Coimbra
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Coimbra Day Trips

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

1. Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

Discover the religious and learned centers of Portugal on a 10-hour guided tour of Fátima and Coimbra from Porto, and see the nation’s most important pilgrimage destination, and one of the oldest university cities in Europe. Fátima supposedly owes its name to the Moors. But the city is best known for its apparitions of the Virgin Mary to 3 children tending sheep in 1917. Since the miracle was recognized by the Vatican in 1930, 3 different popes have been to Fátima on 5 separate occasions. Visit the stunning Neoclassical Basilica and Sanctuary, and can even attend mass in the Sanctuary if you desire. There will also be some free time for lunch in the bustling city center, full of modern-day pilgrims of retail therapy. Then, continue to Coimbra and discover 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, and provides a beautiful backdrop to a panoramic tour of the city’s narrow streets, full of young students. Visit the Sé Nova 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.

Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

2. Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

Begin by visiting Coimbra University, the oldest in Europe. The Joanine Library was built in the 18th century on the former prison. Its decoration was finished in the 18th century and the renovation included ceiling frescoes by Mestre António Ribeiro and Vicente Nunes. The portrait of Dom Joao V was done by the Italian Domenico Dupra. Visit other interesting places at the University including Saint Michel Chapel, Sala dos Capelos, and the cabra (bell) tower. Then, head downtown, between the Mondego river and the University, to a street where you can relax and get lost in the charming city. You will find countless cafes, pastry shops, and restaurants. Rich in culture and with unforgettable gastronomy, this area has been the commercial center of the city for hundreds, if not thousands of years, maintaining its genuine atmosphere and unique personality.  Choose to visit either Fatima or Obidos for your final stop before Lisbon. In Obidos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, travel back in time as you walk through the beautiful narrow streets full of traditional shops. Admire the old white houses and imagine how the medieval period would have looked and felt. Obidos was a wedding gift from D. Dinis to his wife D. Isabel and the village became part of the Casa das Rainhas until 1834, leaving the orders of D. Catarina to build an aqueduct and fountains. At the Sanctuary of Fatima, visit three places of interest. Choose to attend a mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions, the first Chapel built following the apparitions. It occupies a prominent place practically in the center of the Sanctuary. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, built in 1928 in Neo-Baroque style. It houses the tomb of Sister Lucia who passed away in 2005. See the Basilica of Santissima Trindade, built in 2007 with more than 8,000 seats and an area of 40,000 meters squared. It was designed by the Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis and is a modern imposing church.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

3. From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

Enjoy the convenience of hotel pick up in Lisbon and head to the first stop, the medieval village of Óbidos. A favorite of the Portuguese Queens, this village boasts charming small streets and ancient castle walls and is known as one of the most romantic spots near Lisbon.  Journey 2 hours onward to the city of Coimbra, home to the University of Coimbra, the oldest Portuguese university and one of the oldest in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, many come to admire the University's elegant Joanina Library, a Baroque library from the XVII century. Admire the elaborate azulejo wall tiles of São Miguel Chapel and visit the tomb of the first Portuguese King before enjoying free time to explore the city center.  After a day full of touring, return to Lisbon in an air-conditioned car.

Sanctuary of Fátima and Coimbra City Tour

4. Sanctuary of Fátima and Coimbra City Tour

Visit one of the great religious centers of Portugal on a full-day tour to the Sanctuary of Fátima in Cova da Iria. Learn about the Marian apparitions that took place at the site in May 1917. Look inside the magnificent Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and other religious monuments, before visiting the Chapel of the Apparitions at the very heart of the sanctuary. Attracting more than 5 million visitors per year, Fátima is one of the largest sanctuaries in the world and the most popular pilgrimages occur in October and on May 12 and 13 on the anniversary of the visions. See the house of the shepherd that the Virgin Mary appeared before, and then continue to the university city of Coimbra. Explore the historic center to see medieval houses among the majestic Renaissance monuments. Discover remnants of the Roman Empire, and go to the university area to admire the UNESCO World Heritage buildings of one of the oldest universities in the world.

