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Things to do in
Coimbra

Our most recommended things to do in Coimbra

From Lisbon: Day Trip to Porto, Óbidos, and Nazaré

1. From Lisbon: Day Trip to Porto, Óbidos, and Nazaré

Discover three amazing Portuguese cities: Porto, Nazaré, and Óbidos with a bus sightseeing tour from Lisbon. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Portugal and feel inspired by the architecture, history, and culture of these beautiful cities. Get comfortable in an air-conditioned vehicle as you start your journey toward the town of Óbidos, where we will start with a guided tour accompanied by a local guide. Completely surrounded by ancient walls and preserving all its medieval charm, Óbidos is one of the most famous and visited places in Portugal, and a must-see in the surroundings of Lisbon. The narrow cobbled streets that can be seen in Óbidos will immediately transport you to a medieval atmosphere. These streets are home to perfectly preserved old houses, historic buildings, and important monuments. Dominating the historic center in the highest part of the village, visit the Castle of Óbidos, which is declared one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Start at the village main gate, and discover the amazing narrow streets outside of the beaten track. Visit the secret Jewish neighborhood and its white-painted houses with some great spots to take pictures. Walk along Rua Dereita, the most famous street, full of stores and traditional restaurants, and get to the castle of Óbidos. It was built in the 12th-century, although it has Roman constructions in its beginnings. It can be said that it is one of the best preserved and largest fortresses of the country, being listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. From there, you will clearly see the great wall of Óbidos, another of the town’s great symbols. Continue the trip heading to possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré, where you will visit the Forte de Sao Miguel. This site has become world-famous for the giant wave that hits its coast every winter and attracts lots of surfers from all over the world. Then, walk through O Sitio, where the famous streets present a collection of religious buildings and are a hugely popular site for pilgrims from all around the globe. Hike your way up to the summit, where you'll find medieval fortifications, 17th-century churches, and modern shrines. Wander the courtyards and plazas surrounded by ornate structures, basilicas, and statues. Next, head to Oporto, the last stop of the day. First you will have 1h to have a typical Portuguese lunch on your own to regain energy, and then, the visit will start. A vibrant 1.5-hour walking tour, where you will admire the stunning Old Town on the picturesque Douro River, complete with six bridges, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Igreja Carmen, Estação São Bento, Igreja São Francisco and Ponte Don Luis. At the end of your tour, you will return to the center of Lisbon and your guide will recommend things to do during the rest of your stay.

Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

2. Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

Casa Fado ao Centro is a cultural project created in Coimbra in 2010. All of the musicians and collaborators are or were university students in Coimbra. Decorated with the belongings of the musicians, the walls are lined with history. The concerts are cultural events. In an intimate setting, you will embark on a journey through the unique sound of Fado de Coimbra, and through the most important moments in the city's history. At the end, enjoy a Port wine tasting with the musicians to interact with them and learn about their craft.

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

3. Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

Travel to Fátima and Coimbra on a full-day trip from Porto. See the Shrine of Fátima and one of the oldest university cities in Europe. Relax on the drive in an airconditioned vehicle to Fátima where apparitions of the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared 3 children tending sheep in 1917.The miracle was recognized by the Vatican in 1930, and 3 different popes have been to Fátima since. Visit the stunning Neoclassical Basilica and Sanctuary, and can even have the option to attend mass in the Sanctuary. Spend some free time for lunch in the bustling city center which is full of modern-day pilgrims. Continue to Coimbra and discover the area that was Portugal’s only university city until the early 20th century. Founded in the 13th century, the hilltop college is one of the oldest in Europe. Today the university provides a backdrop to the city's charming streets.  Head to the Sé Cathedral to see the only church in Portugal to survive the Reconquista almost intact. During the visit in Coimbra's historical center you can walk through the Quebra Costas, Arco da Almedina, Porta do Barbacã, and Rua Ferreira Borges. End at the University in the former buildings of the medieval Royal Palace. Among the highlights is the stunning Joanine Library with baroque details of red and green lacquer and trompe-l’oeil features. Return to Porto at the end of your tour.

Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

4. Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

After meeting your tour guide in the morning, you will be transported to Penacova and provided with the kayaking equipment and some instructions. Then, set off from the Carvoeira dam on a kayaking tour with a total length of 18 km (11 miles).  You'll be kayaking through the natural Mondego river valley, surrounded by extensive forests. As you travel downriver, you will pass by the small villages of Ronqueira, Rebordosa, Louredo, Foz do Caneiro and Casal. This part of the river is full of small beaches where you can stop for a picnic or go to go for a swim. On the river beach of Palheiros, you'll find a small bar where you can buy an ice cream or a cold beer. The river usually has a light current, which makes the kayaking easy and accessible to all ages. Finish in Torres do Mondego, after 3-4 hours of kayaking and breaks along the way. Expect to arrive between 15.00 and 17.00 pm.

Porto: Private Transfer to Lisbon with Stops up to 3 Cities

5. Porto: Private Transfer to Lisbon with Stops up to 3 Cities

Tick off three of the most important cities on the Portuguese coast in just one day with this convenient private transfer service. Travel from Porto to Lisbon and enjoy optional stops in Aveiro, Coimbra, Fátima, Nazaré, or Óbidos. After getting picked up from your hotel in Porto, travel towards the city of Aveiro. Enjoy some free time to explore the canals, Nouveau architecture, and colorfully painted Moliceiros boats of the city. Alternatively, you may wish to stop in Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in Portugal. Here, immerse yourself in the city's modern area, the university, and its ancient past. Continue towards either Nazaré or Fátima for lunch and a walk around the city. In Nazaré, soak up the views of the Portuguese coast and see for yourself why the city is a surfer's paradise. Or, explore the many religious sites in Fátima. Finally, pay a visit to the medieval town of Óbidos. Here, enjoy some free time to explore the town's famously quirky bookstores, medieval streets, and liquor bars at your own pace. Get dropped off at your hotel in Lisbon after a full day's sightseeing.

eSIM Europe and UK for Travelers

6. eSIM Europe and UK for Travelers

Whether you're a traveler exploring the UK or embarking on a multi-country European adventure, an eSIM card ensures you're always connected. Enjoy instant mobile delivery and 1- to 30-day coverage options with 500 MB to 10 GB. This eSIM is ideal for modern travelers using devices like the iPhone or other smartphones supporting the eSIM feature. Enjoy the convenience of prepaid coverage in all major European destinations with uninterrupted connectivity and no surprises. This eSIM covers the following locations: Austria (Österreich) Belgium (Belgien) Bulgaria (Bulgarien) Cyprus (Zypern) Croatia (Kroatien) Denmark (Dänemark) Estonia (Estland) Finland (Finnland) France (Frankreich) Germany (Deutschland) Greece (Griechenland) Hungary (Ungarn) Ireland (Irland) Iceland (Island) Italy (Italien) Latvia (Lettland) Lithuania (Litauen) Luxembourg (Luxemburg) Malta Norway (Norwegen) Netherlands (Niederlande) Poland (Polen) Portugal Slovakia (Slowakei) Slovenia (Slowenien) Spain (Spanien) United Kingdom (Vereinigtes Königreich) Czech Republic (Tschechische Republik) Romania (Rumänien) Sweden (Schweden) Switzerland (Schweiz) Ukraine

Coimbra: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Historical Highlights

7. Coimbra: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Historical Highlights

Venture into the heart of Coimbra’s historical centre with me, Sara Cruz, a local guide. On this walking tour, I’ll guide you through downtown Coimbra, called Baixa, where you’ll traverse its narrow streets and church-adorned squares. We'll walk through the city’s old medieval gates to Cidade Alta (or ‘Upper Town’) where you’ll see the Old and New Cathedrals. Most of this historical area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. You'll hear about the style of Fado music unique to Coimbra and, along the way, I’ll show you some of the city’s Roman ruins. I’ll also tell you about its early beginnings, and the history of Coimbra's university and its traditions. Our tour ends at the university campus, where you’ll be treated to amazing views over the city and Mondego River. So, let's roam these cobbled streets, echoing with the mournful sounds of Fado and the memories of times past.

