Typical houses in the Ribeira district, PORTO

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COIMBRA
BOAT TRIP ON THE RIVER MONDEGO
The “Basófias”, from France, was especially built for cruises on the Mondego. (239 912 444. OdaBarca, Cais de Embarque, Parque Manuel Braga; Price per person 6€).
HAVE TEA IN THE CAFÉ SANTA CRUZ
This beautiful building first opened in 1923. The domed ceiling and stained glass windows are just two good reasons to make this visit a “must”. (239 833 617. Praça 8 de Maio).
MARKET ELEVATOR
A combination of lift and funicular which links the market to the university area, saving a lengthy and difficult climb to the upper part of the city. (Mon. to Sat: 7.30 am - 10 pm: Sun: 10 am – 10 pm).
ROMANTIC COIMBRA TOUR
Visit the most romantic places in Coimbra: the Quinta das Lágrimas park, Pedro and Inês footbridge, Parque Verde do Mondego and Botanical Gardens.
SEE THE ROMAN RUINS AT CONÍMBRIGA

The finest and best-preserved Roman ruins in Portugal can be found in Condeixa-a-Nova, near Coimbra. Step back one thousand years in time to the Roman occupation of Lusitania, which lasted around five centuries, and to the site of a well-supplied villa halfway along the road from Bracara Augusta (Braga) to Olissipo (Lisbon). Four houses have been excavated, together with a building that may have been an inn, an aqueduct, two thermal baths and another building. There is also a defensive wall dating from the end of the 4th. century BC, when the inhabitants of northern Europe advanced south to invade the Empire.

The House of the Fountains is particularly interesting, with its water feature (there are over 400 jets of water), lined by brick columns and surrounded by exceptionally well-preserved tiles. The mosaics depict mythological or hunting scenes or geometric designs (the Roman mosaics are the antecedents of the traditional Portuguese pavements which have survived to the present day).
The museum displays local archaeological finds, including a head of Augustus Caesar.
For those who love history, Rome, ruins and ancient civilisations, this is a place you should not miss.

VISIT PORTUGAL DOS PEQUENITOS
Portugal dos Pequenitos is a “National Architecture” theme park containing miniature reproductions of the most important monuments in Portugal and its former colonies: the Portuguese-speaking African countries, Brazil, India, Macao and Timor. It now has a new section, the Sundial, where activities and events take place. Particularly good fun for children. (239 801 170.  Rossio de Santa Clara; 1 Oct. - 29 Feb: 10 and -5 pm; 01 Mar. - 31 May: 10 am – 7 pm; 1 Jun. - 15 Sept: 9 am – 8 pm; 16 Sept. - 30 Sept: 9 am – 7 pm; closed 25 Dec.).
VISIT THE MACHADO CASTRO MUSEUM
The museum is named after the Coimbra figure, Machado de Castro, royal sculptor during the reigns of King José, Queen. Maria I and King João VI, and the most famous Portuguese sculptor of the 18th. century. The collections reflect the wealth of the church and include paintings, jewellery, ceramics and textiles. There are also local archaeological collections and collections of oriental art. (239 482 001. Largo Dr. José Rodrigues).
WALK THROUGH THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
13 hectares of exotic species of trees in a very pleasant open space (239 855 233. Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra, Calç Martim de Freitas. Winter: 9 am – 5.30 pm; Summer: 9 am – 8 pm. Guided tours €2, must be booked in advance).
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from  € 1710