Teatro Municipal de Bragança

Teatro Municipal de Bragança

The Teatro Municipal de Bragança is housed in a striking new building on the outskirts of Bragança close to the bus station.

Teatro Municipal de Bragança

The theater was inaugurated in 2004 and stages a variety of performances including drama, dance, concerts, and cinema. The cuboid, glass, and concrete building was designed by Portuguese architect Filipe Oliveira Dias to fit into a square of 1950's Estado Novo architecture.

Access - Getting There

Praça do Prof. Cavaleiro de Ferreira
5300-252 Bragança, Portugal
Tel: 273 302 740
www: facebook.com/teatromunicipalbraganca

Other cultural institutions in Bragança include the Military Museum within the town's castle and the Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança.

Bragança Bus Station

© PortugalVisitor.com

São Gonçalo de Lagos

São Gonçalo de Lagos

São Gonçalo de Lagos (1360-1422) lived in the 14th and 15th centuries and is an important religious figure in the town of his birth, Lagos in the Algarve. He is the patron saint of the city.

São Gonçalo de Lagos
Statue of the saint

He spent most of his adult life as a monk in a monastery in Torres Vedras, ministering to the poor. He was beatified by Pope Pius VI in 1798.

A son of a fishing family in Lagos he is especially venerated by fisherfolk in the town.

A statue of the saint by locally-born artist Tolentino Abegoaria stands on the  Avenida dos Descobrimentos near Lagos fort Castelo de Lagos. One of the gates to the Castelo de Lagos is called St. Gonçalo's Gate and the castle contains a shrine in the saint's honor. The Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos is also named after him. It is 2 km west of the city center and has a 24 hour A&E.

Another famous statue in Lagos is that of Henry the Navigator.

Henry the Navigator
Henry the Navigator

© Portugal Visitor.com

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança; Edificio Sede
Edificio Sede
The Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança is split between two buildings - the Edifício Sede and Casa da Seda.

The Edificio Sede is a modern building that was built on the site of the old hydroelectric power station, which utilized the waters of the River Fervença to produce energy for the city from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1960s. The Casa da Seda is located in a restored building that was once a grain mill powered by the river and was also used for silk dyeing.

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança
Casa da Seda

The Trás-os-Montes region in general and Bragança, in particular, were centers of silk production which is a major focus of the museum. There were once around 200 dye shops on the banks of the river that would discolor the river with their dyes.

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança has lots of fun, hands-on exhibits, and audio-visuals that appeal to young children. Many of them on the subject of renewable energy, another subject covered in depth at the museum.

Many cities in Portugal have a Centro Ciência Viva (Live Science Center).

Lagos has a Centro Ciência Viva as does Guimarães, where the Ciência Centro Ciência Viva de Guimarães is housed in a former tannery.

Often housed in historic buildings, they are usually aimed at parties of school children but are a lot of fun for adults to visit, too.

Centro Ciência Viva also often focus on local industries, such as leather in the case of Guimarães and silk production and renewable energy as here in Bragança.

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança
© Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança

Access - Getting There

Casa da Seda: Rua dos Batoques
n.º 25, 5300-091 Bragança

Tel: 273 382 207
www: braganca.cienciaviva.pt


Tuesday to Friday 10 am - 6 pm;
Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays 11 am - 7 pm;
Closed on Monday (Last admission half an hour before closing).

The Center is closed to the public on 1 January and 24, 25 and 31 December.

Adult - € 2.50
Student, Youth Card - € 1.50
Family ticket (2 adults + children) - € 5.00
Children (up to 6 years) - € 1.00
Teacher - 2,00 €
Senior (> 65) - € 1.50
Disabled citizen - € 1.00

The Teatro Municipal de Bragança is another city-run cultural institution in the town.


Museums in Lisbon

© PortugalVisitor.com

Bolas de Berlim

Bolas de Berlim

Visitors to Portugal with a sweet tooth probably all know about Lisbon's Pastel de Nata most famously produced at Pasteis de Belem in the Belem district of the capital.

Bola de Berlim
A Bola de Berlim goes great with coffee in the morning for that early sugar burst
Another favorite Portuguese pastry is Bola de Berlim - Portugal's super sweet take on the Berliner doughnut (Berliner Pfannkuchen).

The story goes that the recipe was brought to Portugal by Jews fleeing Hitler's Germany. However, the original red fruit filling (usually berries) was replaced with Portugal's own egg-based doce de ovos.

The dough is sliced horizontally, filled with doce de ovos, and sprinkled with fine sugar. Bolas de Berlim are on sale in most cafes and can even be found being hawked on Portugal's beaches.

Some of the best Bolas de Berlim are said to be found in and around Viana do Castelo. The one pictured is from Aveiro and was just great.

Bolas de Berlim


Ovos Moles

© PortugalVisitor.com

Ovos Moles de Aveiro

Ovos Moles de Aveiro

Ovos Moles de Aveiro is a local sweet from Aveiro. Ovos Moles ("soft eggs") is made of egg yolks and sugar.

