• Coimbra, Portugal
    Coimbra

Coimbra

The college town of Coimbra — just two to three hours north of Lisbon by train, bus, or car — is Portugal's Oxford, and the country's easiest-to-enjoy city. Its main drag — with glassy marbled stone underfoot, old-timey shops and bakeries winking their neon signs, and more locals than tourists — is a delight to simply wander. And the historic university, capping the hill above town, offers a busy slate of cultural attractions. When school is in session, Coimbra bustles with exuberant students. (During summer holidays, it's almost sleepy.) Any time of year, Coimbra's inviting Arab-flavored old town — a maze of people, narrow streets, and tiny restaurants — awaits exploration.