Guimarães was the birthplace of the first King of Portugal and first capital of country. Because of that, the most popular name for boys is still Afonso (the name of the King), and a recently made up "traditional" dish involves meat served in a sword (the king was a conquerer, you see?). The old town is beautifully frozen in the Middle Ages, full of really charming squares, and narrow streets where kids still play outside and grandmothers gossip on the window.
Yes, it's a small town, and yes, you can probably see it in a day, and that's part of the appeal. As it is all the very heavy food, and the refreshing "vinho verde" (which is produced here, by the way!). But Guimarães was European Capital of Culture is 2012 and because of that there are now big art centres and concert halls, plus trendy places opening a bit all over. Mix all this and you get a town that is very proud of itself. And for good reasons, we would say!
WILL BE PUBLISHED IN JANUARY 2020