Coimbra

Coimbra is a city in Central Portugal. It is the main city in the Centro region.

University of Coimbra

Get in

By plane

The most convenient airports for Coimbra are (in order of distance):

By train

All of the trains connecting Porto and Lisbon stop at Coimbra-B; about 1h from Porto and about 1h 45m from Lisbon. Long distance services only serve Coimbra-B station (outside the city center), but all tickets include a 5 min train ride to Coimbra-A "Baixa de Coimbra" (downtown). Fast trains only stop at Coimbra-B station, while Coimbra, or Coimbra-A, is right in the city center. Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail - CP

By car

The best way to drive to Coimbra is using the A1 Highway. Take any exit to Coimbra and you will be about 10 min away from the city center.

By bus

The bus station is located at Av. Fernão de Magalhães and is easily reached by local bus or on foot (a 10 minute walk from the city center). It has destinations for the whole of Portugal (with changes for some far away destinations), and it's faster and fares are normally cheaper than the train.

Coimbra is a hard city to drive in as it was built around medieval structures. Also, finding a parking spot can be difficult. The best option for visiting Coimbra is to find a hotel with parking or to park near the city center and then walk around. The main attractions are in the city center and within walking distance of each other. Coimbra Baixa is the lower city (downtown). Alta is the highest part of the city, which is also difficult to drive around.

Get around

By foot

Most of the things to see and do in Coimbra, and most of the places to eat, drink and sleep are within reasonable walking distance of each other and of the rail station, in Baixa. There are several hotels, residencias, pensions, restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, and nightclubs.

Most monuments are in Baixa and Santa Clara (across the Mondego river).

Smaller shops, restaurants and hotels are mostly in Baixa and Santa Clara.

Major shopping malls are in Alta, by Solum and near the municipal stadium/pool.

By bus

The SMTUC operates bus lines in and around Coimbra. See a map here.

By electric bus

The "Pantufinhas" or Blue Line provides transport in the historical city center, and a link between the lower and upper town.

By elevator

There's an elevator ("Elevador do Mercado") that connects Rua Padre António Vieira with Rua Olímpio Nicolau Rui Fernandes (next to Mercado Municipal D Pedro V). A valid SMTUC ticket is necessary to gain access.

See

Old library (Biblioteca Joanina) of the University of Coimbra
From Portugal dos Pequenitos
Roman Ruins of Conimbriga

Do

Have a walk up to the top of University Hill from the Mondego river (one of the three great rivers of Portugal), a gorgeous view.

San Sebastián Aqueduct

Fado

There are two kinds of fado in Portugal: Fado from Lisbon and Fado from Coimbra, neither should be missed (fados are nostalgic songs accompanied by Portuguese guitar).

Student life

There is always a lot going on in the student community, go and find out what's up. There are two student festivals held every year:

Get lost

The center of Coimbra is a great place to get lost, Coimbra is a small city but it is full of interesting spots, such as museums (Machado de Castro), Torre d`Anto, etc.

Buy

The medieval center of Coimbra is unusual in retaining a number of independent bookshops, boutiques, toyshops, galleries, antique and foodshops.There are several bookstores,cafes,restaurants,esplanadas. In Alta/Olivais:

If you are even just a bit into pottery, the traditional pottery is a must.

Eat

Having a meal is not really a problem in Coimbra, since the city has a lots of restaurants, some featuring regional cuisine, in the old city (Baixa).

Budget

Three reasonably big shopping centers serve the standard fast food meals you can find everywhere. They are located in key places in the city, but not necessarily close to the tourist attractions of the city.

Mid-range

During the weekends there is jazz, folk and fado concerts - most of them for free. It's great to finish your meal - you have plenty of time, Portuguese are always late - and get a concert right there. Sometimes they get very crowded.

Splurge

Drink

Cafes

Night out

A warning, the students in this town seem to prefer Tuesday or Thursday night to go out. On weekends, this city is sleepy as many students go home to their families.

Clubs

Sleep

Budget

There are several cheap hostels around the city center.


Economic

Mid-range

3150-142 Condeixa-a-Nova,  +351-239 944 025, fax: +351-239 943 097, e-mail: . A former palace owned by the Almadas Family, was built in the 16th century. For several years it received members of the European nobility. In the first half of 19th century, the palace was transformed in an hotel inn, later on it was an orphanage to poor children and finally an asylum homeless elderly people.

Splurge

Go next

Also within an hour :

Guarda,Castelo Branco,Pinhel,Porto,Lamego,Lisboa,Evora.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, November 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.