Oporto, Braga, or Guimarães: Coimbra and Aveiro Private Tour

5. Oporto, Braga, or Guimarães: Coimbra and Aveiro Private Tour

This full-day premium tour onboard a comfortable minivan is escorted by a certified guide who will personalize your experience to the fullest. You will visit both Coimbra, the city of the students and ancient capital of Portugal, as well as Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal. You will start the day by visiting the oldest Portuguese University, the University of Coimbra. Here you will find the world-renowned Joanina Library and the Royal Palace. During this guided visit your knowledgeable and friendly tour guide will take you back in time to explain the important role of this city and Portuguese Independence. Learn about the history of the university and how students celebrate their 500-year-old traditions. Be enchanted by a Fado performance, played and sung by students Following your time at the university, you will go through the old Moorish town to discover the old cathedral’s facade, the narrow alleys, and stairways that will lead you to the commercial street of the city center. Enjoy the town at your own pace, absorb the local atmosphere, and listen as your guide informs you of all of your surroundings. After your walk have lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will visit the unique city of Aveiro which is considered Portugal's Venice. Cruise along the canals in a traditional Moliceiro boat. Admire the Art Nouveau buildings and the interesting fishermen's architecture. Witness the place where the Ria and Ocean meet as your tour concludes.

From Lisbon: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

6. From Lisbon: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

Portugal is a country rich in history and culture, and this is your chance to explore some of the most beautiful and intriguing places to grace its lands. Stop by the medieval village of Obidos for a trip back in time, where you can wander through the narrow streets full of traditional shops and white-painted houses. Discover the Sanctuary of Fatima and take an optional mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions, explore the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary built in a Neo Baroque style and see the grand, modern Basilica of Santissima Trindade. Continue on to Coimbra for a visit to the oldest university in Europe. Coimbra´s University is home to the 18th century Joanine library and is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Take a stroll to Coimbra´s charming downtown district where countless cafes, pastry shops and restaurants await your discovery. If you feel so inclined, choose to stop at the restaurant Mealhada where you can taste one of Portugal's most famous dishes, “Leitao da Bairrada," a slow-roasted suckling pork. Next, visit Aveiro where you can take a Moliceiro boat to see the 3 km of canals that flow through the city or take a stroll through the Aveiro market.  After a brief stop in the old fishing town of Costa Nova, your transfer will conclude in Porto.

Full Day Coimbra's Heritage and University Private Tour

7. Full Day Coimbra's Heritage and University Private Tour

Your tour begins at 8:30 AM with pickup at your hotel in the Lisbon area. This ensures enough time to enjoy your day without any hurry. This private tour is provided mainly with the objective of showing the city of Coimbra and it's heritage, nevertheless, this itinerary can be changed to best suit your preferences. After leaving Lisbon, you should arrive in Coimbra after an approximately 2-hour drive. Start by the University Grounds where you can visit the university and the unique 17th-century Joanina Library. Please note that you will need a pre-booked ticket purchased separately to enter the Library.  Afterwards, visit the Penedo da Saudade, a place known for being a memorial of the graduates from the University. Then visit the old Cathedral, a 12th-century church still beautifully preserved and tucked away in the center of the old city, which you will also visit before lunch. Have lunch in one of the typical restaurants, after which you will cross the Mondego river to the south bank to visit St Claire's monastery, one of the most important monasteries in the center of Portugal and home to the relics of Isabel, the holy Queen.  Finally, visit the Quinta das Lágrimas, home to the love story of Pedro and Inês, one of the most tragic and moving episodes of Portuguese history. If time allows or if you prefer you can also visit Little Portugal, a small theme park that unites all of the Portuguese culture and architecture in kid-sized houses. Return to Lisbon at approximately 6:30 pm.

From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

8. From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

First you will visit one of the most beautiful places in Portugal, Aveiro. Discover the city's many canals and bridges as you take a ride on a Moliceiro, a small boat typical of the local area. By taking a trip on a Moliceiro you will be able to enjoy the city's beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and bridges from the water. Next, stroll through Aveiro's historic center on a walking tour. See the Convent of Santa Joana, Aveiro Cathedral, Chapel of St. Gonçalinho, and the Misericordia Church. Try the famous Ovos Moles de Aveiro, a sweet pastry typical of Aveiro. You'll then explore one of the city's must-see attractions, the Costa Nova Beach. Pose for photos in front of the beach's famous striped and colorful houses. Next, continue towards Coimbra, a city full of history and tradition, with the Mondego River passing through it. Visit the narrow and steep streets of the University of Coimbra, the oldest in Portugal. Finally, discover the Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), the riverside area, and of course the Convent of Santa Clara.

