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, Óbidos, and Nazaré

2. 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.

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: 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.

Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

5. 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.

Coimbra: University of Coimbra Guided Tour

6. 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.

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.

Coimbra: Private World Heritage Site Tour

8. 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.

From Porto: Sanctuary of Fatima & Coimbra Private Day Trip

9. 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 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 with 12th-century history, and one of the oldest in the world. Take 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). It is recommended you cross the river to visit the Santa Clara Convent and the Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), where the love between Pedro and Inês blossomed. Have lunch at one of the taverns downtown, where you can find the most delicious snacks. Head then towards Fátima, where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Here, 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.

Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

10. 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.

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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!