7 places to visit in Braga – that are not churches

Braga may be – and it is – Archbishops’ City, the city of the three sacred mountains and the Portuguese Rome, but the city known as the “Heart of Minho” is made of a lot more than its beautiful churches.

So, because Braga is not certainly only the city of religion and Catholicism, we leave you some recommendations of places to visit that are not churches.

See also: The facts that show that Braga is a lot more than the “third city of Portugal”

Casa Rolão

Casa Rolão is one of the best examples of Braga’s Baroque. The front, work of André Soares, and all its interior reveal well-conserved details of the architectonical style. And the best of everything is that you can visit and enjoy this house in Avenida Central at your pace. Inside this historical building, you’ll find Centésima Página Book Store, a place that allows you to take advantage of its privileged location.   

Shair Art gallery

In rua do Raio, you’ll find a really innovative space. Shair Art is an art gallery that exhibits the work of emerging artists. The purpose of this project by grupo dst is to democratize the access to art and launch new artist into the market. The space, wide and with white walls, transforms itself in each exhibition and it reveals much attention to detail. Whether you are a contemporary art lover or not, this is definitely an interesting location to visit due to its innovation.

Raio Palace

Raio Palace is another of Baroque’s examples in the city. Built in the 18th century, it went to Raio family’s hands in 1853, time around which the highly decorated front was added with the famous blue tiles. Later, under the possession of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, the palace was headquarter to some services of the old Hospital de São Marcos, which are now reflected on Centro Interpretativo das Memórias da Misericórdia de Braga. The building is now a museum, where you can enjoy the splendor of its architecture and know more about Braga’s History.

Theatro Circo

Theatro Circo is one of the most emblematic places in the city. The project started to be developed in 1906, but it only opened to the public in 1915. It is a centenary house already and it welcomed innumerous artists and visitors over the years. It’s frequently referred to as one the most beautiful theatres in the country, with all its gold carving and its stage’s painting composing a fantastic scenery to watch a show.


GNRation is a place that summarizes the current spirit of the city. It’s a center of innovation, where culture is queen and where you can go shopping, have a cup of coffee, watch a show or attend an exhibition. Here, the old lives and contrasts with the modern. The building used to belong to the National Guard (GNR), a usually cold and rigid location, but it transformed itself into a creative place, with an architecture in which you can still notice characteristics of the old police headquarters.

Roman ruins

Bracara Augusta is still a part of Braga. There are traces of Roman presence all over the city center. Here, among many other monuments, you may visit an old house (Roman domus), very interesting thermae and a surprising theatre, which proves the importance of Bracara Augusta. You’ll certainly be wondering how so many constructions were able to survive until now.

Estádio Municipal de Braga

Estádio Municipal de Braga is a lot more than a simple football stadium. It has already won several prizes due to its architecture, which perfectly integrated the old quarry where the stadium was built. It’s a work of well-known architect Eduardo Souto Moura and it was referred by Barack Obama in the speech of presentation of the Pritzker 2011.