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The most Instagrammable places in Coimbra


The city of Coimbra is one of the most emblematic Portuguese cities and stands out for the landscapes over the Mondego River, the view to the University of Coimbra and the monuments.

In this article we have chosen some of the most Instagrammable places in Coimbra, where you can enjoy its beauty, take an amazing picture and share with your community.

Santa Clara Bridge

Santa Clara Bridge is a must see when visiting Coimbra. Its construction began in 1951 and was inaugurated in 1954. This bridge connects the two banks of Mondego River, between the historic center and the rest of the city. It’s one of the most important points of passage, by car or by walk. This bridge besides being one of the most important accesses of Coimbra has a panoramic view to the Historical center of the city and to the Mondego River.

Almedina’s Arch and Tower

Almedina Arch and Tower are one of the most remarkable places in Coimbra and are dated to the 11th century. The Almedina Tower is built on the Almedina Arch, this tower served to watch over the main access to the walled city. The Almedina Arch was the main door to the walls of Coimbra. This Arch has Roman origins, but presents other characteristics, like Muslim, Romanesque, Gothic and Manueline.

Quinta das Lágrimas Garden

Quinta das Lágrimas Garden tells the tragic story between Dom Pedro and Dona Inês de Castro. Dom Pedro fell madly in love for Dona Inês, one of the maids of his wife Dona Constança. The two lovers met secretly in these gardens. This relationship was disapproved and condemned by the court and the people, and in 1355 Dona Inês de Castro was killed by the orders of King Afonso IV, Dom Pedro’s father. The legend tells that in the place where Inês was killed a fountain sprang up, called Fonte das Lágrimas, which was born from her tears. The reddish algae that can still be found there today is said to have originated from the blood shed by Dona Inês when she was murdered.

Besides this tragic story between Pedro and Inês, the Garden of Quinta das Lágrimas has many plant species and a forest.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden was created in in 1722 by Marquês de Pombal. The space has about 13 hectares that was mostly donated by the Benedictine friars. This garden is composed of a rich flora and fauna, such as bird species and brown squirrels.

The Botanical Garden welcomes tourists and locals throughout the year, in fact anyone who wants to be part of this experience. In this space it is also possible to find activities for kids and adults, with programs all year.

Santa Cruz Church | National Pantheon

Santa Cruz Church | National Pantheon is located in Historic Center Of Coimbra and was funded in 1131 under the patronage of King Afonso Henriques. It was the national headquarters of  “Cónegos Regrantes de Santo Agostinho”,which was one of the main Portuguese religious houses.

The first two kings of Portugal, Afonso Henriques and Sancho I, are buried in the Santa Cruz Monastery. For D. Afonso Henriques Coimbra was the most important city in the country, the king ruled Portugal for 57 years from Coimbra.

Santa Cruz Café

Santa Cruz Café is located in Historical Center of Coimbra, right next to the Santa Cruz Church. It has been open to the public since 1923, originally functioning as a church, it is one of the oldest cafes in the city and even in the country.

This space is a landmark for Coimbra’s history and is one of the must visit places. Santa Cruz Café is home of Crúzio, a taditional Coimbra sweet, wich help us remember our history, and has become a gastronomic landmark of the city. This sweet was made in honor of  Santa Cruz Café,  Santa Cruz Church and Santa Cruz Monastery.

Coimbra’s Sé Velha

Coimbra Old Cathedral dates the second half of 12century. This Cathedral has a mixture of styles with Romanesque, Islamic, Renaissance and Gothic influence in the interior. At June 2013 the Old Cathedral became Unesco World Heritage Sites. Right in front of the Cathedral is the house where lived Zeca Afonso, an important element in April 25, 1974.

Nowadays, Coimbra Old Cathedral is the stage for academic traditions, where every year it’s possible to watch Monumental Serenade. For many it’s a beginning of academic path, where they wear the academic costume for the first time, for others it’s the end of this path.

Coimbra’s Sé Nova

Coimbra New Cathedral formerly the Jesuit College, was established in 1542 by the Society of Jesus. The construction lasted about a century and was opened to worship in 1640. Here passed several evangelizers, as is the case of Father Antonio Vieira. The New Cathedral stands out for its Mannerist and Baroque style.

The New Cathedral is the stage of Coimbra’s academic traditions, the Blessing of the Pastes when students finish their course at the University of Coimbra and the Burning of the Grain.

