Luxury holidays in Coimbra

Historically important, politically energised, hauntingly atmospheric Coimbra is Portugal’s fourth biggest city and capital of the hilly, in-land region of the same name. You’ll recognise its white-washed walls and terracotta-tiled roofs (and its steep inclines) if you’ve spent time in Lisbon’s quieter areas. It’s more compact, though, and comes to life thanks to a vibrant student population, who you’ll find spilling out of bars from which the sound of Portuguese guitar and fado singers echo over the hillside rooftops. Outside the city, you’ll find tumble-down red-brick shacks and rustic farmhouses dotting a green, mild and pleasant land.

When to go

Coimbra is an attractive proposition all year round: in the summer, temperatures vary between 25 and 30 degrees, and during the winter months the student life of the city is at its peak, with bars and restaurants filled with young people attending concerts, gigs and other events.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Coimbra’s nearest airports are Lisbon (190 kilometres away) and Porto (120 kilometres away). You can hire a car from these urban centres or take a train on Portugal’s effective transit system.
  • Trains

    From Lisbon, trains run every hour and take about two hours to reach Coimbra’s ‘new’ (stação nova) or ‘old’ (estação velha) stations.
  • Automobiles

    You may want to hire a car to explore the landscape to its fullest; roads are generally safe and easy to navigate in this central portion of the country.