What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Coimbra is an charismatic Portuguese city located approximately 128 miles (205 km) north of Lisbon in the Centro region of Portugal. Coimbra and its neighboring cities were occupied by many societies within the years. Celts, Romans, Barbarians, Moors, and Spanish each settled earlier King Afonso Henriques in Coimbra established Portugal as an independent realm in 1139. He announced Coimbra Portugal, a name that lasted till 1225’s capital. King Afonso stays buried for this afternoon in the Santa Cruz Monastery of Coimbra.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

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What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

The University of Coimbra

Coimbra’s University has been created making it the earliest faculty of among the oldest universities in the whole entire world, and education over the Iberian Peninsula. The 20,000-plus students of the school drive Coimbra’s dining and nightlife industries. Coimbra is divided into two sections: the Cidade Alta (upper city) and the decrease city located by the Mondego River.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Old Cathedral (Sé Velha)

Rua Visconde da Luz

In the midst, the distinction between the city’s 2 sections displayed branch of the classes. While industrial activities occurred downtown, clergymen and noble households inhabited the Cidade Alta. Today, this historic downtown area is a popular neighborhood featuring boutiques and restaurants.

Santa Cruz Monastery

Do not neglect to explore the neighboring cities! Have a look at our article: 3 Day Trips from Coimbra

Salao Brazil

Coimbra has a rich history in the arts. Aside from the architectural landmarks scattered throughout the city, Coimbra boasts its very own number of Fado, a style of music often referred to as the”Portuguese blues.” Coimbra Fado is a sub-genre which includes intricate lyrics and several guitars. Experiencing a traditional Coimbra Fado series is a rare and true joy, but there are.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Zé Manel Dos Ossos

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What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Restaurante A Taberna

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

So people should sport shoes that are comfortable for walking to and from the attractions coimbra is a scenic city. Points of interest include the Church of the Santa Cruz Monastery São Tiago, Botanical Gardens, both the Old and New Cathedral, and the Machado de Castro National Museum that houses an important collection of Gothic, Flemish, Portuguese and Roman works of art.

Note from David

Pupils from all over the world choose Universidade de Coimbra to satisfy their dreams of higher education. This Victorian landmark has been founded in 1290 by King Denis of Portugal — making it among the earliest universities in Europe. Like faculty cities, the service industries of Coimbra are fueled with the presence of students during the college season, which spans from October to July.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

The school boasts a library. This building holds over 200,000 volumes such as bibliographic collections. They have to be approved prior to being checked out because they’re held at a fever and humidity-controlled”book house.” This process is utilized to maintain its set of 16th, 17th and 18th century-old publications.

An intriguing part of the”publication house” is its inhabitants: bats. At night these mammals feed on bugs that like to chomp away in the texts. Workers cover the surfaces with leather towels because of their friends, and then clean the area in the morning until the public arrives. Entry into the library is absolutely free.

Be sure to check out the university ‘s garden located on Calçada Martim de Freitas After done sifting through the classic books. Launched at the 18th century, Jardim Botânico has delighted visitors and students for over 200 years with elegant fountains, rare plant specimens and breezy walkways. Because playing outdoors is more enjoyable than just studying, right?


Coimbra’s Old Cathedral was constructed during the second half of the 12th century and can be a major Roman Catholic institution for the city in addition to the country. It was constructed atop the foundation of an mosque that was Islamic, and lots of its features, such as the main doorway for example, are indicative of Moorish layout.

The significance of the Old Cathedral began in 1139 when Afonso Henriques announced himself King of Coimbra and also Portugal because of his capital. The structure is just one of the Portuguese cathedrals. Its outside is no crash. The years after the expulsion of the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula were ones that were endangered, that resulted needing to be safeguarded from the past residents of the land against possible retaliation efforts.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

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The inside of the cathedral features later add-ons such as the gothic-style high altars and cloister, and 16th century Sevillan tiles. The Old Cathedral is available everyday from 10 a.m. to 6 pm, but entrance times are subject to change when mass is in session.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Since the main Road in Coimbra, Rua Visconde da Luz runs through the center of town in the Mondego River until just Beyond the Santa Cruz Monastery.

