Coimbra Travel Guide

  • view from the bridge
    view from the bridge
    by Rita.E
  • Fonte dos amores - Love fountain
    Fonte dos amores - Love fountain
    by Rita.E
  • Parque Dr. Manuel Braga (Coimbra, Portugal)
    Parque Dr. Manuel Braga (Coimbra,...
    by Redang

Coimbra Things to Do

  • Visit the Library

    Most valuable place in the University is Biblioteca Joanina, a magnificent Baroque confection of cleverly-marbled wood, gold leaf and imposing frescoed ceilings of the eighteen century library that holds main intellectual treasure of University. Its decorations and motifs are standing testament on the wealth of Portugal in the time of Colonization,...

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  • Sofia

    One of the historic and most popular streets of Coimbra, it is lined by classical building with public services, with some small shops amidst them. A short but nice walk.

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  • Downtown churches

    Aftewr visiting the University I walked down to the downtown through the old Jewish quarter. Then I reached a pedestrian street and walked along it until I saw the Manueline façade of the Monastery of Santa Cruz, final resting-place of the first Portuguese monarch Afonso Henriques.But still was more pleasantly surprised by the Church of São Tiago...

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Coimbra Hotels

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Coimbra Restaurants

  • Brasilian cuisine in tasteful...

    It is Brazilian cuisine in a nicely renovated building with some art-deco accents. We ate one of the menu's, for two persons, with three. It starters was thin meat with smokes salmon. Then we got pineapple rice with shrimps boiled (?) in a pine apple cut open. Next we had different dishes with different types of meat, almost as much as you could...

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  • Nice cafe in a historical setting.

    Cafe Santa Cruz isset in a former church and is one of the nicest cafes in Coimbra.It´s quite a large cafe that serves both coffee and cakes aswell as food.The place also have fado music from time to time and when they do then it is usually free, so pop by to see if there is fado on when you are in Coimbra.The place also has free wifi so you can...

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  • Excellent place for lunch

    Facing the steps to the old Cathedral, so very well placed for lunch when the Cathedral’s closed - I think 1.30-2.30. And extremely good food, I thought. The menu gives you a short list of the what the chef suggests for the day (when I went there were only two things on it) and you choose, or you do as I did and cock an eyebrow at the waiter and he...

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Coimbra Nightlife

  • Coimbra Fado

    Located in a transformed chapel from the XIV century, the bar "A Capella" features live music, being the most regular place to listen to Coimbra Fado. Sometimes other things happen there. Be prepared for a young and lively place, and if you're lucky enough to get some fado, try to understand what makes it so different from Lisbon's fado.

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  • Maravilhoso

    O Fado ao Centro é um lugar incrível para assistir aos genuinos fados típicos Coimbra.É obrigatória a reserva, normalmente está lotado.Adorei. Uma experiencia cultural única O espectáculo é todos os dias do ano na Rua do Quebra Costas, sempre às 18h Informal

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  • Emocionante

    Estar tão perto dos artistas, num ambiente aconchegante, ouvindo canções tão lindas, fui muito emocionante. O espetáculo e os artistas de qualidade e, para fechar, um brinde com um bom vinho do porto. Recomendo esta oportunidade de conhecer um pouco da cultura deste país.

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Coimbra Transportation

  • Elevator

    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 1hThe ticket costs €2.6.Regional and Interregional Services Coimbra - Figueira da Foz - Coimbra

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Coimbra Shopping

  • A bigger mall

    Located in he left side of the river, facing the city, this new mall is, as expected, bigger than its predecessors. What may we expect inside? The usual - same stuff, same shops, same brands, confirming that commerce is nowadays a sort of card game - they just shuffle and deal the same cards all around the world.Ah!The building is attractive. As...

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  • Chinatown

    Chinese are taking care of commerce in Portugal. One after the other, local shops are closing, replaced by a bank, a pizzeria or... a Chinese store.They are discreet, not yet assumed as local community, but very soon we will have also in Portugal our several Chinatowns. In Coimbra, the streets around the Palace of Justice are already... Chinaland.

