Are you planning a trip to Portugal and want to go from Lisbon to Coimbra?
Coimbra is steeped in history and culture and makes a perfect destination for any traveler to explore. Home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Coimbra brings unique historical charm to any trip to Portugal.
Getting from Lisbon to Coimbra is easy and there are several options available. Whether you’re looking for an economical journey or one that will give you more time to take in the sights and enjoy the trip, we’ve got an option for you.
from 15 €
from 40 €/day
from 6.99 €
✅ The most popular option is going by train. The train journey between Lisbon and Coimbra is a scenic one. The high-speed Alfa Pendular trains are comfortable, fast, frequent, and reliable. This option really gets you the most bang for your buck!
✅ The most adventurous option is to go by car. Although the tolls and gas make it more expensive, driving to Coimbra allows you to make some pit stops along the way and enjoy a range of different villages and attractions along the way. If you’ve got the time and the budget, this is the way to go.
✅ The cheapest option is to go by bus. The bus services are frequent and cheap! You can get there for as little as 6.99€ and takes a little over 2 hours.
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How To Get From Lisbon to Coimbra
Traveling from Lisbon to Coimbra by train is easy and convenient, thanks to Portugal’s reliable and efficient train system. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, with trains departing from Lisbon’s Oriente metro station or Santa Apolonia station, and arriving at Coimbra-B station.
✅ Check out the map of Lisbon’s metro here to help plan your trip.
✅ Check out train ticket availability and price here.
There are two types of trains, the premier Alfa Pendular train and the slower InterCity train, both of which are air-conditioned and comfortable. However, the Alfa Pendular train is faster and provides a slightly more luxurious experience.
Once at the Coimbra-B station, which is about 2 km out of town, getting an Uber will get you to the center in under 5 minutes for about 4 Euros.
🔴 Travel Tip! To get the best deals, and times for your trip make sure to buy your tickets in advance since this is the most popular way to get to Coimbra, and tickets tend to sell out in high season, especially for cheaper seats!
You can also find promotional prices of up to 50% when tickets are bought more than 7 days ahead of time.
✅ Check out train ticket availability and price here.
For budget-conscious travelers, taking the bus from Lisbon’s Oriente station to Coimbra is the perfect option. Although there are several companies operating frequent services, Flixbus is the cheapest and is very reliable, which is why I recommend it.
Though the bus trip takes 45 minutes longer than the train, the affordable ticket prices (starting at just 6.99€) make this option worth the extra time. Once you arrive at the bus station in Coimbra, just a 10-minute walk away from the city center, you can explore all that this historic city has to offer.
Alternatively, Ubers are available and reasonably priced, allowing you to reach your final destination even faster.
Make sure to buy your bus ticket online for the cheapest price.
🔴 Travel Tip! Flixbus is safe, reliable and clean, and usually has working wifi and a bathroom for customers. I will say they aren’t always punctual though. If you need to arrive at a specific time, the train is a better option for you.
✅ Check out bus schedules with Flixbus here.
Driving from Lisbon to Coimbra is the ideal option for tourists who want to experience the scenic beauty of Portugal. Although the journey covers just 200 kilometers (125 miles), it is filled with incredible landscapes and picturesque towns.
The entire route is dotted with charming villages, sublime vineyards, and an array of unique attractions, all waiting to be discovered. While public transport may be cheap and efficient, driving allows visitors to enjoy the freedom of exploring the lesser-known gems of Portugal at their own pace.
It is worth noting however that tolls add up quickly along the motorway (about 16 Euros), and are best paid with an electronic transponder rented with your car rental. This will allow you to drive through the express lane and have your credit card automatically charged.
✅ Check out car rental prices with Discover Cars.
Want the experience of driving, but don’t want to rent a car? Hire a driver! This is often a great option if you’re traveling as a group of up to 4 people. Drivers are always very knowledgeable and are a great source of local information!
On the way you’ll want to see a few of these gems:
Ericeira: As the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, Ericeira offers incredible beaches and cliff-top views. You might decide to stop here for lunch and enjoy the fabulous seafood it’s so famous for, and stroll the quaint whitewashed fisherman’s village before driving on to your next stop.
Peniche: Peniche might be your stop of choice between Lisbon and Coimbra if you want to visit the amazing Berlenga natural reserve so close to its beautiful sandy beaches. The archipelago can easily be visited in an afternoon, and you can have lunch on a beautiful island in the middle of the wild Atlantic before continuing on to the next stop on your itinerary.
Nazare: This is another excellent choice for travelers into the wild Atlantic coast. It’s famous for its giant waves, making it one of the most popular surfing spots in Portugal and Europe. Taking a ride up to the top of the cliff in the funicular is a great way to admire the magnificent views and enjoy some seafood before hiking back down to the beach.
