- discover the City Park
- in the outlying districts, Take a walk along the various marked footpaths and visit the Citânia de Briteiros
Guimarães is considered the birthplace of Portugal because Afonso Henriques, who went on to be the first king of Portugal, was born here.
The historical centre in the area that was within the Guimarães city walls, is associated with the formation and identity of Portugal, and was classified a World Heritage site based on the originality and authenticity applied in its restoration. The city still has a harmonious, well-preserved heritage that is evident in the graceful iron verandas, granite balconies and porticos, mansions, arches connecting the narrow streets, paving slabs smoothed by time, towers and cloisters. For a moment you might imagine yourself to be in a mediaeval setting, where the nobility built their houses over time, such as the Mota Prego house, the Vila Flor and Toural palaces, and the many others that give Guimarães its unique atmosphere.
You can start from the heart of the city, Largo da Oliveira, where you find the Padrão do Salado and the Collegiate Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, which houses the valuable Alberto Sampaio Museum. Passing the Paços Municipais (City Hall), crowned with battlements, enter the Praça de Santiago which in the Middle Ages welcomed pilgrims bound for Compostela, just as today it welcomes residents and tourists in its restaurants and terraces. The Convent of Santa Clara, the Casa do Arco and other stately houses are in Rua da Santa Maria, which links with the upper city.