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CoimbraPortugal

Explore the spectacular medieval buildings on the university campus and visit the intriguing museums of this former capital of Portugal.

Coimbra is a historic city with an impressive university campus and many surviving relics from its Roman occupation. An aqueduct runs through this former capital city of Portugal, whose skyline is adorned with medieval churches, museums and the red-tiled, whitewashed façades of the hilltop residential homes. Chat with residents and guides for a glimpse into the local culture and history.

Tour the charming model village of Portugal dos Pequenitos to see miniature versions of the city’s architectural highlights. Learn about the influence of Portuguese culture across the globe, with exhibits on Brazil and Mozambique, among other former colonial outposts.

For a sense of the Roman history of the city, look around the Museu Nacional Machado de Castro, which is housed in the former Bishop’s Palace. It has a focus on ecclesiastical artifacts and works of art and contains the eerie passageways of the Roman cryptoporticus, a private passageway. Learn about the religious history of the town in the preserved Velha Cathedral, from the Reconquista era forward in time. A little northeast is the impressive New Cathedral of Coimbra.

Among the city highlights is Coimbra University, one of the world’s oldest educational institutes, dating back to the 1200s. Embark on one of the guided tours of the spectacular campus for a comprehensive understanding of its extensive history and marvelous architecture.

Visit the university’s Biblioteca Joanina for its grandiose design and vast collection of tomes. Explore the S. Miguel Chapel and the Royal Palace. Stroll through the colonnade of the Via Latina and gaze up at the impressive University Tower.

Coimbra is a university town with a fascinating past. The city is located in the Centro region, slightly northwest of the center of Portugal. Fly to Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport in Porto and drive south for 80 miles (130 kilometers) to get here in about 80 minutes. Lisbon, with its Portela Airport, is a 2-hour drive south from Coimbra. Rail connections around the country are excellent.

Where to stay in Coimbra

Santa Cruz Church featuring a church or cathedral, heritage elements and interior views

Coimbra City Centre

4.5/5Wonderful!(124 area reviews)

Historic sites, river views, and bars are some highlights of Coimbra City Centre. Make a stop by Santa Cruz Church or Old Cathedral of Coimbra while you're exploring.

Coimbra City Centre

Top Hotels in Coimbra

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Sapientia Boutique Hotel
Sapientia Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
Largo Augusto Hilário n9, Coimbra
The price is $116 per night

Located in Coimbra City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Biblioteca Joanina and Coimbra University. Portugal dos Pequenitos is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (253 reviews)

"It can be a little hard too find. But, it worth the search. Very friendly helpful staff. Nice private balcony. Will certainly stay there again. Very narrow roads. If you are going to spend any time in the city cores in Portugal rent as small a car as you can use!!!!"…"

Reviewed on Feb 12, 2020

Sapientia Boutique Hotel
Palácio São Silvestre - Boutique Hotel
Palácio São Silvestre - Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
Largo do Terreiro, 5, São Silvestre, Coimbra
The price is $84 per night

Situated in Coimbra, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Santa Cruz Church, Portugal dos Pequenitos, and Coimbra University. Jardim da Manga and Mosteiro de ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (18 reviews)

"Lovely boutique hotel. It was beyond what I expected, breakfast was great!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 28, 2019

Palácio São Silvestre - Boutique Hotel
Hotel Oslo Coimbra
Hotel Oslo Coimbra
3 out of 5
Av. Fernão de Magalhães, 25, Coimbra
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $94 per night

Located in Coimbra City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Cruz Church and Coimbra University. Portugal dos Pequenitos is 0.7 mi (1 km) away. ...

4.2/5Excellent! (994 reviews)

"Comfortable rooms and great location. Staff are very friendly and making a lot of effort in light of covid. The roof top terrace has a stunning view of the city. Breakfast buffet selection isn’t extensive but still very good."…"

Reviewed on Aug 9, 2020

Hotel Oslo Coimbra

Popular places to visit in Coimbra

Portugal dos Pequenitos
Image for Portugal dos Pequenitos

Portugal dos Pequenitos

4.5/5(15 reviews)

Embrace your inquisitive side, as you inspect the various homes, pavilions and monuments of this intriguing and fun miniature village.

Coimbra University
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Coimbra University

4.5/5(57 reviews)

Enjoy the views from the bell tower and visit the Baroque library in the former prison on the campus of one of Europe’s oldest universities.

Old Cathedral of Coimbra
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Old Cathedral of Coimbra

4.5/5(52 reviews)

One of the main attractions of Coimbra’s central historic area, this fascinating preserved cathedral has a fortress design and Arabic touches.

Santa Cruz Church
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Santa Cruz Church

4.5/5(47 reviews)

Examine the range of Manueline and Romanesque architecture and inspect the artworks in the final resting place of two kings.

Biblioteca Joanina
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Biblioteca Joanina

5/5(43 reviews)

Go on a guided tour of a library containing countless tomes, Baroque architecture and an intriguing history entwined with a prison.

Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha
Image for Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha

Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha

4.5/5(23 reviews)

Visit the museum for an explanatory film and explore the remaining parts of this nunnery that was often at risk of flooding.

Top things to do in Coimbra

Aveiro and Coimbra daytour from Porto
Image for Aveiro and Coimbra daytour from Porto

Aveiro and Coimbra daytour from Porto

$108
Per adult
Aveiro & Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour
Image for Aveiro & Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

Aveiro & Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

$420
Per adult
Private transfer Oporto/Lisbon and Tour Coimbra and Aveiro
Image for Private transfer Oporto/Lisbon and Tour Coimbra and Aveiro

Private transfer Oporto/Lisbon and Tour Coimbra and Aveiro

$397
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Private Tour to Coimbra (World Heritage City of Students)
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Private Tour to Coimbra (World Heritage City of Students)

$216
Per adult
Full Day Private Tour - Coimbra University and Heritage
Image for Full Day Private Tour - Coimbra University and Heritage

Full Day Private Tour - Coimbra University and Heritage

$545
Per adult
3-Night Private Tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Óbidos, Nazaré and Fátima
Image for 3-Night Private Tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Óbidos, Nazaré and Fátima

3-Night Private Tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Óbidos, Nazaré and Fátima

$1,653
Per adult

Cities near Coimbra

Condeixa a Nova

Condeixa a Nova

Montemor-o-Velho Castle showing a castle and heritage architecture

Montemor-o-Velho