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Exploring Guimarães - Cool Cat Portugal

Considered the “Birthplace of Portugal”, the beautiful city Guimarães is full of history and mystery. As the place where the first King of Portugal was born, Guimarães is one of the oldest cities and once the capital city during the foundation of Portugal.

In this post, let’s explore the city’s rich medieval history in many enchanting sights throughout its streets! From the impressive 10th century Castle of Guimarães, which is actually the birthplace of King Afonso Henriques, to smaller details like the maze of cobbled streets leading up to the city’s plazas and small traditional and family-owned shops.


Guimarães is located in Braga district and is one of the most important urban centers in the Minho region. Just a quick 40 minute drive will take you to Porto and 20 minutes to Braga.

This beautiful city offers the kind of lifestyle for those who seek the perfect balance between city life and nature. As we mentioned, it is quite close to two bigger cities in the North, but did you know that within an hour you are able to explore one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Of course, we cannot go talking about Guimarães without mentioning its proximity to the gorgeous Douro river and region, which is also around one hour away.


The city’s history can be traced back to the Chalcolithic age, as records attest to the presence of the population making their mark in Guimarães.

The Ara de Trajano denounces the use, by the Romans, of the thermal waters of the town of Caldas das Taipas, as well as the current parish of São João de Ponte was a point of intersection of several Roman roads.

However, the highlight of the city's history is associated with the fact that Portugal was founded there, as our first King’s birth city. In fact, it was in Guimarães that the foundation of Portugal was prepared, the city being known as “City Cradle”, or “The Cradle of the Portuguese Nation”.


Guimarães has a nice balance in city life. For those who like the cosmopolitan buzz but not too much and do enjoy a bit of quiet, this is just the spot for you.

The University of Minho, the Polytechnic in Barcelos, the United Nations University's Digital Governance Hub and a renowned Collaborative Laboratory attract thousands of students each year.

Many specialized companies are also taking interest in Guimarães not only for the affordable prices, but also for its privileged location and many younger potential freshly graduated workers.

There is also a fairly large expat community living here, particularly Dutch and Germans.


Guimarães is still fairly affordable. However, like most cities in the country, the prices are steadily rising.

It’s clear the expat’s interest in the city and some sellers/landlords are taking advantage of that, which will eventually lead to gentrification for the locals, who, if prices keep rising this fast, will be “kicked out” for not being able to afford housing.

Nonetheless, as of now, the market in Guimarães is a bit inconsistent. For example, you may find older villas for sale for around 90k and at the same time can find modern construction buildings going as high as 400k, which is quite the difference in pricing.

Another example would be 2 or 3 bedroom apartments priced around 120k to 250k.

So while the real estate market here is still not stable and is quite inconsistent, some sellers and landlords are kinda shooting their shot (“atirar barro à parede”) with higher prices. While there are still expats accepting these prices without hesitation, the numbers will definitely not go down and will just keep on increasing, thus causing the gentrification mentioned above.

Inflation also plays a big role in this increase and it’s expected that medium sized cities like Guimarães that have the privilege of its location, good living conditions among other positive factors, will see their real estate prices increase and, as a consequence, its cost of living as well.


Ana Caramujo has traveled to Guimarães and we have a wonderful video all about this beautiful historical city 🏰 Check it out below 👀😸


Hope this article was helpful, any questions you might have feel free to contact us! We are always available at if you need any assistance ;)



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