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  • A Great Mall

    Right beside the new football stadium, this is one of the three big malls in Coimbra, and Fernanda's first choice. Well, it has a nice decoration and the same shops as all the other malls, selling the same stuff, with the same brands, the same fast-food and fast-buy, fast-live... Damn globalization!I heard that a bigger one was opened west of the...

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Coimbra Local Customs

  • Graffiti

    I've hardly ever seen a city with as many graffiti as Coimbra. While very often graffiti are just bloated letters with a sprayer's tag, Coimbra's graffiti is almost always political. We've seen lots of interesting and most often quite left-wing messages, and unlikely as it may seem, they sometimes even add to the appearance of a building. Granted,...

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  • Imperial memories

    People strongly condemn the objectives behind the building of a theme park named "Portugal dos Pequeninos" - propaganda to the nationalist regime of Salazar.Several decades later the park remains, its political purposes are gone (most young people don't even understand how it worked) but the park keeps being attractive to children, and a nice...

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  • Long term lodging

    "Republicas" is the name given in Coimbra for collective lodging managed by the students.You have the contacts of all the known republicas in: http://www.regiaocentro.net/lugares/coimbra/universidade/republicas/index.htmlMany students do also rent a room, alone or with some friends. It's common to have advertising in the universities in...

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Coimbra Warnings and Dangers

  • The worst food ever: Praça Velha

    Eating in Praça Velha restaurant on Coimbra's Praça do Comercio was by far the stupidest idea we had on our holiday. Well, it happened on the very first day, if that is an excuse... We had just come back from our first walk through the centre and were looking for something to eat when one of the waiters beckoned us over and showed us the menu. The...

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  • Non existing parking-places

    I have really no idea why, but it seems like all people in Coimbra ows at least 5 cars each. And they love to park them everythere...So make sure you have plenty of time when visiting the city, because you'll need about an hour to find a place to put your car...After driving around for about half an hour, getting more and more lost for each minute...

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  • egg-boats

    Now I don't think we're going to drift very far in our egg-boat. Portugal dos Pequenitos is full of these strange spray painted egg halves that are yellow inside. They sit on top of buildings and structures. Now what kind of bird layed these monstrous eggs?I would not recommend jumping into an egg. They are flimsy, and the water we are in is gated...

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Coimbra Tourist Traps

  • Santa Justa

    This dirty facade and the need to "climb" to reach it, repels the visitors from this temple recently abandoned by the capuchin monkeys. Don't be fooled by the general look. Inside you will have a nice baroque gilded altar from the 18Th century and many other rich religious pieces

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  • Monastery of Saint Claire The Old

    If you are visiting Coimbra then I advise you to pay a visit to this wonderful and historic monastery which you will find situated on the left bank of the River Mondego. Built in the late 13th Century this historical monastery was under constant attack of regular flooding from the River Mondego and in the 17th century had to be abandoned. And only...

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  • Turismo

    This is a shot of the first tourist information office we tried to visit when we first arrived in Coimbra. Since it wasn't open, we headed up to the one near the university. The one pictured here is right next to the Santa Clara Bridge on Largo de Portagem. The one by the university is at Largo Dom Dinis and is open from 9 am to 6 pm weekdays and 9...

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Coimbra What to Pack

  • Bring plenty of film

    This was my first trip with my new digital camera. I was resistant to the idea of purchasing a digital (I guess I'm a bit of a purist), but after using it on this trip, I'm a convert! I have a Nikon Coolpix 2500, which is just a basic 2 megapixel camera that is all I need for web page building. It's also small enough to put in my pocket which...

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  • Packing List

    Camping If you go to Óbidos in summer, don't foget your swimming suit and enjoy the Foz do Arelho beach or the Óbidos Lagoon.

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  • Packing List

    Hiking If you are visiting Coimbra in May you may need to bring a new liver or an economy size box of paracetemol...The reason being that May is party time for the students of Coimbra, rather bizzarely for us it is just before exam time but basically the penultimate students organise huge parties. There is a procession into town and all the...

