Getting around Coimbra, Portugal: using taxis, buses, trains and public transport

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Getting around Coimbra is easy and generally cheap.  Coimbra has a well-developed public transport system that allows the visitor to use trains, buses and taxis to move through the city and its vicinity easily.

Seeing Coimbra from a taxi

A taxi is the most comfortable, easy and safe way to get anywhere in the city but is the most expensive, too. Taxis are always in major public areas of the city: train stations, airport, parks, hotels, etc. There is the chance to book a taxi in advance if you use online services. For checking the quality of the taxi services, it is good to make a brief research on the Coimbra touristic page or consulting with the local Tourist Information Center. There is the possibility of using some Android or iOS applications to find a taxi. About the price, it is approximately one euro per kilometer and an extra (subjected to change) for the taxi flag down.

Most of the drivers don't speak English, so the best idea is to show him a map with the desired location circled or a piece of paper with the address written down in legible letters.

Buses in Coimbra

The city of Coimbra operates a bus company under the name of SMTUC- Transportes Urbanos de Coimbra.  These buses cover the entire new and old city (called low and high parts of the city) and allow access to the suburbs. The system offers a circular transportation that may seems hard to understand and memorize, but after a little practice, it turns out very easy and the best is that the prices are really low. A single bus ride can cost €1, and is valid for one day. Buying larger package brings notable discounts: ten tickets can cost only €8.50.

The city is split into two:  the high part, where the University and the historic monuments are located, and the low part, which holds the modern side of the city.  The cobbled streets of Coimbra are quiet, and almost free of traffic, but they are steeped. To avoid this inconvenience, locals use the Pantufinhas, light electric trolleybuses that join the two halves of the city with circular routes. They are very cheap, too. The name Pantufinhas means grandmother's slippers, and probably is referred to the quantity of senior citizens that use the trolleybus as get up and down around the city.

Tickets can be bought for one-day (€3.50.), if the visitor makes frequent trips, he/she can buy a multi-journey ticket, which is cheaper. Rechargeable multi journey ticket cards cost 50 cents extra, and only advisable if the tourist is serious about sight-seeing the entire city.

Coimbra Train Stations

Coimbra has three train stations: the old one, called Station B and the new, known as A Station, and Coimbra Parque. In this scheme, Station B serves long distance destinations, while Station A is the central hub for the city destinations. Arriving by train in Coimbra means that the train will leave the tourist in Station B, the ticket will include the price of short ride to Station A, which means a small bargain. For those who are going to stay in the lower part of the city, Station A is very handy: they can go over the city back and forth from here. Buying a ticket five days prior to the date of use will bring a 40% of discount in certain trains. Coimbra Parque conects the city with Lousa and Serpin.

Finally, there is the cheapest option of all: to walk. Walking is good to know the most secret and concealed corners of the city, its narrow passages and some wonderful details of the monuments. It is fundamental to wear comfortable clothes and good shoes to enjoy the experience of going up the hilly streets of the city.

Knowing Coimbra is a pleasurable activity, everything is at hand to getting around and find what the visitor is searching, the most important of all is enjoy the experience.