A stone’s throw from the Castle of Guimarães, tIn Guimarães, the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is an invitation for visitors to travel through time to discover 15th century Portugal! With its gothic architecture blended with Burgundian influences (yes, Burgundian, you read that right!) the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is simply unique!
Follow the guide!
👍 The Captain’s tips 👍
Want to learn more about Guimarães’ history? Captain Ulysses warmly recommends this free tour of the city (in English) to visit Guimarães with a passionate guide. You’re free to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide at the end of the tour!
Want to know more about Guimarães’ top landmarks & monuments? Be sure to check out the Captain’s Guide to Guimarães.
Short history of the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza
The history of the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza began in the early 15th century. Count Afonso (illegitimate son of King João I, Count of Barcelos and 1st Count of Bragança) ordered the construction of the palace so he could make it his residence and live there with his second wife, Doña Constança de Noronha.
For almost a century, the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza was considered one of the most sumptuous residences in the Iberian Peninsula. In the 16th century, however, it was abandoned by the Bragança dynasty, which left Guimarães to take up residence in Vila Viçosa, in the Alentejo.
Over the centuries, the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza gradually fell into oblivion. So much so that in the 17th century, the inhabitants of the region used it as a quarry and dismantled it piece by piece.
The Palace emerged from its long slumber in the 20th century: it was classified as a National Monument in 1910 and then completely restored over the following decades. The Palace is now one of the official residences of the President of Portugal.
Visiting the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza
The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is located in the middle of a wooded park, a stone’s throw from the Castle of Guimarães and the historical center of the city.
The exterior of the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza
The exterior of the palace, simple and imposing, is inspired by the architecture of French palaces of the 14th century. The granite facade is pierced with small windows. The tiled roofs and the large brick chimneys are reminiscent of Burgundy architecture.
The beautiful interior courtyard of the palace is also reminiscent of typical Burgundian architecture, similar to the Hospices de Beaune.
The courtyard is surrounded by a corridor supported by Gothic arches on the ground floor and small columns on the first floor.
During the tourist season, actors in period costume give small shows, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in 14th century Portugal.
The interior of the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza
The interior of the palace, made of a succession of rooms in a row around the corridor, is simple and austere. The rooms have been decorated in the medieval style: chandeliers, furniture, tapestries…
On the top floor, the small chapel is particularly charming and worth a look!
The palace is located a stone’s throw from the Castle of Guimarães and the historical center. It is open every day from 10am to 6pm (ticket office closes at 5:30pm).
The entrance fee is 5 € full price, 2,50 € reduced price. You can also opt for a combined ticket:
- Palace of the Dukes of Braganza + Guimarães Castle: 6 €.
- Palace of the Dukes of Braganza + Guimarães Castle + Alberto Sampaio Museum: 8 €.
👉 Find the perfect place to stay in Northern Portugal !
Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ tips & recommendations in Guimarães!
🛏️ Accommodation: to book your accommodation in Guimarães, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Booking.com. From youth hostels to luxury boutique hotels: there’s plenty to choose from. If you are looking for a hostel, the Captain suggests GuimaraesLiving – Hostel & Adventure. If you are looking for an affordable hotel, he recommends Hotel Mestre de Avis. As for mid-range hotels, the Captain recommends Hotel Toural.
If you can afford it, he suggests Hotel da Oliveira or Casa do Juncal.
📍 Getting to Guimarães: to get to Guimarães, several options:
– the car (if you plan to rent a car in Portugal, Captain Ulysses can only recommend Rentalcars, on which you’ll be able to compare the offers of countless rental companies including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt…)
– train or bus (several trips per day from Porto or Braga)
– day tours (Captain Ulysses recommends this excursion to Braga and Guimarães from Porto)
🚌 Local transportation: Guimarães is a small city that is very easy to explore on foot. That said, if you can’t/won’t walk, you can also opt for the hop-on hop-off tourist bus tour.
✈️ Flights and trains: the closest airport to Guimarães is Porto. To book your flights, Captain Ulysses highly recommends Skyscanner. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.