European Best Destinations is a travel portal that writes about beautiful places in Europe, inspiring travel and helping to plan holidays.
The portal's users chose 20 places they would like to travel to in 2021. The Portuguese city of Braga received almost 110 000 votes for its beautiful architecture, authentic cuisine and care for the environment. The full city ranking is on the portal's website.
Why travellers choose Braga
Braga is considered the religious capital of Portugal. In 1505 Braga's Bishop's Palace was built. It now houses the library, the rectorate of the University of Minho and the local archives. The city has many temples, cathedrals and churches hidden away in the maze of narrow streets in the old part of the city.
Braga's architecture has been taking shape over the centuries. There are many different styles of buildings: Italian Neoclassicism, Baroque and Renaissance. The city's main attractions are the Cathedral, the Church of Christ on Golgotha, the Church of the Holy Cross and the Church of Mercy.
Travellers have noted that Braga is a fairly quiet, restful town. It is a pleasant place to walk, go to exhibitions, and meet friends in the cafes.
The Church of Christ on Golgotha is an ensemble of 17th- and 18th-century religious architecture. You can go up the church by a zig-zag staircase or a water-operated chairlift. The lift is ecological and comfortable.
Braga has many museums. The Archaeological Museum displays artefacts from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age. There are also photography museums and local art galleries to visit.
The town keeps up its tradition of cooking. They cook bacalhau for Christmas, baked cod with a béchamel sauce. During the holidays, locals get together in huge groups and drink Muscatel with banana.
The weather is about the same as the rest of Portugal. The climate is mildly subtropical, with average annual temperatures around +24ºC. Summers are dry and sunny and winters are fairly warm, with temperatures rarely dropping below +13°C.
The Church of Christ on Calvary is located on top of Mount Espinho. The church was built in a neo-classical Italian style. The church is accessed by a staircase of 581 steps, known as the "Holy Road".
Santa Barbara Gardens: view from the side of the bishop's palace and the ruins of the arcade. Shrubs, boxwood and roses were used in the landscape design. St Barbara's fountain in the centre of the garden
The Ponte do Prado Roman Bridge, built in the first century A.D., a monument of ancient Roman architecture
How to enter Portugal if the border is closed
Russians need a visa to enter Portugal and other Schengen countries. But because of the pandemic, Portugal is temporarily not issuing visas. The country is closed to tourists until the epidemic situation improves. Only citizens and residents of the country are allowed to return to Portugal despite the restrictions.
Wealthy cosmopolitans receive a residence permit in Portugal through a government investment programme. Participants in the programme choose one of the options:
- Purchase real estate in the country;
- Buy shares in a venture capital fund;
- Open a deposit in a bank;
- Finance scientific research or cultural projects;
- start a new company;
- invest in existing businesses.
Buying real estate is the most popular among investors, with 91% of applicants choosing this option in 2020. We talked about this in the article “Statistics on Portugal’s 2020 residence permit programme”.
Portugal offers 2 real estate investment options
|From 500 000 €||From 350 000 €|
residential or commercial property
|building over 30 years old|
Braga is 50 kilometres from Porto, Portugal's second largest city. It is located on the Atlantic coast. Porto's historic districts have been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.
Property prices in Porto are rising by 7-10% a year, despite the crisis and the pandemic. Rental yields are between 3% and 5% a year.
Investors buy property in the city to participate in the programme because it is a liquid asset investment. The properties are allowed to be rented out, and after five years they can be sold and get back the money invested.
The terms of the programme will change on 1 January 2022. Real estate will be allowed to buy only in the Azores, Madeira and inland regions. We told about it in the article "Changes in the law "golden visa" of Portugal".
Experts on real estate Immigrant Invest recommend buying soon, while the old rules are still in force. Under their terms it is allowed to buy property in major cities and resort areas - in Lisbon, Porto, Cascais, Faro.
Residence permit in Portugal allows you to live, work and conduct business, study in the country and travel freely in the Schengen area. The resident has the right to apply for citizenship after 5 years, if he/she maintains the residence permit status and complies with the conditions of the programme - maintains investments and spends 7 days a year in Portugal.
Apartment with private garden and terrace in a residential complex in Porto, Portugal.
Price - from €328, 000
Apartment in the historic part of the city a Porto, next to the market Bolhao and the central square of Aliados.
Price from €368,000
Classically designed apartment with panoramic windows in the centre of Porto.
Price from €378,000
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the Residence Permit Programme in Portugal by investment. If you want to move to the country and travel around Portugal without restrictions, seek advice from investment programme experts.