Vacation spot hunting? How about the student’s city: Coimbra, Portugal?
Among Europe’s top upcoming tourism destinations, Coimbra (Portugal) is the place to be. Romantics would probably identity this urban Portuguese city as the abode of Fonte das Lágrimas but Coimbra has so much more to offer. With plenty of archaeological sites and architectural structures, it is the city that will quench your desire for the prefect holiday with its majestic structures spinning centuries’ worth of history blended with urban luxury. Coimbra is the city that parties with the ideal European elegance so here’s why it should be on top of your list of must visit cities:
Iconic local music: Coimbra Fado
Fado music is Portugal’s local nostalgic songs accompanied by the harmonic beats of the guitar. Coimbra’s tradition of Fado differs from that of Lisbon in the way that singers here cough to clear their throat instead of clapping their hands like they do in Lisbon. In fact, Coimbra has its own genre and style of Fado that is best enjoyed in all authenticity at the city’s top music schools. Visit the Fado ao Centro for the ideal experience.
City’s central part is one of the most charming places to get lost in. The architectural structures will keep you going through the centre and even though, the city is fairly small, it is captivating with rich history and numerous Museums that sing the tales of centuries gone by.
Appreciating art and history
The famed Machado de Castro National Museum of Coimbra received its name from the well known Portuguese Sculptor Joaquim Machado De Castro and is visited by numerous tourists and local travelers every day. Its collections of Paintings, Archaeology, Applied arts, etc is truly vibrant and would delight your aesthetic senses even if you are not passionate about art.
Appreciate the classic Gothic structures
Regardless of the bleak reputation that the term Gothic has found itself associated with in modern culture, Gothic architecture always meant elaborate yet practical designs with breathtaking visuals. The Old Cathedral of Coimbra is one of the greatest examples of Gothic structure with Roman church like visuals. Its medieval fortress like appearance will sure woo your taste.
Splurge in food and wine
A number of other European and local restaurants with wide variety of wine serve some of the most delectable food you will ever feast upon. This Portuguese city is also famous for Bairrada wine and if you are in mood for some wine exploration then nearby regions will sure satiate your curiosity for local, high quality wine. Another must have drink is the Licor Beirao which is a local sweet liquor largely famous for its authentic taste that is unique to Coimbra. The city also sells a large variety of firewater called the Agua Ardente and one of the type available is made from fresh, plump grapes while another one comprises tastes and tints of numerous fruits.
Walk all the way up to the grand Biblioteca Joanina – Universidade de Coimbra, the majestic university of the city that’s actually famous as the town of students. The university structures appear surreal with their amazing towering architectural designs and are sure worth a walk. The barren courtyard looks its best in early winter months and compared to modern university campuses, a walk through the famed Coimbra University will make you appreciate the luxury of design and perspective so much more.
Walk the Ponte Pedro e Ines
Very well and strategically constructed, walking the Ponte Pedro E Ines will get you to the Parque Verde Do Mondego from both access points so enjoy a nice, fresh, hearty walk and breathe in the Portuguese air.
Cherish the journey
The city is so very well connected as tourists can hire private cabs from Lisbon or Porto to get to Coimbra. Boarding a train to the city from Porto and Lisbon or flying to Portela Airport or Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport will also be fruitful. Since the city is built around numerous medieval structures, the infrastructure serves those walking short distances better so travelers can actually walk the entire city as it is pretty small and always blessed with pleasant weather.
Coimbra is not just great for its numerous sights but is also easy on budget with several affordable accommodation options and easy to navigate ways that allow travelers to travel without additional transportation costs. Weather is pleasant throughout year but if you are keen catching the best local action then visiting the city for Festa Das Latas and Queima Das Fitas that students from University of Coimbra organize every year.
Coimbra is a fairly populous city in Portugal but it is still unspoiled as tourists often flock to the conventional spots so make the most of available exclusivity and enjoy the untouched beauty of this students’ city.