The University is the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in Europe and it is what converted Coimbra to the "Students' Town". However, in historical terms, the city is home to one of the most beautiful and tragic love stories of our monarchy. The romantic encounters between king D. Pedro and D. Inês are part of the Portuguese history and are linked to sights such as the Quinta das Lágrimas or the Sé Velha (old cathedral). The Mondego river is the town's companion, which reveals medieval streets and historical corners, as the Arco de Almedina arch - a very well preserved structure of the ancient wall. The Queima das Fitas (Burning of the Faculty Ribbons) is one of the most emblematic feasts of the city, in which students come out into the street in celebration, parading and followed by floats that satirize current themes. The student spirit can be discovered and felt in every corner where they meet, wearing dark clothes, and perform serenades. It is also very typical and common to hear fado coimbrão in the most typical cafés and restaurants or even on the streets of the city. A visit to the historic center reveals Baixinha, where the traditional trade is located. Pastéis de Santa Clara (sweets with egg and almond filling) and capelos (doctoral cap-shaped sweets with egg and fruit filling) are the most traditional sweets and they can be tasted in the citys' pastry shops. In addition to the Sé Nova and the Sé Velha, there are many more monuments that Coimbra hosts, such as the convents of Santa Clara-a-Nova and Santa Clara-a-Velha. Recently awarded as one of the best European museums, it is in this town that the Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra (Museum of Science of the University of Coimbra) has been built. One of the unavoidable sites, and especially for those travelling with children, is the Portugal dos Pequenitos.
What to do in Coimbra
Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha
The monastic set (church, cloister, and bowery) has great cultural and architectonic value. The church is an exemplar of the mendicant Gothic. Worthy of notice are the notable Hispanic Arabian glazed tiles panels, the rose-window at the occidental front and the magnificent renaissance arch that comes into view under the arch of the epistle nave.
Sé Nova de Coimbra
Magnificent Jesuit temple begun in 1598. The main front, austere but elegant has two bodies from two distinct styles: classic and baroque. Inside are worthy of note the several baroque golden woodcarving altars, the organs placed on the lateral walls of the main chapel and a manueline baptistery brought from the Old See.
Aqueduto de São Sebastião / Arcos do Jardim
Work dated from the late XVI century, with 21 arches and a 1km length. It was constructed to bring water to the high part of the city. The building plan was made by Filipe Terzi.
Sé Velha de Coimbra
It is one of the most beautiful Romanic Portuguese monuments, with the exterior look of a church-fortress. The Cloister, from the XIII century, was the first gothic style work done in Portugal, after the Mosteiro de Alcobaça. Worthy of notice are the Especiosa Doorway, the Sacramento Chapel, both by João de Ruão, not forgetting the gothic tombs nucleus and the …
Edifício da Universidade de Coimbra
From the set stand out: the Porta Férrea, the Via Latina, the building of the former S. Pedro College, The Joanina Library, The S. Miguel Chapel, The Sala dos Capelos, the Sala de Exame Privado, the tower, the Gerais, and the Religious Art Museum.
Quinta das Lágrimas
The importance of this place is mainly connected to the history of Pedro and Inês. The Quinta has a romantic beauty, with some botanic exemplars, the gothic window and the fountain (pointed out as being the “Fonte dos Amores” sang by Camões.
Porta de Barbacã
This arch is the best kept structure of the ancient Coimbra’s wall, which corresponded to the main entrance in the city during the Islamic period. On the arch is the sculpture of our Lady, the national arms and the symbol of the city foundation.
Mosteiro de Santa Cruz
Monastic set with an emblematic portal. Inside are worthy of notice the manueline arched roof, the main-chapel, the sacristy, the Sala do Capítulo, the S. Teotónio Chapel and the cloister of Silence.
Igreja de Santa Justa
The Santa Justa Church presents a sober, traditional front. Inside, stand out the magnificent king John carving retables.
Portugal dos Pequenitos
This space features miniatures of typical houses, monuments and traditional and colonial architectural examples. The space also comprises the Clothes Museum, the Navy Museum and the Furniture Museum. A special note to the Pavilion of Brazil, with several temporary exhibitions, as well.
Claustro da Manga / Jardim da Manga
This beautiful renaissant monument, by João de Ruão, was ordered by D. João III. It presents a central fountain with a dome and, around it, 4 cylindrical chapels. All the structure is built on a tank.
Quinta das Lágrimas Palace
The hotel Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra, offers three distinct environments: the rooms of the Palace, the garden and the SPA. Elegance and comfort are reflected in every room of this luxury space. The environment and the service of the hotel recreates the romance of centuries past, offering all the comforts of modern times. The kitchen uses the traditional products …
Instituto de História da Ciência e da Técnica / Museu Nacional da Ciência e da Técnica
Place dedicated not only to the exhibition of species important to the knowledge of the science and technique history, but also to the promotion of scientific research in that area.
