Museu da Ciência

Top choice in Coimbra

Coimbra's science museum is wonderful, with everything from kid-friendly interactive machines to early scientific instruments, fossils and skeletons. The eclectic collection is spread over three sections in two buildings: the chemistry labs where the ticket office is, and, over the road, the physics and natural history galleries. Highlights include a section on light and matter and a riveting display of exquisitely crafted physics apparatus, many dating from the 17th to 19th centuries.

We particularly love the centaur used to measure the direction and velocity of an arrow.

After the physics displays, the natural history section takes you back to the Victorian era with cabinets crammed with stuffed animals, jars of preserved specimens and huge skeletons, including one of a baleia comum (common whale).