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Top things to do in Coimbra with kids

It may be partial of us, but we need to agree with those who say that Coimbra is the ideal city in Portugal for families with children. Because despite being a calm medium city, which is also an important factor, Coimbra has a wide range of activities and spaces that invite whole families to enjoy and share unique, fun and quality moments.

With this article we are going to explore the city from the perspective of the little ones!

We start the trip at “Portugal dos Pequenitos“, a theme park that attracts children from all over the country. Here, learning is combined with discovery and fun: through small-scale reproductions (visitable children sized) of monuments and other elements of Portuguese and international culture and heritage, children discover and learn the history of the country and the world.

We “jump” to the nearby “Exploratório Centro de Ciência Viva”, the first science center to be created in the country, an entity promoting scientific culture. “Little explorers” are invited to explore, question and interact with the human body through participatory experiences. This is a large permanent exhibition “In shape with science”, but it features many other fun educational proposals/activities.

Between lively medieval walls, towers and alleys, we ascend to the “Science Museum of the University of Coimbra”. Here we highlight, in addition to interactive physics and chemistry exhibits, the “Natural History Gallery”, consisting of a collection of animals, plants, fossils, minerals and rocks that fascinate the little ones.

Whale Skeleton

And what child can resist a story that includes Kings and Queens? This is how we invite you to visit the “Mosteiro de Santa Cruz” explaining that it is the National Pantheon because it is there that the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques and his son, second monarch of the country, D. Sancho I, rest. Founded at 1131, when the Mondego River was the country’s border, it played a fundamental role in the creation of Portugal.

D. Afonso Henriques

With a walk through the “Jardim da Quinta das Lágrimas” you will learn more about the history of the portuguese monarchy with the “devastating” love story of D. Pedro and D. Inês de Castro, a real-life Romeo and Juliet written in the nooks of that garden.

We are now immersed in the world of fantasy: easily any child is dazzled by the magical Joanina Library where books are kept and preserved by bats. And, by a magic trick, quickly they’ll reach the top of the “Cabra”, the Tower of University of Coimbra which offers a magnificent view of the River Mondego and the city. This space is said to have inspired parts of the Harry Potter series.

Should we now enter the mythical time machine?! We quickly arrived at the PO.RO.S Sicó Museum that allows a virtual journey from the Roman Empire to the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. The origins of the Roman Empire, its formation and history, as well as the associated legends, are the key points of this trip, which complements the “Ruínas de Conímbriga” ruin complex, one of the most important archaeological sites in Portugal.

And because contact with nature is essential for the healthy and happy growth of any child, we suggest ending this trip by canoe, pedal boat or paddle board… activities that our Mondego River makes possible.

The other option is to finish with a walk through one of our beautiful gardens (“Jardim da Sereia“, “Botanical Garden“, “River Green Park”) or even enjoy the small paradise that is the “Rebolim river beach” perfect for families with children due to the low water level, privileged location, easy access and in close contact with nature.

Jardim Botânico

Among history, science and nature combined with fun and fantasy… our children grow up happy in Coimbra!

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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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