City Coimbra

Coimbra is a city and municipality in Portugal and the capital of the Centro region, the Baixo Mondego sub-district and the Coimbra district. The municipality, with a population of 143,396 inhabitants, of whom about 100,000 live within the actual city limits, is one of the largest municipalities in the country. The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in Europe.

Already in the Roman period there was occupation in and around Coimbra, which is located on the banks of the river Mondego. In the high Middle Ages, it was the capital of Portugal for more than a century. The university was founded in 1290, but has only been permanently in the city since 1537. Coimbra was the cultural capital of Europe in 2003. The Mondego is an important river for the city and you can also make various kayak trips that you take to this. Traveling around Portugal can also arrange this for you.


Coimbra district is a district in Portugal, with an area of 3947 km². This makes Coimbra the 12th largest district in Portugal. The district borders Aveiro and Viseu to the north, Guarda and Castelo Branco to the east, Leiria to the south and the Atlantic to the west. District Coimbra is further subdivided into 17 municipalities: Arganil, Cantanhede, Coimbra, Condeixa-a-Nova, Figueira da Foz, Góis, Lousã, Mira, Miranda do Corvo, Montemor-o-Velho, Oliveira do Hospital, Pampilhosa da Serra, Penacova , Penela, Soure, Tábua, Vila Nova de Poiares. You will find more information on some of these places on the Central Portugal page.


It is a lovely old town with many sights, old streets and alley and lots of atmosphere. A city to wander through for hours and enjoy on one of the many terraces. Shopping is good on the outskirts of the city in for example the Forum or one of the other shopping malls.

Some attractions are:

  • The old town with many narrow steep streets and ancient buildings.
  • The old university (Velha universidade)
  • The old cathedral (Sé velha)
  • The new cathedral (Sé nova)
  • Fado houses in the center
  • Mata Nacional do Choupal, a small forest with a unique vegetation.
  • Joanina Library

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