We drove to Coimbra with a stop at the Conimbriga Roman ruins and Museum, just outside Coimbra. We were visiting the old center of Coimbra, with mostly walking streets. For convenience with parking for the car, we stayed at Hotel Oslo just outside the old center. When we arrived, we parked in a reserved area in front of the hotel. The hotel valet service parked the car. We didn’t see or need the auto until we left Coimbra.
Dinner was at Refeitro da Baixa. It was very difficult to find, even with the GPS map. The restaurant had a very small sign and shared a building with a ceramic factory, CAC. Once we found the place, the food and service were good and we enjoyed the meal. For a unique experience, our table was inside a chimney for a number of kilns.
▲Conímbriga Roman Ruins (Conimbriga Ruínas) (Rick Steves)
Portugal’s best Roman sight is impressive…unless you’ve been to Rome. What remains of the Roman city of Conímbriga is divided in two, in part because its inhabitants tore down buildings to erect a quick defensive wall against an expected barbarian attack. You’ll see what’s left of homes, shops, and baths from the second and third centuries A.D. (some remnants are even older), amazingly detailed mosaic floors, and peaceful gardens. Informative exhibits tell the city’s history with excavated artifacts at the on-site museum.