Living in Guimarães / Useful Informations

Living in Guimarães

Guimarães is a Portuguese city situated in the District of Braga, in the Norte region and the subregion of Ave (one of the most industrialized subregions in the country). Its population of 52,182 inhabitants takes up an urban area of 23.5 km², with 20 parishes and a population density of 2,223.9 inhabitants/km². It is the seat of a municipality with an area of 242.85 km² and 162,572 inhabitants (2006). It is divided into 69 parishes with the majority of the population living in the city and on its outskirts. Guimarães borders on the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso in the north, Fafe in the east, Felgueiras, Vizela and Santo Tirso in the south, Vila Nova de Famalicão in the west and Braga in the northwest.

Guimarães, initially known as Vimaranes, is a historical city, which played the leading role in the foundation of Portugal and which has now existed for over a millennium.
Guimarães is one of the most important cities in the country. With its historical centre being considered World Cultural Heritage, it is one of the largest tourist centres of the region. Its streets and monuments bring history back to life and enrapture its visitors.

The Guimarães of today knows best how to reconcile history and the maintenance of heritage with the dynamism and entrepreneurship that characterise modern cities.

Guimarães is often called the "Cradle of Portugal," owing to the fact that the administrative centre of Condado Portucalense (the Portuguese County) was established there by King Henrique and that his son, King Afonso Henriques, might have been born in that very city, and finally, owing to the historical importance that the battle of São Mamede, fought on the outskirts of the city on June 24 1128, had in the creation of Portuguese nationality. Nevertheless, that same centre had to be moved to Coimbra in 1129, because of the Reconquista (Reconquest) and the need to protect southern territories.

The "Vimaranenses" (the inhabitants of Vimaranes) are proudly called "Conquistadores" ("Conquerors"), as a memento of the historical legacy of the conquest that began precisely in Guimarães.

The climate of Guimarães is tempered by the Atlantic. Winters are cool and rainy, with average temperatures ranging from 5 to 14ºC (41 to 57ºF); however, snow is very infrequent. In the spring, average temperature varies from 6 to 20ºC (43 to 68ºF), while in the summer average temperature ranges from 12ºC to 27ºC (54 to 81ºF). In the autumn average temperatures vary from 6 to 25ºC (43 to 77ºF).

Cost of living
Braga and Guimarães are among the most affordable Portuguese cities in which to live and study. The average cost of living ranges from 400€ to 500€ per month.
Some estimated costs:
Meal at the university canteen: 2.15€
Restaurant (low-cost): 5€– 10€
Coffee: 0.45€- 0.60€
Cinema: 5.50€
Newspaper: 1€ - 3 €

Private Accommodations
Apart from university housing, Braga and Guimarães are cities with an extensive supply of private accommodations. If you are interested in this kind of accommodation, upon arrival at University of Minho, a list of rooms/apartments available can be obtained at the Students’ Support Office (GAA) or the International Relations Office on both campuses.
The average cost for a private room is 112 to 150€ per person/month, and the average cost for a flat is 350-400€ month.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to arrive at least one week prior to the beginning of your classes in order to look for private accommodations.