Top things to do and eat in Coimbra – Portugal

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A beautiful city full of little tiny places waiting for you to discover them

Here we go, zoom on portugal and on Coimbra and follow the guide for a few days city trip.

 

Long walk along the “Mondego” river…

… to take a step back and discover how gorgeous Coimbra is from down the hill.

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Coimbra_bridge_top things to do_see_discover_que faire_A faire Coimbra_visit

 

Mandatory stop at “cozinha da Maria”

A small restaurant only serving typical portuguese recipes. It’s a bit touristic but the atmosphere is very pleasant and the food is really good. It’s a bit more expensive than usual for a portuguese restaurant but I’ll definitely put it in the “worth the money” type of places !

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Do not hesitate on the parcs and gardens tour

Parque de Santa Cruz – Jardim da Sereia

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Botanical garden

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National parc of Choupal – Mata nacional do Choupal

Coimbra_portugal_parque choupal_choupal parc_Top things to do_see_discover_walk_cycle_Cycling_Marche_velo_Que faire_A voir

Coimbra_parque choupal_parc_Top things to see_do_que faire_A voir_portugalAnd do not hesitate to discover this one on a bicycle and to take a picnic with you to have a lunch outside for a change, Portugal is always sunny , even in december !

 

Discover the very famous university of Coimbra

I’m usually not the museum type as I’m convinced there are many other things to discover outside and for free in a city you don’t know. But this time, my 12 € were definitely well spent for the tour including the science museum (+ zoological museum and physics room), paço das escolas, Joanina library and the chapel Sao Miguel. If you’re on a tight budget I would recommend to focus on the science museum as it’s only 5 € and it’s an amzing place where you can learn while playing. It’s even more worth it if you’re traveling with kids.

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Science museum

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Physics room

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Zoological museum

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Paço das escolas and it’s amazing 360° point of view

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Universidade de direito

Coimbra_museum_musee_Capela_chapel_chapelle_top things to see_do_a faire_que faire_visite_portugalCapela de Sao Miguel

And for a free bonus, sneak under the porch of the university of chemistry, go down the stairs and enjoy the view from the balcony at the end of the building.

 

Have a walk in the old Coimbra

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Junk food envy ?

There is an american dinner close to the praça de republica which is rather good and convincing in its category.

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For an underground discovery…

Take the direction of the cemetery on top of the hill… Each culture has its own way to celebrate and remember the deads and here in Coimbra the cemetery is full of flowers and everything is… “visible”. And at the far end of the cemetery you’ll find an unexpected view on the other side of the city… Surprising !

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Have a coffee and a pastry at pastelaria “flor conchada”

While you’re in the area of the cemetery, go warm yourself with a delicious coffee and a sweet treat from Flor conchada… The best in town ! Especially in december when they sell their christmas pastries with “frutos secos”, yummy !

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A discovery a bit less portuguesse : Praxis brewery !

If you’re more the beer type and you’re a bit tired of Moscatel, Vinho verde or Porto (I LOVE them, I just said “if”, don’t get me wrong), Praxis is the only beer brewed in Coimbra and they know what they’re doing. Their amber beer is good and affordable, it’s definitely worth the detour.

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And…

Leave some space to be surprised by the seasons. At first, I was quite disappointed by the lack of activities available in december and by the emptiness of the streets for christmas’ eve… And then came new year’s eve ! 4 open stages with DJs and bands, people all over the place celebrating and opening meio seco all at once at midnight when the countdown reaches zero and the fireworks start over the mondego river. And it all didn’t stop until 4 in the morning. These guys know how to party… that’s a fact !

 

Have fun !

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