Jardim Botânico


A serene place to catch your breath, the lovely university-run botanic garden sits in the shadow of the 16th-century Aqueduto de São Sebastião. Founded by the Marquês de Pombal, the garden combines formal flower beds, meandering paths and elegant fountains.

The green-fingered can also visit the lush greenhouses (closed at the time of research).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Coimbra attractions

1. Casa Museu Bissaya Barreto


Bissaya Barreto was a local surgeon, scholar and obsessive hoarder of fine arts, and his late-19th-century mansion is now a small museum. A guide (not…

2. Statue of João III

0.26 MILES

Lording it over the main university square, King João III turns his back to the sweeping city views behind him and faces his great centre of learning. It…

3. Porta Férrea

0.26 MILES

The university's main entrance is the Iron Gate, a 17th-century confection designed by architect António Tavares in 1634 on the orders of Rector D Álvaro…

4. Universidade de Coimbra

0.27 MILES

Coimbra's Unesco-listed university, one of the world's oldest, was originally founded in Lisbon in 1290. It was subsequently relocated several times…

5. Prisão Acadêmica

0.28 MILES

This former prison for misbehaving students sits in the basement of the Biblioteca Joanina. Originally located beneath the Sala dos Capelos, it was later…

6. Biblioteca Joanina

0.28 MILES

The university's baroque library is Coimbra's headline sight. Named after King João V, who sponsored its construction between 1717 and 1728, it features a…

7. Capela de São Miguel

0.29 MILES

Part of the main university complex, this ornate 16th-century chapel has a brightly painted ceiling, lavish tilework, Manueline features and a gilded 18th…

8. Paço das Escolas

0.29 MILES

Housed in a former royal palace, this is the historic heart of the university, where traditional academic ceremonies are still held. The main ceremonial…