Coimbra was Portugal's capital for over a century and its famous university remains highly prestigious and provides the greatest of Coimbra's monuments, most notably the Baroque library.

The train ride from Lisboa is around three hours, so staying overnight, would be a better option to visit. The train arrives at station Coimbra B and from there, the local trains that run about each fifteen minutes (no ticket required) will take you to the main train station.

Coimbra straddles a hilly side, and stepped streets climb into the heart of old town, where the medieval cathedral Sé Velha and the Velha Universidade (Old University) are the main attractions.

At the foot of the hill, the pedestrianized Baixa is the principal shopping area, and the Igreja de Santa Cruz is not to be missed.