Best of Coimbra

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Coimbra
Halfway between Lisbon and Porto, the ancient city of Coimbra has long enchanted visitors and dazzled would-be scholars. The former Roman town thrived under the Moors and was later Portugal’s medieval capital for over a century. Coimbra is best known, however, for its venerable university, originally established in the 13th century. The beautifully preserved medieval streets and the campus of the Universidade de Combra make for rewarding exploring. 

Previous kimkim travelers have gotten beneath the surface of Coimbra on fascinating guided tours of the university and the richly layered city center. Beyond the city, there’s much to discover, from eye-opening visits to Conímbriga, Portugal’s largest and most impressive Roman site, to the dramatic drive up to Piodão, a schist village deep in the mountain range known as the Serra de Açor. There’s also the opportunity to meet locals, sharing tea and cake in a Coimbra home.
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Photo courtesy of Quinta das Lágrimas
The 4 Best Boutique Hotels in Coimbra

Get in touch with Coimbra's history and famous university by staying at a hotel within its UNESCO World Heritage city center. Whether it's a cozy residence, literature-inspired guesthouse, or 18th-century palace, these options will have you sleeping in style.

Porto's scenic riverfront
Immersive Portugal: Porto & the North - 12 Days

Get to the heart of Porto and northern Portugal on this unique 12-day itinerary that combines history, gastronomy, and stunning countryside. Starting with a selection of guided tours and day trips, you'll explore Porto's UNESCO-listed city center, sample the best local cuisine, and cruise the Douro River through spectacular wine country. On day six, you'll shift to a more independent itinerary, self-driving your way south through Coimbra, Nazare, and Obidos as you explore the rest of the region's highlights at your own pace.

A rainbow over Porto
Map of Portugal's History, Beaches & Gastronomy: Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto & Cascais - 13 Days
Portugal's History, Beaches & Gastronomy: Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto & Cascais - 13 Days

Food-loving and curious travelers will love this 13-day itinerary, which goes from Lisbon to Coimbra to Porto and various places in between. See the best of Lisbon on a tuk-tuk tour, wander the medieval streets of Coimbra, and experience Porto's spectacular food and wine firsthand with a cooking class and port tasting. Explore Cascais, the seaside town where Portuguese royalty once summered, and dive into some of the best waves in the world!

Sunset from the Cabo da Roca near Lisbon
Map of Ultimate Portugal Tour: Lisbon, Porto, The Algarve, Douro Valley, & More - 14 Days
Ultimate Portugal Tour: Lisbon, Porto, The Algarve, Douro Valley, & More - 14 Days

This itinerary includes Portugal's two biggest cities, a slew of historic villages, and some spectacular beaches for an epic adventure to remember. Start off in up-and-coming Lisbon to explore ancient ruins and trendy districts before making your way north to UNESCO-listed Porto (and its nearby wine region). You'll also get time in the university towns of Évora and Coimbra—each with their own medieval attractions and dining scenes—before kicking back for a few days in the Algarve.

Porto's setting along the Douro River
Map of Best of Lisbon & Porto - 7 Days
Best of Lisbon & Porto - 7 Days

This adventure is the perfect introduction to Portugal for first-timers. Over the course of a week, you'll explore Lisbon's exciting food and culture scene, take scenic day-trips to historic villages, and walk through Porto's UNESCO-listed city center. Finish in the oldest wine region in the world before returning to Lisbon by way of the country's medieval capital: Coimbre.

Sunset in Lisbon, Portugal
Highlights of Portugal, From Lisbon to Porto - 8 Days

Discover the highlights of Portugal in this week-long tour, starting in the bustling city of Lisbon where you can explore historical streets, eat traditional cuisine, and enjoy live Fado music. Visit the charming towns and monuments of Sintra, Óbidos, and Tomar, as well as the gorgeous Douro Valley Wine Region for a river cruise and wine tasting. Visit one of Europe's oldest universities in Coimbra and head north to Porto, where you can watch fishermen barter their daily catch, tour a traditional sardine factory, and eat local delicacies.

Charming town of Cascais
Exploring Portugal's Heritage - 8 Days

Combining the exploration of vibrant cities like Porto, Lisbon, and Coimbra with exceptional nature in Tomar and the Portuguese Riviera, this trip showcases the unique and diverse culture of Portugal. You'll peruse historical city streets and monuments, plus UNESCO sites like the Roman ruins of Évora, the Pena National Palace and forest in Sintra, and the birthplace of Portugal, the town of Guimarães. Escape the city vibes with the impressive Almourol Castle along the Tejo River, the scenic town of Cascais along the Riviera, and the most westerly point in mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca.

Camilo Beach in Lagos
Map of Portugal Grand Tour: Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve & More - 15 Days
Portugal Grand Tour: Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve & More - 15 Days

Get a full Portuguese experience with this 15-day tour that hits the country's north, south, and west. Begin with tours of Lisbon and the fairy-tale castles of Sintra, then head north to sample the wines and flavors of Porto and the Douro Valley. Meet Portuguese history in medieval Coimbra, fortified Óbidos, and the ancient Roman city of Évora. Venture back south to the pristine coast of the Algarve to end your journey relaxing on its world-famous beaches.

The emerald landscape of São Miguel Island
Portugal: The Azores, Lisbon & Porto - 14 Days

Spend two weeks taking in the best of Portugal's scenery, history, food, and wine. This trip begins with three days in the Azores on the gorgeous green isle of São Miguel; discover the charming city of Ponta Delgada, sample local delicacies, go whale watching, and admire the island on a fantastic hike. You'll then head to Lisbon for two days of city life, followed by a string of beautiful towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites. End your stay with time in Porto and enjoy tasting flights of incredible Porto wine in the sweeping romance of the Douro Valley. 

