Welcome to Coimbra
The central Beiras region of Portugal is dominated by its
provincial capital, Coimbra, situated about 73 miles (118km) south
Coimbra was the birthplace of six of Portugal's kings and the
country's first king, Afonso Henriques, lies in a carved Gothic
sarcophagus in the Monastery of Santa Cruz. Other sights in and
around Coimbra include several beautiful medieval churches, the
Machado de Castro museum (one of Portugal's finest), and
Conimbriga, southwest of the city, which is a fascinating Roman
archaeological site. Coimbra also has a number of pretty parks and
gardens, including the Jardim da Sereia (Mermaid's Garden), Parque
Manuel Braga, Penedo da Saudade, and Parque Verde do Mondego.
Coimbra is one of Europe's oldest university towns, and its
students swarm the streets in traditional black capes, with
coloured ribbons affixed to indicate which faculty they belong to.
The majestic university building, founded in the 12th century,
overlooks the city, which is a medieval wonderland of cobbled
alleys, archways and stairways. You'll find restaurants, museums,
galleries, bookstores and boutiques along the winding roads.
The student population of Coimbra guarantees a lively atmosphere
at all times of days, and strolling through the medieval centre of
town, you are likely to hear the nostalgic strains of traditional
Coimbra Fado music, as well as the buzz of activity at the numerous
restaurants, cafes and bars that spill out onto the streets.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are popular party nights, as many students
go home to their families on the weekends and the town is
Information & Facts
Portuguese is the official language, but English is
widely spoken and understood.
Portugal is a member of the European Union and its official
currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. There
are numerous banks, bureaux de change and ATMs available in main
cities and tourist destinations. Foreign currency can be exchanged
at banks, bureaux de change and automatic currency exchange
machines. Banking hours are generally 8.30am to 3pm Monday to
Friday. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers
Local time is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to
Saturday before last Sunday in October).