A competent four-star hotel, situated in the heart of the city of Coimbra. One of the floors of the building has been completely refurbished and offers superior quality rooms, with new decoration, although the comfort prevail throughout the unit. The health club also has recently been renovated and beyond desirable indoor pool offers massage service.
Casa-Museu Bissaya Barreto
Palacelike house richly decorated, with several historic collections. Here you may see Portuguese glazed tiles, china from the Companhia das Índias, statues and faience.
Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova
Work done between the second half of the XVII century and the first half of the XVIII century. The church has a choir and a main chapel. The primitive tomb of the Rainha Santa, made by Mestre Pêro, is one single carved limestone block
Hotel Dona Inês
Centrally located Hotel, featuring modern facilities, featuring 84 rooms (singles, doubles and suites), a restaurant, a bar and an auditorium, among other services.
Barco Turístico de Recreio O Basófias
The Basófias is a tourism boat that sails the Mondego river. From its deck one may view the entire area of the city on the river's banks. The travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. It functions as a …
Núcleo da Cidade Muralhada
Space located on the Tower of Almedina, which allows visitors to discover the medieval city of Coimbra. In its interpretive center, you can see a model of the medieval town and, on the top floor, you can get a magnificent …
The flavors of the region are the main gastronomic inspiration, which includes the aromatic herbs planted in the gardens of Quinta das Lágrimas. To accompany the delicacies, there is also a remarkable collection of wines.
Igreja do Palácio de São Marcos
Church that results form the cinquentist reform, presenting a manueline main door. Inside are worthy of notice the renassaint retable, and important tumular art set from the XV and XVI centuries, the Magi chapel, the sacristy, the chapter’s house, the …
Casas do Bragal
Own linen houses restaurant moved, pots and baggage, the small mountain village that housed, to the urban area of Coimbra. Moved the location, but remained the fine cuisine practiced on the mountains.
House with a friendly service, where the delicious and well served food is made in a wood oven.
Igreja da Sé Velha / Túmulo de Dom Sesnando
Fortress Church, whose plant was influenced by the churches of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The construction of the current Temple was begun in 1162, after the destruction of the former, in 1117, by Muslim attacks the city. In the …
Paço de Sobre-Ribas / Instituto de Arqueologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Cinquentist palace sited at the Coimbra wall, between the Almedina Arch and the Anto Tower. It includes the Casa de Baixo (Institute) and the Casa de Cima (private). Adapted from a medieval tower, it has an interior organization close to …
Igreja de São Salvador
Romanic church with a manueline chapel, with a typology common to the final gothic, a romanic portal from 1179 and, still worthy of note, the S. Marcos and chapel retables.
Parque Verde do Mondego / Parque Doutor Manuel Braga
One of the loveliest city parks in Portugal, filled with gardens and luxurious trees. Located by the Mondego river, there are some statues and a nice bandstand by the architect Silva Pinto.
Torre do Prior do Ameal / Torre de Anto
This tower was part of the old medieval wall. After being adapted to residence, it was the famous poet António Nobre, who obtained inspiration for writing some of the poems in his most famous work.
Igreja de São Tiago
Romanic church from the last quarter of the XII century. The temple, with three naves, was sacred in 1206. It suffered transformations on the XVI, XVIII and XIX centuries. Outside the eye-window and the portal with columns and decorated capitals …
Parque do Choupalinho
The Choupalinho Park is a wide green space on the banks of the Mondego river, ideal for resting, walking or for doing sports. It is also a river port for nautical sports and, in the summer, it welcomes the Popular …
Antigo Colégio de Jesus / Igreja Das Onze Mil Virgens / Sé Nova de Coimbra / Museu de História Natural
Building constructed in the 16th century, initially working as a College of the society of Jesus. Had a rectangular structure, with a church in the Center and four courtyards around. The various reforms over the years provided the features of …
Parque do Choupal
The Choupal Woods is one of the loveliest spots in town, with quite unique plant and animal species in Portugal. The Horse Riding Centre of Coimbra is located here.
Capela de São Miguel da Universidade de Coimbra
Outside the chapel is the magnificent manueline portal. The inside is of great refinement, with the organ, the silver lamp and the cup, the glazed tiles at the main-chapel and the nave and the ceiling with “ferronerie” paintings standing out.
Mosteiro de Celas
The Celas Monastery is a construction of sober character, showing the influence of several architectonical styles. At the church are worthy of notice the manueline arched roof, a 17th century glazed tiles panelling and several portals and arches with renaissant …
Vila Galé Coimbra
Opened in April 2010, this modern hotel is located in the historic centre of Coimbra and 229 offers well-equipped rooms, having as base concept "Leasure & Conference". There is also wide areas of catering, bar, pool, SPA and Conference room.
