Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga

Bom Jesus do Monte is a Catholic church on the outskirts of the city of Braga in northern Portugal. For tourists it is a bit off the beaten track, but it is well worth a visit, if you are in the area.

I came upon it while driving from Santiago de Compostela in Spain to Porto in Portugal. Both cities you should definitely visit at some point if you haven’t already.

You come to it by a winding road up the hill from the city. You can choose either to walk up by taking the most beautiful stairs ever seen, known as the Via Sacra, or drive to the small carpark near the church. Unless you are ready for a sweaty climb, then I will recommend driving to the top.


The view from the top is sensational, with an unobstructed view to the west across Braga and beyond. There is a small café. Even in the middle of March it was a really nice place to eat this year’s first outdoor ice cream.

I visited in March 2018 and the year after the Bom Jesus do Monte was added to the Unesco list of World heritage. I suppose this means a lot more visitors than on the day I was there. I had the place almost, but not quite, to myself.