Coimbra is a city of around 145,000 people, situated 125km south of Porto. A three-night stay there formed the second part of our trip to northern Portugal. Coimbra is Portugal’s fourth largest urban centre, after Lisbon, Porto and Braga. The 13th-century university, on its hilltop location, forms the heart of Coimbra. Its historic buildings have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university district contains not just one, but two cathedrals, known simply as the Old Cathedral (Sé Velha, 12th century) and the New Cathedral (Sé Nova, 17th century).
Arrival and orientation
Our first night in Coimbra was Friday 23 October.
A full day of exploration begins
We spent most of Saturday exploring Coimbra, with the focus firmly on the historic university campus in the upper town.
After lunch, we bought tickets for the two main attractions on the University campus, namely the former Royal Palace and the Science Museum. On completion of our sightseeing, we returned to base via the Botanical Gardens. Later, we had ramen for dinner at Izakaya Oni.
Following a trip to Pombal on Sunday – see Part 7 – we still had our final evening in Coimbra (and indeed northern Portugal) to look forward to.