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University of Coimbra

University of Coimbra: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Lisbon: Day-Trip to Porto, Nazaré, and Coimbra

1. From Lisbon: Day-Trip to Porto, Nazaré, and Coimbra

Explore three Portuguese cities in a single day on this guided tour from Lisbon. Learn more about the culture and history of Porto, Nazaré, and Coimbra. Discover some of their key locations and points of interest such as Porto's Dom Luis Bridge and the University of Coimbra. Depart early and head to Nazaré. Start with a guided tour of what is possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal. Nazaré has a unique historic atmosphere and is a place where traditions continue to thrive. Visit the Forte de Sao Miguel. This site has become famous because of the giant waves that hit the coast every winter and make it a destination for surfers from all over the world. Walk through O Sitio and admire religious buildings that attract pilgrims from around the globe. Hike toward the summit and check out the medieval fortifications, 17th-century churches, and modern shrines. Wander through the courtyards and plazas surrounded by ornate structures, basilicas, and statues. Continue to Porto and explore its UNESCO Heritage-listed old town on the picturesque Douro River. Walk through the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, Igreja Carmen, Estação São Bento, Igreja São Francisco, and Ponte Don Luis on a guided tour. Enjoy some free time to have lunch before you visit a winery. The third stop is the famous city of Coimbra. Visit one of the oldest universities in the world (and the oldest in Portugal). Founded in 1290, the University of Coimbra is one of the key sites in the city. After the visit to Coimbra, return to the center of Lisbon. Your guide will be able to recommend things to do during the rest of your stay.

Fátima and Coimbra Full-Day Tour from Porto

2. 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

3. 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

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.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Coimbra Private Guided Tour

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

Full Day Coimbra's Heritage and University Private Tour

7. 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: Private Coimbra Tour with Drop-off in Porto

8. From Lisbon: Private Coimbra Tour with Drop-off in Porto

Avoid the stress of traveling by public transport or a shared tour and choose the comfort and safety in the company of your private guide who will pick you up at your hotel in a comfortable vehicle with the Clean & Safe Seal guarantee. Travel time from Lisbon to Coimbra is approximately 2h. 204 km from Lisbon you will find Coimbra, the first capital of the kingdom, in the time of our first monarchs, for almost two centuries, it gained new prominence with the foundation of the University in 1290, which provided the formation of an urban core full of remarkable buildings. Visit Coimbra, an old, effervescent city that has a young population with a lot to teach and show us. You will start the visit to Coimbra at the University of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Paço das Escolas. With 730 years of history, the University of Coimbra is an unavoidable institution in the history of Portugal and the entire Portuguese-speaking world, having been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, due to its unique material and immaterial heritage, fundamental in the history of Portugal. European and world scientific culture. While leaving the University, you will follow towards Sé Velha de Coimbra (Old Cathedral of Coimbra) and visit the interior. You will find the Praça 8 de Maio where you find the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra (visit the interior), National Pantheon and one of the oldest monuments of Coimbra, founded in 1131. In this Monastery are buried the first two kings of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his son, D. Sancho I. The Monastery of Santa-Clara-a-Velha (visit the interior), founded in 1283, by a noble lady, D. Mor Dias, and delivered to the Poor Clares shortly after. Later it was refounded by Queen Isabel of Aragon, the Holy Queen who, when she became a widow, wore the Poor Clare's' habit. Did you know that ... • the Santa-Clara-a-Velha Monastery suffered several floods caused by the Mondego River? • it was in the Paço of the Santa-Clara-a-Velha Monastery that D. Inês de Castro lived and, later, in 1355, was executed following the order of King D. Afonso IV, father of D. Pedro I of Portugal, future king of Portugal and D. Inês de Castros lover. The story doesn't end here! Find out more through our guide's testimony about Pedro and Inês on the spot? Now, it's time to go to Porto! You will arrive at your destination carrying the stories you heard through the testimony of your guide, the good mood you felt from the contact of the people from each location you visited and the emotions experienced during this wonderful day that was intended to be just a travel trip but became an unforgettable experience. The duration of the trip is about 1h30. NOTE: Not included are the entrance tickets to the monuments you will visit from the inside: The Monastery of Santa-Clara-a-Velha and Old Cathedral of Coimbra. Entrance is free: The Monastery of Santa Cruz and Patio das Escolas

From Lisbon: Aveiro, Moliceiro Boat and Coimbra Tour

9. 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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about University of Coimbra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 201 reviews

The visit to Fátima is quite complete, with free time so that everyone can visit the areas they prefer. Great lunch, buffet style and very complete. Very interesting and beautiful Coimbra and also with some free time to wander through its streets or cool off in a bar. The best of the tour, our guide Pedro and all the information and attention he had for us.

Hermes es un guia y conductor excelente, muy puntual. Conocimos la ciudad de Coimbra, la Universidad, la antigua Catedral, la Biblioteca, vistas impresionantes de la ciudad. Siendo un tour privado, cambiamos Obidos por el complejo de la Virgen de Fatima.

Positive experience! Guide (Thiago) very helpful, friendly and attentive to our needs. Although we are Italians we have understood everything in Spanish thanks to his competence. I really recommend the tours with Thiago Santos.

Our guides were attentive and always giving good information. Excellent lunch, very rich and varied. The travel times were respected and we had enough time to get to know the cities by ourselves.

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