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Welcome to COIMBRA
an extra service of European City Guide / ECG -

Information about COIMBRA COIMBRA used to be the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1256, and is located on the right bank of the River Mondego. Its university, founded in 1290 by King Dinis, was Portugal’s only university until the beginning of the last century. It is also on eof the oldest universities in the world. The students library, Biblioteca Joanna, has an amazing collection of over 300,000 books dating from the 12th Century. For a provincial town it has remarkable riches, and it's an enjoyable place to be – very alive when the students are in town, and asleep during the holidays. The students celebrate the end of the academic year in the Queima das Fitas in May which is the best time to visit Coimbra. You will get the chance to hear the Coimbra fado, different from the Lisbon version by its mournful pace and complex lyrics. In Coimbra you can visit the Sé Velho, a Romanesque church which was built in the 12th Century. Also worth visiting is the Sé Nova built by the Jesuits at the turn of the 16th Century. In the same century was built the Museu Nacional Machado de Castro, which was formerly the Bishop’s palace and which is now the depository of some of Portugal’s finest sculpture. For really basic food, served up with loads of atmosphere, try the little dives tucked into the alleys between Largo da Portagem, Rua da Sota and Praça do Comércio. Adega Paço do Conde on Rua Paço do Conde is a cavernous, locally-renowned churrasqueira. And don't hesitate to go to the traditional coffee houses found along Rua Ferreira Borges – notably Café Santa Cruz, and Rua Visconde da Luz. Coimbra also has the largest Botanical Garden in the country, which covers 20 hectares. This city holds a special place in the hearts of all the Portuguese, especially since six of Portugal’s Kings were born here. At first sight the town appears more devoted to commerce than learning but the skyline above the lower part of the city suggests its real purpose.


General Information
Capital: Lisboa
Area: 92,391km2
Population: 10.7 million (2008 estimate).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. 110 volts in some areas and 230 DC in parts of the south. Continental two-pin plugs are in use
IDD: +351
Emergency number: 115
Timezone: GMT (+1 Hr MAR-OCT)

Language: Portuguese. English is widely spoken

Government: Republic Parliamentary democracy

Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant

Health: Tetanus

Currency: Euro (EUR) 1.00 = 100 Cents

Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate: All 100: USD = 149.313 EUR GBP = 90.2312 EUR CHF = 151.032 EUR

Business Hours
Business Hours: Mon-Fri: 09.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00

Alcohol Limit
Alcohol Limit: 0,5 ‰

Speed Limit
Speed Limit: Cities: 50 km/h, Outside cities: 90 km/h, Motorways: 120 km/h

Traffic: Traffic drives on the right. Minimum age 18 years (for car-hire 21 years)

Driving License
Driving License: International or national license.

National Holidays
National holidays: Jan 1 New Year"s Day, Good Friday (variable), Apr 25 Liberty Day, May 1 Labour Day, Corpus Christi (variable), Jun 10 National Day and Camoes Day, Aug 15 Assumption, Oct 5 Republic Day, Nov 1 All Saints" Day, Dec 1 Independence Day, Dec 8 Immaculate Conception, Dec 24/25 Christmas Holidays

Climate: Maritime; temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

A=Aver. Daily Temp. (°C)
P=Precipitation (mm)
S=Sunshine (Hrs/Month)

Mobile Network
Mobile Network: GSM 900/1800/3G 2100

GPS: 38 46 N, 9 11 W

Shopping Hours
Shopping Hours: Generally Mon-Fri: 9.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00. In December, Sat: 9.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00 . Shopping centres are usually open Mon-Sun: 10.00-24.00


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