Where to stay in Guimarães

Considering where to stay in Guimarães is essential to experience both the ancient city and the stunning natural surroundings of Monte da Penha. The most practical choice would be accommodations in or very close to the historic city center.

As a tourist destination, Guimarães offers a variety of appealing hotels, cozy hostels, and luxurious accommodations. During our research for our visit to Guimarães, we discovered several gems that we are eager to recommend. Read this blog to find out about the best places to stay in Guimarães!


Where to Find Guimarães in Portugal

Guimarães, located in the north of Portugal, is a renowned tourist destination in Northern Portugal. The nearest international airport is in Porto, making it the most logical arrival point for those wanting to explore the north of Portugal.

This charming city is a stone’s throw away from other iconic locations in Portugal. To the northwest lies the breathtaking Peneda-Gerês National Park, situated along the Spanish border, a paradise for hikers and nature lovers and a must-visit in Northern Portugal.

A short drive north takes you to Braga, known for its historic churches and vibrant city life. Southwest, less than forty-five minutes away, is the famous city of Porto. From there, the Douro Valley, known for its picturesque landscape of quaint villages and beautiful vineyards along the Douro River, is also easily accessible from Guimarães.

Guimaraes City Wall

What Guimarães Is Known For

Guimarães is renowned for its historical center but is especially known among Portuguese as the birthplace of Portugal, playing a significant role in Portuguese history. The phrase “Aqui Nasceu Portugal” (Portugal was born here) proudly adorns the walls of the old city.

It is recognized as the birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, who declared Portuguese independence from the Kingdom of León in Guimarães and later proclaimed himself King of Portugal, a title later acknowledged by other countries and even the Pope. Guimarães was the first capital of this new Portugal, albeit not for long, as the king soon ruled from Coimbra.

Apart from its historical significance, Guimarães is known for its medieval city center, which has been wonderfully preserved and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. With its winding medieval streets, impressive castles, and palaces, Guimarães is exceptionally picturesque and a popular tourist destination.

Guimaraes Portugal

How Many Days Do You Need In Guimarães?

To fully explore Guimarães, a minimum of one full day is recommended, preferably two. This allows time to explore the old city and visit famous attractions like the palace, as well as a day to take the cable car to the sanctuary on Monte da Penha for walking and picnicking, which is highly recommended.

Day trips from Porto, covering both Guimarães and Braga in one day, are often suggested but not advised due to the rush. It’s better to dedicate at least one day per city, maybe even two for Guimarães.

Guimaraes Monta da Penha

The Best Hotels in Guimarães

To fully experience both the old town and the beautiful nature at Monte da Penha, it is essential to spend at least one night in Guimarães. The most convenient option is to find accommodation in or very close to the historic city center.

The best hostels and hostels in Guimarães:

#1 Hotel da Oliveira: Highly rated, located at the famous Largo da Oliveira, housed in an authentic building. Guests praise its extensive breakfast, prime location, and friendly staff.

#2 Pousada Mosteiro de Guimaraes: A luxurious hotel, just outside the city, set in a historic 12th-century monastery. The individually decorated rooms are located along the former monastery corridors, with beautiful gardens and an outdoor pool.

#3 Casa do Juncal: Located within Guimarães’ city walls, set in an 18th-century mansion. Offers a garden view during breakfast, rooms with designer furniture, king-sized beds, and a modern ambiance with authentic details like beamed ceilings.

#4 Trovador City Guest House: An affordable option next to the old center. Modern, bright rooms, some with views of the lively square. Guests appreciate its central location and value for money.

#5 Pousada de Juventude: Budget-friendly hostel stay, located in a beautiful old building in the old center, offering dormitories, double rooms, or apartments, each with a balcony.

Guimaraes Portugal

Staying in Guimarães with a Camper

For those traveling with a camper, Guimarães is easily accessible. Near the old city, by the cable car to Monte da Penha, is a free camper spot (link Park4Night), where disposal services are available.

A recommended spot for overnight camper stays is not beside the old center but on Monte da Penha. There’s an official parking area for campers, and a more scenic parking spot nearby (link Park4Night), offering solitude and nature walks to the sanctuary or viewpoint. Additionally, there’s a camping site on Monte da Penha, but we found it closed outside the high season.

Read more: wild camping in Portugal

Guimaraes camper