We had a few nights in Braga prior to joining our cruise on the River Douro. Our hotel was the Hotel do Parque. It is located outside the city, within the surroundings of Bom Jesus do Monte, a pilgrim church which is best approached from the impressive ornamental staircase. To get into Braga you had the option of a taxi with the fare being around the Euro10 to Euro15 depending on traffic & time of day or the number 2 bus from the bottom of the funicular. We opted for the bus and a walk up/down the staircase. The walk took about 30 to 45 minutes depending on how many stops you made to admire the view. The hotel has recently been modernised and we found the rooms very comfortable, with lovely views of the surrounding woods. Service was excellent. The hotel has no restaurant but you can opt to dine at one of the nearby sister hotels. This also applies if you fancy a swim.
Braga, due to its transport links, is a good point to travel to other parts of northern Portugal. We spent half a day in Braga. The highlight was the Palacio dos Biscainhos, an amazing residence showing you how the wealthy would have lived in the 17th/18th centuries. You will need to join a guided tour (English available.) We had to wait about 30 minutes, just time to explore and admire the wonderful landscaped gardens of the property.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the city centre. We opted for lunch at Café Vianna on Praca da Republica just by the fountains. Despite the faded glory, it is a great place to watch the world go by and the sandwiches, salads etc are reasonably priced.
We were glad we had decided to add on this diversion to our river cruise. It added another dimension.