No longer Barcelona, ​​Lisbon or Porto. This city will be a hit among tourists in 2024

No longer Barcelona, ​​Lisbon or Porto.  This city will be a hit among tourists in 2024

If you don't know yet where to go for a city break this year, we're here to give you some advice. A small town in Portugal will be the perfect choice. And we are sure that in 2024 it will be a travel hit.

When you think about a city break in Europe, destinations such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona or London certainly come to mind. However, in 2024, substitutes for well-known cities dominate – those that are less crowded and much cheaper. That's why this year you should choose not Lisbon or Porto, but a completely different Portuguese city that will surely delight you. We're talking about Braga. Where is it located and what does it offer?

Braga will be the hit of 2024

Braga is one of the oldest cities in Portugal with over 2,000 years of history and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world. It was founded in Roman times as Bracara Augusta. It is located about 55 km north of Porto, but you have to go inland to get there.

This small town has just been named Europe's next emerging travel destination by journalists from Travel + Leisure magazine. Why?

It is worth starting with the fact that in 2023, Portugal was under a real siege. It was visited by over 30 million guests, which is a tourism record in this country. But not only the main cities – Lisbon and Porto – should be in the center of travelers' attention. The winners of the World Travel Awards have just been announced and Braga was one of the honorees. The town was recognized in the category of the leading European tourist destination for 2024.

What to see in Braga?

Located about an hour north of Porto, the city has a population of approximately 200,000. This place is considered one of the country's religious centers as it is home to the Braga Cathedral, built in the 12th century, making it the oldest in the country. As Visit Portugal explains on the city's website, the parents of the first king of Portugal, D. Henrique and D. Teresa, are buried inside.

It is worth visiting Braga during the Holy Week celebrations (this year from March 24 to 30), but also during the São João Festival, commemorating the birth of John the Baptist. It takes place on June 24.

Travelers can also visit the nearby Santuário do Bom Jesus do Monte, located just outside Braga, which is often considered one of the most photographed churches in the world thanks to its stunning staircase leading to the top of the hill.

But religious sites are just the beginning. Next to the Archbishop's Palace there is also the wonderful Santa Barbara Garden, a public garden open all year round. Travelers can also walk under the Arco da Porta Nova, which marks the entrance to the city's historic center.

Visitors can take a million photos of the Palácio do Raio displaying its fantastic azulejos. The 250-year-old building was once the personal home of the famous knight João Duarte de Faria. It is currently open to the public for those who want to come and see the inside of this classic Baroque building.

You can go to Braga while in Lisbon. There is a train running directly from the country's capital, and the journey takes just over three hours.

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