From Porto: Aveiro & Coimbra Small Group Tour + River Cruise

8. From Porto: Aveiro & Coimbra Small Group Tour + River Cruise

Meet the guide at the meeting point to start the tour. Relax in an airconditioned vehicle on the way to Coimbra. Start by exploring Coimbra, a historically university city, because of the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe and one of the largest in Portugal. One of the oldest cities in the country, it was the capital of Portugal before Lisbon, until 1255, and is home to the first National Pantheon, the Monastery of Santa Cruz. Stroll through the streets of Coimbra. Stop at important landmarks such as the Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral. If you select the option with monuments admission, visit the interiors of Joanina Library and the Royal Palace. After visiting the main monuments, you will have free time for lunch (at your own expense), the guide will be able to suggest restaurants where you can have lunch. After enjoying lunch, return to the VAN with the guide to continue the journey to Aveiro. Aveiro in the central region of Portugal, considered the small “Venice of Portugal”, where where you can visit the Fish Market, Aveiro's railway station. Explore the city's Art Nouveau architecture and historical center. Board a traditional, wooden moliceiro boat and experience the city from the water. Make your way to the Aveiro Salt Ponds passing by New Coast, typical striped houses. Look for stork nests along the way find. At the end of the tour, the guide will drop you off at the same place of meeting point.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

9. University of Coimbra Walking Tour

Visit one of the oldest universities in the world (and the oldest university in Portugal). Founded originally in 1290, the University of Coimbra has occupied its spot in the city of Coimbra since 1537. Hear about the ways it shaped modern Portugal. Accompany your knowledgeable guide to the Royal Palace, Chapel of St. Miguel, Joanina Library, Academic Prison and other highlights. Go deeper than the average tourist with stops throughout the old university area.

Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

10. Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

Get to know Coimbra at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour. You'll explore the city on foot and get points for solving different types of tasks: Find sights: You will use hints to find the best sights and hidden gems throughout the city. The map function in the app will help you get there. Solve questions: Once you’ve arrived at the place you’re looking for, you’ll be asked questions about the sight. Most of the time, the answers are hidden in signs, pictures, etc. A great and fun way to learn new things about the city. Have fun: During the adventure you can also expect exciting photo tasks that require a lot of creativity. If you master the snapshots, you will be rewarded with points. Along the way, you’ll reach amazing places like the “Mango Garden”, “Monastery of Santa Cruz”, “School Palace” and many more! After you book the game, you’ll get a game code via email with instructions on how to play. Head to the “Jardim da Manga" and use the code to unlock the game in the app. The tour ends at the “Jardim da Sereia". The experience is not limited in time. You can explore the city at your own pace and take breaks. Just download the Explorial-App, go to the starting point, and you’re ready to start with the game. The tour lasts on average about 1-2 hours.

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Frequently asked questions about Coimbra

What are the best day trips and excursions from Coimbra?

The best day trips and excursions from Coimbra are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Coimbra

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What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.7
(588 reviews)

Jose the driver was excellent and very knowledgeable for the area. He had great recommendations for what to do and where to eat. He was also very accommodating and we could take all the time we wanted. Would do it again.

Nuno was an excellent guide and driver. We went on a really rainy day and he was flexible and accommodating. We lunched at a local "truck stop" in Coimbra with an abundance of food for an inexpensive price.

Really great activity very interactive , a very good way to see the must attractions and learn something about them. Recommended

Driver was friendly, on time, and when asked offered ideas on where to go/what to see/

Nuno was great and very friendly and made the journey relaxing and fun