Ovos Moles de Aveiro
Ovos Moles de Aveiro

The fillings are put inside rice paper in various shapes depending on the mould. In the above image, they are fish and shells, which is common due to the city's nautical heritage.

Local cafes, confectionary shops (pastelarias), and supermarkets in Aveiro will all stock Oves Moles.


Oves Moles were first made in various convents by nuns up until the dissolution of Portugal's religious orders in 1834. The nuns used egg whites to starch their habits and so as not to waste the yolks began making Oves Moles.

Production was continued by local women who had been educated in convents.

Oves Moles was the first Portuguese confectionery product to obtain Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Union in 2006.

A variation, ovos-moles pretos are made with a chocolate casing.

Oficina de Doce at 23 Rua de Joao Mendonca (Tel: 234 098 840) is a pastry shop where you can learn the secret of making Oves Moles. A tour includes a short film and a hands-on demonstration with tastings.

www: facebook.com/oficinadoce

Ovos Moles de Aveiro
© Oficina de Doce

Another great Portuguese pastry is Bolas de Berlim.

Hotels in Aveiro

Hotel Melia Ria

Veneza Hotel

© PortugalVisitor.com

Supermarkets in Portugal

Supermarkets in Portugal

Supermarkets (supermercados) in Portugal are pretty similar to their counterparts in the rest of Europe. Indeed some of the chains are pan-European.

The largest supermarket chains include Continente, Intermarché (French-owned), Pingo Doce and Lidl (German-owned). Continente and Pingo Doce are the two largest Portuguese-owned supermarkets. Pingo Doce has over 400 stores across the country.

El Corte Inglés is a Spanish-owned department store that usually has a supermarket as part of its stores.


What to look out for?

Portuguese supermarkets stock a great selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, wine, beer, and of course, bacalhau, salted cod.

Opening hours are usually around 8 am to 8 pm, though some larger stores stay open later, especially in the summer.

Supermarkets on the Algarve may also stock a range of foods and drinks catering to a large number of French, German and British ex-pats. The Albufeira Retail Park just outside Albufeira even has a branch of the UK Iceland chain.

Most supermarkets in Portugal will also stock a range of foodstuffs suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Supermarket on the Algarve
Supermarket sign on the Algarve
Bacalhau on sale at a supermarket in Portugal
Bacalhau on sale at a supermarket in Portugal
Many larger supermarkets tend to be out of town and people often drive there to shop. The crowded downtown areas of both Lisbon and Porto are still home to traditional shops and mini mercados (convenience stores), however.

The SPAR and Mini Preço (Express) chains bridge the gap of small supermarkets and convenience stores and can be found in the crowded areas of both Ribeira in Porto and Alfama in Lisbon.

Beer on sale at a supermarket in Portugal.
Supermarkets are a great place to stock up on cheap drinks

© PortugalVisitor.com

University of Minho (Universidade do Minho)

The University of Minho (Universidade do Minho)

The University of Minho (Universidade do Minho) is split between the cities of Braga and Guimarães in northern Portugal.

University of Minho (Universidade do Minho); Campus of Azurém, in Guimarães.
Campus of Azurém, in Guimarães

There are 4 campuses; 3 in Braga and 1 in Guimarães. These are the Largo do Paço in Braga, the Campus of Gualtar, (Braga), the Convento dos Congregados, (Braga) and the Campus of Azurém, in Guimarães.

Art  piece on the Guimaraes campus.
Campus of Azurém, in Guimarães
The university was founded in 1973 and has along 19,000 students, many of them studying on post-graduate courses.

Faculties include Architecture, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Psychology, Social Sciences and Economics and Management.

University of Minho (Universidade do Minho)

Access - Getting There

Largo do Paço
4704-553 Braga
Tel: 253 601 100; 253 601 109
www: uminho.pt

Bus 31 stops at the Guimarães campus.

University of Minho (Universidade do Minho)

University of Minho (Universidade do Minho)

© PortugalVisitor.com

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

José Maria da Fonseca, Azeitão

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

The José Maria de Fonseca table wine company in Azeitão near Setubal, south of Lisbon, dates from 1834.

The company is the oldest table wine company in Portugal.

Visitors can enjoy tours of the winery and tastings. The tours take in the house and garden as well as a visit to the cellar where huge vats of wine can be admired.

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

There is also a shop on the premises to purchase wine, cheese, and other local products. In summer there are tours from 10 am until noon and then from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

In winter the tours end at 4.30 pm. The house was once the family home of the Fonseca family and behind the house is the lovely garden complete with rare flowers and vines.

The outside of the Casa-Museu José Maria de Fonseca is decorated with some impressive azulejos and some large, black wine barrels marked with the company stamp.

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

Access - Getting There

Quinta da Bassaqueira - Estrada Nacional 10
2925-511 Vila Nogueira de Azeitao, Setubal
Tel: 351 212 197 500
www: facebook.com/josemariadafonseca

Azeitão is known not just for its excellent wines but also for its unusual runny cheese and some superb, historic fountains.

