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University of Coimbra

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University of Coimbra: Our most recommended tours and activities

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

1. Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

Travel to Fátima and Coimbra on a full-day trip from Porto. See the Shrine of Fátima and one of the oldest university cities in Europe. Choose from a tour with lunch and hotel pickup, a tour with lunch and a meeting point, or a tour with a meeting point.   Relax on the drive in an airconditioned vehicle to Fátima where apparitions of the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared 3 children tending sheep in 1917.The miracle was recognized by the Vatican in 1930, and 3 different popes have been to Fátima since. Visit the stunning Neoclassical Basilica and Sanctuary, and can even have the option to attend mass in the Sanctuary. Spend some free time for lunch in the bustling city center which is full of modern-day pilgrims. Continue to Coimbra and discover the area that was 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. Today the university provides a backdrop to the city's charming streets.  Head to 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. Return to Porto at the end of your tour.

University of Coimbra Walking Tour

2. 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 Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

3. 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.

Sanctuary of Fátima and Coimbra City Tour

4. 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.

Oporto, Braga, or Guimarães: Coimbra and Aveiro Private Tour

5. Oporto, Braga, or Guimarães: Coimbra and Aveiro Private Tour

This full-day premium tour onboard a comfortable minivan is escorted by a certified guide who will personalize your experience to the fullest. You will visit both Coimbra, the city of the students and ancient capital of Portugal, as well as Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal. You will start the day by visiting the oldest Portuguese University, the University of Coimbra. Here you will find the world-renowned Joanina Library and the Royal Palace. During this guided visit your knowledgeable and friendly tour guide will take you back in time to explain the important role of this city and Portuguese Independence. Learn about the history of the university and how students celebrate their 500-year-old traditions. Be enchanted by a Fado performance, played and sung by students Following your time at the university, you will go through the old Moorish town to discover the old cathedral’s facade, the narrow alleys, and stairways that will lead you to the commercial street of the city center. Enjoy the town at your own pace, absorb the local atmosphere, and listen as your guide informs you of all of your surroundings. After your walk have lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will visit the unique city of Aveiro which is considered Portugal's Venice. Cruise along the canals in a traditional Moliceiro boat. Admire the Art Nouveau buildings and the interesting fishermen's architecture. Witness the place where the Ria and Ocean meet as your tour concludes.

From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

6. From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

First you will visit one of the most beautiful places in Portugal, Aveiro. Discover the city's many canals and bridges as you take a ride on a Moliceiro, a small boat typical of the local area. By taking a trip on a Moliceiro you will be able to enjoy the city's beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and bridges from the water. Next, stroll through Aveiro's historic center on a walking tour. See the Convent of Santa Joana, Aveiro Cathedral, Chapel of St. Gonçalinho, and the Misericordia Church. Try the famous Ovos Moles de Aveiro, a sweet pastry typical of Aveiro. You'll then explore one of the city's must-see attractions, the Costa Nova Beach. Pose for photos in front of the beach's famous striped and colorful houses. Next, continue towards Coimbra, a city full of history and tradition, with the Mondego River passing through it. Visit the narrow and steep streets of the University of Coimbra, the oldest in Portugal. Finally, discover the Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), the riverside area, and of course the Convent of Santa Clara.

