Coimbra, what to absolutely do and see – Travel ideas

Coimbra it is a pearl of absolute beauty located in Portugal, not too far from Porto.

It is one of the oldest and most traditional cities in the country but with a youthful and fun spirit, also thanks to the important university that attracts many young people from Portugal and the rest of Europe to Coimbra.

Coimbra: what to see


Among the main attractions to see in Coimbra there is certainly his Old Town: a succession of fascinating views, cobbled streets, period buildings beautifully decorated with murals, large historic doors, arches, for an up and down that gives visitors so much beauty.

Right from the historic center, crossing theArco de Almedinaan ancient testimony of the Arab domination of the city, can be reached by climbing the characteristic (and decidedly steep) staircase of Rua Quebra Costas you get to another of the things you absolutely must see in Coimbra: its ancient universityfounded way back in March 1290 and, as mentioned, the oldest university education institution in Portugal.

Coimbra University Bookshop

Still on the subject of universities, it is easy to meet students in the streets of Coimbra with the typical uniform of toga and black cape: an evocative traditional “armor” that inspired JK to create the unmistakable uniform of the Hogwarts wizards.

Near the historic university – near the entrance to the Porta Ferrea – there is also the clock tower, nicknamed by the inhabitants of the Portuguese city and the students “a cabra” (the goat). This is also the ideal location for a breathtaking view from above over Coimbra.

Among the things to see during a tour of the Portuguese city, one must not miss Joanina Libraryalways in the university complex.

It is an evocative library in which to get lost among many books in an almost fairy-tale atmosphere that offers relaxation and beauty.

Another attraction of Coimbra is the Torre de Almedinaan ancient medieval tower that has become an important historical museum and which also offers a panoramic view of the city.

Among the most important and evocative religious buildings in Coimbra there is also the Capela de São Miguel. It is located near the library and is absolutely worth a visit. The same goes for the Royal Palace of the university and the valuable Sala Dos Capelos: the university’s ceremonial hall.

Those looking for a place to walk in nature in Coimbra can head towardsaqueduct of São Sebastiãoa green oasis complete with a botanical garden.

Equally interesting are the so-called Repúblicas, the self-managed houses of the university students, decorated with posters and graffiti and which give visitors a unique atmosphere.

Leaving the university perimeter and after a walk through the wonderful historic center of the Portuguese city, the Igreja de Santa Cruz is certainly worth a visit, a very beautiful church located in a neighborhood full of bars and restaurants where you can try the typical specialties of the local cuisine .

10 things to do and see in Coimbra


  • Rua Quebra Costas
  • Torre de Almedina
  • Capela de São Miguel
  • Aqueduto de São Sebastião
  • University of Coimbra
  • Joanina Library
  • Old Cathedral of Coimbra
  • Jardins da Quinta das Lágrimas
  • Santa Cruz Monastery
  • Machado de Castro National Museum

How to get to Coimbra



The closest airport to the city of Coimbra is Porto: it is 136 kilometers from the city, easily reachable by car – or with buses leaving from the airport – via the A1 motorway in approximately 90-100 minutes.

For those who prefer the train there are numerous daily connections from Porto railway station. The journey lasts – depending on the connection chosen – between 65 and 75 minutes – with costs ranging from 23 to 13 euros.

By bus it is possible to reach Coimbra with one of the numerous direct connections from Porto: the journey takes about 85 minutes and the cost of the ticket is around 12 euros.

Map and map

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