University of Coimbra

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University of Coimbra: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

2. From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

This trip begins in Porto and then onto Coimbra, the city of students and the oldest university in the country (from the 12th century) and also 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). 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. Then have lunch at one of the taverns downtown where you can find the most delicious snacks. Afterwards, head towards Fátima, where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Here, you 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. The tour can be adjusted to include the Candle Procession that takes place every day from April 17 to October 31 between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

3. 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.

From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

4. From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

With your hotel as the starting point, your private driver will take you to Palácio do Buçaco. Considered the last legacy of the kings of Portugal, it is a charm of nature located in the Bussaco National Forest surrounded by beautiful gardens with Neo-Manueline features decorated by tile panels, frescoes, and paintings depicting the Age of Discovery. Next, head to Coimbra, the city of students, with the oldest university in the country (12th century), and one of the oldest in the world. Enjoy visiting the Baroque library with a collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts from all over the country. A downtown tavern will be suggested for lunch where you can find some of the most delicious snacks in the city. In the afternoon, see the Romanesque architecture of the old cathedral. Across the river, visit the Convent of Santa Clara and the Quinta das Lágrimas, a place that witnessed the love of King Pedro and his beloved D.Inês. Make sure to explore Portugal for the Little Ones, a theme park featuring the major monuments and Portuguese houses in miniature. The Mondego River and the Choupal National Forest are both great spots for a relaxing evening. Return to Porto after an unforgettable day in the City of Love.

Sanctuary of Fátima and Coimbra City Tour

5. 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

6. 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: 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.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

8. 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.

From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

9. From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

Day 1: Lisbon Spend a full day exploring Portugal's charming capital city. Take a guided walking tour and become acquainted with one of Europe's most fascinating cities. With your informative guide, see and learn about some of this city's most famous historical landmarks. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included).   Day 2: Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril On the second day, visit Sintra, the Portuguese Aristocracy paradise and discover the charm of its narrow alleys and the typical shops. Visit a local pastry shop where the famous sweets Queijadas de Sintra and Travesseiros de Sintra will be waiting for you. Then, customize your tour and choose from the many palaces to visit in the area, including Quinta da Regaleira and Moorish Castle Palaçio da Pena. Later, visit the geological formation of Cabo da Roca, also known as "The Snout of the Rock" or "Promontory of the Moon," and marvel at the unimaginable beauty of the area. Next, it's time to explore Cascais, an ancient fisherman village turned beautiful and cosmopolitan beach resort. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included). Day 3: Lisbon, Fatima, Coimbra, and Oporto On the third day, escape the bustle of Lisbon and head out to Fatima, where you'll visit three places of interest and attend a mass (optional). Then, make your way to Coimbra and start the tour of the city at the oldest University in Europe. See the highlights including the Joanine library, built in the XVIII century on the grounds of the former prison of the University and marvel at one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Then, transfer to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included). Day 4: Oporto and Gaia Start your day tour of Oporto at the central Avenida dos Aliados, a famous spot for celebrations and events. Admire the imposing Oporto Municipal Council building. Walk around the city center and past the Lello Bookstore with its renowned staircase, known for its link to the Harry Potter series. Then visit Gaia, a hub of the port wine industry where the wine is being aged in hundreds of different cellars. Visit a local winery, where you will be shown the various aspects of winemaking and also taste some of the best wines in the world. At the end of your day, return to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included) Day 5: Douro Valley Check-out at your hotel in Oporto and take your luggage with you as you will be taken to the airport in Lisbon or Oporto at the end of the day (if desired). The day starts with a visit to Amarante in the Douro Valley, where you can see numerous examples of the Romanesque and medieval buildings. Then, stroll along the S. Gonçalo bridge and enjoy some of the most popular sites of the city, including the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo and the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum. Next, head over to the market where you see vendors selling the delicious S. Gonçalo sweets, always a source of curiosity and great laughter due to their phallic appearance.

From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

10. From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

After pickup in Lisbon, start your private tour in Aveiro, a city of singular beauty located by the sea and the river. Its canals and the traditional boats fill the city with a unique and colorful beauty. The city has always been linked to maritime trade, fishing, and salt production. Explore with your guide the unique aspects of this city, hear about its history, and see how contemporary citizens live. Coimbra was the first capital of Portugal, but today it is known for being student city. The UNESCO World Heritage listed University of Coimbra is the oldest university in the country, and one of the first universities in Europe. Be inspired by the historical importance of the city, and enjoy the relaxed ambience. At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped off back in Lisbon.

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What people are saying about University of Coimbra

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 179 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

What a wonderful morning, spent with a knowledgeable guide (Joao). We loved how engaged he was in sharing his obvious love for this incredible university with all its history and import. He steered us into the sights at the exact right times to avoid crowding from other tours and made sure we didn't miss a thing, including a dramatic view of Coimbra. You could do a walking tour on your own, but we are super glad we booked this tour. Not cheap, but quite special.

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.

Excellent and informative tour. Transferred in a comfortable mercedes van and Isabel, the tourleader/driver, was very knowledgable. Lunch was a buffet in a four star hotel. Could.t be any better

The tourist guid was very well Nuno and Felipa, explain all the City tour. A like too much all the places.