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Top recommendations from locals

Museum
“This great museum is a highlight of central Portugal. Housed in a 12th-century bishop's palace, it stands over the city's ancient Roman forum, remains of which can be seen in the maze of spooky tunnels under the building – the cryptoporticus. Once you emerge from this, you can start on the fascinating art collection, which runs the gamut from Gothic religious sculpture to 16th-century Flemish painting and ornately crafted furniture. Particularly spectacular is the vast recreation of a chapel from the Convento de São Domingos, but highlights abound. These include a section of the delicate cloister of São João de Almedina and some exquisite alabaster pieces from England. Sculptural works trace the development of Portuguese sculpture from the 11th century, showing how the arrival of Renaissance masters from across Europe paved the way for a distinctive Coimbra tradition. You can admire terracotta figures from a 16th-century Last Supper by the mysterious French artist Hodart and some stunning panels by the Flemish painter Quentin Metsys. A collection of gold monstrances, furniture and Moorish-influenced pieces is almost too much by the time you reach it.”
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Library
“The university's baroque library is Coimbra's headline sight. Named after King João V, who sponsored its construction between 1717 and 1728, it features a remarkable central hall decorated with elaborate ceiling frescoes and huge rosewood, ebony and jacaranda tables. Towering gilt chinoiserie shelves hold some 40,000 books, mainly on law, philosophy and theology. Curiously, the library also houses a colony of bats to protect the books – they eat potentially harmful insects. Note admission to the library is strictly regulated, with entry in groups at set times. At your allotted time – given when you buy your ticket – you enter through a side door and wait to be admitted to the main hall. While waiting you can peek down into the cells of the Prisão Acadêmica.”
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Library
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Museum
“Pequeno museu dedicado à Água, no Parque da Cidade | Small museum dedicated to the Water in the City Park. 1 Km.”
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College Library
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Museum
“Fine example of turn-of-the century architecture. Once a department store (you can still see the original shelving & display units), the building now holds temporary exhibitions & a sweet permanent collection of paintings & porcelain.”
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Museum
“Located in the medieval tower above the Arco de Almedina, this historical museum is a interpretative center of the old-town layout, the town within the walls. It has a multilingual audiovisual presentation takes you step by step around the 2km of walls. There's an exhibition and city views upstairs.”
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Museum
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Art Gallery
Museum
“O Centro Ciência Viva de Coimbra é o local por excelência onde se encontram um conjunto de programas, atividades e ações direcionadas a diversos públicos.”
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Museum
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