The City with the Oldest University


Back in May I announced here that Ben and I were going on a trip to Portugal and the reason we got to go was because Ben was attending – and presenting at – an international conference. I happily tagged along, of course, to this exciting country that we just couldn’t fit into our European itinerary last summer.

I’m splitting the Portugal trip post into 3 parts – the 3 different cities we’ve visited. And without further delay we are off to Coimbra (pronounced something like Quimbra). 🙂


Ok, I lied. We were actually off to Lisbon and from there we took the train north to Coimbra the same day.

We arrived in Coimbra, a mid-size city full of charm and friendly people in central Portugal and went straight to our place we were staying at for 5 nights. Hugo, our Portuguese host, greeted us and introduced us to his friends – a German roommate, Czech friend and Polish girlfriend – and also invited us to dinner that night, so a Canadian and a Slovak joined the happy bunch.

We’ve visited monasteries, beautiful parks and gardens and the University of Coimbra where Ben attended his conference. Now this University is pretty impressive (the photos with the clock/bell tower). Not only is it one of the oldest Universities in the world, the whole campus is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While Ben was busy discussing cultural mapping with his international “colleagues” I had 3 days to explore the city on my own (or more like 3 half days; the jet lag didn’t take it easy on me). I walked up and down the hills of the city and was getting lost on purpose. One of the days I took the train to Figueira da Foz, a town about an hour away and explored the coast, but more on that in a separate post. 😉

That’s it for Coimbra, hope you enjoyed the photos!


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