Coimbra University

Coimbra University, located in the beautiful city of Coimbra is a renowned institution of higher education and one of the oldest in the world. With a long and fascinating history and impressive architecture, the university is cherished by students, academics, as well as tourists. Let’s take a look at the history behind Coimbra University, its architecture, and what you can expect when visiting.


Established in 1290, Coimbra University is one of Europe’s oldest universities and has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence.

In the 16th century, it played a crucial role in Portugal’s maritime expansion by providing education and training to explorers and navigators who ventured into unknown territories. Its influence reached far and wide, shaping the nation’s intellectual and cultural landscape.

Today, Coimbra University remains a thriving and highly regarded institution, attracting students from around the world. The university’s enduring legacy is evident in the preservation of traditions and rituals, such as student processions and the wearing of academic capes, which serve as a testament to its rich history.


The university’s buildings blend different styles, with the remarkable Portuguese late-Gothic style being the most prominent. The impressive façade of the university exudes a sense of majesty, featuring intricate carvings, ornate details, and beautiful rose windows that ignite the imagination.

The courtyards are adorned with captivating colonnades and arcades, creating a peaceful atmosphere for intellectual pursuits.

The renowned Joanina Library, designed in the Baroque style, is a true gem among the university’s architectural treasures. Its exquisite decorations, gilded woodwork, and a vast collection of priceless books make it a marvel to behold.

Visiting Times & Tickets

In order to really explore the University of Coimbra and its multiple buildings, we recommend booking a guided tour. However, you can also book tickets to separate buildings in the university, including the library, chemical lab, university tower, and more.

Buildings are open to visits between 9 am and 6 pm. Prices vary but are around 15 euros, depending on the type of ticket. 

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