Free tour

Coimbra: History, Traditions, Attractions & its People

Duration: 2h and 30min
Languages: English
Registered on August 25, 2023

My name is Jose. I live in Coimbra since I was a student here a few years ago. I like history, culture and art. And I love meeting new people. I offer general tours of the city in Portuguese and English. I also offer more specific and in-depth tours of the New and Old Cathedrals and the University of Coimbra.

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

I'm José, Portuguese, a graduate of the university & living in Coimbra for over 20 years. I invite you to embark on a captivating journey with my Coimbra free tour.

To make it easier to understand the city's history, I use supporting materials such as photos and diagrams.
After all, it's much more real to see what it was like than just to hear about it.

You’ll  discover the uptown attractions including the University (one of the oldest in Europe), and learn more about some of the academic traditions.

We'll also visit one of the lesser-known gems in the uptown area, with an excellent view over the city and a great spot for photos!

After these panoramic views and photos, we descend to the downtown passing by the Old Cathedral.

In the downtown we'll explore the Almedina tower and gate, the St James Church and visit Santa Cruz church (inside and out), once part of a big monastery.

Finally, uncover the story behind why the former monastery's cloister is now known as the manga garden.

Join the many tourists who have enjoyed my tour to discover the city.

Main Highlights:  University (outside), Almedina Arch, St James Church, Santa Cruz Church (inside & out), Machado Castro Museum courtyard,  Old Cathedral, New Cathedral & Manga Garden

Along the way, I'll share insights into the city's history, its people, academic traditions, and practical tips to maximize your Coimbra experience. At the end, we receive a handy sheet of the city's useful information.

I comply with all legal requirements including RNAT registration (registry 924/2023)

Please notice this:
- The entrance inside the university buildings (such as the barroque library) is not included.

- Coimbra is on a hill, so it's impossible to avoid descending stairs during the walking tour. You should go prepared with confortable shoes, water and sunscreen.

- The entrance at the Santa Cruz church may not happen if there are religious services or if it's closed when we pass there.

- I may change the itinerary according to weather conditions, Mass times or physical conditions of the participants. Always with the aim of making the tour more enjoyable.

- The duration of the tour (2H30) is indicative as it depends on the pace of the group.

Let's make your Coimbra exploration truly memorable.

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    R. de São Pedro 20, 3000-515 Coimbra,...
    R. de São Pedro 20, 3000-515 Coimbra, Portugal
    View on map

    Meeting Point: Outside the university's Iron Gate (in Portuguese " Porta Férrea") facing the entrance on the left. I'll have a yellow t-shirt that says "Coimbra Free Tours" and a blue folder with me. (If it's cold I'll have a yellow-mustard jacket/vest with a black pin that says “Coimbra Free Tours”) When is sunshine I also have a black cap with the University symbol and the date 1290 (when the University was founded). This is the google maps link to the "meeting point": https://maps.app.goo.gl/JUWXHeyuqGGH7v3Z9

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Universidade de Coimbra

    Founded in 1290, is one of the oldest universities in europe and the oldest in Portugal. It's an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will see the outside (Paço das Escolas courtyard) and I'll show photos of the inside with some explanations

  • 2
    Outside visit
    New Cathedral

    We will admire the outside and learn more about the academic traditions that take place here

  • 3
    Outside visit
    Machado de Castro National Museum

    It's one of the best views in the city. We'll visit the museum's courtyard (a great place for some photos) where you'll learn more about the presence of the romans in the city.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Old Cathedral

    Built like a fortress, it's a key part of the burning of the ribbons festivities. Inside you will find a beautiful flamboyant gothic altarpiece with 15 meters and the first gothic cloister in Portugal.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    Almedina Arch & Tower

    Discover the place that was the city's main entry point in medieval times

  • 6
    Outside visit
    São Tiago Church

    This church from the 12th century has undergone many changes throughout history. We'll find out more about that.

  • 7
    Free admission
    Santa Cruz Church

    The Santa Cruz Church was once part of a large monastery. Inside, you will admire the beautiful blue and white tiles and the 18th-century organ.

  • 8
    Outside visit
    Manga Garden

    End Point of our tour

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

(15 ratings)
By category
Richard 15 Jul 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jul 2024
Jose was a great guide with a wealth of information. 2.5hrs went so quickly.
Peter 12 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
José was a fantastic guide. Professional, knowledgeable, entertaining and passionate about Coimbra. Cannot recommend him highly enough.
Candice 10 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
The tour was excellent. A few reasons as to why I’d recommend the tour. Jose is an excellent guide. Extremely knowledgeable and thorough. Great sense of humor to keep the tour fun and interesting. Shared many tips and where to visit outside of where we stopped on the tour. Also he was very prompt at supporting and messaging on other questions on Coimbra. His tour is a must do in Coimbra!
Hannah 06 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jun 2024
Wonderful tour! José was helpful and knowledgeable, and gave a wonderful introduction to the history and most notable places in Coimbra. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in getting to know the town better.
Donna 04 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
The walk was very informative and never felt rushed
Show 15 reviews

Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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