With its mild climate and laidback city vibe, living in Coimbra sounds like a dream. Want to discover the best places to find rooms for rent in Coimbra, how to get around the city, and more? Then, take a look!
Related: 18 Best Things to Do in Coimbra
Getting to Know Coimbra
Located midway between Lisbon and Porto, Coimbra was the former capital of Portugal. It has a rich history and deep cultural roots, so exploring the city is a lot of fun. Coimbra has a mild climate throughout the year, although it can sometimes be a little colder than Lisbon.
You’ll find plenty of students milling about the city, thanks to the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest universities in the world. You’ll find plenty of job opportunities in the city that cater to the young student population.
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Finding rooms for rent in Coimbra
Coimbra offers a high quality of living, and the cost of living is much cheaper compared with the US. Thanks to the large student population in the city, finding rooms for rent in Coimbra is fairly easy. However, cheap rooms for rent in Coimbra can be hard to come by, especially in neighborhoods that are located closer to the university. In general, though, the average rent in Coimbra is fairly affordable.
Top neighborhoods in Coimbra
- Solum: One of the best residential neighborhoods close to the heart of the city. If you find rooms for rent in this Coimbra neighborhood, you will be well-connected to the rest of the city, and live close to some of the major tourist attractions.
- Vale das Flores: Located in Coimbra’s central region, here you can find waterfront homes and biking trails, making it the perfect neighborhood for those who want access to the city life, but prefer the tranquil atmosphere of the suburbs.
- Olivais: Well-connected and close to the University of Coimbra, this neighborhood is ideal for students. Not only are you close to a lot of entertainment venues, but you have access to public transit options here as well.
Average rent in Coimbra
University life in Coimbra
The University of Coimbra was founded hundreds of years ago, and now it’s located in the building which housed Portugal’s monarchs from the 12th to the 15th century. Much of the tourism and life in the city revolves around the university, which also has one of the oldest libraries in the world.
There’s never a dull moment when you’re a student in Coimbra. Student communities always have some event or the other going on, with the most anticipated ones being the Festa das Latas (Can Festival) and the Queima das Fitas (Burning of the Tapes or Ribbon Burning).
How transit friendly is Coimbra?
Getting around Coimbra is a breeze. When exploring the famous spots around the city, you can hop on a bus, drive around, or even walk to some nearby places. Although it is convenient to have a personal vehicle, it is not a necessity by any means.
Coimbra is an extremely walkable city, with most attractions and entertainment options located within reasonable walking distance. No matter where you find rooms for rent in Coimbra, you will be able to enjoy a walk around the neighborhood.
Although Coimbra has high walkability, most residents do have cars because that’s more convenient. Driving around the city is easy, though in some places you may find some narrow roads which are difficult to navigate. You may need some practice on the hills, but it is easy enough to get the hang of it once you’ve driven around a few times. Keep in mind that parking your car in certain areas may be a tricky affair.
Using a taxi is the fastest, and often the most convenient, way of getting around the city. In addition to Uber and Lyft, you will find several taxi services operating in the city. It’s easy to hail a taxi outside of major tourist attractions, as well as at the airport and train stations. If you plan to take a taxi from your room, however, it is best to call a taxi service agency beforehand.
4. Public transportation
Coimbra is well-connected with public transit options like buses and trains. Buses are the most convenient as Coimbra is the major bus hub in the Beiras region. Numerous bus routes, provided by the SMTUC, connect the upper and lower town and help you travel to the major landmarks throughout the city. The Blue Line offers electric buses which mainly provide transport in the historical centers of the city.
There are two main stations in Coimbra, where you can hop on for a train ride; Station A connects you to destinations within the city, while Station B is for long-distance travel.
The closest airport to the city is the Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport, followed by the Portela Airport. From the airport, you can take the train, express bus or airport shuttles to get into the city. Several taxi services also offer rides to and from the airport.
Coimbra is in a river valley, surrounded by hills. Hence, it is not the most convenient city to cycle around in. Though there are some cycle trails near the river and inland canals, the city is not very cycle-friendly, mainly due to its hilly terrain.
According to the 2011 census, Coimbra has a population of 143,396 residents. Expats make up 4.6% of the population, with most foreign residents hailing from Brazil. Seniors and youths (aged between 0 – 14 years) are a minority, with most of the active population belonging to the age bracket of 25 – 64 years.
Travel through the ages in Coimbra as you visit the historical sites in the city. Century-old buildings with stunning architecture will leave you in awe. To get a unique insight into the history of the city and its major landmarks, be sure to opt for guided walking tours.
- New Cathedral of Coimbra
- Palacio Da Justica
- Sao Sebastiao Aqueduct
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