Throughout this year, more than 600 performances and artistic interventions will give a new spirit to the city, which has become a meeting place for creators and creations, showing the cultural diversity that characterizes Europe.
The programme includes music, film, photography, visual arts, architecture, literature, thought, theatre, dance and street arts. The shows were organised in four sections, corresponding to the four seasons. The idea is to provide visitors a city experience in four different ways.
From July to September, during the Time to Feel”, there will be many outdoor shows, so as to fully enjoy the open spaces and good weather, day and night. From September to December, it will be Time for the Rebirth and to understand what happened throughout the year, with initiatives that are aimed at provoking reflection and an understanding of a new and transformed city.
Guimarães is a city filled with creative energy, but it also a living historical archive.
This is where Portugal was born
When you visit Guimarães, you will know where Portugal was born as an independent country, in 1143, and where the first king, D. Afonso Henriques, lived.
It was in the medieval castle that Afonso Henriques was born and, within its high towers and walls, he defeated his mother's armies in 1128. Named heir to the Portucalense County by the warriors of Minho, this Prince who, according to the chronicles, was very handsome, became the first king of Portugal.
The Castle Hill - as well as the Church of Our Lady of Oliveira, and Padrão do Salado - is therefore a place which must be visited.
The visit to the main historical points in the city can be seen on foot. A suggested starting point for your tour is the square of Our Lady of Oliveira, in the heart of the city, where the impressive Collegiate Church of Guimarães stands and from where Pedro Hispano who, with the name of João XXI, would be the only Portuguese Pope of in the History of the Church, left for Rome, and the beautiful cloister located at the Alberto Sampaio Museum.
In the historical centre, notice the authentic character of the graceful iron balconies, the granite balconies and porches, the profiles of the embattled towers of manor houses, the arches which connect the narrow streets, the flagstones of the floor smoothed over throughout the centuries, the freshness of the cloisters.
It looks like a medieval scenario, doesnt it? Be sure to visit the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, a majestic 15th century manor house, which is classified as a National Monument, the Convent of Saint António dos Capuchos, built in the middle of the Holy Hill in the 17th century, and the Vila Flor Palace, an 18th century building which today is part of the Cultural Centre with the same name.
In Largo do Toural, one of the most central and important squares of the city, breathe in the unique atmosphere that exists in Guimarães.
For another view of the city, take the cable car up Monte da Penha, where one of the most beautiful landscapes of northern Portugal awaits you.
For lunch or dinner, you can choose from the many local restaurants or the new custom cuisine projects born in the city. All use the traditional cuisine, convincing even the most discerning of taste buds.
Taste the “Naco à Conquistador” beef rump served with the best products from the region - or the traditional rojões à minhota and finish the meal with the convent sweets, pies and toucinho-do-céu. To drink, ask for a good local vinho verde.
How to get there
For Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, from London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly, Vatry and Charles de Gaulle), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Majorca
Summer only, there are low cost airlines flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.
With regular tariffs, there are flights from London Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Orly.
From The Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport, the best way to get to the centre of the city of Porto is by Metro. The trip will take approximately 30 minutes.
From Porto to Guimarães it takes approximately 30 minutes on the A7 and A3 motorways.