There are scores of local business offices, restaurants, tourist boutiques, cafés and stores.  At any time of day there are scores of folks walking the street running errands or casually strolling. This is a terrific way pick up souvenirs for folks back home and also to find the Baixa quarter.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Since being founded in 1131 known as Coimbra important monument, the Santa Cruz Monastery was standing. It was committed to the purchase of St. Augustine and has been used as a meeting location for clergymen and nobles alike, such as Portugal’s first king.  In the time it was constructed, the monastery cemented its ties to the Roman Catholic Church and established Coimbra because of funding that was valid. For this, the monastery was given special privileges by Pope Innocent II, which caused an impressive amassment of wealth for King Afonso Henriques’ budding nation.

The monastery’s layout was radically altered in the 16th century in order of King Manuel I of Portugal. Manueline, or Portuguese late Victorian design, is an architectural style called after him. As king, he commissioned many exploratory voyages around the world (India, Brazil and Africa), and integrated the architectural fashions of conquered territories into numerous churches across Portugal.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

The Santa Cruz Monastery was finally called National Pantheon because Portugal’s first two kings’ tombs, Afonso Henriques I and his son, King Sancho I, are held there. Tourists come to go to from all over to view the tombs of the kings who loved the monastery. The Manga Gardens are located behind the monastery. This 16th century fountain complicated is all that remains from an earlier cloister. The Santa Cruz Monastery is available Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 pm; Sundays from 4 pm to 5 p.m. Entrance is free. To go to the sacristy, chapter house and display hall is $2.50.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Because 2004, Salao Brazil, or Brazil Room, has been the place to fulfill taste buds while getting a jazz music fix. The outside of the eatery is a give away that it’s located within an colonial-style building. Salao Brazil is a popular spot for those out and about in downtown Coimbra.

Is found in the heart of downtown Coimbra. Throughout the daytime, the sunlight illuminates the dining area and also glows through the windows that are tall. By nighttime time, Salao Brazil listen to live music and boasts a vibe.  Salao Brazil has a cheap lunch menu at around $5 for a light supper (little entrees, sandwiches and soups).

Best time: Lunch or dinner

Rec’s: daily specials

This jewel of a restaurant makes up for its odd décor with some delicacies. Do not come expecting the works because what you see is exactly what you receive. And what you see are five watches stools, and walls covered in notes, poems and scribbles. Would be your food!  Zé Manel Dos Ossos doesn’t require reservations, so timing is everything. Even though it’s not likely that you won’t ever wait in line in any way, getting here around 3 pm (after the lunchtime rush), or 7 Monsters would be your safest bets.

The food in Zé Manel is tavern cuisine; hearty soups, largely drizzle stews and fresh fish. Zé Manel creates and serves its own wine, which is strong but goes well with the food.  Meals cost between $7 and $10 per person. The restaurant is available Monday through Friday by 12 p.m. into 3 pm and by 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.. It is only available for lunch on Saturdays (closed Saturdays ).

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Recs: Pork and bean stew (feijoada), grilled sardines and carapau, wild boar stew with beans, pork with Lettuce

Restaurante A Taberna is an perfect place to sample traditional Portuguese dishes prepared in a toaster that is toaster. A Taberna dishes of veggies, fish, and meat have been making awards and winning the hearts [and stomachs] of sponsors since opening its doors in 1982.  A Taberna features a choice of wine and food , exemplary customer support and a family friendly atmosphere.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Diners are seated at a warm, inviting dining area that allows clear views of kitchen and the food prep area, which means there are no surprises here. The chef shops can expect flavorful, fresh food.  A Taberna is located a 20-minute walk east of the University of Coimbra. Hours of operation are: Tuesday through Saturday 12:30 p.m. into 3 pm and from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sundays lunch only (closed on Saturdays ).

