Coimbra is symbolically my second home because this is the first place I lived after leaving Romania back in 2014. It was the place that literally showed me the world and the place where I started to create the ME who I am today. It was a pleasure to walk those streets again after 7 years and to notice that nothing much changed. The Portuguese vibes are still stronger than ever and it is an absolute pleasure to just get lost on the narrow streets and enjoy a good old ‘Pastel de Nata’ (which I kind of abused btw).
The Mondego river that goes through the heart of Coimbra is still as beautiful and gorgeous as it was back in the days and it was one of the first sights we enjoyed when we arrived home. Since it was October, the streets were flooded with students in their black capes heading to University, something that I missed seeing ever since I was a student there myself.
The Portuguese cuisine that you can find in Coimbra is quite amazing. I will never forget the amazing dinner we had at Restaurante Jardim da Manga, a great place to experience some unique Portuguese dishes. We also enjoyed a good old ‘Francesinha’ at the Compostu Tavern, one of the best places in town when it come to getting the perfect Francesinha. Besides that, I don’t think I missed a single day in Portugal without eating at least one Pastel de Nata, a MUST try when you come there. Think of it as the traditional Swedish Fika.
Since we were finally back, we took the chance to revisit again the old Universidade de Coimbra. A historical and important landmark for Portugal and probably the most important thing you have to see whenever you will come here.
Although it just hosts a part of all buildings that belong to the current Coimbra University, the Upper University is a great starting point for those who wish to visit this institution. Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this heterogeneous architectural assemble in which the impressive Estado Novo buildings and the Paço das Escolas or University Patio stand out. Paço das Escolas reunites some of the most charismatic buildings in the city including the Joanine Library, the Saint Michael’s Chapel, the University Tower, Via Latina, the old Saint Peter College, and the Porta Férrea.
It was an absolute pleasure to reconnect with Coimbra, even if it was for a few days. I will always cherish and adore this place as it is so important for me. I can’t wait for another visit, hopefully soon! 🙂 Until next time, Saudade Coimbra! ❤️