Skip to content

Things to do in Coimbra

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Entertainment
“The University of Coimbra was founded in 1290 and is one of the oldest in Europe, and was classified World heritage site by UNESCO.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Garden
“Spread over various levels, staircases and avenues, the Botanic Garden is one of the most renowned botanical gardens in the world, allowing a trip to the four corners of the earth, due to its plant diversity. The woods occupy two-thirds of the total garden area, which is essentially composed of exotic trees in free growth and bamboo woods.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Great shopping, great food, cinema, bowling - the views over Coimbra from the huge food hall on the top floor is awesome. Great for a rainy day or late night shopping trip! ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Museum
“The name is a homage by the city of Coimbra, his birthplace, to Joaquim Machado de Castro, the most notable representative of 18th century Portuguese sculpture. The bishop's palace, which houses the collections, retains the fine 12th-century cloister, creating the ideal environment for one of the most complete art collections in Portugal. Below the museum, visit one of the most impressive buildings from the Roman era still preserved in Portugal: a huge, monumental series of galleries, on two storeys, which are thought to have been designed to support an enormous square or a forum in the ancient city of Aeminium (Coimbra).”
  • 15 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Traditional portuguese food. Authentically Portuguese food. Specialty bones. ”
  • 15 locals recommend
Sculpture Garden
“Rooted in the earliest years of the Portuguese monarchy, this monastery goes back to the 12th century. The architecture though is later, with a 16th-century Manueline design summed up by the captivating decoration on the main portal, ceiling and cloister outside. Later that same century the pulpit and gilded wooden stalls were added in a resplendent Renaissance style. But the big story at the monastery has to be the tombs of Portugal’s first two kings, Afonso Henriques and Sancho I. They reigned in the 12th century and in the 1500s their remains were transferred to a marvellous Manueline ensemble sculpted by Nicolau Chanterene. (700 meters from this accommodation)”
  • 7 locals recommend
Nature
“perfect for families: playground close to downtown, watch the rowboats and kayaks on the river, feed the ducks (maybe not.. oh well.. the kids like that)”
  • 13 locals recommend
Music Venue
“Fado ao Centro® is a Cultural Center committed to promote Fado from Coimbra, with daily LIVE concerts at 6:00 pm. A magical space with a unique atmosphere were you can find the most genuine and traditional Fado from Coimbra everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Only the best musicians of the city play in Fado ao Centro and they are selected according to the highest standards of this 160 year old tradition. Even if you can’t witness the concert, don’t miss the oportunity to visit our space and get to know a little bit more about Fado from Coimbra. There are always musicians playing and rehearsing so you can change experiences and learn more about the Portuguese Guitar and this unique musical tradition. Bewtween 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. we have the “Afternoon Rehearsals” with our regular musicians. You can always pass by, watch them play and anyone that want’s to bring their own instrument is also welcome to join! At 6:00 p.m. we start our daily 50 minute long concert of Fado from Coimbra. If you are interested in attending our concert, we strongly advise you to make a reservation in order to ensure your seat. We don’t serve any kind of food, so we are totally committed to the concert itself, enabling a genuine atmosphere and unique cultural and musical experience in Coimbra! Following the work that has been held by this Cultural Association, you’ll find different exclusive editions of books, CDs and DVDs related to Fado from Coimbra. Fado ao Centro® is, undoubtedly, a place to visit in Coimbra! (450 meters from this accommodation)”
  • 11 locals recommend
Theme Park
“It is the oldest Portuguese theme park, consisting of six major themes: Regional houses (Representation of the traditional houses of the different regions of Portugal); Monumental Portugal (where the most significant monuments of Portugal are reproduced); City of Coimbra (special highlight for the city and its history); Insular Portugal (with reproduction of monuments from Madeira and the Azores) and portuguese speaking countries, ancient colonial territories (where the old traditional houses and ethnographic elements of the ancient colonial territories are represented). It was a complement to the educational project, which established a network of kindergartens and whose goal was that children could learn by playing in the park, outside the school building, in interaction with “the reality”. It is a place where space and time are compressed to dimensions that can be apprehended by all, especially by the children and that produces a certain notion of enchantment.”
