Coimbra and the Beiras

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Coimbra and the Beiras - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The evocative ruin of Coimbra's 14th-century monastery has recently undergone extensive restoration to reverse centuries of flood damage. For...Read More

  • 2. Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro


    One of the city's most illustrious museums, the Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro sits on the site of a vast Roman cryptoporticus (a maze...Read More

  • 3. Seminário Maior de Coimbra

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Described as the "jewel of the city," this 250-year-old seminary houses one of Portugal's most impressive collections of 18th-century Italian...Read More

  • 4. Universidade de Coimbra

    Educational Institution

    Portugal's oldest university—one of the most august academic institutions in Europe—was founded in Lisbon in 1290. It dominates the city both...Read More

  • 5. Arco de Almedina

    Notable Building

    On the Baixa district's Rua Ferreira Borges—one of the city's principal shopping streets—the very modest Arco de Almedina opens onto a courtyard...Read More

  • 6. Igreja de Santa Cruz

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This is Portugal's National Pantheon, the final resting place of the country's first two kings, Dom Afonso Henriques and his son Dom Sancho...Read More

  • 7. Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra


    From the Old Town, the botanical garden sweeps down the side of the hill to the Mondego River. Designed by British architect William Elsden...Read More

  • 8. Largo da Portagem


    This bustling triangular plaza lined with cafés and restaurants sits at the foot of the Ponte Santa Clara over the Mondego River. The statue...Read More

  • 9. Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Nova

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Repeated flooding of the nearby Mondego River forced the nuns of Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha to flee to higher ground. Built in the 17th...Read More

  • 10. Museu da Ciència


    Formerly the Universidade de Coimbra's chemical laboratory, this 18th-century neoclassical building now houses a museum displaying some 250...Read More

  • 11. Portugal dos Pequenitos

    City Park

    Coimbra's small, open-air park is made up of scale models of castles and monasteries that children of all ages can play in. The buildings replicate...Read More

  • 12. Sé Nova

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This 17th-century cathedral was patterned after the baroque church of Il Gesù in Rome, as were many such churches of the day. It took a century...Read More

  • 13. Sé Velha

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Engaged in an ongoing struggle with the Moors, the Portuguese often incorporated fortifications into their churches–-which is why the 12th-century...Read More

  • 14. Jardim da Manga

    City Park

    A small park with an odd assortment of domed, rose-color turrets grouped around a fountain, this garden was designed by Jean de Rouen in the...Read More

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