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Portugal offers two general experiences. You can come to enjoy the relaxing resorts of the coast or you can enjoy the urban river experiences the country offers. When visiting Coimbra, you’ll find that both are readily available to you. The city, which is on a hill near the Mondego River, has a history that dates to the Roman era and has numerous architectural elements that are centuries old.
You’re also just a short day trip away from the coast and its beautiful beaches, sunshine, and gentle waves. There are three excellent places to explore when visiting Coimbra which should be added to every itinerary. The Machadao de Castro Museum is thought to be one of the most important in Portugal. It’s housed in the old Episcopal Palace and features numerous art exhibits. The courtyard, built during the Middle Ages, is on the site of the prior Roman forum and the lower floors of the museum are dedicated to the site.
The general library at the University of Coimbra is one of the largest in the country as well, second only to the National Library. Be sure to stroll through the Biblioteca Joanina and examine inventories that date to the 16th century. After the library, you’ll want to visit the university’s botanical gardens. Founded in the late 18th century, you’ll find traditional gardens and greenhouses complementing paved walking trails and fountains as you explore. Botany classes are frequently hosed in the various gardens as well.
Coimbra provides access to the best that Portugal can offer. Whether you walk a quiet trail or a busy city street, you’ll find this city can meet all your needs.
Travel to Coimbra, Portugal
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Map and distances
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