  • 21 locals recommend
Library
“Count Raczinski wrote about this library in "Les Arts au Portugal" in the following terms: «it is the most beautiful, most richly decorated library that I have ever seen». In fact, the beautiful and noble interior of this sumptuous space, built between 1717 and 1728, clearly expresses the generous spirit of its founding patron. Visitors are welcomed by the king's coat of arms above the great portico at the entrance. Here, students and researchers may consult more than 300 thousand volumes dating from the 16th to the late 18th century, kept in the archives that cover three floors of the building.”
  • 16 locals recommend
Hotel
“That footbridge is named for the story of the 14th-century figures Pedro I the future king and Inês de Castro, his wife’s lady in waiting. They had a long affair, with Inês bearing four children, before she was assassinated in Coimbra on Pedro’s father’s orders in 1355. The park at the Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears) is supposedly where she died. The story goes that she was killed at the fountain; her blood is meant to have stained the stone on the fountain. The palace at the estate is now a pousada (heritage hotel), but the park is open to visitors. (1700 meters from this accommodation)”
  • 8 locals recommend
Church
“Back when Coimbra was a frontier between Christianity and Islam, King Afonso Henriques established this Romanesque cathedral. It was built not long after his victory over the Moors at the Battle of Ourique in 1139, and unlike other churches of its day has kept a lot of its Romanesque character. You’ll know that you’re at a boundary between worlds when you approach the austere facade, which is capped with crenellations and has only slender openings in its wall. Inside, the primitive barrel vault hints at the great age of the cathedral, and the column capitals have wonderful foliate, geometric and bestial designs. Lovers of medieval art will have 380 of these masterful capitals to inspect! (450 meters from this accommodation)”
  • 9 locals recommend
Administrative Area Level 2
“library Joanina, castles and cathedrals, students traditions takes place in may: Queima das fitas, traditional celebration of the students, fado of Coimbra...”
  • 15 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Great for all water sports, and at the nautical centre boats and jet skis can be hired. Floating swimming pool and separate children's pool on the lake, with stunning scenery. Next to the lake is a hotel with a restaurant and nearby cafes for meals and light refreshments.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Music Venue
“LISTEN TO FADO, PORTUGALS HERITAGE MUSIC Fado is traditional folk music originating in Portugal. Melancholy by nature, the music includes instruments like guitars and mandolins with one Fadista singing poetic lyrics related to darker elements of love, death and sadness. Many Fadistas perform in restaurants so you can get a great meal while enjoying this moving music. The Cultural House “aCapella” is housed in a 14th century chapel in the Jewish quarter of Coimbra, and offers a pleasant terrace, bar and tapas service. (www.acapella.com.pt) “Fado ao Centro” is a cultural centre where you can watch a rehearsal or ask questions. (www.fadoaocentro.com/)”
  • 4 locals recommend
Route
  • 2 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“Traditional portuguese food. Authentically Portuguese food. Specialty bones. ”
  • 15 locals recommend
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Café
“Óptima confeitaria para pequenos-almoços e lanches. A pastelaria é fresca, diversificada, típica e deliciosa. A não perder!”
  • 3 locals recommend
Café
“Historical building next to Santa Cruz Church, located at Coimbra heart it´s the perfect spot for some relaxed daylight drink. Prices are a bit high but still it worths by is perfect location ”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Situated on the banks of the Mondego, Italia has one of the best pizza ovens in town. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bar
“In Fangas Mercearia & Bar, you may delight yourself with a careful selection of wines, preserves and national sausages, tasty toasts and snacks and other unmissable savoury and sweets. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Sala de concertos na baixa de Coimbra. Concert hall in downtown Coimbra. 500m.”
  • 4 locals recommend

Get to know Coimbra

Explore more on Airbnb