The best way to travel from Lisbon to Coimbra, Portugal

Travel from Lisbon to Coimbra, Portugal – Complete Transport Guide

Wondering how to get from Lisbon to Coimbra in Central Portugal? Then look no further. In this guide I’ll outline the best way to travel to Coimbra from Lisbon.

If you’re planning a visit to Portugal and looking to break your trip between north and south, then paying a visit to the gorgeous city of Coimbra, in my mind one of the most romantic cities in Europe, located in central Portugal, is the perfect option.

The city, known for it’s beautiful historic centre and its world-renowned University, one of the oldest in the world, is a sheer delight to visit. With an abundance of things to do and explore, Coimbra is the perfect choice for a stop over when combined as part of a road trip through Portugal.

Having visited Coimbra myself, I will outline exactly how you can get from Lisbon to Coimbra by either train, by bus or as a self-drive option by car.

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Getting from Lisbon to Coimbra
Coimbra University by Travel-Boo

Coimbra is located in central Portugal in the Centro region. This city, being the 4th largest in Portugal, is situated almost half-way between Lisbon and Porto.

The distance from Lisbon to Coimbra is roughly 200 kilometres and from Coimbra to Porto around 120 kilometres.

Lisbon to Coimbra by Train

Coimbra Historic Centre by Travel-Boo
Coimbra Historic Centre by Travel-Boo

Journey Duration: Average journey time is around 2 hours

The most popular choice, when it comes to travel by public transport, is undoubtedly to travel from Lisbon to Coimbra by train.

National rail operator Comboios de Portugal runs a regular and daily service from Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia or Lisbon’s Oriente train stations through to the Coimbra-B train station.

The average journey time is roughly 2 hours. The quickest Alfa Pendular trains take around 1 hour 43 minutes compared to the Intercidades trains taking around 2 hours and lastly the much slower Regional trains taking over 3 hours.

You are able to view all the different train options, times and fares online, through the Comboios de Portugal website. They do have an English version and you are usually able to book your train journey around 2 – 3 months in advance.

Tip: Booking in advance will certainly help you bag some great promo fares which are often up to 40% off the regular ticket prices. To learn more about this and other travel savings tips, be sure to read my post on the best money savings tips for travel in Portugal.

Lisbon Coimbra Train

On the Lisbon to Coimbra train service, departures start from around 06:30 am in the morning and run throughout the entire day, until the last train from Lisbon to Coimbra departs Lisbon at around 22:00 pm at night.

Depending on the type of train booked, you can expect to pay from €20 and upward in price for a one-way ticket. But as mentioned, when booking in advance, you are able to snag some really cheap rail fares at around 40% cheaper than the regular fare.

Do make sure to consult the Comboios de Portugal website when you’re planning for your trip, as the information contained in this article may have changed since publishing.

Coimbra to Lisbon Train

Upon the return, the Coimbra to Lisbon train route also offers the same type of frequency with just over 20 daily departures connecting these two cities.

Pricing generally works on a one-way principle, so similarly, a ticket will cost around €20 or more based on the option booked.

Trains from Coimbra to Lisbon run from just past 05:00 am in the morning until just before 22:00 pm at night.

Do take note that departure times may vary over weekends, so it’s best to consult the website for up to date schedules and fares.

Coimbra Train Stations

When booking your tickets online, make sure that you search for Coimbra-B train station.

There are in fact two stations in Coimbra, one being simply Coimbra and the other Coimbra-B. The Coimbra-B is the station used by most of the high-speed trains that connect between Lisbon and Porto.

Coimbra-B is situated slightly further out of the historical centre compared to the regular Coimbra station. But not by much, only roughly 2 – 3 kilometres, so you can easily travel into the centre by taxi or by making use of the local bus from the Coimbra-B station.

Bus, Lisbon - Coimbra

University of Coimbra by Travel-Boo
University of Coimbra by Travel-Boo

Journey Duration: Average journey time is around 2 hours 30 minutes

The alternative to travel by rail, would be to travel on the Lisbon to Coimbra bus service which is operated by the reputable and well-known coach company RedeExpressos.

