Braga is one of the most underrated cities in all of Portugal. Located in the north and home to one of the most significant religious structures in the country, it really is well worth a visit. Like most cities, finding somewhere to park overnight in a campervan in Braga can be tricky. Below we discuss three potential spots, tried and tested by us.
None of these spots is perfect, in fact, they’re quite simplistic. No frills. No facilities. And no scenic views. They merely serve the purpose of being conveniently located to the city of Braga, and the amazing Bom Jesus.
Parking near the Bom Jesus do Monte
A trip to Braga wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Bom Jesus do Monte. This iconic UNESCO World Heritage site attracts many people annually. Some people pilgrimage here due to its religious significance but most people just visit to see the cool stairways to the Sanctuary.
There are a few places to park here in order to see the Bom Jesus, however, one is better than the rest.
Firstly, there is a carpark at the top of the Bom Jesus. This is perhaps the perfect place to park if you have limited mobility as it doesn’t require you to climb the 500 stairs to the top. However, we can’t in good consciousness recommend this place as it cost 10€ to use this carpark. Furthermore, this car park isn’t a viable option to camp in overnight.
The Lazy Option
Secondly, there is a small area right at the base of the main stairway leading up to the sanctuary. This spot is basically a small layby. This is the perfect place to park if you don’t have much time to explore Bom Jesus, However, once again we don’t necessarily recommend this spot. It is very uneven and located right on the roadside, therefore not somewhere that is really feasible to stay overnight.
We chose to park here for a couple of hours so we had easy and quick access to the staircase. Typically we wouldn’t have stopped here, but the rain was prevalent and we spend most of our time waiting for it to stop so we could explore.
If you still want to try this spot out, copy and paste the coordinates below into Google maps.
Coordinates: 41.554537, -8.379226
What three words: hurray, budding, swanky
The Best Option
Finally, we have saved the best place until last! This spot is located at the bottom of the Bom Jesus sanctuary, right next to the entrance to the funicular railway.
Although not scenic, it is pretty tranquil in the evening as it is surrounded by trees.
This spot is a typical cobbled car park. However, unlike the car park at the top, it is completely free. If there is no space on the cobbles, there is also some space on the gravel/soil which can be utilised, particularly if you are exploring in a larger vehicle. Another great thing about this spot is that it is pretty flat, so you shouldn’t require the use of chocks.
This spot is perfect for anyone looking to spend some time at Bom Jesus. Also, unlike the other spots, this is a great option for parking overnight.
Unfortunately, there are no services here, no bins, water, or toilets. It is basic but entirely fit for its purpose.
Bom Jesus Do Monte Funicular, 4715, Estr. de São Pedro 77, Braga, Portugal
signal / 4G
Good 4G and signal.
Park overnight in the center of Braga
Braga is one of the many cities in Portugal that is often overlooked. However, it is a city we feel is definitely worth exploring.
This spot is the perfect place to allow you quick access to the city centre which also feels extremely safe to leave your vehicle. Once again this spot is not scenic, far from it in fact.
Located in a central car park next to a school, it is within walking distance of the centre of Braga. The car park is cobbled and can get quite busy between 8 am and 6 pm. For that reason, we recommend arriving in the evening when the car park will be at its quietest.
Furthermore, this car park is not good for vehicles longer than 6m. It has extremely tight corners and small bays. We found it to be quite a struggle getting into the car park. Quite frankly, it would have been nearly impossible if we arrived when it was busier!
The car park does not have any facilities such as a faucet or toilets but is located next to some bins.
Overall, this spot is conveniently located, but nothing to write home about! It is the perfect place to park up to visit Braga, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend spending more than one night here.
4715-213 Braga, Portugal
41.547538 , -8.415857
Yes, and recycling too
signal / 4G
Good 4G and signal.
Park overnight on outskirts of Braga
This last place to park overnight in Braga is far from scenic, it simply serves a purpose. Located in the carpark of Makro (a large wholesale store) it is a short walk (15 mins) from a large shopping mall and a longer walk (40 mins) into the centre of Braga.
This spot is really flat and has plenty of room at the back of the car park, however, can be extremely overcrowded near the main entrance. For this reason, we recommend entering through the side entrance as it will help you avoid negotiating your way through lots of cars parked not in designated spaces.
This spot is also big enough to hold even the largest of vehicles. Although we do recommend arriving in the evening if you are larger than a standard car parking space as there will be much more availability then.
This spot does not have any facilities whatsoever. There are no bins, water, or toilets, so we don’t recommend spending too long here. This car park is well lit and didn’t attract youths playing loud music over the few days we spent there.
Although this spot is pretty basic it fit our needs well for the time we spent there. We only recommend parking here if you are in a large vehicle or planning on spending some time at the shopping mall – which by the way is AMAZING!
Furthermore, it is a mere 5 minute walk to two supermarkets – Aldi and Mercadona.
Makro, 4715-213 Braga, Portugal
41.550365 , -8.401108
signal / 4G
Good 4G and signal.
Although we are not in love with any of the options to park overnight in a campervan in Braga, we do believe they serve their purpose well enough to be mentioned. We stayed in a Braga for almost a week and felt extremely safe in all spots.
The best spot for larger vehicles (8m+) – Outskirts of Braga
The best spot for city access – Centre of Braga
Best spot for visiting the Bom Jesus – Bom Jesus
Spot for the best night’s sleep – Bom Jesus
The most convenient spot (access to shops) – Outskirts of Braga
If you have any questions regarding where to park overnight in Braga…or Portugal in general do not hesitate to comment down below.