Coimbra Culture & history

Our most recommended Coimbra Culture & history

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

1. 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.

Coimbra: University of Coimbra Guided Tour

2. 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.

From Lisbon: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

3. 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.

From Porto: Sanctuary of Fatima & Coimbra Private Day Trip

4. 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.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

5. 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.

Coimbra: Historic Center Guided Tour

6. Coimbra: Historic Center Guided Tour

Stroll the historic city center of Coimbra with a guide. Learn about the city as you visit its historic university, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the Church of Santa Cruz. Meet your guide in front of the Porto Ferrea to start your tour. Begin with a visit to the old University of Coimbra. Visit the historic buildings at the university with your guide. See the Royal Palace, the Royal Chapel of São Miguel, and the Joanina Library. Afterward, visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria, also known as the Old Cathedral. Admire the collection of Romanesque sculptures adorning the building. End our visit to the Church of Santa Cruz. Experience this old monastery where the first two kings of Portugal are buried.

From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

7. 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.

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What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 138 reviews

The tour was the perfect opportunity to get a taste of other cities in Portugal and see what to do on the next visit. It was AMAZING! Really enjoyed the personalized experience and the chance to be with other travelers. Our guide was very informative too.

This trip is an absolutely fantastic way to see a lot of Portugal in an organized and entertaining way. Our guide, Flavio, was charming. We were captivated the whole time by the beauty of this three cities. We really had a wonderful time.

A great way to discover many different parts of Portugal in a single day. If you are interested in history and gastronomy, this is your tour. I felt in love with this country. Many thanks to Flavio, he was so attentive and kind with us.

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.

Excellent and Paolo the driver of 10. Recommended.