Best time: Lunch

Recs: octopus vinaigrette, posta tras os montes (steak with Sausage ), cod with potatoes, chocolate crepe

Coimbra, a university city, is just one of Portugal’s most beloved cities. There are two sides to the middle of this enchanting city. The area includes the Rua Visconde Luz that runs all of the way into the lake. Along this road you will discover the commercial area of Coimbra made up of many cafés, restaurants and stores. If you’re looking for a laid-back day of shopping make sure that you add this section of the city to your schedule. A small known shopping opportunity is your Quebra Costas Flea Market, located on the street and close to the pub with the exact identical name (see Nightlife segment ). This market takes place except through the winter months.

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You will find that the direction of each street is uphill. That is the University section of the city is located in the very top and offers great views of Coimbra, only the reason. The highly part of city is where all three are found. Bring decent walking shoes!

Was the Monastery of Santa Cruz. I liked learning about its history and visiting with the tombs of their two kings of Portugal, Afonso I and his son Sancho I. It is an attraction that you can not miss. It is going to please all lovers of architecture and royal history.  It is great to be aware that the vast majority of these go home since the city has a huge population of students. This leaves the city somewhat more quiet once the weeknight flurries are over.  I believed Coimbra was a city that has many hidden surprises. The lively energy felt from the students resonates in the streets and in the atmosphere. I recommend visiting during the summer months so that you encounter pleasant weather, and still can enjoy the beaches in Figueira da Foz.

Time Zone: GMT +1

Getting around: The very ideal way to go around Coimbra is by walking. Parking can be a nuisance, so utilize one of the many underground garages if you need to park overnight. Free bicycle rentals are available on weekends at the Parque Verde perform Mondego. The Funtastic bus is really a ride that goes through the city, stopping at points of attention. Tickets can be bought once. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5.

Shopping: Coimbra has excellent finds, if you don’t mind looking. Praça do Comercio has little boutiques, just as does the Baixa quarter. Dolce Vita is a large mall located on Rua General Humberto Delgado close to the sporting stadium. It’s over different restaurants 65 stores and a theater.

Hours of performance: Typical hours of operation are from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and out of 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Museums are closed on Mondays.

Nightlife Summary: Bar hopping is definitely a huge part of nightlife in historic Coimbra. Following a very long day of professors, professors and students alike can be found unwinding at some of the bars da República. Together with the students, you will find throngs of tourists and locals who consume, gossip and laugh together in the city’s relaxing environment.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

The student population results in the nightlife since Coimbra is a college city. The lively, and at times rowdy, students will make certain to know you are at a college community. Visitors will be delighted to know that there are lots of bars located around the Sé Velha Largo da Sé Velha, and its square. Most of Coimbra’s bars remain open until 2 a.m.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

A Capella (Rua Corpo de Deus-Largo da Vitoria Capela Nossa Sr da Victoria) is a lounge that features live Fado shows. The Fado group, Quinteto de Coimbra Fado House, opened the venue as a means of introducing non-locals into Coimbra sounds. It is one of the most popular venues for listening into Coimbra Fado music and has attracted over 70,000 tourists.

Via Latina Nightclub (Rua Almeida Garrett) is an enjoyable and lively club and also a favourite spot for students. It features two segments; one that performs house and disco music, and a second where guests can enjoy coffee. Throughout the week on Thursdays and Tuesdays, Via Latina is packaged. Fridays feature audio, but make sure that you call ahead for their schedule of DJ’s and groups.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Quebra Costas (Rua do Quebra Costas, 45) has been available since May of 1984. It is located between the downtown area of Coimbra and the medieval uptown. It is among the most charming and earliest bars in town. You’ll come across a lot of generations of locals and tourists enjoying the laid back environment that this pub offers. Quebra Costas features contemporary décor and an open-air terrace. It is available Monday through Saturday from noon to 4 pm

Check out several tours you can book in Portugal here!

Currency: Euro.

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

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What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Best time to Visit The month of May during the”burning of These ribbons.”

What to See and Eat in Coimbra, Portugal

Their gowns and ribbons burn to indicate that the end of their academic year.

What are your recommendations for the things to see and consume in Coimbra? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a comment or question below.