Train station(Coimbra via Coimbra-B)
The most convenient airports for Coimbra are (in order of distance):
Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport - Porto
All of the trains connecting Porto and Lisbon stop at Coimbra- B; about 1h00 from Porto and about 1h 45m from Lisbon. Long distance services only serve Coimbra B station (away from city center) but all tickets include a 5 min train ride to Coimbra A (center of Coimbra)"Baixa de Coimbra" (downtown). Fast train only stop at Coimbra-B station, while Coimbra, or Coimbra-A is right in the city center. Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail - CP
The best way to drive to Coimbra is using the A1 Highway. Take any exit to Coimbra and you will be about 10 min away from the city center.
Most of the things to see and do in Coimbra, and most of the places to eat, drink and sleep are within reasonable walking distance of each other and of the rail station,in Baixa. There several hotels, residencials, pensions, restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, and nightclubs. Transit: buses, trolleys, electric cars. Most monuments are in Baixa and Santa Clara(across Mondego river). Smaller shops,restaurants,hotels,mostly in Baixa and Santa Clara. Major Shopping malls are in Alta,by Solum,near municipal staduim/pool.
Old Cathedral(Se Velha) (Impressive Cathedral)
New Cathedral of Coimbra(Se Nova)
Igreja de Santa Cruz (church in Baixa)
Medieval Downtown (Sao Tiago;Sao Bartolomeu)
Jardim da Sereia - "Mermaid's Garden" aka Jardim de Santa Cruz
Penedo da Saudade(a beautiful garden)
Sister Lucia of Jesus Memorial
Parque Manuel Braga and Parque Verde do Mondego- City parks by the Mondego River
Portugal dos Pequenitos - "Portugal of the little ones"
Quinta das Lagrimas and its tragic story of love.
Sta. Clara-a-Velha Convent
Sta. Clara-a-Nova Convent
Eurostadium Cidade de Coimbra - one of Euro2004 stages
Museum of Science
Have a walk up to the top of University Hill from the Mondego river (one of the three great rivers of Portugal),a gorgeous view.
There are two kinds of fado in Portugal: Fado from Lisbon and Fado from Coimbra, none should be missed. (Fado,nostalgic songs played by guitar)
There is always a lot going on in the student community, go and find out what's up. There are two student festivals held every year:
Festa das Latas
Queima das Fitas
The center of Coimbra is a great place to get lost, Coimbra is a small city but it is full of interesting spots. Museums(Machado de Castro),Torre d`Anto,etc.
Having a meal is not really a problem in Coimbra, since the city has a lots of restaurants, some typical, in old city (Baixa).
Three reasonably big shopping centers serve the standard fast food meals you can find everywhere. They are located in key places in the city, but not necessarily close to the tourist attractions of the city.
Molho de Brocolos , Level 2, Galerias Avenida, Avenida Sa da Bandeira 33/35, Coimbra, Portugal, Around to the right and at the back of the 2nd floor of Galerias Avenida, Excellent certified organic vegan food at good prices. Location isn't great tucked away at the back of the 2nd floor of a slightly run-down shopping centre, but the food and the staff totally make up for it. Only lunch as far as I know.
Italia, the Italian restaurant in the city park and over the river, very close to the Santa Clara bridge (very popular with tourists). You have a lot of outside tables, if the weather permits, and the food is prepared by Italian cooks. It's not very expensive either.
Zé Manel dos Ossos is one of the most famous restaurants in Coimbra, and for a good reason. A unique atmosphere inside the restaurant is responsible for this fame, but the food is good too. The walls of the restaurant are filled with small pieces of paper, with writings from clients. Be aware that it is quite a small space, so there's a big probability that you won't find a table.
Restaurante Vitória is located in the city centre and has portuguese traditional dishes suchs as "cozido à portuguesa", "bacalhau assado na brasa", "chafana". It'a a nice and quiet restaurant.
Salão Brasil in the "baixinha" (downtown) center. A unique room, with huge windows and very spacious, invites for a relaxed meal. The food is great with some unique dishes from around the country - like "Vitela Maronesa" and "Secretos de Porco preto". Vegetarian meals. During the weekends there is jazz, folk and fado concerts - most of them for free. It's great to finish your meal - you have plenty of time, Portuguese are always late - and get a concert right there. Sometimes they get very crowded.
Taberna. If you want to try 'chanfana', one of the most famous dishes of the region, you should definitely go to this restaurant, close to the football stadium. This restaurant is specialized in a limited amount of dishes, but the quality of the food is just amazing. Go there at night, and try the 'chanfana', even though you may not have a clue about what this is. This is the place for those who really appreciate good food. Don't go too late at night, because it can be a little crowded. The restaurant is very good, and it's located in the most densely populated area of the city.
Toscana is another very popular Italian restaurant, close to the new bridge. The decoration is great, with a lot of pictures from Florence, Venice, Rome. The quality of the food is quite high. It's definitely not your standard pizza...
O Telheiro - this restaurant deserves a visit, it is unbelievable: lots of great food and cheap prices. On the down side it is Very hard to get a table(but you will get one if you wait) and it is out of the center of Coimbra.
