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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Take In the Culture Boom in Guimarães

Portugal’s medieval northern city has reinvented itself by turning former industrial spaces into cutting-edge arts institutions.


1. Where to Stay

Pousada de Guimarães Santa Marinha is a former monastery with modern additions.  

Sleep on a hilltop overlooking the city at Pousada de Guimarães Santa Marinha (from $224), a restored twelfth-century Augustine monastery that houses 51 rooms and suites over two wings, one inside the original building and the other within a bright, modern extension. Interiors feature historic cultural accents like glazed azulejo tile panels and granite fountains, while the grounds are home to verdant gardens lining a man-made lake and swimming pool.

Find a contemporary alternative to the city’s medieval center at Hotel de Guimarães (from $119), a subdued six-floor building that sits behind a glass façade. Its 116 rooms feature simple, uncluttered décor and the standard range of expected amenities, but book a suite on one of the top two floors for views of surrounding neighborhoods.

Surround yourself with history at Hotel do Toural (from $112), first opened as an inn in 1886 and now a four-star property located in two interconnected eighteenth-century buildings. Though it’s tucked away between an ancient church tower and a music school, nine of its rooms overlook the main square, which is lined with UNESCO-protected buildings, while rooms 304 through 306 face mountains in the distance.

Published on Apr 27, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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