Things to do in
Coimbra

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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.

From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

4. From Porto: Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Private Tour

This trip begins in Porto and then onto Coimbra, the city of students and the oldest university in the country (from the 12th century) and also one of the oldest in the world. Take the time to visit the Joanina Library with its collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts in the entire country. Visit the old Romanesque style cathedral (Sé Velha). Cross the river to visit the Santa Clara Convent and the Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), where the love between Pedro and Inês blossomed. Then have lunch at one of the taverns downtown where you can find the most delicious snacks. Afterwards, head towards Fátima, where Our Lady of Fátima appeared to the three shepherd children in 1917. Here, you will visit the Basilica where Francisco, Jacinta Marto, and Lúcia are buried, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade (Church of the Holy Trinity), and the largest Catholic sanctuary in Portugal. There will also be time to see the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of Apparitions), a small temple built at the request of Our Lady of Fátima when she appeared to the three shepherd children, and Azinheira Grande, the tree that Jacinta, Lúcia, and Francisco passed before seeing the saint. The tour can be adjusted to include the Candle Procession that takes place every day from April 17 to October 31 between 9:30 PM and 11:00 PM.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

5. 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.

From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

6. From Porto: Coimbra & Buçaco Full-Day Private Tour

With your hotel as the starting point, your private driver will take you to Palácio do Buçaco. Considered the last legacy of the kings of Portugal, it is a charm of nature located in the Bussaco National Forest surrounded by beautiful gardens with Neo-Manueline features decorated by tile panels, frescoes, and paintings depicting the Age of Discovery. Next, head to Coimbra, the city of students, with the oldest university in the country (12th century), and one of the oldest in the world. Enjoy visiting the Baroque library with a collection of over 300,000 books and some of the rarest manuscripts from all over the country. A downtown tavern will be suggested for lunch where you can find some of the most delicious snacks in the city. In the afternoon, see the Romanesque architecture of the old cathedral. Across the river, visit the Convent of Santa Clara and the Quinta das Lágrimas, a place that witnessed the love of King Pedro and his beloved D.Inês. Make sure to explore Portugal for the Little Ones, a theme park featuring the major monuments and Portuguese houses in miniature. The Mondego River and the Choupal National Forest are both great spots for a relaxing evening. Return to Porto after an unforgettable day in the City of Love.

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.

Porto to Lisbon Transfer with Tour Enroute

8. 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.

From Lisbon: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

9. From Lisbon: Town-Hopping Transfer to Porto

Portugal is a country rich in history and culture, and this is your chance to explore some of the most beautiful and intriguing places to grace its lands. Stop by the medieval village of Obidos for a trip back in time, where you can wander through the narrow streets full of traditional shops and white-painted houses. Discover the Sanctuary of Fatima and take an optional mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions, explore the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary built in a Neo Baroque style and see the grand, modern Basilica of Santissima Trindade. Continue on to Coimbra for a visit to the oldest university in Europe. Coimbra´s University is home to the 18th century Joanine library and is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. Take a stroll to Coimbra´s charming downtown district where countless cafes, pastry shops and restaurants await your discovery. If you feel so inclined, choose to stop at the restaurant Mealhada where you can taste one of Portugal's most famous dishes, “Leitao da Bairrada," a slow-roasted suckling pork. Next, visit Aveiro where you can take a Moliceiro boat to see the 3 km of canals that flow through the city or take a stroll through the Aveiro market.  After a brief stop in the old fishing town of Costa Nova, your transfer will conclude in Porto.

Coimbra: Private Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Coimbra

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 235 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

What a wonderful morning, spent with a knowledgeable guide (Joao). We loved how engaged he was in sharing his obvious love for this incredible university with all its history and import. He steered us into the sights at the exact right times to avoid crowding from other tours and made sure we didn't miss a thing, including a dramatic view of Coimbra. You could do a walking tour on your own, but we are super glad we booked this tour. Not cheap, but quite special.

Great day. Saw many scenic viewpoints in Coimbra Excellent lunch and then adequate time to explore Fatima sanctuaries. Especially enjoyed visiting homes where the children grew up. Lovely neighborhood. Bernardo was very accommodating to our group and provided lots of cultural and historical information. Would highly recommend.

The tourist guid was very well Nuno and Felipa, explain all the City tour. A like too much all the places.

Great singing and guitar music in beautiful surroundings! We would do it again anytime