This picturesque town, which sits on a hill overlooking the snaking Mondego River, is home to one of the oldest libraries in Europe, which was built in the early 18th century at the bequest of King John V as part of the university. The town remains a hub for students, with a range of great bars as a result. Culture Trip has picked out some of the best to suit all budgets.
Exuding old-school class, this smart bar is housed within the dreamy Quinta das Lágrimas hotel, which is part of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World portfolio. Following on from the rest of the palatial 18th-century property, this bar has a romantic ambience, with racing-green walls and a dark, wood-panelled bar. The menu includes all the classic cocktails and a fine selection of wine. Don’t leave without trying the sangria at Quinta das Lágrimas.
For a young, fun atmosphere, this bar fits the bill. There’s a great outdoor space, with faux flowers dripping down the walls, a canopied roof and naked light bulbs strung up like fairy lights. There are regular deals on beers, shots and cocktails, with the punchy caipirinhas highly recommended. Come nightfall, the inside bar turns into quite the party spot, with DJs spinning, dancing encouraged and neon lights casting a funky glow.
Rack up some extra likes on your Instagram feed with sunset shots from this well-positioned rooftop bar. The Passaporte boasts fine views of Coimbra and the Mondego River beyond. It’s a great spot for a pre-dinner drink – the sangria comes highly recommended. The colonial-style building is another highlight, with the original features intact both inside and out.
From the outside, this bar is unassuming, but it’s worth stepping inside and stopping for a drink, with a great atmosphere bubbling away until the early hours. This venue, which has been welcoming guests for more than 30 years, sits within a glasshouse-like structure, with tropical plants dotted here and there. It prides itself on making one of the best gin and tonics in town, and there’s a great selection of other tipples to pick from, from vodkas and whiskies to Portuguese wines. The service is friendly, too.
Nip up to the roof at this slick boutique hotel to soak up the views and some delicious sangria or buckets of champagne. From this spot, you’ll be served a unique perspective of the Mondego River, the University Courtyard, the University Tower and the famous Joanine Library. This is the perfect spot for an afternoon pick-me-up or to see the sunset in its full glory. If you’re in the mood for romance, you could opt to stay on for a private dinner and book some musicians to serenade you.
You’re guaranteed to make a friend or five at this lively, price-friendly bar on a picturesque, tree-lined square. This bar is a hotspot for students, who stay until the early hours. Things tend to liven up post-10pm, so it’s best to arrive fashionably late if you’re looking to have fun. Beer and shots come in at less than €1 (£0.80), so this friendly spot definitely caters to those on a student budget.
If you’re a fan of Irish pubs, then you’re in luck, as Murphy’s offers everything you would expect from such an institution: from cold pints of Guinness to live music and a friendly welcome. The unusual feature of this Irish bar is that there is a leafy outdoor garden space, which transports you to the country wilds. The interiors are also intriguing, with a mezzanine ceiling and guns framed on the wall.
Oenophiles will feel right at home at this cosy wine bar, which is located close to the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra. There is an outdoor terrace and several tables inside, with an impressive selection of bottles lining the walls from floor to ceiling. This place has a particularly cosy atmosphere in the evening, with soft lighting and the chatter of fellow guests softly bubbling away. The cocktails here also get top marks.
After an evening of drinking at one of these bars, you’ll be in the right mind to stay in one of the best hotels in Coimbra, now bookable with Culture Trip. If you’re still unsure of where to go, try Porto, where you can relax in traditional bars and sleep like a baby after a day of exploring.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.