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The best guide to Coimbra

Coimbra Portugal Guide

Coimbra is the fascinating university city of Portugal, which makes for a fantastic destination as part of a tour or holiday to Portugal. This captivating city is steeped in history, contains one of the world’s oldest universities and is bursting with Portuguese charm.

coimbra portugal

Coimbra is no historic relic, which purely focuses on it’s past, it is an affluent city that is both liberal and forward thinking, in part due to the large student population. As a tourist destination Coimbra will appeal to wide selection of visitors; it crammed with interesting historical monuments but equally has a lively atmosphere and great nightlife. Coimbra is often overlooked by foreign visitors but for those tourists who defy convention will discover a truly enthralling holiday destination.

Highlights of Coimbra

The beautiful historic university buildings, which include the library, the grand hall and the view from the “Owl” tower.

owl tower coimbra portugal

Listening to the sweet sound of Fado, a style of music which was created by the students to woo the women of Coimbra.

coimbra portugal

Portugal dos Pequenitos, Portugal’s key monuments in miniature, designed for children but adored by adults.....

coimbra portugal

The Igreja de Santa Cruz, Coimbra’s most historically important church but contains numerous design failures…

Igreja de Santa Cruz

Spot the odd piece in the tile image, oops!

Coimbra needs more than 2 hours!

Many tourists to Coimbra visit as part of a coach or guided tour that spend less than 2 hours within the city, and this barely scratches the surface of this wonderful city. Coimbra at a minimum requires one and half days just to explore the main sights, while the great day trips could extend a stay to four or five days. Coimbra has a lively nightlife and fabulous restaurants and is worthy of at least a night’s stay even for those visitors on a limited time frame. For those visitors who spend time to discover the city will be rewarded with a rich understanding and appreciation of the city and it’s people.

coimbra portugal

The main room in the university

Coimbra is Easy to Travel To

Coimbra is half way between Lisbon and Porto, and this makes for the perfect destination to break the journey between the two major cities. The express train (the Alpha Pendular??), which connects Lisbon to Porto stops at Coimbra and it is little more than 1.5 hour from either city. This means that Coimbra is ideal for visitors who are reliant on public transport, with regular and inexpensive from both major airport cities. Once in Coimbra the historic centre is compact and it can be easily explored on foot.

coimbra portugal

The train to Coimbra, in Orient train station, Lisbon

Coimbra is great for Food

The unique heritage and culture of Coimbra transfers to the cooking and cuisine which is very distinct from other regions of Portugal.

The local produced wines are the perfect complement to all of the delicious foods. As Coimbra is predominantly a university town, meals especially at lunch, offer exceptional value.

coimbra portugal

The view over Coimbra

Coimbra will make you fit

As Coimbra is centred around the ancient roman there is a lot of walking up steep hills

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