From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

7. From Lisbon: 5-Day Private Portugal Tour

Day 1: Lisbon Spend a full day exploring Portugal's charming capital city. Take a guided walking tour and become acquainted with one of Europe's most fascinating cities. With your informative guide, see and learn about some of this city's most famous historical landmarks. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included).   Day 2: Sintra, Cascais, and Estoril On the second day, visit Sintra, the Portuguese Aristocracy paradise and discover the charm of its narrow alleys and the typical shops. Visit a local pastry shop where the famous sweets Queijadas de Sintra and Travesseiros de Sintra will be waiting for you. Then, customize your tour and choose from the many palaces to visit in the area, including Quinta da Regaleira and Moorish Castle Palaçio da Pena. Later, visit the geological formation of Cabo da Roca, also known as "The Snout of the Rock" or "Promontory of the Moon," and marvel at the unimaginable beauty of the area. Next, it's time to explore Cascais, an ancient fisherman village turned beautiful and cosmopolitan beach resort. Return to your hotel in Lisbon and stay overnight (not included). Day 3: Lisbon, Fatima, Coimbra, and Oporto On the third day, escape the bustle of Lisbon and head out to Fatima, where you'll visit three places of interest and attend a mass (optional). Then, make your way to Coimbra and start the tour of the city at the oldest University in Europe. See the highlights including the Joanine library, built in the XVIII century on the grounds of the former prison of the University and marvel at one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Then, transfer to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included). Day 4: Oporto and Gaia Start your day tour of Oporto at the central Avenida dos Aliados, a famous spot for celebrations and events. Admire the imposing Oporto Municipal Council building. Walk around the city center and past the Lello Bookstore with its renowned staircase, known for its link to the Harry Potter series. Then visit Gaia, a hub of the port wine industry where the wine is being aged in hundreds of different cellars. Visit a local winery, where you will be shown the various aspects of winemaking and also taste some of the best wines in the world. At the end of your day, return to your hotel in Oporto and stay overnight (not included) Day 5: Douro Valley Check-out at your hotel in Oporto and take your luggage with you as you will be taken to the airport in Lisbon or Oporto at the end of the day (if desired). The day starts with a visit to Amarante in the Douro Valley, where you can see numerous examples of the Romanesque and medieval buildings. Then, stroll along the S. Gonçalo bridge and enjoy some of the most popular sites of the city, including the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo and the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum. Next, head over to the market where you see vendors selling the delicious S. Gonçalo sweets, always a source of curiosity and great laughter due to their phallic appearance.

Full Day Coimbra's Heritage and University Private Tour

8. Full Day Coimbra's Heritage and University Private Tour

Your tour begins at 8:30 AM with pickup at your hotel in the Lisbon area. This ensures enough time to enjoy your day without any hurry. This private tour is provided mainly with the objective of showing the city of Coimbra and it's heritage, nevertheless, this itinerary can be changed to best suit your preferences. After leaving Lisbon, you should arrive in Coimbra after an approximately 2-hour drive. Start by the University Grounds where you can visit the university and the unique 17th-century Joanina Library. Please note that you will need a pre-booked ticket purchased separately to enter the Library.  Afterwards, visit the Penedo da Saudade, a place known for being a memorial of the graduates from the University. Then visit the old Cathedral, a 12th-century church still beautifully preserved and tucked away in the center of the old city, which you will also visit before lunch. Have lunch in one of the typical restaurants, after which you will cross the Mondego river to the south bank to visit St Claire's monastery, one of the most important monasteries in the center of Portugal and home to the relics of Isabel, the holy Queen.  Finally, visit the Quinta das Lágrimas, home to the love story of Pedro and Inês, one of the most tragic and moving episodes of Portuguese history. If time allows or if you prefer you can also visit Little Portugal, a small theme park that unites all of the Portuguese culture and architecture in kid-sized houses. Return to Lisbon at approximately 6:30 pm.

From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

9. From Lisbon: Aveiro and Coimbra Private Full-Day Tour

After pickup in Lisbon, start your private tour in Aveiro, a city of singular beauty located by the sea and the river. Its canals and the traditional boats fill the city with a unique and colorful beauty. The city has always been linked to maritime trade, fishing, and salt production. Explore with your guide the unique aspects of this city, hear about its history, and see how contemporary citizens live. Coimbra was the first capital of Portugal, but today it is known for being student city. The UNESCO World Heritage listed University of Coimbra is the oldest university in the country, and one of the first universities in Europe. Be inspired by the historical importance of the city, and enjoy the relaxed ambience. At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped off back in Lisbon.

From Porto: Aveiro & Coimbra Private Day Tour & Boat Cruise

10. From Porto: Aveiro & Coimbra Private Day Tour & Boat Cruise

A short distance beyond Porto you’ll find two cities full of history, tradition and local delicacies. Visit the ancient University of Coimbra and its beautiful medieval Cathedral from the 12th century. Discover Aveiro and its typical boats and canals and take a ride on a moliceiro boat and enjoy a superb roasted piglet, for lunch.

Other Sightseeing Options in University of Coimbra

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What people are saying about University of Coimbra

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 197 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.

the driver Antonio was very helpful, Fátima was a wonderful experience and Coimbra was also worth the visit!

The day was very nice. A small group and Antonio was excellent. So knowledgeable. He made the day for us.

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