Woman with Dog in Foggy Mountains

Exploring the beauty of Guimarães / Portugal as Solo Traveller.

Exploring Guimarães: A Feminine Solo Traveler’s Paradise

Welcome to Guimarães: A Haven for Adventurous Women

Embarking on a solo journey as a woman can be an empowering and exhilarating experience. If you’re seeking an extraordinary destination where history, culture, and warm-hearted locals come together, look no further than Guimarães. This charming Portuguese city presents an enchanting blend of medieval architecture, vibrant streets, and a welcoming atmosphere that will make any solo female traveler feel right at home.

Uncover the Medieval Wonders

Eager to step into a time machine and experience the rich history of Guimarães? Start your journey by exploring the historic center, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Meander through its maze-like cobbled streets, taking in the picturesque squares and elegant medieval buildings that transport you back in time.

Guimarães Castle: A Fortress of Strength

As a woman traveling alone, it’s essential to explore Guimarães Castle, symbolizing resilience and independence. Climb the sturdy stone ramparts and be rewarded with remarkable panoramic views of the city below. Let your imagination run wild as you wander through the castle’s courtyards and towers, feeling the echoes of the past whispering in your ear.

The Colorful Charm of Largo da Oliveira

Largo da Oliveira, a delightful square nestled in the heart of Guimarães, is a vibrant hub that boasts charming cafes and artisan shops. This picturesque spot, surrounded by traditional granite houses and monumental landmarks, sets the perfect scene for indulging in a leisurely cup of Portuguese coffee and people-watching. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals while immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere.

Immerse Yourself in Cultural Heritage

Guimarães is not only a city of architectural wonders but also a cradle of Portuguese culture and heritage. Uncover the stories and traditions that have shaped this remarkable place and connect with its profound past.

The Birthplace of Portugal: Paço dos Duques de Bragança

No visit to Guimarães is complete without a visit to the majestic Paço dos Duques de Bragança. This medieval palace, evoking tales of knights and princesses, was once the residence of the first King of Portugal and his descendants. Inside its stone walls, you’ll find a treasure trove of history, including intricate tapestries, valuable art collections, and beautifully manicured gardens that offer a peaceful retreat for contemplation.

Reviving Traditions: Guimarães Folk Festival

For solo female travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience, time your visit to coincide with the Guimarães Folk Festival. Every July, the city comes alive with an explosion of traditional music, lively street performances, and exuberant parades. Make connections with locals and fellow travelers as you dance to the rhythm of Portuguese folk music, immerse yourself in regional gastronomy, and soak up the joyous atmosphere.

Indulge in Gastronomic Delights

Delve into Guimarães’ culinary scene, which showcases Portuguese flavors and regional specialties that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you’re a foodie seeking exquisite dining experiences or a budget traveler in search of local culinary delights, Guimarães has something for all palates and budgets.

Taste the Culture: Arroz de Sarrabulho

Indulge in the traditional dish of Arroz de Sarrabulho, a flavorful rice dish originating from Guimarães. Made with various meats, including pork, sausage, and chicken, this hearty meal embodies the region’s gastronomic traditions. Pair it with a glass of Vinho Verde, a refreshing Portuguese white wine, to elevate your dining experience.

Market Adventures: Mercado Municipal de Guimarães

For solo female travelers who love exploring local food markets, a visit to Mercado Municipal de Guimarães is a must. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of this charming market, brimming with fresh produce, aromatic spices, and artisanal products. Engage with friendly vendors, sample regional delicacies, and create a delectable picnic to savor in one of Guimarães’ scenic parks.

Rest and Recharge

After a day of exploration, finding a comfortable and safe place to rest is crucial for any solo female traveler. Guimarães offers a wide range of accommodation options that cater to different needs and budgets.

Boutique Luxury: Santa Luzia ArtHotel

For a luxurious stay in the heart of Guimarães, the Santa Luzia ArtHotel is the perfect choice. With its elegant rooms, art-inspired décor, and a rooftop pool boasting breathtaking city views, this boutique hotel offers a tranquil haven to unwind and pamper yourself after a long day of adventure.

Charming Hospitality: Pousada de Guimarães – Santa Marinha

If you prefer a more traditional ambiance, opt for the stately Pousada de Guimarães – Santa Marinha. Housed in a former 12th-century Augustinian Monastery, this enchanting property combines historic charm with modern comforts. Relax in the beautifully landscaped gardens, indulge in the spa’s rejuvenating treatments, and soak up the serene atmosphere.

Final Thoughts: Guimarães, Your Empowering Escape

Guimarães beckons solo female travelers seeking a destination that combines history, culture, and a warm embrace. Embrace the empowering spirit of this medieval gem as you explore its majestic castles, immerse yourself in its vibrant traditions, and savor the flavors of its traditional gastronomy. With its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere, Guimarães offers a safe and enriching experience for women traveling alone. So pack your bags, unleash your inner adventurer, and let Guimarães be your companion on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery.

