Best things to do in Coimbra: Top sites and attractions. Activities, parks and museums

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Climbing the banks of the river Mondego, the small city of Coimbra guards its ancients secrets, combining its legends with the convenience of the modern life. The city holds a wide range of activities, ranging from a relaxing stroll along the Mondego River, visiting the shelves of the Joanina Library, where thousands of antique books are kept, taking a ride on the cheap Pantufinhas bus, joining the fun of the crowd during the Festa Das Latas in October or party away in the city ultimate bars and club during seven days a week. 

A picturesque city

This city possess the enchant of the old Portuguese burghs, with its narrow, cobbled steep streets, the stones arches that crown many passageways and the suppressive presences of small souvenir stands mounted on the streets. The best way of taking advantage of a city like Coimbra is to capture the sights and follow the crowd in their demeanors. It is a good idea to organize a photographic safari: it is cheap, pleasant and affordable. Coimbra will give a thousand images to grab.

A Day at the Museum

Let´s start taking a brief view of the city structure. At the top of the hill is the University, which now is located in a building that once was the palace of the king of Portugal, Dom Dinis I. In the area surrounding the university, you can find another important buildings, like the Museu da Ciência da Universidade de Coimbra ( Science Museum of the Coimbra University) ,the Museu Nacional Machado Da Castro (National Museum Machado Do Castro), The Joanina Library ( belonging to the University of Coimbra) , the Church of Santa Cruz and the Church of El Salvador among some of the  outstanding places to see. The importance of these buildings and their role in the lives of the city and the country is significant. The Joanina Library charges a fee for visiting it; the University can be visited without cost. The churches offer different souvenirs to the visitors but them don´t charge fees for admission to the buildings. The Monastery of Santa Cruz offers free admission and their old facilities respires the ascetic of the old religious.  Here are the tombs of the kings Dom Dinis I and Sancho, founders and sponsors of the University of Coimbra and various religious buildings.

The Science Museum offers an interactive room to the children and adults that want to experience the science in their own hands, and it is totally free. . The National Museum is equally free, and depicts immense collections of historical and artistic items, arranged chronologically and has a cheap restaurant. In the past the building was the Episcopal Palace and the collection retains a good quantity of religious objects. The Water Museum is located in the right side of the city, its specialty are all kind of cultural exposition. The Academic Museum ( belongs to the Colégio de São Jerónimo shows the history of the academic development in Coimbra and Portugal, including the history of the fado. The Museu do Casa de Misercorida is a catholic museum where the antique garments and artistic icons are under permanent exposition. The fee is very low, only €2.

A Day at the Park

The Parque Verde de Mondego breathes peace and tranquility. Located at the river bank, people stroll all day here, rest sitting on its benches or make a picnic during the sunny days of the summer. The park doesn´t charge fees, a good option for making an improvised lunch or just rest and take the time before starting another tours through the city.