Things to do in
Coimbra District

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended things to do in Coimbra District

Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Port Wine Tasting

1. Coimbra: Live Fado Show with Port Wine Tasting

Casa Fado ao Centro is a cultural project created in Coimbra in 2010. All of the musicians and collaborators are or were university students in Coimbra. Decorated with the belongings of the musicians, the walls are lined with history. The concerts are cultural events. In an intimate setting, you will embark on a journey through the unique sound of Fado de Coimbra, and through the most important moments in the city's history. At the end, enjoy a Port wine tasting with the musicians to interact with them and learn about their craft.

Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

2. Coimbra: Mondego River Kayaking Tour

After meeting your tour guide in the morning, you will be transported to Penacova and provided with the kayaking equipment and some instructions. Then, set off from the Carvoeira dam on a kayaking tour with a total length of 18 km (11 miles).  You'll be kayaking through the natural Mondego river valley, surrounded by extensive forests. As you travel downriver, you will pass by the small villages of Ronqueira, Rebordosa, Louredo, Foz do Caneiro and Casal. This part of the river is full of small beaches where you can stop for a picnic or go to go for a swim. On the river beach of Palheiros, you'll find a small bar where you can buy an ice cream or a cold beer. The river usually has a light current, which makes the kayaking easy and accessible to all ages. Finish in Torres do Mondego, after 3-4 hours of kayaking and breaks along the way. Expect to arrive between 15.00 and 17.00 pm.

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

3. 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.

Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

4. Coimbra: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

Get to know Coimbra at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour. You'll explore the city on foot and get points for solving different types of tasks: Find sights: You will use hints to find the best sights and hidden gems throughout the city. The map function in the app will help you get there. Solve questions: Once you’ve arrived at the place you’re looking for, you’ll be asked questions about the sight. Most of the time, the answers are hidden in signs, pictures, etc. A great and fun way to learn new things about the city. Have fun: During the adventure you can also expect exciting photo tasks that require a lot of creativity. If you master the snapshots, you will be rewarded with points. Along the way, you’ll reach amazing places like the “Mango Garden”, “Monastery of Santa Cruz”, “School Palace” and many more! After you book the game, you’ll get a game code via email with instructions on how to play. Head to the “Jardim da Manga" and use the code to unlock the game in the app. The tour ends at the “Jardim da Sereia". The experience is not limited in time. You can explore the city at your own pace and take breaks. Just download the Explorial-App, go to the starting point, and you’re ready to start with the game. The tour lasts on average about 1-2 hours.

Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

5. Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

Begin by visiting Coimbra University, the oldest in Europe. The Joanine Library was built in the 18th century on the former prison. Its decoration was finished in the 18th century and the renovation included ceiling frescoes by Mestre António Ribeiro and Vicente Nunes. The portrait of Dom Joao V was done by the Italian Domenico Dupra. Visit other interesting places at the University including Saint Michel Chapel, Sala dos Capelos, and the cabra (bell) tower. Then, head downtown, between the Mondego river and the University, to a street where you can relax and get lost in the charming city. You will find countless cafes, pastry shops, and restaurants. Rich in culture and with unforgettable gastronomy, this area has been the commercial center of the city for hundreds, if not thousands of years, maintaining its genuine atmosphere and unique personality.  Choose to visit either Fatima or Obidos for your final stop before Lisbon. In Obidos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, travel back in time as you walk through the beautiful narrow streets full of traditional shops. Admire the old white houses and imagine how the medieval period would have looked and felt. Obidos was a wedding gift from D. Dinis to his wife D. Isabel and the village became part of the Casa das Rainhas until 1834, leaving the orders of D. Catarina to build an aqueduct and fountains. At the Sanctuary of Fatima, visit three places of interest. Choose to attend a mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions, the first Chapel built following the apparitions. It occupies a prominent place practically in the center of the Sanctuary. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, built in 1928 in Neo-Baroque style. It houses the tomb of Sister Lucia who passed away in 2005. See the Basilica of Santissima Trindade, built in 2007 with more than 8,000 seats and an area of 40,000 meters squared. It was designed by the Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis and is a modern imposing church.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

6. 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.

Sanctuary of Fátima and Coimbra City Tour

7. 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.

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.

