The best travel destination 2021 is located in the north of Portugal

Bom Jesus do Monte Braga
Photo: Catarina Freitas - photography_acsf

Portugal is once again very popular as a travel destination in 2021. In addition to the cities of Lisbon and Porto, another name will be mentioned this year, namely the city of Braga. Braga is considered a real insider tip and was recently voted the best destination in 2021 by the travel portal "European Best Destinations" (600,000 respondents from 192 countries). But what makes the city so special? Let us give you a brief introduction to Braga...

The city of Braga in the north of Portugal is one of the oldest cities in the country. Braga is also a student city with the largest university in Portugal ("University of Minho") and therefore very busy and vibrant all year round.

But not only students get their money's worth in Braga, because the city is also considered a special destination for foodies. Braga's traditional cuisine always invites you to try delicious dishes in the city's many restaurants. Although Braga's cuisine is traditionally more meat-oriented, fish dishes are also a must on the city's menus. In Braga, for example, this includes the Bacalhau à Braga or à Narcisa, which consists of deep-fried cod bites served with bay leaves, cloves and a corn bread.

In addition to the many culinary highlights, the city also offers plenty of historical sights. Numerous churches, cathedrals and monasteries can be visited in Braga, which, in combination with the narrow streets in the old town, invite you to explore the city on foot.

Bom Jesus do Monte Braga
Photo: Catarina Freitas - photography_acsf
Don't miss the church of Bom Jesus do Monte, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019. The 581 steps, which symbolise the way to heaven, can be climbed on foot or on the Elevador do Bom Jesus. The elevador is also the oldest functioning water ballast lift in the world and overcomes the 116-metre height difference in three minutes with the help of water power. Once at the top, you can enjoy a great view over Braga and if that's not enough, you can take a relaxing walk in the surrounding park.

In addition to the church Bom Jesus do Monte, the cathedral Sé de Braga, as well as the monastery Mosteiro de São Martinho de Tibães from the Benedictine order are also worth a visit. In the city centre, on the other hand, many charming squares invite you to linger. The Praça da República is just one example of such a square, which is a real visitor magnet with its idyllic fountain in the middle and the colourful houses.

If, on the other hand, you prefer something quieter and more flowery, you should not miss the Jardim de Santa Bárbara garden. The garden at the Episcopal Palace Antigo Paço Episcopal is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Portugal and reaches its peak between spring and summer. Then the garden, which was already built in the 17th century, blossoms in bright and magnificent colours.

If you are now in the mood for a city trip to Braga, you can book a flight to Porto airport. From there, the best destination in 2021 is only about 50 kilometres away and can be reached quickly by car or train.

We wish you a wonderful journey. Boa viagem!

Many thanks to Catarina Freitas for the great photos. You can find more of them on Instagram at @photography_acsf

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