The city of Coimbra has a population of a little over 100,000 inhabitants, the municipality has approximately 150,000 and is Portugal’s third city after Lisbon and Porto and covers an area of 319.4 km². More than 430,000 people live in the district and it consists of 16 municipalities that cover an area of 3372km².
Coimbra is the capital of the Centro region and is located in the Baixo Mondego region. The city is probably best known for its impressive university which was founded originally by D.Diniz in 1290 and after playing a sort of location tennis with Lisbon it finally became Coimbra University in 1537. The city is also famous for a variety of architecture from many ages.
Coimbra is surrounded by several municipalities:
Vila Nova de Poiares (east), Miranda do Corvo (southeast)
Condeixa-a-Nova (south & southwest)
Mealhada (north and northeast)
Its location is very central to the country, being 2 hours from Lisbon and 1 hour from Porto, making it an ideal destination with a variety of properties for sale or rent.
It has a plethora of bars, restaurants, concerts, and bustling nightspots enhanced by the colourful and gregarious students.
The city is steeped in history, it boasts several Roman remains and with Arab, Jewish, and Christian influences it has shaped Coimbra into the vibrant and exciting place that it is today. Just outside Coimbra are the impressive Roman Ruins of Conimbriga
Shopping is also a delight especially in the old town which nestles into a steep hill, it has a number of craft and art shops keeping up the long and exalted tradition of art and artists churned out of the university. The bookshops, the jewelers and the galleries are also not to be missed.
Some top-quality bargains can also be found, especially in ladies’ bags and shoes for both sexes. The people of the city as elsewhere in Portugal are friendly and helpful and you are never far from an English speaker so help is always at hand.
Probably the most famous of all the buildings is the clock tower which still marks the time and presides over the May academy parades which, keeping to the original tradition starts with a burning of the ribbons.
In the city centre at the bottom of the hill is the main square here you have an assortment of cafes and shops encircling the statue of the friar killer Joaquim Antonio De Aguiar who was responsible for breaking up the religious orders in Portugal in 1834. The square is pedestrianised and therefore you can still get a feel for the city perhaps as it once was, quiet and charming. The town hall or Camera Municipal is also found there.
Surrounding the square is the old town and you can wander the narrow streets watching the town function in more or less the same way as it has done for centuries, with the arts, crafts, and local produce still trading with the rural populace around it. Indeed you can often see the local country-folk wandering into town with their produce to sell at market.