Attractions and Places to Visit in Coimbra
Lying halfway between Lisbon and Oporto in the Beiras region of central Portugal, venerable Coimbra nestles on the banks of the River Mondego in dignified glory. Famed for its university - the oldest in the country - and a fantastic collection of handsome churches, serene monasteries, and lively cultural institutions, Coimbra is also a busy commercial hub with its many shops, boutiques, and appetizing choice of cafés and restaurants. The city center is divided into two neighborhoods, the Lower Town and the Upper Town. Its historic heart lies high above the Mondego on Alcaçova hill, known to the Romans as Aeminium. Here, medieval convents, cathedrals, and some fine museums cluster around the old University.
Kings were born in Coimbra; they are entombed here, too. Indeed, it was once the proud capital of the Portuguese nation. This royal heritage permeates the city's steep hills, narrow lanes, and verdant parks, all of which are best explored on foot. And exploration further afield is rewarded with the largest and most compelling Roman site in Portugal, and an emerald-hued forest of enchanting allure and breathtaking beauty.