Every once in a while, we crave to be on the phase when we can do everything that we want because we’re simply not afraid. We can drink and drive as if our lives depended on it, scrawl naughty messages on our notebooks and daydream, listen to music blaring from our stereo with the highest volume and everything that a normal teenager would do.
Teenage years or at least the early-twenties stage had been deemed one of the best phases because this is where we tend to explore things, realize that a mistake can still be corrected and be on our worst behavior with little judgment. The quickened pulse of being young had been an indescribable feeling, and when you travel and feel this way over again, get your bags packed and go straight to a humble little town in Portugal called Coimbra. Streets are festooned with college kids chilling, walls being decorated with artsy hand-painted murals and the experience a crowd that’s restless and profound.
Coimbra is perched in Portugal’s very center in junction with Braga and Lisbon. As the country’s third largest city, Coimbra is 122 miles away from the capital city and 72 miles from Porto.
Coimbra is also surrounded by passable river ways and conduits that are connected to smaller towns and cities. On its northeast, Penecova is located, Miranda do Corvo on the southeast tip, Condeixa-a-Nova to its south, Vila Nova de Poiares located on the eastern section, Cantanhede to the northwest and Montemor-o-Velho on the western pole.
According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Coimbra is experiencing a mild Mediterranean climate with July to August as the hottest months and December until February for the winter season.
Temperatures for winter can drop as low as 5-degree Celsius and summer’s heat can shoot the bar up to 29-degrees. There are at least 10 days annually with a frigid 0-degree Celsius temperature and almost 33 days with a 30-degree mark for the highest string of days.
Getting in and out of the city using public transportation will involve two ways: either you take it by buses via the Coimbra Municipality Urban Transport Services or the Coimbra Trolleybus System. If you wanted to make the wandering even more secure and private, look for the black-and-green taxicabs circling around the city center and make your way to Coimbra’s veins.
You might also notice that the city’s Mondego River is intelligently connected to three major bridges—Ponte do Acude, Ponte de Santa Clara and Ponte Europa—which makes traveling by commuting all the more accessible and wide. Getting in and out by air would use the service of the only air terminal in Coimbra which is 4.7 miles away from the city center, specifically located in Cernache.
What to See
Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro
Be in the know and get into Portugal’s deepest cultural heritage by visiting this museum. Just recently reopened and refurbished for better tourist experience, submerge yourself in endless artsy sculptures, artifacts collected from nearby cities and even countries, famous paintings such as that of Hodart’s version of the Last Supper and other Moorish-influenced pieces.
Arco de Almedina
The Arco de Almedina is a famous landmark in Coimbra due to its historical foothold. Installed in the 19th century by the city government, this staircase would give you a picturesque view of the Mondego River.
Installed and filled with books in the 18th century, this library is more than just a studying area as the edifice also boasts of ebony and rosewood tables and furniture, intrinsic frescoed ceilings and bookshelves and almost 300,000 books that scopes esoteric studies.
This university is surely more than just the normal as the complexities involved on every stone used to get this done is far more historic. Treat your insatiable craving for well-preserved buildings and architecture, feast your eyes at the always photographed 18th-century clock tower and Moorish-inspired areas that is now being saturated with students during the academic year.
Coimbra, Portugal: A cultural guide
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