Batalha: This is another favorite stop which can easily be done in a few hours. The UNESCO Batalha Monastery is a must-see, and sampling the local dishes in the main square makes for a great lunch stop. After enjoying the beauty and history of Batalha, you can continue your journey to Coimbra, just one hour away by car.
Fatima: The iconic Sanctuary of Fatima is located right next to Batalha, just one hour away from Coimbra. Although not for everyone, it is one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage sites in Europe. Visitors can attend mass, light a candle and admire the beautiful basilica before hopping back in the car.
What to see in Coimbra
1. University of Coimbra: Don’t miss the fabulous library and the university’s chapel, both UNESCO Sites which will blow you away. You can also visit the science museum here if time permits. Buy tickets ahead of time, since visits are allotted a time, and during your tour of the university campus climb the 180 steps to see the incredible views of the city from the 16th-century tower. This is the main attraction in Coimbra and doesn’t disappoint.
✅ Check out the best University of Coimbra tour.
2. Machado de Castro Museum – This is a very atmospheric venue! The construction of Coimbra’s episcopal palace started in medieval times and its Roman tunnels and grandeur have wowed visitors ever since. This museum houses one of the largest collections of religious artifacts in all of Portugal and includes sculptures, metal pieces, ceramics, textiles, and much more.
3. The Gothic Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha – These ruins give us a fascinating peek at a time long ago when religious orders were such an important part of the local population. This particular monastery is interesting because it is so well preserved, and was once submerged underwater after the Mondego flooded nearly 300 years ago.
4. The University’s Botanical Garden– Don’t miss out on this lovely garden which was originally used as a center for research and botanical studies by the university’s research team. It’s a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
5. Portugal dos Pequenitos: If you’ve got kids in tow, this is the place for you in Coimbra! Near the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova, this park has kid-sized scale models of Coimbra and Portugal’s most famous monuments. Lots of fun for the kids to run around and enjoy pint-sized attractions!
6. Walk Coimbra’s old town Make sure you take the time to enjoy the labyrinth of old stone arches, cobblestone ways, and squares dating from medieval times found in Coimbra’s old town. Also don’t miss the Pedro e Inês Bridge, a footbridge that should definitely be included in a walking tour of Coimbra!
✅ Check out the best Walking tour of Coimbra.
Where to Stay in Coimbra
If you’d like to stay a few nights, check out these excellent choices.
Solar Antigo Luxury Coimbra : Choose this gorgeous property for staying in the lap of luxury even if only for 1 night! Choose the suite with the jacuzzi! Not to be missed!
AQ 188 Guest House : This is a great budget option with a nice light and clean design. The location is very convenient and the shared kitchen means you can make a meal or breakfast to keep costs down. Highly recommended!
Lisbon to Coimbra FAQ
Is it worth visiting Coimbra?
Absolutely! Coimbra is a must-see for anyone visiting Portugal. It’s full of history, culture and charm. From its unique student lifestyle, to its beautiful architecture and welcoming locals – there are so many activities to enjoy in Coimbra that you won’t be disappointed!
How much is the train from Lisbon to Coimbra?
The train journey from Lisbon to Coimbra costs from €21 for a single ticket on the Intercidade trains, and 25€ on the Alfa Pendular trains. The high-speed Alfa Pendular trains are comfortable, fast, frequent, and reliable – making this one of the best transport options available!
Is Coimbra closer to Porto or Lisbon?
Coimbra is closer to Porto than Lisbon. The train journey from Porto to Coimbra takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, while the train journey from Lisbon to Coimbra takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Is there a high-speed train from Lisbon to Coimbra?
Yes, there is a high-speed train from Lisbon to Coimbra. It’s known as the Alfa Pendular and it runs daily. The journey time is usually just over 1.5 hours and tickets are available online. You can also take a regional train which takes around 2 hours, but they don’t run as often and aren’t quite as comfortable.
What trains run between Lisbon and Coimbra?
The trains that run between Lisbon and Coimbra are the Alfa Pendular high-speed train, which takes around 1 hour and 35 minutes, and Intercidade regional trains, which take around 2 hours.
How often do trains run from Lisbon to Coimbra?
Trains from Lisbon to Coimbra run frequently, on a daily basis. Alfa Pendular high-speed trains run almost hourly, while Intercidade regional trains generally run every two hours.
Lisbon to Coimbra: The Wrap-Up
Coimbra is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore Portugal’s rich history and culture. With its stunning architecture, vibrant student life, and beautiful historical old town – there’s something for everyone in this charming city!
Whether you choose to take a high-speed train from Lisbon to Coimbra or drive up, make sure not to miss out on all that this city has to offer.