Explore Portugal: Let’s Visit Coimbra

Coimbra is a lesson, of dream and tradition, as the beautiful Amália Rodrigues (a famous Portuguese singer) used to say. And it's true. It is one of the most important cities in Portugal in historical terms. It was inhabited by Romans and Arabs, and it was here that D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born, the city is the scene of several Portuguese legends and also hosted the first university in the country, which is now one of the oldest in Europe and a UNESCO heritage site. To help you discover what to do in Coimbra, I have chosen 7 places not to be missed in the city. Let's check them out…


  1. University of Coimbra

The University was founded in 1290 by king D. Dinis, the University of Coimbra settled definitely in Coimbra in 1537. Here, we can see the Paço das Escolas, the architectural complex that housed the faculties from the 16th century onwards.  After entering through the Porta Férrea, there are some buildings that you must visit: the Biblioteca Joanina, São Miguel Chapel, the Torre da Universidade, and the principal building where the Via Latina (long balcony) and the Sala dos Capelos are located. On the other side of the University and outside the Paço das Escolas, there is the Science Museum, which is also worth a visit.

universidade de coimbra


  1. Coimbra University Botanical Garden

Inaugurated in the 18th century by the Marquês de Pombal, the Botanical Garden covers more than 13 hectares. Don't miss the Alameda das Tílias, the Estufa Grande, Estufa Fria, and the Fountain. In the Tropical Corner, besides the palm trees and different species, you will also find the arches of the São Sebastião Aqueduct. Entrance to the garden is free every day!   

 jardim botanico  

  1. Quinta das Lágrimas

 In this garden, perhaps the most beautiful love story in Portugal took place, romanticized over and over again, and eternalized in this place. You can read the whole story here! Quinta das Lágrimas, despite belonging to a hotel, can be visited. It is said that it was near the Fountain of Tears that Inês was murdered and that the blood that ran down was marked on the seaweed, which is still red today. The entrance fee is 2 euros.

 Quinta das Lagrimas


  1. Penedo da Saudade

This park and viewpoint in the city are linked to the academic tradition. It has an incredible view of the eastern part of the city! Free entry.

Penedo da Saudade

  1. Portugal dos Pequenitos

 Portugal dos Pequenitos is a theme park, which allows you to take a trip to the most emblematic monuments and the History of Portugal in a funny way.

portugal dos pequenitos


  1. Alta Medieval de Coimbra

 Besides the University buildings, the highest part of the city of Coimbra has other important buildings that date back to medieval times. Around here you will find the Palácio Sub-Ripas, the Torre da Contenta, and the Torre de Anto. To enter the upper part of the city, do not miss the Porta and Torre de Almedina, the main entrance to the city within the walls, which marks the division between the upper and lower parts of Coimbra.

 viewpoint coimbra


  1. Escadas Monumentais

One of the most emblematic places for Coimbra students is where the freshmen usually practice Praxe (The Portuguese term Praxe describes the whole of student traditions in universities or, more often, to the initiation rituals freshmen are subjected to in some Portuguese universities.) Built-in the 1950s, the 125-step staircase links Praça D. Dinis to Praça da República. It is said that the number of times you stumble on the staircase throughout the year is the number of subjects you will fail in that year...

 escadas monumentais


I hope I have inspired you to visit Coimbra! Which city do you want to see next? :)

Juliane (Ju) OLS Community Manager 

Last modified: Tuesday, 7 March 2023, 1:24 PM