The Best Hotels in Coimbra, Portugal, for Every Traveller

Quinta das Lágrimas offers a beautiful place to stay, just outside the city centre of Coimbra, Portugal
Quinta das Lágrimas offers a beautiful place to stay, just outside the city centre of Coimbra, Portugal | Courtesy of Quinta das Lágrimas / Expedia
Photo of Mary Lussiana
6 January 2021

The birthplace of six kings and the seat of Portugal’s oldest university, Coimbra holds a special place in Portugal’s collective heart. Finally wrested from the Moors in 1064, it was the capital of the country for more than a century and today brims with buildings of historical interest, such as the church and monastery of Santa Cruz, the Botanical Gardens and children’s wonderland Portugal dos Pequenitos, which houses miniature versions of Portugal’s national buildings. Read on for our selection of the best places to stay in while you discover this fascinating city.

Sapientia Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel
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Sapientia Boutique Hotel, Portugal
Courtesy of Sapientia Boutique Hotel / Expedia
Housed in three historic buildings are 22 rooms, suites and apartments (the latter two with kitchenettes), all named after writers linked to Coimbra or its University. With clean white decor and stripped wooden furnishings, several of the suites have large terraces with views over the Mondego River. Not to be missed is the rooftop bar with far-reaching views over the city.
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Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra

Luxury
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Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra, Portugal
Courtesy of Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra / Expedia
These charming rooms feature exposed stone walls with views over the city skyline. The mix of deluxe bedrooms and even a suite with a private pool have been carefully converted to preserve their heritage and offer a home rather than a hotel for visitors. The location is close to the university and an easy walk away from the city’s old and new cathedrals.
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Hotel Vitória

Hotel
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Hotel Vitoria, Coimbra
Courtesy of Hotel Vitoria / Expedia
This modern, comfortable and family-run hotel sits right on the riverside, offering single, double and triple rooms. It’s a 10-minute walk from the University of Coimbra and 15 minutes from the cathedral. The train station is in the immediate vicinity, too – making it a great base if you’re planning side trips out to Lisbon and Porto. Don’t miss the remarkable Biblioteca Joanina within the university, which was built in the 18th century and contains more than 300,000 books.

Casa de São Bento

Hotel
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Casa de São Bento, Portugal
Courtesy of Casa de São Bento / Expedia
Once a school, this 18th-century building lies between two of the most important green spaces in the city: the Botanical Gardens and Santa Cruz Park. The 22 rooms, four family lofts and one suite all have a kitchenette and a small dining area. Coimbra’s main sights are within easy reach, with the university and the Biblioteca Joanina just minutes away by foot.
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Archisuites

Suite Hotel, Hotel
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Archi Suites, Portugal
Courtesy of Archi Suites / Expedia
Stylish, design-centric suites to use as a base while exploring Coimbra – that’s the proposition of this family-owned hotel, located right in the middle of the historic area of the city. The beautiful Convent of Santa Clara can be reached within 3 minutes by foot, while the Portugal dos Pequenitos is some 200 metres (656ft) away. Archisuites aims to fill a niche for attractive lodgings, which mix the contemporary and the classic, at pleasingly affordable prices.
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  • Hotel Oslo Coimbra

    Hotel
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    Hotel Oslo Coimbra, Portugal
    Courtesy of Hotel Oslo Coimbra / Expedia
    This family-run hotel, situated in the old historic centre of Coimbra, offers rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and magnificent views over the city. The rooftop bar is the place to go for a plate of local rabaçal cheese with regional cornbread. Don’t miss the homemade pumpkin jam and Coimbra’s famous local cake pasteis de Tentúgal (thin, crusty dough, stuffed with egg custard) at breakfast.
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    São Bento na Alta

    Apartment
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    São Bento na Alta, Portugal
    Courtesy of São Bento na Alta / Expedia
    These historical apartments, beautifully converted from an old building in the heart of old Coimbra, offer a loft, six double bedrooms and a single room, all with kitchenettes, an oven, a microwave, a coffee machine, a kettle and a fridge. They are located right by the university, a short walk away from the two cathedrals and the much-loved Botanical Gardens, plotted with 19th-century greenhouses, Portuguese palms, fountains and flower beds.
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    Quinta das Lágrimas

    Spa Hotel, Hotel
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    Quinta das Lágrimas, Portugal
    Courtesy of Quinta das Lágrimas / Expedia
    Woven into the historical fabric of Coimbra, Quinta das Lágrimas (the Palace of Tears) takes its name from the 14th-century legend of Inês de Castro, whose love for Prince Pedro was not approved, so she was slain on the spot where this palace stands. Sad tale aside, it’s a beautiful place to stay, just outside the city centre, with a spa, outdoor and indoor pools and a gourmet restaurant, which draws on the garden’s rich bounty.
    These recommendations were updated on January 6, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.