Traveling from Lisbon to Coimbra, a distance of 127 miles (205 km), is easy with various transport options. The train is the fastest way to get there and most convenient. There is also a bus available, taking slightly more time than the train. If you want more flexibility and like to go at your own pace, driving is a good option.
This 14-day Portugal tour includes a guided tour of Coimbra, where you'll learn about this medieval city and important university.
Duration: 1 hour
Traveling by train is comfortable and easy and offers some great vistas that you won't see from the highways. The fast train takes approximately 1.5 hours making this the quickest way to get to Coimbra from Lisbon. Trains operate in the early morning till late evening daily with slight variations for weekends and public holiday travel.
There are two train stations in Coimbra. The main train station, Coimbra-B, where all national trains depart and arrive and Coimbra A, known as the city train station. To catch your train, you need to go to Coimbra-B, located 1.25 miles (2 km) from the city center. You can walk, take a bus, take a taxi or hop on a train in Coimbra-A to bring you to the main station.
Make sure to check the timetables and keep in mind public holidays and weekends may affect frequency. There is also a slower train that takes about 2 hours. You can buy tickets at the station or online. Give yourself 20-30 minutes before departure to buy tickets and find the correct platform.
Duration: 2 hours, more with stops
Driving is relatively straightforward and you have a couple of variations of routes you can take. The most direct and quickest is on the E1, where you will stay on the same highway for the duration of your journey. This route is a distance of 127 miles (205 km) and a little over two hours without stops. A little more than halfway on your journey, you'll pass through a part of the Parque Nacional das Serras da Aire e Candeeiros.
An alternative route only takes about 10 minutes more and a few more miles, 130 miles (210 km). You'll start off on the A13 highway before merging onto the A1 highway. This route is a bit more scenic with views of some villages and farmland.
All routes have tolls. Make sure to register your car the first time you enter a toll road. On most main highways in Portugal, there is a special area to register your car before continuing onto the toll booth. Failure to register your car doesn't mean you don't have to pay the tolls.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Buses depart the station throughout the morning till night. Buses often depart two times an hour and can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours depending on if the bus is an intercity, regional or urban bus, as well as if it's a direct bus or makes several stops. Tickets can be purchased in advance or day of departure.