RedeExpressos has buses departing from both Lisbon’s Oriente and Lisbon’s Sete Rios bus terminals. Sete Rios is their main hub and located closer to central Lisbon whereas Oriente is located closer to the airport. Both of these are easily accessible by using Lisbon’s metro system.

Similar to the train services, you can also book your tickets online, this time through the RedeExpressos website which also offers an English option.

Lisbon to Coimbra by Bus

When taking the Lisbon Coimbra bus from the Oriente station, there are daily departures ranging between the hours of 08:00 am until 19:00 pm which currently costs €13.80 for a one-way adult ticket.

The Bus from Lisbon to Coimbra, departing from the Sete Rios station costs the same for a one-way journey. Departure times from here start from around 07:00 am, with coaches running throughout the day until the last departure at 00:15 am the following morning.

Bus, Coimbra – Lisbon

On the return, the Coimbra to Lisbon bus route travelling to Lisbon Oriente, starts running a bit later at around 10:30 am up until 20:15 pm at night.

To Sete Rios station, the buses depart Coimbra starting at 06:15 am and continue throughout the day until the last bus at 02:15 am the following morning.

As always, go ahead and compare the times and prices when you’re planning out your actual travel dates as this information may have changed since the publication of this post.

Driving from Lisbon to Coimbra by Car

Lisbon to Coimbra by car by Google Maps
Lisbon to Coimbra by car by Google Maps

Journey Duration: Approximately 2 hours when travelling on the quickest motorway route

As much as the public transport options are both a quick and cost-effective way to travel, I do realise that many travellers prefer to have their own freedom and flexibility when traveling.

For this you may consider travelling from Lisbon to Coimbra by car. As mentioned above, the distance from Lisbon to Coimbra is roughly 200 kilometres and should take around 2 hours on the fastest route.

A word of caution: Be mindful that Portugal’s main motorways are tolled and you will need to take this into consideration, especially if you’re travelling on a tight budget.

Tip: Many of the car rental agencies offer a service whereby you are able to link your credit card to an electronic tolls tag. This allows for automatic payment of the tolls as you make use of these highways. Even though this option does come at an additional cost, I would highly recommend you add it on.

Looking to book your car rental, check rates & availability on RentalCars.com.

Where to stay in Coimbra

View from Hotel Oslo by Travel-Boo
View from Hotel Oslo by Travel-Boo

Do you still need to book your accommodation for your stay in Coimbra?

When we stayed in Coimbra, we booked into the Hotel Oslo which is conveniently located within walking distance to the historic centre and many of the major sights. I particularly loved their small rooftop which had gorgeous views out over Coimbra and its University on the hilltop, especially at night with all the lights lighting up the city, it was really pretty!

Other good accommodation options include the 4* Tivoli Coimbra as well as the stunning 5* Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas, which is to die for!

Looking for more accommodation options in Coimbra? Browse Coimbra accommodation options here.

Tours & Activities in Coimbra

Why not jazz up your trip to Coimbra by booking a couple of unique tours & experiences?

Whether you’d be interested in a private walking tour of the city, a tour of the University and its stunning library or even a Coimbra Wine Experience, there’s an option to suit any preference.

Browse all the available tours & activities in Coimbra here.

 

Conclusion:

No matter your personal preference, getting to Coimbra from Lisbon should honestly be a breeze. Whether by train, bus, car or even as a Lisbon to Coimbra day trip, there is an option for everyone.

If you’ve already travelled on this route, then I’d love to hear about your experience and any additional tips or suggestions you may want to share, that I may have missed out on.

Feel free to share these or any questions you still have in the comments section down below.

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Marco Santos | Travel-Boo

Welcome! I'm Marco Santos a.k.a Travel-Boo. A South African & Portuguese travel blogger connecting with my Portuguese roots. Since I've moved to Portugal from South Africa permanently a few years ago, I've decide to share my story of discovery of all things Portugal travel related. So follow along and see what makes this beautiful country so very special!

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The best way to travel from Lisbon to Coimbra, Portugal
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The best way to travel from Lisbon to Coimbra, Portugal
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A complete travel guide on how to travel from Lisbon to Coimbra by either train, bus or car.
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Travel-Boo
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