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

© PortugalVisitor.com

José Maria da Fonseca Azeitão

Wine barrels

Wine barrels

Ciencia Viva Lagos

Centro de Ciencia Viva Lagos

The Centro de Ciencia Viva Lagos is a fun science museum in Lagos on the Algarve aimed mainly at children.

The focus of the main exhibition ("From Astrolabe to GPS") is on Lagos' role as a major port in the Age of Discovery. The exhibition is hands-on and fun and incorporates robots, drones, and other high-tech items to appeal to young and old alike.

Centro de Ciencia Viva Lagos
Centro de Ciencia Viva Lagos

Communication was essential at sea and the exhibits feature astrolabes, ships' radios, and basic Morse code.

Other features about life at sea include ropes and knots, lighthouses and in the Boat Garden you can see model caravels in a tank.

Ciencia Viva Lagos
Fun science in Lagos

Access - Getting There

Rua Dr. Faria e Silva 34
Portugal 8600-734
Tel: 282 770 000
www: lagos.cienciaviva.pt

Hours: 10 am -  6 pm

Admission: the center is free for kids under six with a small charge for older children and adults.

The center also holds regular workshops and field trips.

Steps leading to the museum
Interior of the Mercado Municipal with the staircase leading to the upper floors and the Ciencia Viva Lagos with tile panels by Xana


The museum is located in the old town of Lagos close to the Mercado Municipal. From the spacious square in front of the museum, there are great views over to Lagos marina.

Lagos Station on the Algarve Line is just 600 meters away.

Centro de Ciencia Viva Lagos

Lagos Marina
View of the marina


© PortugalVisitor.com

Porto Sightseeing Buses

Porto Sightseeing Buses

A good way to see a lot of Porto in a short space of time is to take one of the city's open-top sightseeing buses. Another alternative is the smaller toy train that passes some of the city's main attractions.

Porto Sightseeing Bus
Sightseeing bus

The City Sightseeing tour on their distinctive double-decker red buses is a hop-on-hop-off tour valid for 1 or 2 days. Buses run daily from 9:15 am to 5.15 pm, every 30 minutes.

A double-decker tour bus is a great way to see the city.
Sightseeing is fun from the top deck

The route takes in many of the city's main attractions including Porto Cathedral, Torre dos Clérigos, Palacio de Cristal, Vila Nova de Gaia, Massarelos, Casa da Música and Castelo do Queijo.

Porto Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Toy train in Porto.
Toy Train

Another alternative is a ride of a Toy Train. These electric vehicles can be seen in many places throughout Portugal especially on the Algarve in Faro and Lagos, for example.

Toy train in Porto.
Porto Toy Train

Hotels in Porto & Northern Portugal

Hotel Internacional

VIP Executive Entrecampos

Basic Braga By Axis

© PortugalVisitor.com

Portugal Begins To Ease Its Coronavirus Lockdown

Portugal Begins To Ease Its Coronavirus Lockdown

From May 4 Portugal will begin to ease its lockdown imposed after the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

A three-phase plan will see different sectors of the economy open every 15 days. In the first phase bookshops, hairdressers, car showrooms, and small shops will open.

Facemasks will have to be worn in certain public spaces.

So far, as of April 30th, Portugal has had 25,045 confirmed cases and 989 deaths. Figures much less deadly than in neighboring Spain.

The media reaction in Portugal has been wary. The Diario das Noticias reports that "The glass is half-full or half-empty, depending on what you want to see. The evolution in the number of cases is good: 1 to 2% per day. The rate of transmission (R0), in which each person only infects another (or even less, is 0.92%). This is remarkable as it guaranteed the response of the National Health Service (SNS). Still ... why didn't the government go further in April?

Portugal Begins To Ease Its Coronavirus Lockdown


The Lisbon Metro (Metropolitano de Lisboa) will start controlling passenger capacity at key stations, with possible support from the PSP, and will increase the supply of trains to guarantee a safe distance between users, the company has announced.

Portugal has exceeded a thousand deaths associated with Covid-19 writes Jornal de Notícias, according to the epidemiological bulletin released this Friday by the Directorate-General for Health. There are a total of 1007 deaths associated with the new coronavirus, which represents an increase of 18 deaths compared to Thursday (989). They are distributed geographically thus:

578 in the North
201 in the Center region
202 in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region
1 in Alentejo
13 in the Algarve and 12 in the Azores

Update 6/22/2020

An 8 pm curfew was reimposed in Lisbon to tackle a small upsurge in confirmed cases in 15 districts of the capital.

Update 7/3/2020

Continental Portugal is omitted from a list of countries published by the UK government from where returning tourists do not have quarantine for 14 days on return, causing outrage in England's oldest ally. This ruling does not apply to Madeira or The Azores and hope is it will be lifted soon for Portugal as a whole. Borders with Spain are now fully open.


Portugal's beaches reopen

Sandspace App

Portugal's Beaches Reopen Today

© PortugalVisitor.com