For my last free day based in Porto (I know - I can't believe it's come around already either), I took the train on a drizzly Sunday out to Guimarães, a city northeast of Porto, to see what I could find in this medieval town to explore.
Even in the overcast weather, I really enjoyed wandering the little streets of this quaint town and photographing the nooks and crannies that make this place so photogenic.
Trains run regularly to and from Porto and take just over an hour direct. I traveled from Porto Campanhã on the winding journey through the northern Portuguese countryside. At the time of writing, a one way ticket cost €3.25.
Here's what I got up to during my day in Guimarães:
Igreja e Oratórios de Nossa Senhora da Consolação e Santos Passos
The church with the extraordinarily long name! This pretty little church sits at the foot of the Jardim do Largo da República do Brasil.
Igreja de São Francisco
This delightful church is well known for its intricate blue tiled exterior and is tucked inside a quiet courtyard hidden from the main busy street.
Museu de Alberto Sampaio
I didn't actually go in here, although you can visit with a combined ticket from the Palace Duques de Bragança and the Guimarães Castle. You can spot the enchanting hallways from the square where you can find the Padrão do Salado monument.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira
One of the few churches that was open for visiting, the graceful wooden arched ceilings and the majestic organ at one end made this a peaceful and lovely moment escaping the rain.
Rua de Santa Maria
Considered the most idyllic and quaint street in the city, this street is home to boutiques, independent cafes and restaurants and tiny "Chapels in the Steps" - worth a browse!
Palace Duques de Bragança
In the medieval times, the Dukes used to live and work here - grandiose rooms and ornate architecture make up this building, furnished with period pieces including impressive tapestries, carvings and china. You can buy a combined ticket to both the palace and the castle nearby just up the hill.
The crowning jewel of the city is this massive castle ruin perched on the hill. On a clear day, you can get panoramic views of all of Guimarães - on a rainy day, you still get some pretty neat views of the Duke's Palace below!