Coimbra Travel Guide

What you need to know

Coimbra, a city in Portugal, beckons you with its charming blend of history and modernity. Stroll through its ancient streets, and you'll find a captivating journey awaiting your exploration.

Begin your Coimbra adventure with a visit to the University of Coimbra, a prestigious institution that exudes a rich academic tradition. As you wander through its courtyards and lecture halls, the echoes of scholarly debates of ages past may resonate in your mind.

The old town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings, invites you to lose yourself in its timeless charm. Discover hidden gems like the Joanina Library, a treasure trove of rare books and manuscripts. There's no need for elaborate words to describe the awe-inspiring sight before you.

Coimbra's cuisine, a delightful fusion of Portuguese flavors, awaits your taste buds. Savor traditional dishes like "Bacalhau à Brás" and "Leitão à Bairrada" at local eateries. These dishes, rich in taste and history, will leave you craving for more.

When the sun sets, Coimbra comes alive with a vibrant nightlife. Join the locals at one of the lively cafes or bars, where you can enjoy a relaxed conversation over a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or a cup of aromatic coffee.

As you explore Coimbra, you'll find a city that effortlessly blends the past and the present, offering you a unique and memorable experience. So, pack your bags, and let Coimbra's allure weave its magic on you.

Things To Do

University of Coimbra
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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Coimbra is during the spring and early summer months, from April to June. This period offers pleasant weather with mild temperatures and blooming gardens, making it ideal for exploring the city's historical sites and parks. Additionally, you'll have the chance to witness the vibrant Festa dos Santos Populares, a series of traditional street festivals celebrating local saints, adding cultural richness to your visit.

If you prefer smaller crowds and lower accommodation prices, consider visiting in the fall, from September to November. During this time, the weather remains comfortable, and you can experience the academic buzz as students return to the University of Coimbra. Don't miss the Festival das Latas in early October, a student celebration marked by music and parades.

For a festive and heartwarming experience, plan your visit during the holiday season in December. Coimbra comes alive with Christmas lights and decorations, creating a magical atmosphere. You can enjoy the local traditions, including the captivating nativity scenes and Christmas markets, making it a delightful time to explore the city's enchanting streets.

Travel Information

Currency: In Coimbra, the local currency is the Euro (€). It's advisable to exchange some currency upon arrival for small expenses, but credit cards are widely accepted.

Language: Portuguese is the official language spoken in Coimbra. While many locals may understand basic English, learning a few Portuguese phrases can enhance your experience. 

Credit Cards and ATMs: Major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted in Coimbra. ATMs are readily available throughout the city for convenient cash withdrawals.

Plugs: Portugal uses Type F electrical outlets, so make sure to bring the appropriate adapter for your electronic devices.

Safety: Coimbra is generally a safe destination, but it's wise to remain vigilant against petty theft and pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.

Local Etiquette: Portuguese people are friendly and polite. It's customary to greet with a handshake or cheek kiss. When dining, it's polite to wait for the host to start the meal and say "Bom apetite" (Enjoy your meal) before eating.

Health Precautions: Ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling. The tap water is safe to drink, but bottled water is widely available if preferred.

Emergency Contacts: In case of emergency, dial 112 for assistance. Save the contact information for your country's embassy or consulate as well.

Cuisine: Explore Coimbra's culinary delights with dishes like "Francesinha" (a hearty sandwich) and "Pastéis de Tentúgal" (sweet pastries). Don't miss the chance to try the local wines and "Ginjinha" liqueur.

Travel Insurance: It's highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost belongings. Ensure you have the necessary coverage for peace of mind during your trip.

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University of Coimbra

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