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Spa hotels in Coimbra
Featured properties: spa hotels in Coimbra
A Seat of Learning and Royalty
Portugal’s medieval capital, and a pioneer of fado music alongside its modern counterpart Lisbon, Coimbra is a vibrant university city with a good helping of historic sights.
The university is the country’s oldest and its attractive buildings cover a small hill overlooking the Mondego River. The institution has an excellent science museum, the ornate Joanina Library, and one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens which contributes to the lush landscape.
The midweek nightlife in the city’s bars and restaurants is popular with students, while shopping options range from the stores of the CoimbraShopping complex to smaller boutiques on cobbled streets in the historic Baixa district.
The medieval centre houses the museum of Coimbran sculptor Machado de Castro and the Old Cathedral, begun under the reign of the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques. He is buried in Santa Cruz Monastery, while the tomb of a later queen – Elizabeth of Aragon – is in the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova. She founded this hilltop convent to replace flood-prone Santa Clara-a-Velha below. Between them is Portugal dos Pequenitos where Portugal’s main monuments are reproduced in miniature.
Nearby is Quinta das Lágrimas, a 19th-century mansion that is now a luxury hotel on Booking.com. Also available are cheap hostels and guest houses near the 2 main train stations.
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