6 Must Do Things in Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra is a cosy little city north of Lisbon at a distance of 205kms. The city will forever be a young city as it has witnessed students learning and passing out of the prestigious college for seven centuries and it will continue to do so for centuries to come. The city has plenty to offer the tourists provided they have the time. Following are top 6 things to do in Coimbra if you are there for a day or max two days.

6 Must Do Things in Coimbra

University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra is included in the list of Unesco World heritage sites since 2013. The university is constructed in a scenic location on a hillside overlooking the city. The 16th century colleges are worth a leisurely stroll. They have lecture rooms open to tourists when the session isn’t on. A notable monument housed in the huge complex is the 12th century Cathedral of Santa Cruz. The best part is the students have passed down cultural traditions year after year. The classrooms have beautiful tile designs on walls giving them an old ambiance. You have to buy tickets for the visit and it can take an hour to stroll and have a good look at the place.

University of Coimbra Indrani

The Joanina Library

For me this was the major attraction in Coimbra. This library is Coimbra’s greatest treasure. The grand opulence inside and stacks of old books going up to ceiling is mind blowing. Entry here is timed and possible only with tickets. You are gently asked to move on for next batch of tourists.

Old Cathedral of Coimbra

This fortress like cathedral has a stunningly beautiful altar. The blue and gold work existing for last 5 centuries is mesmerizing. The colorful tile work too is worth a good look. They allow photography and there are tickets for entry to the cloisters. Nobody rushes you up throughout your visit and it should take just an hour for a not so hurried visit. Once outside spend some time going around the cathedral. The west façade has some grand Moorish style columns and are well decorated with designs.

Cathedral of Coimbra

New Cathedral of Coimbra

This cathedral was established in 1543. The simple façade has 4 niches which carry statues of four Jesuit saints. The magnificence of the façade will stun you. This is such a contrast compared to the old cathedral. The 17th-century choir stalls of the main chapel were brought from the Old Cathedral.

new cathedral coimbra

Jardim Botánico (Botanical Garden)

Experience nature in the botanical gardens of Coimbra! This garden was conceived and developed during the reform of university in 1773. They claim the gardens have an exuberant and exotic collection of flora. The figures quoted as 1,200 plants and trees from around the world. The garden is open through out the year and entry is free. You can get some peace and pictures in this environment. Several noteworthy features are: fountain, a glasshouse dating from 1856, tree named “Figueira Estranguladora” which is from Australia, several ponds and the tiny 19th-century Capela de São Bento.

Walk and Eat

I always recommend this to all who travel to cities, even if it is for a short while. No other better way to experience a city. Since the University is on hill top, walking through the up and down sloping alleyways is worth experiencing. The pavements are tiled in patterns. There are walking tours conducted by students. Probably you can fund a student pursuing studies there. Plenty of bars and cafes, the food is good. During peak hours you may find yourself sharing your table with a student!

6 must do things in Coimbra food

pavement coimbra

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33 Responses

  1. eileen says:

    Hello Indrani, Coimbra looks like a beautiful place to visit. Lots of pretty place to visit and eat. Thanks for sharing! Have a happy day!

  2. Bibi says:

    That looks sooooo good.

  3. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful shots.

  4. I bet the Botanical Garden would be a wonderful place to enjoy nature.
    I really liked that walking path and fence. That’s a neat mosaic pattern in the walkway. – Lots of wonderful buildings there as well.

  5. Lisbon is one of the places I’d love to visit. It looks so warm and enchanting.

  6. TexWisGirl says:

    nice pathway! beautiful cathedral!

  7. Great, So beautiful pics.

  8. That platter is so awesome 🙂

  9. Arohii says:

    The cathedral looks great. x

  10. Nandakumar says:

    Beautiful pictures!

  11. I think you had a nice trip in that place, it seems to be a good one for a visit

  12. Kishor Kr says:

    Nice pictures, great architecture!

  13. Hey, Indrani, I’ve read so many posts of yours on Portugal. Why don’t you assemble these in a ebook on Portugal tourism regarding what to visit, why to visit and when to visit with your amazing clicks? Just a thought 🙂

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      Great idea Ravish. Thanks for inspiring me to think in that direction. 🙂
      I am going to think on it.

      • I agree with Ravish. Your posts are a mine of information and that too in depth. Indrani, it will make an amazing travelogue with all the awesome pictures you have clicked.

        • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

          That’s a great idea from Ravish. All of your beautiful pictures and narration would be of great help to the tourists want to visit Portugal… 🙂

  14. Linja says:

    Interesting architecture. Even the walkway is fancy!

  15. Seena says:

    Wow, must be so good to get out and get lost… Such a lovely post. Need to add Portugal to that bucket list.

  16. Yogi Saraswat says:

    University Architecture is looking very beautiful !!

  17. Janis says:

    Wonderful photos! Thank you for the tour and advice (my favorite is “Walk & Eat!).

  18. Arun says:

    Nice list of places to visit. Thanks.

  19. Love your Portugal posts. Great local perspective.

  20. Bhavani says:

    Wonderful pictures!!!

  21. I feel the cathedrals and the gardens would please me ☺️

  22. vatsala mallya says:

    Stunningly beautiful architechture ! Wonderful pictures .A walk in the botanical garden has to be an experience to remember !

  23. Coimbra seems like a lovely place to visit and the food looks so sumptuous. Thanks for sharing dear! 🙂

  24. You fanned the embers of my longing to visit Portugal again with this post.

  25. Divsi says:

    Stunning architecture. Walking is the best way to explore I agree! 🙂

  26. Priyanka says:

    I’ve enjoyed all your posts on Coimbra. Wonderful pictures with an even better commentary!

  27. Sindhoooo says:

    Interesting ideas to know Coimbra, lovely pictures!

  28. Jeevan says:

    Nice taking a brief on the place of interest in Coimbra! If you have visited that botanical garden, hope u make beautiful post on it 🙂 Love to take a stroll along the beautiful pathway

  29. Jyothi D'mello says:

    That meal looks tempting 🙂 I have read your other articles on Coimbra and this one sums it up nicely x

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