Getting to Guimarães
  • The premises of the United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV) are located near the historical city centre of Guimarães, Portugal.

    Situated in the north of the country, about 320 km from Lisbon, Guimarães is one of the oldest cities in Portugal and is historically associated with the foundation and identity of the Portuguese nationality. Established in the 9th century, at the time called Vimaranes, it played a major role in the foundation of the country. The city was the main government seat of the County of Portugal, which existed between the years 868-1139 and was, at the time, part of the larger Kingdom of León. In this location in the 12th century was born D. Afonso Henriques, who was crowned the first King of Portugal. For that reason, Guimarães is known as “the cradle of the Portuguese nationality” (the “Portugal was born here” can be seen written in one of the old city walls). The nickname of D. Afonso Henriques is “The Conqueror”, due to his battling efforts to gain independence and establish the Kingdom of Portugal, which happened in 1139. He was also a relentless fighter against the Moors and, until his death in 1185, conquered from them most of what today is modern Portugal.

    The historical city centre of Guimarães, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, has been the subject of several regeneration projects, which included the regeneration of an old leather manufacturing area known as “Couros” (“couro” is the Portuguese word for “leather”). The UNU-EGOV premises are located in the Postgraduate School of the Couros Campus, part of the University of Minho, very close to the old city walls. Other buildings reconstructed as part of this urban regeneration project include the Science Center, the Institute of Design and the Jordão Theater. All of them together create a space for education, research and creativity that entangles history with creativity and technology.

  • Portugal is served by three major airports, located in the north (Porto International Airport, OPO), in the south (Faro Airport, FAO), and in the capital (Lisbon International Airport, LIS).

    Porto Airport, also called Airport Fancisco Sá Carneiro, is the best choice to reach Guimarães, as it is served by all major European airlines and is located relatively close to the city. From the airport, there are several ways to get to Guimarães:

    • By bus: there are several buses running throughout the day between the airport and the city, with the journey taking about 50 minutes.
    • By train: it is possible to take the metro directly from the airport (Line E) to the centre of Porto and, from there, take one of the several daily urban trains between Porto and Guimarães, with the journey taking about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    • By taxi: taxis are widely available at the airport and the journey takes about 40 minutes.
    • By car: take highway A3 and then highway A7 to reach Guimarães in about 40 minutes, with highway tolls in place.

    Another possibility to reach Portugal is to land at Lisbon International Airport, which is the main airport in the country. From there, there are several ways to get to Guimarães:

    • By bus: the journey will usually take more than 5 hours and should be planned in advance.
    • By train: several high-speed trains are available daily to Porto, with the journey taking around 4 hours. From Porto, several urban trains to Guimarães are available daily.
    • By car: take highway A1 to Porto and then highway A7 from Porto to Guimarães to reach the city in about 4 hours with highway tolls in place.