Calling out to the Young, the Cultured, and everyone in between: if you’ve never been to Portugal (the westernmost European country), this is arguably the perfect time. For the year of 2012, two nearby cities in the North of this country have been chosen to represent the entire continent as paragons of Youth and Culture.
Throughout this year, there will be a particularly strong offering of events in both these cities (Braga and Guimaraes), additionally to their natural charms and traditional delights. Since the two cities are located at 20 minutes’ drive from one another, this provides visitors with a great opportunity for catching two cultural rabbits with the same proverbial stone. And if you’re wondering, yes – you can easily find low cost flights to Portugal from most European countries.
Guimaraes, European Culture Capital 2012
Widely regarded as the “Cradle of the Nation”, since it was home to D. Afonso Henriques (the first Portuguese king), Guimaraes has always been known as a place of historical significance. To those familiar with this city, the title of European Culture Capital 2012 came as no surprise: it was not long ago that the New York Times wove praises about Guimaraes as one of the most recommendable places to visit in Europe.
Braga, European Youth Capital 2012
Also a city of great historical significance – with over 2,000 years old – Braga is widely regarded as the city of archbishops, and a mandatory stop for anyone adept to religious tourism. But Braga has also been long known as one of the most youthful cities in Europe, and this year it was chosen as one of the European Youth Capitals. Which means there will be a significantly investment in activities, events and organizations geared to the promotion of younger-minded culture, from street art and performances to musical shows.
The festivities will be grouped in three areas: Y.World (aimed towards the internationalization of regional creatives, through conferences, musical performances and gastronomic events); Y. You (focusing issues related with education, qualification and entrepreneurism of younger citizens); and Y.Life(dealing with the urban life and its new challenges, proposing ways of experiencing the city with intensity and well-being).
Ready to Visit Portugal Yet?
For anyone who’s been looking for the right time to visit Portugal, this is it. Throughout the year of 2012, there will be a particularly rich cultural program that is sure to please visitors of all ages – younger visitors in particular. If you want to get to know this country and explore its unique charms available in the Northern region, this will be the perfect opportunity.
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