Coimbra: Private Tour

9. Coimbra: Private Tour

During this private tour you can admire this atmospheric, beautiful historic town set in a lovely landscape on the east bank of the Rio Mondego. This city is a multicolored collage of buildings spanning nearly a millennium. You will have the opportunity to visit the city center, explore narrow streets that hide love stories of thousands of students, see gardens, convents, monasteries and listen to the haunting metallic notes of the guitarra (Portuguese guitar) and the full, deep voices of fado singers. Coimbra is also the site of a unique event in Portuguese history: the forbidden love story between Pedro (the King's son) and Ines de Castro (a commoner). This story is the frequent subject of art, music and drama. This private tour can be tailored according to your desires and time available.

Private 8-Day Tour of Portugal from Lisbon

10. Private 8-Day Tour of Portugal from Lisbon

Experience a fantastic 8-day tour of Portugal’s beautiful cities, and enjoy a week full of exciting and interesting activities. Day 1 (Wednesday): Arrival in Lisbon Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Lisbon. You have the rest of the day to spend as you wish, for example you can use this day to enjoy a stroll through the city. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 2 (Thursday): Lisbon Explore Lisbon on a scenic drive through the old town to Alfama, the oldest district of the city. Afterwards you will visit the Jerónimos Monastery, home to one of the most beautiful cloisters in the world. You will then continue on to Belém Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries before heading back to the hotel. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 3 (Friday): Lisbon – Coimbra Leave the capital city and drive to the picturesque village of Óbidos, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll. Afterwards you will head to the traditional fishing village of Nazaré, where you will visit the famous Monastery of Batalha. Continue on to Fátima, the largest place of pilgrimage in Portugal which attracts 4 to 6 million pilgrims every year. From there you can take a trip to the traditional university city of Coimbra. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 4 (Saturday): Coimbra – Porto Enjoy a tour of the Baroque library and St. Michael’s Chapel of the oldest university in Portugal, which was founded in 1291. Afterwards you will drive to Porto, the second largest city in the country. Here you can enjoy an extensive panoramic tour of the city to the cathedral. You will then visit the old stock exchange of Porto – the Palácio da Bolsa – before sampling local wine at a famous port winery. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 5 (Sunday): Porto – Vila Real Today you will leave the capital of the north and head to the green province of Minho, where you will explore the region of Vinho Verde (green wine). Visit the old town of Braga, which is also known as the Rome of Portugal. You will then head to the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte with a monumental stairway. Afterwards you will drive to the city of Guimarães, the cradle of Portugal. Explore the old town and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. You will then drive through Amarante to Vila Real. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 6 (Monday): Vila Real – Guarda After breakfast you will drive to the station of Vila Real. Travel by train through the Port wine region, and along the Corgo River to Régua. Enjoy a fantastic trip to Lamego, known for Presunto (dry-cured ham), where you can take a break. Continue on through Viseu to the city of Guarda at 1,000 meters above sea level. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 7 (Tuesday): Guarda – Lisbon Today you will head through the mountainous areas of Portugal to the city of Castelo Branco. Explore the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace before heading towards the city of Tomar. There you will visit the Templar Castle before driving back to Lisbon. Overnight stay with breakfast at a 3 or 4-star hotel. Day 8 (Wednesday): Depart Lisbon Transfer to the airport in Lisbon.

Other Sightseeing Options in Coimbra District

Want to discover all there is to do in Coimbra District? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Coimbra District

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 261 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

Great experience to do when in Coimbra, beautiful river and fairly gentle kayaking so you don't need to be an expert. Instructors were friendly and travel from start point and to end point is included. Couple of things could improve this experience - 1 is clearer meeting point, as we weren't sure we were in the right place and others had same problem. 2 is it needs to be made clear that this is a longer activity- we started at 9.45 but in a bus, collected people at another place before driving to our start point, kayaked with a couple of breaks and ended around 5pm before being driven back to end point in separate vehicles. We were happy overall as weather was great and we didn't have any set plans after, but other people may have been put out by this.

Very nice kayak tour on the Mondego river. You go with the flow, but still work hard against a headwind. If you are not that strong or if you are in pain quickly, better skip it. But the view and the relaxing environment are well worth it! And staff were very friendly and helpful.

Fantastic day out on the mondego river that is a guided tour start to finish. All of the tour guides are personable and friendly and it added to the breathtaking scenery.

Coimbra is a very cute city! Would recommend adding it to your itinerary