Photo of Coimbra

About Coimbra

Tumbling down a hill facing the Rio Mondego is Coimbra, Portugal's old and picturesque former capital city. A fantastic destination for history-buffs, it boasts a beautifully-preserved Old Town that dates back to Moorish times, centred around the spellbinding Romanesque cathedral - Se Velha - an area baring a patina of its medieval past: narrow, dark cobbled lanes and wide plazas, ringing with the celestial sounds of Faro singers and guitarists, Coimbra's Old Town is one of those places you'd genuinely love to get lost in. There's also the famous university - a UNESCO-listed heritage site - built on the grounds of a palace, it's renowned for its vast and ornate Baroque library and 18th century belltower, while medieval monasteries like those of Santa Clara offer visitors the chance to gain a glimpse into the past. Sunny, vibrant and steeped in layers of history, Coimbra is beloved by history-lovers. In our list of the best places to stay in Coimbra, we've highlighted a hotel set in a former palace - in terms of heritage, you can't beat that!

What not to miss

  • Check out the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe, a UNESCO site boasting a beautiful 18th century belltower, and the famously elegant Biblioteca Joanina!
  • Wander the dark cobbled Moorish lanes, listening to the sounds of Faro singers...
  • Visit both thge Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery, (est. 1283) and the newer, 17th century Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery.
  • Immerse yourself in historical artworks at the Machado de Castro National Museum!
  • See the Almedina Arch, one of the oldest sites in the city, the old gateway, dating back to the 9th century.
  • The 12th century Romanesque cathedral is a must see!

Picturesque and steeped in history, Coimbra is perfect for a sightseeing tour. Find out more by checking out our collection of the best places to stay in Coimbra!

The best places to stay in Coimbra

Out-of-town

  • Quinta da Palmeira Country House is a beautifully-decorated Portuguese country house with a luxurious spa and scintillating outdoor swimming pool. This romantic and boutique hotel has 8 elegant rooms with scenic views of the surrounding valley. The restaurant serves delicious Portuguese cuisine made with fresh local produce.

Boutique

  • Sapienta Boutique Hotel is best described as chic and elegant. Nestled into the centre of Coimbra, close to the university, the hotel features sleek rooms, a superb restaurant and stunning views from the rooftop bar. A great launchpad for exploring this UNESCO World Heritage City.

Heritage

  • Quinta Das Lagrimas is set in an historic palace in the outskirts of Coimbra, Quinta das Lagrimas boasts traditionally elegant accommodation with lovely mature gardens. Choose from two top-notch restaurants and unwind in their spa for utter relaxation! A wonderful 5* property in a splendid location - bound to impress.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Porto International Airport, and get a train to Coimbra. The journey, including the metro from Porto airport to the station, takes a total of 2 hours.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the summer, when the temperature ranges between 14 and 29 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Coimbra

  • Sapientia Boutique Hotel Coimbra 22 rooms from £75

    Elegant and chic would be the best way to describe Sapientia Boutique Hotel. Nestled into the centre of Coimbra, close to the university, the hotel features sleek rooms, a superb restaurant and stunning views from the rooftop bar. A great launchpad for exploring this UNESCO World Heritage City.

    Sights nearby  -  Walk to nearby sights such as Coimbra Old Cathedral, University of Coimbra and S. Sebastião Aqueduct.
    Local markets  -  Browse the bustling markets of Coimbra.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Quinta da Palmeira Country House Coimbra (Arganil) 8 rooms from £66

    A beautifully-decorated Portuguese country house with a luxurious spa and scintillating outdoor swimming pool. This romantic and boutique hotel has 8 elegant rooms with scenic views of the surrounding valley. The restaurant serves delicious Portuguese cuisine made with fresh local produce.

    Foodies  -  Enjoy delicious homecooked Portuguese cuisine made with love and care by Anna with herbs from the hotel's garden
    Romantic Break  -  This idyllic setting surrounded by the Serra do Açor mountains is the perfect place for a romantic getaway
    Spa breaks  -  Relax in the hotel spa with a hamman, sauna and jacuzzi
    Sights nearby  -  The historic city of Pióadão is a great place to explore with cobbled streets and a traditional Portuguese feel
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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  • Quinta Das Lagrimas Coimbra (Gonçalves) 39 rooms from £124

    Set in an historic palace in the outskirts of Coimbra, Quinta das Lagrimas boasts traditionally elegant accommodation with lovely mature gardens. Choose from two top-notch restaurants and unwind in their spa for utter relaxation! A wonderful 5* property in a splendid location - bound to impress.

    Great walks  -  Wander around the botanical gardens or spend your days exploring Coimbra on foot
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character
    Spa
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, Tablet
    Check Availability