“Paço das Escolas”

“Paço das Escolas” is where many of the monuments that form part of the core of Coimbra’s University are located, as well as part of the area that is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It’s in “Paço das Escolas” that we find Sala dos Capelos, the Private Examination Hall and Weapons Room, Joanina Library, the Academic Prison and St. Michael’s Chapel, as well as the University Tower (Cabra), Porta Férrea and Via Latina.

Dr. Manuel Braga Park

Dr. Manuel Braga Park originally belonged to the Benedictine monks and was located at the water level of the Mondego River. In 1888 the City Hall bought the space and in 1920 it became a garden open to the public. The name of this park was chosen to honor Dr. Manuel Braga, a personality that stood out for being very important in the valorization and creation of green spaces in the city.

In this park you will find several monuments of homage, such as Antero de Quental (writer), Florbela Espanca (poet), António Arnaut, for his important role in the National Health Service, Manuel Alegre (poet), and of course Manuel Braga. Here you can also visit the Water Museum inside the park itself and be dazzled by the wonderful Coreto inaugurated in 1904.

Machado de Castro National Museum


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Uma publicação partilhada por Laura Deus (@laura.deus)

Machado de Castro National Museum is part of the Unesco World Heritage Sites and is one of Coimbra’s emblematic places. What is now a museum open to the public has had the most varied functions, administrative, political and religious center. Since the 11century was a Christian temple, episcopal palace in the second half of the 12century. It was only in 1911 that it was considered a museum.

The Museum has an impressive series of collections, sculpture, precious metals, ceramics, textiles, furniture and others.  In the underground of the Museum you can also visit the Roman Cryptoporticus, a set of galleries that were part of a square or forum of the ancient city Aeminium.

Hotel Oslo Terrace

Hotel Oslo Coimbra is located right in the heart of Coimbra. It stands out for being in the UNESCO protected area near the historical part of the city. It is known to be a familiar and local hotel, for the friendliness of its staff, its comfortable rooms and the wonderful view over Coimbra.

Whether you are a guest or just passing through, you can visit the Hotel Oslo Coimbra’s Terrace, a well kept secret right in the city center. Go up to the sixth floor and let yourself be dazzled by the incredible view over the historical part of Coimbra, enjoy a refreshment, a perfect place to enjoy a summer afternoon.

Transport Museum

Coimbra’s transport history began in 1873 and the “Museu dos Transportes” tells its story.

This museum is located in Rua da Alegria, in a building from 1909 and with clear industrial characteristics. This space was inaugurated in 1982, after electric cars no longer existed in Coimbra. In this museum you can find a great variety of transports used in Coimbra since the 19century. Such as the American car – Horsecar (pulled by horses), the famous “elétricos”, trolleybuses and buses, from the oldest, to the most recent.

“Jardim da Manga”

“Jardim da Manga” was ordered built by D. João III in 1533 and is one of the first Renaissance works made in Portugal. Here the pillars of the Christian religion are present, remembering the source of life, from which the four rivers to the four cardinal points are present. It was classified as a National Monument in 1934.

In this space of the Garden, you can also find a restaurant – Restaurante Jardim da Manga, with typically Portuguese dishes.

Joanina Library

Joanina Library is located in the “Paço das Escolas” and was classified in 2013 as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Its construction began in 1727 and was completed in 1728 under the patronage of King João V, adopting this designation in honor of his patron. Joanina Library stands out for its Baroque style and has the capacity to store up to 200 thousand books from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, representing what was read in cultured Europe.

Everything was designed to conserve the books that are religiously stored there, such as the thickness of the walls, the oak shelves that keep mosquitoes away, and even the colony of  bats that feed on the insects that might “attack” the books.

Refeitro Restaurant

Refeitro Restaurant is located in “Terreiro da Erva” and has been delighting those who visit it. The space invites you to taste traditional Portuguese dishes and national wines.

But this restaurant has a particularity, besides the wonderful dishes, invites you to know the  art of making Coimbra pottery. The restaurant is located inside a working pottery factory and showcases its work right on the restaurant tables. The windows between the restaurant and the factory will allow you to witness the actual production and the beauty of this art.

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Hotel Oslo - Coimbra
Av. Fernão de Magalhães, 25
3000-175 Coimbra, Portugal
Tel. +351 239 829 071
(national landline call)
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