portugal was born and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.

Top Pick
Castle of Guimaraes behind some bushes
The first king of Portugal was born in Guimarães


Braga and Guimarães full-day tour from Porto

✅ Make the most out of your time

✅ Visit Guimarães and Braga

✅ See the stunning countryside

Vegan food in Braga

There are definitely fewer vegan options than in Porto, but the options that do exist are way cheaper. We had lunch at Vegan Details which seemed like a popular place for people who work close by to get a quick lunch.

The restaurant is on the ground floor of a half-abandoned-looking mall, in other words, not the best atmosphere but the food was good and cheap.

There were two options on the day we were there, rice stroganoff and chickpea salad. Both options were decent, especially for €5.50 each.

We only had lunch in Braga since we headed back to Porto for a vegan dinner.

A plate with rice, salad and vegan meat
Rice stroganoff

Best time to visit Braga

The best time to visit Braga is in spring or fall, so it’s not too hot and not too crowded.

We visited Braga in July and it had 37°C, which was just too hot for sightseeing. On the same day, it only had about 28°C in Porto.

Day trips from Braga

Braga is a great starting point if you want to do some outdoor activities in the Portuguese countryside just outside the city.

If you decide to make Porto your base and venture out from there, as I did, you can visit the beautiful countryside of Douro Valley on a day trip and see where the grapes for traditional port wine are grown.

FAQ about a day trip to Braga from Porto

Is Braga a day trip from Porto?

Yes, you can easily do a Braga day trip from Porto. In one full day you can see everything in Braga.

How long is the train from Porto to Braga?

There are different trains from Porto to Braga, the average travel time is between 1 and 1.5 hours.

Is Braga a walkable city?

Braga’s main attraction Bom Jesus is not within walking distance from the city centre, but you can get public transport to get there. Everything else is within a short walk from each other.

How many days should I spend in Braga?

It’s enough to do a day trip to Braga if you only want to visit the beautiful city. Spend more time if you want to do excursions outside of Braga as well.

What is Braga Portugal known for?

Braga is known for being Portugal’s religious centre. The most famous attraction is the pilgrimage site Bom Jesus do Monte.

How much is a train ticket from Porto to Braga?

The slow train costs about €3.50 one way and a faster Alfa Pendular train about €15 one way.

How to get to Braga from Porto?

The easiest way to get to Braga from Porto is by direct train.

Final thoughts: Is Braga worth visiting?

A church in the back, in the front os a flower patch
Bom Jesus do Monte

In general, I got the impression that Braga is more visited by older people and even some religious pilgrims. The vibe of the city was not as young as in other cities I’ve visited in Northern Portugal.

I would recommend visiting Braga on its own if you like churches, shopping or flowers.

Otherwise, I would recommend seeing Braga and Guimaraes in one day.

🤩 Check the prices and availability of a Guimarães and Braga day tour!

Does Braga not seem like the right day trip for you? Find the best day trip from Porto for you.

Read more on what to do in the North of Portugal:

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Amazing Porto to Braga Day Trip

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