Braga Is Emerging as Northern Portugal’s Shining Star

Braga ranked among the top three cities in Portugal with the best quality of life during the pandemic and the best city to visit in Europe in 2021.

Braga’s star on the map is growing as it’s increasingly becoming a sought-out location in Portugal to live, work, and invest in. The midsize northern Portuguese city is receiving a lot of attention, after being ranked among the top three cities in Portugal with the best quality of life during the pandemic and the best city to visit in Europe in 2021 by European Best Destinations.

Braga has and continues to attract many young families because it has accessible property prices, according to Idealista. This is a factor that is also attracting investors, predominantly from Brazil, who find in Braga a prime location for residential real estate investment. Many of these investors purchase properties and convert them into hotels or other businesses. 

Braga has also become a prominent religious travel destination, particularly in the week leading up to Easter, when tens of thousands of visitors flock to its dozens of churches. Adding to Braga’s tourist appeal is the Bom Jesus de Braga Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019.

Additionally, the city is doing a good job of attracting international companies that serve as major job creators in the region. Many of these jobs are highly skilled positions, related to research and higher education. The University of Minho and the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory are prominent employers in the region. 

Lastly, Idealista points to Braga’s proximity to Porto as another aspect that contributes to the city’s increased visibility. As Porto’s international appeal increased, visitors also began exploring other nearby cities in the North — Braga being a perfect candidate as it’s only an hour drive away.

Ricardo Rio, the Mayor of Braga, has made it clear that he intends to continue this trend of the city receiving national and international recognition.“We want to actively contribute so that more and more Braga becomes a smart and trendy city, this way improving the quality of life of all those who chose to live in the city,” Rio said in an interview with Idealista.   

Related: Driving through Portugal: See it All in 50 Stops (Part 1)

Photo by O Vadio.

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