The Praça da Republica Square is considered by many to be the heart of Braga. Located at the north end of Avenida da Liberdade, the square was the trading center in sixteenth century Braga. Today it’s a great place to start your tour of Braga.
The Arcada, as it’s popularly called, is home to two excellent cafes, both over 100 years old, Cafe Vianna and Cafe Astoria. We chose to have breakfast at Café Vianna. In operation for over 150 years, the café is supposedly where the 28 May 1926 coup d’etat began. Portuguese novelists Eça de Queriós and Camilo Castelo Branco are said to have been visitors to the café during its long history.
The view from Cafe Vianna is spectacular. You look past the Praça da Republica fountain, across Jardim da Avenida Central, all the way to Bom Jesus do Monte, 5 kilometers away. The cafe is also a great place for people watching; there are always crowds of people passing by.
This view of Praça da Republica was taken from the Jardim da Avenida. You can see the Braga Tower, the last remnant of the castle, behind the Arcada.
There are so many things to see and do in Braga and it’s nice to have a central point where you can sit and relax while catching your breath and enjoying a drink. For us, Praça da Republica was that place.