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The largest city in its region, Coimbra is the fourth-largest in the country. One hundred twenty-six miles north of Lisbon, Coimbra was the capital of Portugal before Lisbon took the title for itself. It remains one of the country's most significant cities, thanks in no small part to the University.
Like Oxford in the UK, Coimbra has been shaped by its University. First established in 1290, this is not only the oldest university in Portugal, but it's one of the oldest in continuous operation in the world. The various institutions of this ancient University remain some of Coimbra's most visited attractions, and the 20,000 students bring a youthful and energetic vibe to this ancient city.
Coimbra started out as a Roman town. Conquered by the Moors in 714, the city changed hands between Muslim and Christian forces several times through the following centuries. In 1064, the city was retaken for the final time by King Ferdinand I. Throughout the medieval period, Coimbra grew in wealth and importance and served as the capital of Portugal from 1139 until 1260.
During Portugal's Age of Exploration, Coimbra became one of the most important artistic centers of the country. Many of the city's most impressive buildings date back to this period in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The city declined a little during the 19th century, but the presence of the University helped to fuel its economy just as it does to this day. Modern Coimbra is home to software companies and space exploration agencies, and has built a thriving economy around its University.
Coimbra has a glorious past, and the importance of this city in Portuguese history can be seen in the grand buildings that remain. But it's also a lively modern city with a culture of its own, and it's a culture that is well worth exploring.
See the institution that has always been central to the town at Coimbra University. Situated in the middle of the city, the grand campus with its 16th-century tower offers a stunning view over Coimbra. You could also visit the 17th-century ceremonial hall, jaw-dropping library, and even the former student's prison.
Delve into Coimbra’s past at Machado de Castro National Museum. This museum is named after an 18th-century sculptor, and has the largest sculpture collection of any Portuguese National Museum. It's also home to archaeological remains dating back to Coimbra's time as a Roman settlement, and its medieval period.
Explore the history of the Portuguese monarchy at the Monastery of Santa Cruz. Portugal's first two kings are buried in this monastery that goes back to the 12th-century. The elaborate 6th-century decoration of the church is also well worth seeing.
Learn about the tragic love affair between a medieval prince and a noblewoman at the Pedro e Ines Bridge. This modern footbridge, opened in 2007, offers a great view of the University and has a wide viewing platform in the center.
See Coimbra's unique culture at a Fado show. This traditional Portuguese musical genre is done differently in Coimbra than anywhere else in the country. Check out a show unlike anything you'll see anywhere else.
The closest airport to Coimbra is in Porto, and a direct shuttle transfer takes around an hour and 45 minutes. Lisbon Airport can be reached in two hours by shuttle.
Coimbra-B train station is outside the city center, but this is where trains stop from Porto, Lisbon, and other cities. You'll need to take a five minute train ride from Coimbra B to Coimbra A to link up with the country's rail network.
Coimbra’s transit network includes buses and trolleys, and Coimbra A station serves as the central transit hub.
Coimbra's medieval layout is best experienced on foot. Built a time long before cars, the city lends itself to pedestrian exploration, and it's the best way to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the weather.
Make the most of your adventure on foot – drop off extra bags with a Bounce luggage storage partner before you get started.
Conimbriga: See the best-preserved Roman ruins in Portugal at Conimbriga. Just a short distance from Coimbra, this former walled city has been partially excavated to reveal what life was like in the region during the first and second centuries. Walking the same streets the Roman occupiers did is about as close as you'll get to using a time machine, and makes a great trip out of the city to see the ruins of the ancient empire. Heavy bags are not permitted at the excavation, so make sure to leave yours at a luggage storage locker in Coimbra before you go.
Portugal dos Pequenitos: Give the kids something to enjoy at this Coimbra Park, which dates back to 1938 and has scale models of some of Portugal's most famous monuments. It also has replicas of landmarks from formal Portuguese colonies around the world. Plus, there's a miniature train you can ride at this scaled-down wonderland. Large bags aren't permitted here, so make sure you leave yours at a Coimbra luggage storage.
Penedo da Saudade: Enjoy a view over the city of Coimbra at Penedo da Saudade. This urban park sits on a high hill, and the gravel paths are a great place to wander and get some fresh air. According to legend, the park is where Pedro came to grieve for his lover Ines, and the tradition is alive and well thanks to the students of Coimbra University. Romantic rendezvous are common here, and the stone walls of the garden are carved with poems and messages from young lovers, some of which are almost a century old.
Convenient to the Met, which does not allow luggage at coat check. Very easy check in and check out process, with lovely people at the front!
This was so cool!!!! Great service, extremely easy to use, and totally affordable! I didn't know where I'd leave my luggage while we explored San Fran, so I easily Googled luggage storage and found this company. At first it was a little odd dropping my bag off at a chocolate store, but the lady at the register was able to immediately pull up my reservation without any problems and then she put a lock on my suitcase and gave me a card to get it back with. She pushed the bag to the back of their storage room and I came back about 6 hours later to pick it up. Great service, I will definitely be using this again when I travel!
Can’t believe I haven’t used this service until now. So easy & convenient. I 100% recommend.
The price for luggage storage in Coimbra is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
There are multiple locations all around Coimbra which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Conímbriga, Villa Romana do Rabaçal, Covão d'Ametade and many other areas.
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $10,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Coimbra.
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Coimbra. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Coimbra where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $10,000 Bounce Gurantee.
The most popular restaurants to visit are A Cozinha da Maria, Casas do Bragal, and Notes Bar & Kitchen. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Coimbra are Hotel Quinta das Lágrimas, Tivoli Coimbra: City Center Hotel, and Pousada de Condeixa Coimbra.
Coimbra offers several scenic parks including Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, Parque de Santa Cruz, and Jardim da Manga.
You can find local tourist information at Mata do Bussaco, Posto de Turismo do Luso, and Turismo de Coimbra.
If you're looking for a good museum in Coimbra, we recommend National Museum Machado de Castro, Torre de Almedina, and Science Museum of the University of Coimbra. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Coimbra's most popular historical attractions including Villa Romana do Rabaçal, Cerca do Convento de Cristo, or Castle of Lousã and monuments like University of Coimbra, Palácio de Sub-Ripas, or Torre de Anto. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Castelo de Tomar, Castle of Lousã, or Muralha Romana.