The best independent guide to north Portugal
The best independent guide to north Portugal
Braga is a likeable destination, which has a lot to offer you as a day trip from Porto or for a longer stay.
Within the city, there are charming plazas, grand churches and an abundance of Portuguese character. Just outside of Braga is the Bom Jesus do Monte church, with its magnificent Barque stairway, and is considered one of the finest tourist attractions of northern Portugal.
Braga is very easy to travel to from Porto as it is connected by a regular and inexpensive railway. This article will detail how to travel from Porto to Braga, and includes timetables, station information and fare details.
The final section of the article details how to travel from Porto airport to Braga.
Related articles: Braga introduction – Day trip to Braga (with map) – Day trips from Porto
The extravagate Palácio do Raio in the centre of Braga
Braga is 42km to the north of Porto and can be reached by train or bus; however, the train is the recommended means of travel. The train operates a frequent, comfortable and direct service, and is also cheaper than the bus.
In Porto, the train service departs from the São Bento train station, which is conveniently located in the centre of the city, close to the popular tourist districts.
Braga is known as the religious centre of Portugal, and is impart due to the sheer number of churches within the historic centre
The Porto-Braga railway is part of the urban Porto train network, which unfortunately means that there are many stops.
The journey takes between 54min and 71min (depending on the service) and sadly, the route is not that scenic, passing through non-descript towns and countryside.
Advice: A rental car is useful for a day trip to Braga, as it eliminates the need to catch the bus to the Bom Jesus church (5km outside of Braga city centre), and the Sameiro Sanctuary can be also be added to the day trip.
The Convento do Pópulo and the statue of Gomes da Costa, the 10th president of Portugal, but who only led the country for 22 days in 1927
The Braga train service is operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP), the national train company of Portugal.
A single ticket from Porto to Braga costs €3.25/€1.65 (adult/child), a return ticket is the price of two singles €6.50/€3.30 (adult/child). The journey distance falls within “Zone 8” pricing bracket of the Porto urban train lines, and for a detailed fare guide, please see the CP website:
(The link opens a PDF, which may download on certain mobile phones)
The train to Braga waiting in the São Bento train station
Braga is the final station on the railway line, and depending on the service takes between 54min and 71min.
There are twenty daily departures, with seven extra services Monday to Friday. The first daily departure from Porto is at 6:45 (or 6:15 Mon-Fri) and the last return services from Braga is at 23:32 (correct Dec 2020).
For the latest timetable, please see the CP website:
(link opens a PDF, which may download on certain mobile phones)
The trains that operate between Porto and Braga and are modern, clean and well maintained. The route is also safe to travel late at night.
The Braga train is also suitable for less mobile passengers, as the platforms are at the same height as the carriage doors.
The Baroque stairway at the Bom Jesus do Monte represents the ascent into heaven
Small group tours are an enjoyable and informative way to discover Braga, along with providing a chance to meet fellow travellers.
Since the introduction of rating and reviews, the standard of group tours in Portugal has dramatically improved. Now tours are led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, and cater for modern and worldly tourists.
We have worked with GetYourGuide.com for the previous six years and some of their best tours they offer for Braga include:
Tickets are purchased from the ticket office or ticket machines. The ticket machines provide instructions in all common European languages and accept cash or card. The main ticket office in São Bento train station can get very busy, especially at rush hour.
Warning: Tickets must be purchased and validated before boarding the train; passengers should expect to get their tickets inspected, and fines are given for invalid (or non-validated) tickets.
Braga train station is on the western side of the city, and is a 500m walk to the historic centre.
To walk; head north from the train station (along the main road) and at the roundabout turn right along the Rua Andrade Corvo, which leads into the historic centre.
For a guide to day trip to Braga, which includes the route from the train station and a suggested tour, please see this article; a day trip to Braga.
Trains to Braga all depart from the São Bento train station (Estação de São Bento). This station is conveniently located close to the main tourist areas of Porto and is a short walk away from the Ribeira district. São Bento is served by the D metro line (yellow line), which is the main north-south metro line.
The station is well equipped with standard facilities, including; an ATM, coffee shop, luggage lockers, ticket offices and a small waiting room. Visitors should also leave time to marvel at the elaborate tiling that adorns the station interior.
All trains to Braga also stop at Campanhã train station. This is the main intercity train station of Porto, with direct services to Coimbra and Lisbon. The São Bento Station is closer to central Porto than Campanhã, so it is recommended to join the service at São Bento.
While in São Bento train station do not miss the wonderful azulejos tile paintings which adorn the walls of the waiting room
The tile paintings date from 1907-1913 and reflect the eras before and after the 1910 revolution. The classic blue and white tiles where before the revolution, while the coloured tiles were considered a modern and progressive style and suitable for the newly formed republic in 1911.
If you are travelling to Braga from Porto airport there is no need to travel into central Porto and then catch the train, as there is a direct bus service operated by “Get Bus”.
A single from the airport to Braga costs €8 and the journey takes 50 minutes. The bus departs from outside of the terminal building at the “Stop A”, and cash tickets can be purchased from the driver.
There are eight daily departures and eleven Monday to Friday. The number of bus departures is limited but it is much better than taking an expensive taxi (€80-100) and more convenient than catching the metro to Porto and train to Braga. For the latest timetable and to purchase tickets please see the Get Bus website:
In Braga the Get Bus terminates in the bus station, which is to the north of the city centre