Farinha de Milho in Anca, a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful setting with beautiful traditional Portuguese food. This restaurant is in an old water mill in a small village just 10 minutes drive from Coimbra.
Rua de Azeiteiras (a street in Baixa) has lots of nice traditional restaurants.
Quinta das Lágrimas hotel's restaurant may be the best restaurant in the city. It's the most expensive place in the city though... Be sure to wear your best clothes if you go there. It's a very fancy place.
Gengibre is modern and elegant restaurant near the Santo Antonio dos Olivais church
There is a lot of quality wine production in the regions surrounding Coimbra, try some "Bairrada" wine.
Don't miss the "licor beirao", a national sweet liquor drink born and made in the region.
Try the different varieties of firewater "Agua-Ardente". One is made only from grapes while the other is made from mixed fruit. Each have a unique and different after taste.
Cafe de Santa Cruz is a historical cafe next to the "Igreja de Santa Cruz" (Saint Cross Church).
The bars in the new City Park are open all day long.
A warning, the students in this town seem to prefer Tuesday or Thursday night to go out. On weekends, this city is sleepy as many students go home to their families.
a Capela bar, were you can find yourself surrounded by Portuguese guitar tunes and "Fado de Coimbra" get a grip of this so traditional local culture.
Diligencia Bar - also typical night bar were you'll find Fado de Coimbra.
Salao Brazil - A restaurant but also a bar, most worthy during weekends, with - mostly - free jazz, folk and fado concerts.
BAAC - Academic Association Bar, entrance limited to University students.
Xuven - bar near Praca da Republica.
Procura-me - bar near Praca da Republica.
The bars in the "Parque Verde do Mondego" are a good place to go for a drink during Spring and Summer.
The bars around the "Praca da Republica" are full of the spirit of the students of the University, mainly during weekdays in Autumn, Winter and Spring.
Noites Longas - Disco near Praca da Republica, alternative sounding (metal, rock).
Via Latina - Disco near Praca da Republica, techno and house.
Vinyl - One of the best clubs in Coimbra.
There are several cheap hostels around the city center.
Pousada de Juventude is quite inexpensive. In June 2008 the going rate was 11 Euros a night plus 2 euros if you are don't have the card from youth hostel.
Residencia Aeminium Coimbra, center of Coimbra, tel +351 239 829426 . Great location to visit Coimbra, near transportations and all main attractions. Good alternative to hotels or hostels with a good quality-price ratio.
Grande Hostel de Coimbra , 00351 239 108 212, Rua Antero Quental nº196, Near Praça da República ( center of Coimbra), Hostel with lockers, free Internet, no curfew. Dorms 18 euros and double rooms 20 per person per night. It's a big house with a big garden and a nice and friendly atmosphere!
Pousada de Condeixa-a-Nova - Santa Cristina, Charming Hotel , +351-239 944 025, +351-239 944 025, Rua Francisco Lemos 3150-142 Condeixa-a-Nova The Pousada de Condeixa a Nova, a former palace owned by the Almadas Family, was built in the 16th century. For several years it received members of the European nobility. In the first half of 19th century, the palace was transformed in an hotel inn, later on it was an orphanage to poor children and finally an asylum homeless elderly people. Its interior design, the peacefulness of its surrounding green areas and the palace park nearby, are all excellent reasons to visit this Pousada again and again.
The Oslo Hotel Coimbra, center of Coimbra, tel +351 239829071. Near the train station and all main attractions, the location is just right. It has recently been renewed, the staff are helpful and the view is nice.
Excellent location, has good rooms with AC/good heating during the colder months. Very friendly staff. Superb kitchen.
The medieval center of Coimbra is unusual in retaining a number of independent bookshops, boutiques, toyshops, galleries, antique and foodshops.There are several bookstores,cafes,restaurants,esplanadas. In Alta/Olivais:
Forum Coimbra If you are even just a bit into pottery, the traditional pottery is a must.
The bus station is located at Av. Fernão de Magalhães and is easily reached by local bus or on foot (a long walk (10 minutes) to city center). It has destinations for all of Portugal (with changes for some far away destinations), and it's faster and fares are normally cheaper than the train.
Coimbra is hard city to drive in as it was built around medieval structures. The best option for visiting Coimbra is to find a hotel with parking or to park near the city center and then walk around. The main attractions are in the city center and within walking distance of each other. Driving not advised in the city center, unless familiar. Also, parking is difficult. Coimbra Baixa is the lower (downtown); Alta is the highest part of the city, also difficult to drive.
Conimbriga, the largest Roman ruins in Portugal, about 15 km away,to the south.
Castle of Montemor-o-Velho, about 30km away. Have a cup of tea and don't forget tasting the local sweets: "espigas de Montemor", "pastéis de Tentúgal", "queijadas de Tentúgal" - mostly eggs and sugar in delicious and extremely-caloric combinations!
Figueira-da-Foz is about 40 km away. Beaches and casino.
Eat "Leitao" in Mealhada
Eat "Chanfana" in Miranda do Corvo
Lousã, mountain town.
Curia village (jardim (garden/park);lagoon/lago)
Penacova, a town by the Mondego river. Also within an hour :
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