Coimbra is a very steep city, and visiting the old quarter is hard. You may use the elevator that stands right behind the market to go up, and make your visit from top to base.
It's cheap and comfortable.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Bus from Coimbra to Batalha
Express bus from Coimbra to Batalha is expensive, about €13.0 (one way). If you travel to Leira by express bus it costs €9.0. From there to Batalha, you can go by a local bus for €2.05.
Train from Coimbra to Figueira da Foz
The best comfortable way to travel from Coimbra to Figueira da Foz is by train. The trip takes about 1h
The ticket costs €2.6.
Regional and Interregional Services
Coimbra - Figueira da Foz - Coimbra
From the train station to the University by bus
From Coimbra B train station take Trolleybus nr. 1, it stops next to the Library,
from Coimbra A (you will have to change there) in case the connecting train just left take Bus nr. 5 or 25 to Praca de Republica (near the University), € 1.50.
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
I consider two areas of interest in Coimbra: Uphill and baixa or downhill.
The University is uphill, and, although there are buses, I suggest to go there on foot, it's a great experience to walk along the narrow and cobbled streets. I know that it's quite steep, but it's not a long way. Furthermore, in between, there are some sights to visit.
The other part, where you can find some other interesting places to visit, is flat. So, all in all, you only need a good pair of shoes.
travelling by train to Coimbra.
Taking the train to Coimbra is a good way to get there.
Coimbra is connected well with both Lisbon and Porto and the portugese trains are nice and cheap.
Be aware that the main train station in Coimbra is in the outskirts of town but it is connected to a smaller train station right in the center, so if you are in the center of town and travelling by train, then you just head to the small station in the center and take a 10 minute commuter train to the main station.
That trip is included in the price if you have an onward ticket to a further destination from Coimbra.
By Train (1/2)
From my point of view, the best way to go to Coimbra, either from Lisbon or from Porto, is by train. Lisbon is in the south (of Coimbra), and it takes around two hours; Porto, is about one hour away in the north.
I want to let you know something you must be aware of: There are three train stations in Coimbra:
- Coimbra B (pic)
- Coimbra A or just Coimbra
- Coimbra Parque (not too important actually)
Trains stop at Coimbra B which is quite far from the city centre, then, you have to take an urban train to Coimbra (it takes around 4 minutes), and for free.
For the timetables, check the website.
See my next tip about the other station.
By Train (2/2)
This station, Coimbra, Estação Nova or even Coimbra A, is in the city centre, so, you have many chances to have your accommodation whithin a walking distance.
When you want to leave Coimbra by train, how to take it from this station to, let's say, Lisbon? You have to take an urban train to Coimbra B, then, wait for the one you booked before. Take into account that these trains don't run very often, so, you must check the timetables in order to be on time for the one you have to take at Coimbra B.
At the ticket office (bilheteria in portuguese), they will be very happy to help you not to miss the train or check the website, it's really good.
By Car: How Far/How Long...?
Some road distances to Coimbra from:
- Porto: 121 kms.
- Lisbon: 206 kms.
- Madrid (Spain): 513 kms.
- Florence (Italy): 2.087 kms.
- Kiev (Ukraine): 3.991 kms.
Checking the website, you can find more road distances together with driving times and the best routes.
Handy little mini-bus
If I had done proper research before hand I would have known about these neat little buses, but the fact is we just happened on it as we came out of the Old Cathedral, recognized the destination sign that said "Santa Cruz" as being our next destination, got on and paid our 1.5 Euro. I later find that Rick Steves had already told me about them and calls them by their purported Coimbran nickname, "pantufinbas" or "grandma's slipper," presumably because they are small and probably transport a lot of grandmas up and down the steep terrain. They make a continuous 20 minute loop from the Largo da Portagem, up the pedestrian street to the Praca 8 de Maio through the old town and the upper town and by the cathedral. They do not have rergular stops but will stop if hailed and stop when you want to get off. Our driver was kind enough to tell us when we stopped right in front of the Church of Santa Cruz. Great if you have any mobility problems (my wife was sporting a broken toe on this day) or if you are just too worn out to climb up.
The cheapest public transportation option to Coimbra is via bus. There are many companies that run to Coimbra, although the most popular company is Rede Expressos.
The bus route Lisbon-Coimbra is 9.50 Euros and takes approximately 2.5 hours. There are departures every 15-30 minutes, and some buses are quicker than others, so make sure and check the arrival times to wherever you're headed.
The Porto-Coimbra route is 9 Euros and takes about 1.5 hours. Buses are frequent throughout the day as well.
The bus station is located on Avenida Fernão de Magalhães approximately a 15 minute walk from the historical (city) center.
The bus station is on Avenida Fernao de Magalhaes which is about 15 minutes walk from the centre.
I took a day trip to Porto (approx one and a half hours) - when I was there, bus company Rede Expressos ran regular services - every hour I think. The same bus went on to Braga (total time from Coimbra approx two and a half hours).
I travelled to Coimbra by train from Lisbon (Sta. Apalonia) - journey approx 2 hours.
Most trains stop at Coimbra B station which is about 3km from the city. From there, there are frequent trains to Coimbra A which is right in the centre.
Train destinations from Coimbra include Porto (approx one and a half hours) - Braga (approx two and a half hours).
Closer to home, you can take the train from Coimbra A to the coastal resort of Figueira da Foz (approx one hour and a quarter) - stopping at lots of little places en-route.
Elevator up the hill
When you do not like to climb up the hill in Coimbra towards the university, just walk to the Mercado Municipal downtown (near the praca 8 de maio) and take the elevator!! (Take care: it does not work after 12 p.m.).
A ticket you can buy next to it.
Sunday morning party boat!
We were walking around the riverfront on Sunday morning and noticed this boat floating by full of people partying. It was loudest spot in town for sure and we really wished we were on the boat with them!!