Things to do in Coimbra

Our most recommended things to do in Coimbra

Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Port Wine Tasting

1. Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Port Wine Tasting

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.

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

2. From Lisbon: Day Trip to Porto, Nazaré, and Coimbra

Explore three Portuguese cities in a single day on this guided tour from Lisbon. Learn more about the culture and history of Porto, Nazaré, and Coimbra. Discover some of their key locations and points of interest such as Porto's Dom Luis Bridge and the University of Coimbra. Depart early and head to Nazaré. Start with a guided tour of what is possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal. Nazaré has a unique historic atmosphere and is a place where traditions continue to thrive. Visit the Forte de Sao Miguel. This site has become famous because of the giant waves that hit the coast every winter and make it a destination for surfers from all over the world. Walk through O Sitio and admire religious buildings that attract pilgrims from around the globe. Hike toward the summit and check out the medieval fortifications, 17th-century churches, and modern shrines. Wander through the courtyards and plazas surrounded by ornate structures, basilicas, and statues. Continue to Porto and explore its UNESCO Heritage-listed old town on the picturesque Douro River. Walk through Igreja do Carmen, Estação São Bento, Igreja São Francisco, and Ponte Don Luis on a guided tour. Next, have free time to enjoy a typical Portuguese lunch (not included). The third stop is the famous city of Coimbra. Visit one of the oldest universities in the world (and the oldest in Portugal). Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is one of the key sites in the city. After the visit to Coimbra, return to the center of Lisbon. Your guide will be able to recommend things to do during the rest of your stay.

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. Choose from a tour with lunch and hotel pickup, a tour with lunch and a meeting point, or a tour with a meeting point.   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 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. Return to Porto at the end of your tour.

Coimbra: University of Coimbra Guided Tour

4. Coimbra: University of Coimbra Guided Tour

Explore the University of Coimbra on a guided walking tour, including visits to the Biblioteca Joanina, São Miguel Chapel, and Royal Palace. Start your tour in Porta Férrea, where you can access the historic sections of the University of Coimbra. Visit the Royal Palace, the Royal Chapel of Saint Michael and the Joanine Library. Next, see how this area has transformed over time with a walk through the Upper Town. Stop near the New Cathedral and learn about the student traditions that take place there. Pass by the "Repúblicas", typical student houses in Coimbra. End our visit in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria (Old Cathedral), site of the biggest student part in the country: the Queima das Fitas. Learn about the Monumental Serenade and other traditions.

Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

5. 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.

Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

6. 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.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

7. 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. Accompany your knowledgeable guide to the Royal Palace, Chapel of St. Michael, Joanina Library, Academic Prison, and other highlights. Go deeper than the average tourist with stops at the university.

Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

8. 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: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

9. 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.

Coimbra: Private World Heritage Site Tour

10. Coimbra: Private World Heritage Site Tour

Explore the medieval streets of Coimbra throughout an overview of the city complemented by its many gorgeous geographical details. As you learn about the lifestyle, history, and culture, you'll also receive useful tips on how to best spend the remainder of your time in the city. Your tour will help you feel like a local as you take the panoramic lift to discover the highlights of Coimbra on foot. From there, explore the main squares of the city before proceeding onward to the Old Cathedral, the Almedina Tower, and the Monastery of Santa Cruz, among other sites. Your itinerary later includes the oldest university in Portugal, the "Joanina" Library, the Chapel of Saint Michael, the Arms Room, the Yellow Room, the "Capelos" Room, the Private Examination Room, and the Academic Prison. Your experience finally concludes with a tasting of a typical pastry.

Frequently asked questions about Coimbra

What are the best inexpensive tours in Coimbra?

Other Sightseeing Options in Coimbra

Want to discover all there is to do in Coimbra? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 365 reviews

I'm glad to have found this walking tour app on the internet. I love the fact that you can explore the city by yourself without none of the tourists groups and guides surrounding you. Great!

Once we got to the theater, the show was terrific. The performers were excellent and provided a good introduction to fado. The acoustics were good and it was easy to see the performance.

Great experience! We got to spend 3 hours in Porto and were taken to great scenic and historic spots. A must if you are not staying in Porto.

Beautiful performance. The venue is small and intimate for the fado performance. Highly recommend!

Tour was great! Wish we had more time at the second location but overall a good day spent!