Stacked scenically on the banks of the Rio Mondego in Portugal's Centro region, Coimbra is the ideal base for exploring the very heart of the country. As Portugal's fourth-largest urban centre, the city is packed full of culture from Sé Velha, a cathedral deemed one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in Portugal, to the picturesque medieval centre that thrums with the haunting notes of the guitarra (Portuguese guitar). Home to the country’s oldest and most prestigious university, the Velha Universidade (literally ‘Old University’), Coimbra is also bustling with student and academic life.
Visit during term time, and you'll experience the city when it's at its best - crackling with a youthful energy that sees the city's bars full to bursting. Top off your Coimbra holidays with a hit of nature as you stroll through the fragrant botanical garden and experience the city like a local with a cruise along the Rio Mondego aboard a Barca Serrana – a traditional Portuguese boat that once played a crucial role in travel and trade along the river.
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