The Loggia is the restaurant of the Machado de Castro Museum. Located in upper Coimbra, the restaurant-terrace offers a breathtaking view of the University, the Mondego River, and the 16th century loggia of the Episcopal Palace. Designed by architect Gonçalo …
Arco e Torre de Almedina
The Almedina arch was part of the medieval walls, going back to the XI century, as the Arabian toponym that means “the city” indicates. Nowadays it is the entrance to the ancient Coimbra, where you may observe a sculpture from …
Percurso pela Baixa Citadina
This tour recognizes the area exterior to the medieval walls, where initially were established military and religious orders, by the Mondego River. Begin at the Ferreira Borges Street and follow, from the outside, the old city perimeter, the Alta. At …
Percurso pela Zona Antiga da Cidade
The old area of Coimbra is characterized by narrow and steep streets that lead to the top of the hill, where the city was born. This tour begins at the Ferreira Borges Street, where the Almedina arch draws the boundaries …
Percurso pelo Parque Verde do Mondego / Parque Doutor Manuel Braga
Ample green space, with leafy trees, several gardens, some statues, a lovely bandstand (from the architect Silva Pinto), benches and a half-pipe. At the time of the Queima das Fitas (a students’ party) it welcomes the Noites do Parque (Park …
Percurso pelos Parques e Jardins de Coimbra
To take a walk or rest for a while, there nothing better than the tour through the parks and gardens of Coimbra. Starting at the Choupal, a shelter for students’ loves, continue to the Quinta das Lágrimas, where the tradition …
Percurso pela Mata do Choupal
The Mata do Choupal (wood) it’s one of the most beautiful places of the city, owning a flora and fauna herd to find in any other part of the country. It has few exemplars of the trees it was named …
Igreja de São João das Donas / Café Santa Cruz
Former church, that keeps its spatial structure from the manueline period. The front is an exemplar of revivalist civil architecture. Nowadays it is the Café Santa Cruz, used for cultural events.
Reserva Natural do Paúl de Arzila
This is a moist alluvial valley with very fertile areas, which covers the municipalities of Coimbra, Condeixa-a-Nova and Montemor-o-Velho. Includes two main areas: the protection zone and the central core, and aims to create a barrier to environmental assaults from …
Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra
The Bottanical Gardens were created by the Marquis of Pombal in Coimbra. It is rather lovely and has thousand of scientifically interesting species, bothe local and exotic, besides decorative elements such as tanks and fountains. The guided tours include a …
Praça do Comércio
In this square, one of the prettiest in Coimbra, there are the São Tiago and São Bartolomeu Churches, the Pelourinho (pillory) and 17thand 18th centuries buildings. At the area there are also several commercial establishments and esplanades and various fairs …
Largo da Portagem
Small garden-like square, with several commercial establishments around it. At the centre rises a statue paying homage to Joaquim António de Aguiar.
Colégio de São Jerónimo
Baroque building built in the 16th century, consisting of a plant irregular longitudinal and several bodies. Initially, functioned as a school and later as a hospital and, currently, as a Museum and as a dependency of the Faculty of letters.
Edifício do Colégio de São Pedro dos Religiosos Terceiros
The church with one single nave, presents a front with 3 arches, three lateral chapels, main-chapel and high-choir over the atrium. Worthy of notice are the staircase of the collegial building and its glazed tiles, the XVIII century cloister and …
Fonte de Eiras
This backboard public fountain goes back to the D. João V period. It has a central body and two lower laterals. At the centre, over the tank, is the medieval seal of the city. On top is the national coat …
Cruzeiro de São Marcos
Cross integrated on the set of the former São Marcos Convent. It has an octagonal plinth and a knot.
Mata Nacional de Vale de Canas
A space with around 16 hectares, mostly with eucaliptus trees. In the summer of 2005 there was a raging fire and it is currently being reforested.
Up to date tourist information about the city's top attractions
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The Best Regional Sweets of Portugal
Is there a better reason to visit a place than to taste a typical sweet? Discover 12 good – and tempting – reasons to k…
Where to eat in Coimbra
Own linen houses restaurant moved, pots and baggage, the small mountain village that housed, to the…
House with a friendly service, where the delicious and well served food is made in a wood oven.
Author, Contemporary, Portuguese
The flavors of the region are the main gastronomic inspiration, which includes the aromatic herbs p…
The Loggia is the restaurant of the Machado de Castro Museum. Located in upper Coimbra, the restaur…
Traditional restaurant serving mostly fish and shellfish dishes.
Where to sleep in Coimbra
Opened in April 2010, this modern hotel is located in the historic centre of Coimbra and 229 offers well-equipped rooms, having as base concept "Leasure & Conf…
The hotel Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra, offers three distinct environments: the rooms of the Palace, the garden and the SPA. Elegance and comfort are reflect…
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Pampilhosa da Serra
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