coimbra travel guide

If you are reading this you’ve decided to visit Coimbra. Or maybe you are wondering if you should. I visited Coimbra as a day trip during my trip to Portugal, as a stop between Lisbon and Aveiro.

Coimbra is a very interesting and history rich city. It used to be a Roman settlement and some structures of that time remain. It also used to be the capital of Portugal, and is the land of Inês de Castro and King Pedro, two major historical figures of Portuguese history. Also, Coimbra houses one of the oldest universities in the world: Coimbra University.

Would I recommend you visit? Honestly, I had lots of trouble finding the answer to this question before my trip so this is my verdict, having ended up visiting it. I think Coimbra is definitely worth a day or half day stop if you are doing a road trip but wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to visit it, specially if your visit to Portugal is short (a week).

Now I’ll walk you through everything there is to do in Coimbra, where to stay and how to get there and around.

Things to do in Coimbra

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Igreja dos Carmelitas in Porto

Porto was the last city I visited in my 8 day trip to Portugal. The city has a unique feel and although it’s just 300 km away from Lisbon, they are completely different! Lisbon is immediately charming as many of its neighborhoods are fully refurbished, it’s full of light and lively colors. Porto is a bit more grey and misty, which makes it more mysterious and intriguing, with colorful houses and oh-so-many tiles. To me it’s like Porto is still painted with the past, wherever you go. Even the hotel where I stayed in Porto, which I describe below, had so many stories to tell!

There is a lot to do in Porto, in this post I’ll walk you through all the things to do and how to get around.


Best Things to do in Porto

Start with a free walking tour

As soon as you get to Porto, take a free walking tour to get a grasp of what the city has to offer, some history and insider tips from the tour guides that live there. It will help organise how you’ll spend the rest of your time in the city, and you can ask all the questions you want.

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