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Give 2 1/2 Days to Porto or 1 1/2 Days with Day Trip to Coimbra?

Give 2 1/2 Days to Porto or 1 1/2 Days with Day Trip to Coimbra?

Oct 4th, 2017, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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Give 2 1/2 Days to Porto or 1 1/2 Days with Day Trip to Coimbra?

So I'm locked in to 3 nights total in Porto. Struggling to decide how to allocate my time. In Porto, I definitely want to visit some Port houses, visit a couple of churches and experience the city. But Coimbra also sounds very charming and usually very highly recommended by both travelers and guidebooks alike. For those of you who have visited both, should I still to 2 1/2 days devoted solely to Porto or would 1 1/2 days really be sufficient and then use the other day for a day trip to Coimbra?

FWIW, I have also thought about stopping in Coimbra for several hours on my way down to Lisbon, but want to stop first and foremost at Fatima and while I'm an experienced traveler, stopping at both Coimbra and Fatima seems unrealistic.
MinnBeef is offline  
Oct 4th, 2017, 02:44 PM
  #2  
 
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A few days in Porto was enough for me - loved that city but only so much to see and do for an active tourist - I based there and did day trips to Guimares and Braga - both superb and stopped at Coimbra en route to Lisbon but yes Fatima is off the main rail line.

So hard to say but I think IMO 1.5 days enough for Porto.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 4th, 2017, 03:00 PM
  #3  
 
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MinnBeef - What hotel are you staying at in Porto? We'll have
the same amount of time as we work our way back from Brussels.
Hadn't even considered a day trip, but will have to look into one!
Thanks for planting that seed!
Debs is offline  
Oct 4th, 2017, 04:35 PM
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Well, I much prefer Lisbon to Porto, so I suppose that is possible. It might short change Coimbra, though, as you also need to see the Roman ruins at Conimbriga just outside.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 4th, 2017, 09:04 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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What locks you in? if you want to change your plans, read up on "sunk costs."
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Oct 5th, 2017, 05:19 AM
  #6  
 
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Hello,

When visit Coimbra make sure not to miss the Universidade de Coimbra, the Biblioteca Joanina, and the Convento Santa Clara.
Peter_Star is offline  
Oct 5th, 2017, 09:15 AM
  #7  
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@PalenQ: thank you for your input.

@Debs: I haven't identified my hotel yet.

@thursdaysd: Thanks for your feedback. The Roman ruins would be nice to see but I've seen Il Foro in Rome and Volubilis in Morocco, so I don't feel a pressing need to see more in the near future.

@kja: I'm locked in from the standpoint that I am physically booked for 21 full days on the ground based on flights. If I were to steal time for a day trip to Coimbra and not remove it from Porto, I'd have to take it from somewhere else in my agenda and I don't feel like I can do that based on what I want to see in those cities.

@Peter_Star: Thank you for your feedback.
MinnBeef is offline  
Oct 5th, 2017, 03:33 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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Ahh, then my reference to sunk costs was irrelevant. Good luck with your decision!
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Oct 18th, 2017, 11:25 AM
  #9  
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Update: I've located bus information via Redeexpresso. For my travel day between Porto and Lisbon, I can take an early morning bus out of Porto that arrives in Coimbra at 8:40. Allowing for 20 minutes or so to disembark and store my luggage, I figure I could be at the University by around 9:30. Spend roughly 3 hours to tour the University, the Se and walk about around town. From Coimbra bus station, catch a 13:30 bus to Fatima, arriving at just before 15:00. This allows me to spend about 3 hours there as well, catching a 18:30 bus that arrives in Lisbon at around 20:00. A long day, yes but it seems like a great opportunity to see Coimbra and Fatima (first priority) without shortchanging either Porto (2 1/2 days on ground there) and Lisbon (3 days there).

Thoughts?
MinnBeef is offline  
Oct 18th, 2017, 12:25 PM
  #10  
 
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Sounds great! Trains to Fatima are a pain - are you sure there is baggage storage at bus station?
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 19th, 2017, 07:53 AM
  #11  
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@PalenQ: Rick Steves' latest book on Portugal says that there are so I'm certainly planning on him being right!
MinnBeef is offline  
Oct 19th, 2017, 12:12 PM
  #12  
 
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Terrorism has at times changed luggage storage like in Spain very few in train stations- I'd ask the bus company in advance. But usually in Portugal I think most are open as usual.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 19th, 2017, 12:41 PM
  #13  
 
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I encountered closed luggage storage locations when I visited Lisbon shortly before the Euro Cup...
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 19th, 2017, 12:46 PM
  #14  
 
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https://community.ricksteves.com/tra...tion-in-fatima

Steves' info as of May 2017 so looks good.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2017, 04:27 AM
  #15  
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Thanks all. I will definitely check with the bus company before making final plans.
MinnBeef is offline  
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