Accommodation Options in Guimarães

Hotels

– Hotel Guimarães
– Hotel Fundador
– Hotel Toural
– Stay Hotel Guimarães Centro
– Hotel da Oliveira

Guesthouses

– Casa do Juncal
– Torel Avantgarde
– Santa Luzia ArtHotel
– Casa Dos Pombais

Apartments

– Stay in Guimarães – Bracara Augusta
– Apartamento Santiago
– GNG Guesthouse & Apartments
– Rua de Santa Maria Apartment

Hostels

– HI Guimarães – Pousada de Juventude
– Hostel Prime Guimaraes
– Hostel Saberes & Sabores

Camping and Caravan Options

– Parque de Campismo de Guimarães
– Quinta Vila Marita Camping

Must-see Places in Guimarães

Guimarães Castle

– A medieval castle located in the city center, often considered the birthplace of Portugal.

Paco dos Duques de Braganca

– A palace built in the 15th century, showcasing a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.

Couros Museum

– A museum that explores the history of the tanning industry in Guimarães, housed in an old tannery.

Santa Maria Street

– One of the main streets in the historic center, lined with colorful buildings and shops.

Guimarães Shopping

– A modern shopping center with a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Monte da Penha

– A hill with a sanctuary and beautiful panoramic views of Guimarães.

Praça de Santiago

– A vibrant square with outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying a meal or drink.

Gonçalo Martins House

– A preserved medieval house, providing insights into the daily life of the time.

São Gualter Church

– A 14th-century church known for its impressive facade and architectural details.

Vila Flor Cultural Center

– A cultural venue hosting various art exhibitions, concerts, and performances.

Favorite Foods to Eat at Guimarães

Bacalhau à Braga

Bacalhau à Braga is a traditional Portuguese dish that consists of salted codfish (bacalhau) prepared in a rich and flavorful sauce. The codfish is first soaked to remove the excess salt, then it is cooked with onions, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, and various herbs and spices. This dish is typically served with potatoes and sautéed greens, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

Francesinha

Francesinha is a popular sandwich originating from Porto but is also widely enjoyed in Guimarães. It is a true indulgence for meat lovers. The sandwich is made with layers of ham, linguiça (a type of smoked sausage), and various types of meat such as roast beef or steak. The sandwich is then covered with melted cheese and topped with a thick and spicy tomato sauce. It is usually served with fries or a fried egg on top. This hearty and delicious sandwich is a must-try while visiting Guimarães.

Arroz de Cabidela

Arroz de Cabidela is a traditional dish in the Minho region of Portugal, which includes Guimarães. It is a rice dish cooked with chicken marinated in its blood and vinegar, resulting in a unique and intense flavor. The blood and vinegar combination gives the dish a dark color and a tangy taste. The rice absorbs the flavors from the chicken and creates a rich and savory meal. It is a dish that showcases the region’s culinary heritage and is often enjoyed during festive occasions.

Pudim Abade de Priscos

Pudim Abade de Priscos is a popular dessert from Guimarães that was created by an abbot in the 19th century. It is a rich and indulgent pudding made with eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and bacon fat. The bacon fat adds a unique and savory element to the dessert, balancing the sweetness of the pudding. It has a smooth and creamy texture and is often served chilled. This sweet treat is a beloved dessert in Guimarães and is definitely worth trying.

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that is widely enjoyed in Guimarães. It is a simple yet flavorful soup made with shredded kale, potatoes, onions, garlic, and Portuguese chouriço (sausage). The soup is simmered until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together. It is often served with a drizzle of olive oil on top and accompanied by crusty bread. Caldo Verde is a comforting and nourishing dish that is perfect for colder days.

Daily Costs for Solo Travellers in Guimarães

Food

– Average cost of a meal at a budget restaurant: €7-€10
– Mid-range restaurant three-course meal for one person: €15-€25
– Street food or fast food meals: €4-€7
– Groceries and snacks from supermarkets: €20-€30 per week

Stay

– Budget hostels or guesthouses: €20-€30 per night
– Mid-range hotels or Airbnb rentals: €40-€80 per night
– Luxury hotels: €100 and above per night

Transportation

– Local buses or trams: €1.50 per trip
– Taxis: €5-€10 for short distances within the city
– Car rentals: €30-€50 per day (depending on the type of car and rental duration)

Safety for Women Solo Travellers in Guimarães

Overall Safety

Guimarães is considered a relatively safe city for women solo travellers. However, it is always essential to take general safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Daytime Safety

– The city center and main tourist areas are generally safe to explore during the day.
– Stick to well-lit and populated areas.
– Keep your belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded places.

Nighttime Safety

– Avoid walking alone in secluded or dimly lit areas at night.
– Utilize reliable transportation options like taxis or rideshares.
– Trust your instincts, and if something feels off, seek assistance or return to your accommodation.

Dress and Cultural Sensitivity

– Guimarães is a modern and progressive city, but it is still recommended to dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions.
– Pay attention to the dress code when visiting religious sites or conservative areas.

Always conduct thorough research and stay updated on the current safety situation before your trip.