Lisbon
Map of Highlights of Portugal and Marrakech - 11 Days
Highlights of Portugal and Marrakech - 11 Days

Indulge your senses as you take in the unforgettable sights, flavors, and sounds of Portugal and Marrakech, Morocco on this adventure. Explore the vibrant cities of Lisbon and Porto before making your way to the charming towns and villages of the countryside. Then pop over to Marrakech to roam the souks and the medina before heading back to artsy Lisbon.

Blue skies over Évora's medieval cathedral
Map of Historic Portugal: Évora, Coimbra, Douro Valley, Porto & Lisbon - 12 Days
Historic Portugal: Évora, Coimbra, Douro Valley, Porto & Lisbon - 12 Days

This 12-day itinerary takes you on an epic journey through Portugal's cultural highlights and compelling history. Check off the major cities and iconic sites while seeking out a bounty of lesser-visited gems in between. Climb the towering, tiled staircase of Lamego, cruise down the Douro River in a traditional rabelo boat, cross the legendary bridge of Amarante, sip fortified wine in the riverside cellars of Porto, and gaze out over Lisbon's colorful rooftops from the medieval Castelo de S. Jorge.

Stroll past Porto's beautiful azulejo-tiled buildings
Map of Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Coimbra, Évora & Lisbon: 13 Days
Ultimate Portugal: Porto, Coimbra, Évora & Lisbon: 13 Days

Brimming with culture, history, gastronomy, and a dash of outdoor adventure, this 13-day itinerary has something for everyone. Start in Porto for food tours, wine tasting, and day trips into Portugal's unspoiled north, then continue through Coimbra and Évora for a look at stately cities and the sweeping plains of the Alentejo. End in Lisbon to explore the capital and its surrounding countryside—home to seaside villages, fairytale castles, and nature parks.

An iconic yellow tram on Lisbon's colorful streets
Map of Portugal Panorama: Lisbon, Lagos, Coimbra & Porto - 13 Days
Portugal Panorama: Lisbon, Lagos, Coimbra & Porto - 13 Days

This 13-day itinerary showcases Portugal's many faces with a perfect combination of guided experiences and a choose-your-own-adventure road trip. See the Lisbon skyline by sailboat and hike to the hilltop palaces of Sintra, then strike out toward the Algarve coast for golden beaches, hidden coves, and spectacular sunsets. Turn north to end your journey in Porto, where you'll trade the car for a driver as you sit back and enjoy day trips into the Douro Valley and Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Sunset over Lisbon's Alfama district
Map of Epic Portugal: Lisbon to the Algarve - 15 Days
Epic Portugal: Lisbon to the Algarve - 15 Days

From historic cities to rural countryside and rugged coastlines, you'll delve deep into Portugal on this 15-day grand tour. Hop between Lisbon and Porto for cosmopolitan cuisine and countless cultural highlights, then head south through Coimbra, Évora, and the Alentejo plains to reach the wild Algarve coast—where a relaxing itinerary of boat trips and beach time awaits.

Sunset colors on Madeira
Map of Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 15 Days
Mainland Portugal & Madeira - 15 Days

With just over two weeks to spare, you can combine the best of mainland Portugal with the lush valleys and volcanic beaches of "the Island of Eternal Spring." Start with cycling and culinary tours of Lisbon, wine tasting in the Douro Valley, and a deep dive into the history of colorful Porto. Then it's time to jet off into the North Atlantic for four days on Madeira, before returning to the mainland for some downtime at the chic coastal resort of Cascais.

Crashing waves in Porto, Portugal's second largest city
Map of Best of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, Douro Valley, & More - 14 Days
Best of Portugal: Lisbon, Porto, Douro Valley, & More - 14 Days

This exciting two-week itinerary combines cosmopolitan cities, medieval architecture, and spectacular beaches for a Portuguese trip of a lifetime. After exploring Lisbon with a local guide, you'll stay in the fairytale village of Sintra and the surf town of Nazaré. Then work your way north to UNESCO-listed Porto and its nearby wine region before heading to the university town of Évora. End the trip in pure bliss with some beach time in the western Algarve.

Porto shimmers after sunset
Map of Highlights of Porto & Lisbon - 7 Days
Highlights of Porto & Lisbon - 7 Days

This weeklong adventure combines Portugal's two biggest and most captivating cities for a cultural trip like no other. With a mix of excursions and free time, you'll start off exploring Porto's iconic food scene, cobblestone streets, and nearby Douro Valley (home of Port production). From here, spend three nights in the historic capital complete with a day-trip to Sintra—a fairytale town tucked away in forested mountains.

Porto's colorful riverfront
Portugal Relaxed Self-Drive: Lisbon, Porto, Évora & Lagos - 14 Days

This two-week Portuguese odyssey combines cities, countryside, and coast for a road trip to remember. Savor traditional cuisine in Lisbon, lose yourself in the riverside neighborhoods of Porto, explore vineyards and cork forests around Évora, and soak up some sun on the golden beaches of Lagos. Along the way, a series of guided tours introduce you to the culture and customs of each city, while plenty of downtown means you can cut loose and choose your own adventure on day trips.

Other popular travel destinations in Portugal
Lisbon · Porto · Algarve · Douro Valley · Alentejo · Évora · Sintra · Lagos · Tomar · Nazaré · Braga · The Azores · Óbidos · Funchal · Madeira · Tavira · São Miguel Island · Sagres · Peneda-Gerês National Park · Guimarães · Mértola · Batalha · Marvão