From Lisbon: Private Tour to Coimbra

9. From Lisbon: Private Tour to Coimbra

Coimbra was the first capital of the kingdom of Portugal for almost two centuries. It gained new status with the foundation of the University. Visiting Coimbra is like travelling back to the past, while admiring the joys of the present. You will begin by visiting the University of Coimbra, a World Heritage Site. Visit the Paço das Escolas, where you will find the Joanina Library, the São Miguel Chapel, the The Capelos Room, the Medieval and Academic Prison, the Arms Room, the Private Exam Room, and the University Tower. Leaving the University, you head to discover the Sé Velha, from its historic center with its medieval alleys and steps, up until the Santa Cruz Monastery, where the first two kings of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his son, D. Sancho I, are buried. Known as 'City of Black Cloaks', Coimbra is known for an infamous legend of love and punishment, the tragic love story of King, D. Pedro I and the queens maid, D. Inês de Castro. There are many attractions in Coimbra, such as the Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery, founded in 1283, by a lady of the nobility, D. Mor Dias, and delivered to the Poor Clares shortly afterwards. It was in the Palace of the Monastery that D. Inês de Castro lived and later, in 1355, was executed. On the left bank of the Mondego River, you will find the Portugal dos Pequenitos theme park, which is divided into three themed spaces.

From Porto: Sanctuary of Fatima & Coimbra Private Day Trip

10. From Porto: Sanctuary of Fatima & Coimbra Private Day Trip

In total privacy, comfort and tranquility, travel to visit the Sanctuary of Fátima and discover one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world, with the option of attending a mass at the sanctuary. The 10-hour tour also has an opportune stop in the historic city of Coimbra, recognized for having one of the oldest universities in Europe. This trip begins in Porto, and then onto Coimbra, the city of students and the oldest university in the country, (12th century), and one of the oldest in the world. Take the time to visit the Joanina Library with its collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts in the entire country. Visit the Old Romanesque style Cathedral (Sé Velha). We recommend crossing the river to visit the Santa Clara Convent and the Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), where the love between Pedro and Inês blossomed. We recommend having lunch at one of the taverns downtown, where you can find the most delicious snacks. We then head towards Fátima, where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Here, we will visit the Basilica, where Francisco, Jacinta Marto, and Lúcia are buried, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade (Church of the Holy Trinity), and the largest Catholic sanctuary in Portugal. There will also be time to see the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of Apparitions), a small temple built at the request of Our Lady of Fátima when she appeared to the three shepherd children, and Azinheira Grande, the tree that Jacinta, Lúcia, and Francisco passed before seeing the Saint.

Frequently asked questions about Coimbra Day Trips

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What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 143 reviews

Manuel was an excellent guide. He was knowledgeable, personable and did a great job managing our group dynamic displaying the utmost professionalism and respect on the things we wanted to spend time for. You can spend time freely in the Fatima sanctuary. I was able to attend confession and participate in adoration. Only unfortunate thing was it mentioned mass was optional, but with the mass times and amount of time we had to explore, I didn’t get to stay for all of mass out of respect for the time of everyone. That being said, this was still a wonderful tour and I don’t regret it as it was the only tour available that fit our schedule. For those mostly going for the religious aspects, consider a dedicated Fatima tour or go on your own. This was such a special tour being able to see where the little shepherds lived, the sanctuary and to see one of the oldest universities of coimbra. Lunch was delicious and the group size was perfect. Fantastic tour and one of the best tour guides ever

Great day. Saw many scenic viewpoints in Coimbra Excellent lunch and then adequate time to explore Fatima sanctuaries. Especially enjoyed visiting homes where the children grew up. Lovely neighborhood. Bernardo was very accommodating to our group and provided lots of cultural and historical information. Would highly recommend.

the driver Antonio was very helpful, Fátima was a wonderful experience and Coimbra was also worth the visit!

The day was very nice. A small group and Antonio was excellent. So knowledgeable. He made the day for us.

Coimbra is a very cute city! Would recommend adding it to your itinerary