Coimbra Portugal

Wandering in Coimbra

When we left from Porto heading to the Algarve, we had a long journey ahead of us, which meant we had to stop a few times along the way. I had many options for the first pit stop, but when I met Ilana from Ilana On The Road she confirmed what I had already heard, that Coimbra is a beautiful place worth visiting. Since this was more of a “let’s get out of the car and straighten our legs” kind of stop, I cannot write about all the things one can do here, but I can share with you some pictures I’ve taken on my short but charming visit.

We parked our car next to a cute park and after walking around for a bit, I remembered I wanted to see the famous University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in the world (and THE oldest in Portugal). That is literally all I knew about the city (which is highly unlikely for me) so we found a tourist information center where we got directions and the nice lady told us about all there is to see in the Old Town (including a Portugal in miniature exhibition called Portugal dos Pequenitos), which made me regret not having enough time.

There were a lot of stairs to get to the university. A lot! Imagine being a student and having to climb them every day at least twice. Imagine getting up there and remembering you’ve forgotten your notebook. The horror! But the university was indeed as beautiful as everyone has told me and you can see for yourself in the following pictures.

The water, as seen from the top of the hill, had a freakishly red color, I assumed it was because of the soil, which also had some red overtones. I may be wrong though.

Coimbra Portugal

Going down the same steps (what have I done wrong?!), we had decided to stop at the cafe at the bottom of the hill and treat ourselves with some delicious pastries. Treat yo self, you’re on holiday! πŸ˜‰

Coimbra Portugal

Finally, it was time to hit the road again, but I still managed to take some photos from the car window.

 

 

Have you ever visited a city for a few hours and left wishing you had more time?

 

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  • I love little stops like this – we ended up in a really pretty little town in the Netherlands during a road trip this summer. I knew nothing about it – hadn’t even seen it in guide books, but it made a nice little treat to discover.

    • We had a few stops like this, one of them was me randomly pointing on the map and saying that was where we should stop πŸ˜€

  • So much pizzazz on those buildings. So. Much. Pizzazz.

    Also your desserts look delicious and now I’m jealous!

    • They were indeed delicious, you should go to Portugal and walk into any random place, they will all have great pastries πŸ˜‰

  • As always, love the photos, Vlad. What a beautiful, beautiful place! And those pastries just make me want to cry into my bowl of fruits right now πŸ™

    • If it makes you feel better, I can say they were horrible, absolutely gross! πŸ˜‰

      • Oh, sure. I believe you :p

  • Munich, definitely.
    Also, I am kind of all about Camden Market area in London now, but I barely had any time there yesterday!

    • I knew you would say Munich! It’s the city I want to visit the most in Germany, we should go!

      • You are ON. But also, now – BUDAPEST!!!

  • How gorgeous! I wouldn’t mind going to school there even with all the steps. Can you please stop making me want to come back to Portugal?? πŸ˜›

    • It sure beats MY university, haha. (you should know what I’m talking about) Also, this was just the beginning, I have a lot more “people will hate me” posts coming up. πŸ˜›

  • Such beautiful photos!! I have never been to Coimbra, but in Brazil I went to University with a guy from Coimbra, and told me amazing things of his city, pretty cool! I didnt know there was the oldest University of Portugal, how cool!! Yummyyyy food by the way πŸ˜€

    • Thank you! The city was indeed very beautiful but the pastries? YUM! πŸ˜€

  • What a colorful and picturesque place! The architectures seems very beautiful too. As for the pastry shops, I think almost anywhere in Europe you can have delicious cakes, cookies and pastries. Those sweets look really yummy!

    • Thank you, Anda! I wish I would have gone inside too, not sure if I was allowed, but I am curious about the interior as well.

  • Fab photos and those Portugese custard tarts look amazing. I also love the colours of the buildings. I’ve never been to Coimbra but will definitely make a note to visit

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ I was impressed by the architecture as well.

  • The grounds of that university is truly inspirational … the students that study there are so lucky!

    • The nice weather made it seem like a perfect place to sit outside and study. πŸ™‚ Thank you for commenting.

  • So nice. Almost a random stop, and you discovered a gorgeous university!

    • Thank you for the comment! It wasn’t entirely random, but I didn’t know what to expect when I got there. πŸ™‚

  • It all looks like a really good city break! πŸ™‚
    I wish to get there one day!

    • BTW what’s the first cake on the left? πŸ™‚

      • I hope you do get to visit it one day! The ones on the left are the traditional Portuguese pasteis de nata, and on the right there is a carrot cake, an orange cake and a chocolate cake (from top to bottom). πŸ™‚

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  • Oooh wow!! And great photos to go with the post πŸ™‚
    Those Portuguese tarts looks sooooo yummy and are making us hungry!