Top things to do

Top Choice Cafe in Coimbra

Café Santa Cruz

One of Portugal's most atmospheric cafes, where the elderly statesmen meet for their daily cuppas. Santa Cruz is set in a dramatically beautiful high-vaulted former chapel, with stained-glass windows and graceful st…
Top Choice Bar in Coimbra

Galeria Santa Clara

Arty tea room by day and chilled-out bar by night, this terrific place across the Mondego has good art on the walls, a series of sunny rooms and a fine terrace. It's got a great indoor-outdoor vibe and can feel like…
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

This great museum is a highlight of central Portugal. It's built over the Roman forum, the remains of which can be seen and cover several levels. Part of the visit takes you down to the vaulted, spooky and immensely…
Top Choice Cathedral in Coimbra

Sé Velha

Coimbra's stunning 12th-century cathedral is one of Portugal's finest examples of Romanesque architecture. The main portal and facade are exceptionally striking. Its crenellated exterior and narrow, slit-like lower …
Top Choice University in Coimbra

Universidade de Coimbra

The city’s high point, the university nucleus, consists of a series of remarkable 16th- to 18th-century buildings, all set within and around the vast Páteo das Escolas ('patio' or courtyard). These include the Paço …
Top Choice Museum in Coimbra

Museu da Ciência

This wonderful science museum occupies a centuries-old former monastery converted by Pombal into the university’s chemical engineering building. It features intriguing state-of-the-art interactive science displays c…
Top Choice Fado in Coimbra

Fado ao Centro

At the bottom of the old town, this friendly fado centre is a good place to introduce yourself to the genre. There's a performance every evening at 6pm. Shows include plenty of explanation, in Portuguese and English…
Top Choice Tapas in Coimbra

Tapas Nas Costas

The 'hotspot' about town at the time of research, this sophisticated tapas joint delivers delicious tapas. Decor is stylish, as are the gourmet-style goodies, such as ovo com alheira de caça e grelos (sausage with t…
Portuguese in Coimbra

Restaurante Jardim da Manga

This cafeteria-style restaurant serves up tasty meat and fish dishes, with pleasant outdoor seating beside the amazing Jardim da Manga fountain. Better-value specials during lunch than in the evening.
Tasca in Coimbra

Zé Manel dos Ossos

Tucked down a nondescript alley, this little gem, papered with scholarly doodles and scribbled poems, serves all things cooked off the bone. Come early or be prepared to wait in line. The charismatic service makes d…