Rent a car in Coimbra with Europcar
Around 130 kilometres from Porto, Coimbra is the third largest city in Portugal. A stack of multicoloured houses sitting above the Mondego River, Coimbra is home to nearby Roman ruins, beautiful Renaissance architecture and the oldest university in the country. Biblioteca Joanina, the university library, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Coimbra is seen as the most important town in Central Portugal, with a host of significant places around it. Choose car hire in Coimbra to discover everything the region has to offer in comfort and ease.
The Europcar car rental experience in Coimbra
Our fleet of car hire in Coimbra is varied, from economy car hire options including Renault Clio and Opel Astra - great choices for travelling around the city or beyond. Larger groups and families can look to the Audi A3 and Renault Megane for roomier and reliable transportation.
Europcar Coimbra also offers a large selection of van hire, with small and larger van rentals available on a short or long term basis. Europcar is as flexible as you need your car hire in Coimbra to be.
Driving in Coimbra
To rent a car in Coimbra, you will need a valid driver’s licence from your home country. Plus, foreigners are often asked for a photo ID or passport when stopped - sure you keep them with you at all times.
In Portugal, the national speed limits vary from 50 km/h in urban areas, to 90 km/h on rural roads and 120 km/h on motorways. Speed limits around residential buildings and schools are likely to lower to 40 km/h.
Parking in Coimbra is very limited due to its infrastructure. There is parking near Coimbra Baixa, on the west bank of the river, across the Ponte de Santa Clara. Free on-street parking is available around Praça da República, near the university. Your best bet is to look for hotels with on-site parking or to park outside of the city centre and explore on foot.
There are several tolls to pay on roads in Portugal, which can be paid by cash, credit/debit cards or electronically. There are several types of electronic tolls: Easy Toll, Toll Card, Toll Service and Via Verde Visitors. Via Verde and Easy Toll. Easy Toll is a pre-charged system connected to your credit card, Toll Card and Toll Service are pre-paid vouchers, and Via Verde are electronic wireless devices.
Discover Coimbra and surroundings by car
Once you have visited the main attractions in Coimbra, including the University of Coimbra Alta and Sofia and its Joanina library, there is plenty awaiting you in the area.
Around 40 minutes from Coimbra, Buçaco National Forest (30 kilometres) is a walled arboretum measuring 105 hectares, with over 250 species of different trees and shrubs. The site has been used for lots of botanical research over the years, thanks to its rare and varied plant forms. The dense forest is the perfect place to spend a day getting back to nature. Several walks and cycling routes are across the area, as well as the option to enjoy canoeing or horseback riding.
Tomar (78 kilometres), 50 minutes south of Coimbra, is a town with a mythical history. The headquarters of the Knights Templar for over 700 years, they built the Convent of Christ that as a defensive castle during the 12th century. Legend has it that the Knights would meet here during the fight to free Portugal from Islamic domination.
Driving onwards from Coimbra, visit Porto (122 kilometres) and the capital, Lisbon (205 kilometres) by car.
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Around 18 kilometers south of Coimbra, is Conímbriga - a site of impressive Roman ruins. Dating back to 2 BC, the Conímbriga ruins form the largest excavated Roman site in Portugal. This former town shows remains of an aqueduct, temple, residential area, several places and a traditional Roman forum. Notable buildings include the preserved villa, Casa das Fontes, and the gardens of Casa de Cantaber. The site museum - Museu Monográfico de Conímbriga - explaining the ruins and the artefacts found within, will go down a treat for history lovers.
Translating as the ‘Portugal for the little ones’, this theme park is a scaled down version of the best monuments in the country. Opened in 1940, there are traditional villages, iconic attractions, national monuments, including Coimbra university. There are also depictions of former colonies, and Portuguese-speaking African countries, plus Brazil, Macau, and India. This is a fun way to digest the history and culture in a bite-sized chunk - great if you lack the time to see them in the flesh. Portugal dos Pequenitos is a ten minute drive from the city centre and there is a car park near the site.
Once the medieval capital for over a hundred years, modern Coimbra is a mix of historic Portuguese monuments and a lively nightlife of bars and live music venues like Fado ao Centro thanks to its student population. National Museum Machado de Castro, Paço das Escolas (‘the School’s Palace’) where university ceremonies are held, and the Museu da Ciência, a science museum housed in a former monastery are amongst the top choices.
For reservations and quotes please call our team on 0871 384 9900*
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