Top things to do

Top Choice Ruins in Beira Litoral

Conímbriga Roman Ruins

In the rolling country southwest of Coimbra, Conímbriga boasts Portugal’s most extensive Roman ruins, one of the best-preserved sites on the Iberian Peninsula. It tells the poignant tale of a town that, after centur…
Top Choice Forest in Luso & Mata Nacional do Buçaco

Mata Nacional do Buçaco

The aromatic forest is criss-crossed with trails, dotted with crumbling chapels and graced with ponds, fountains and exotic trees. The most accessible paths lead to pretty Vale dos Fetos and Fonte Fria, where swans …
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 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 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 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 Tapas in Coimbra

Tapas Nas Costas

The 'hotspot' about town at the time of research, this sophisticated joint delivers delicious tapas. Decor is stylish, as are the gourmet-style goodies, such as ovo com alheira de caça e grelos (sausage with turnip …
Top Choice Museum in Castelo Branco

Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Castelo Branco

A recent addition to Castelo Branco's many museums, this cutting-edge building was designed by Spanish architect Josep Lluis Mateo in collaboration with Portuguese architect Carlos Reis de Figueiredo. It's a delight…
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 International in Figueira da Foz

Wine Bar by Cristal

This lovely bar-restaurant has lifted the quality of Figueira da Foz' local eating and bar scene. Tapas and other dishes are served creatively and with pizzazz. There's a great bar with an extensive wine, cocktail a…