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Coimbra Off The Beaten Path

  • Sa da Bandeira avenue

    This avenue connecting the commercial "baixa" with the academic "alta" has no significant detail (well... Avenue Cinema is a classical...), but, maybe because of its importance in moving around, has been embellished with some modern tiles. Nice, but... pastiche. Don't read anymore, please, but I can't resist to tell a true story lived in Avenida...

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  • City Hall

    Left of Santa Cruz church, City Hall has a very controversial history. Formerly installed in a part of Santa Cruz convent, it was not functional, and suffered several transformations, always discussed until the recent version, dating from the 19th century, with a few changes.

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  • Conimbriga

    Ten kilometers south of Coimbra, the best roman ruins in Portugal deserve your visit. The city seems to exist from the 9th century BC, with the Romans arriving 800 years later. Only less than one third of the area has been already excavated, but some buildings show good mosaics.

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Coimbra Sports & Outdoors

  • Rowing is big in Coimbra.

    Being a traditional university town, Coimbra of course has a very active rowing club and you can see the rowers practise most of the day down in the river.I personally think this is a sight in itself as it really gives the town this good old fasioned university feel.

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  • Nice stadium

    The football-stadium in Coimbra, quite close to the University, was really nice! We watched the Euro2004-game between France and Switzerland there, and as all the stadiums we visited during the tournament it was amazing!From outside it doesn't look so fantastic, but then inside it was a great arena. Only bad thing was the atletic tracks, which...

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  • AAC - Associação Académica de Coimbra

    Associação Académica de Coimbra (Academic Association of Coimbra), the Coimbra University Student's Union, the oldest university in Portugal.There is a football club with the same name, that started being a section of the student's association, but later became an autonomous entity. This club has also a long tradition in portuguese football.

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Coimbra Favorites

  • "Quebra-costas"

    The funniest thing about this steep and narrow coblestone street is its name - backbones bracker. It's easy to understand why. Hidden below heavy construction, it has a long history, serving as the main passage from the high to the low city, in the students' acess to the university.

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  • Pedro and Inês love story

    the love story of D. Pedro and Dª Inês is the most romantic episode of the portuguese history and some of it took place in Coimbra. I'll try to resume it:Prince Pedro of Portugal was about to marry Princess Constanza of Spain.When Constanza arrived in Portugal, Inês de Castro, the daughter of a Castilian landed aristocrat accompanied her as her...

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  • General Info

    Tourism OfficeLargo da Portagem- Tel.: (+351) 239 48 81 20- Fax: (+351) 239 48 81 39- Internet:www.turismo-centro.ptwww.turismodecoimbra.ptwww.cm-coimbra.ptwww.visitportugal.com/NR/exeres/9CDE9524-8392-4ACA-89CF-CF904B8FE297,frameless.htmwww.planetware.com/portugal/coimbra-p-coim-coim.htm- E mail: info@turismodecoimbra.ptThere is another at the...

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Explore Deeper into Coimbra
Medieval House
Things to Do
Jardim da Manga
Things to Do
Portugal dos Pequeninos
Things to Do
Santa Clara
Things to Do
Botanic garden
Things to Do
Biblioteca Joanina
Things to Do
Lush gardens
Things to Do
Palace of Justice
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Visit the tomb of Alfonso Henriques.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. The Cloisters II.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. The Cloisters.
Things to Do
Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. Sacristy
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. The Pulpit.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. Chapels.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. National Pantheon.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. Interiors.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. Sacristy III.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz. Sacristy II.
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Mosteiro de Santa Cruz
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Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, Nothern Nave
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, Perspectives.
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra,Baptismal font
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, Tombs.
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, Chapel of HS.
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, High Altar.
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra, Interior.
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The University of Coimbra. The Yard.
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Old Cathedral (Sé Velha) of Coimbra
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The University of Coimbra.
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The University of Coimbra II.
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Machado de Castro National Museum.
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St Cruz Church
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St Bartolomeu
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Almedina Arch
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St Tiago
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Portagem
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Praça do Comercio
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GOwalks - walking in the city with students
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Fado ao centro
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Map of Coimbra

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