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I've lived in Coimbra for 19 years, and now study at the University. Here's what you need to know.

Published by flag-pt Antónia Cortesão — one year ago

0 Tags: flag-pt Erasmus experiences Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

I am 19 years old and I was born in Coimbra. For the past 3 years I have been a student at the University, but as local, I have a preveliged view of the city. Consider this a survivance guide. 

Coimbra is a very beautiful city with a very large cultural patrimony, which means you will have a lot to visit during your stay. Also, if you like the beach, Figueira da Foz is an excellent city and is accessible by train and only costs around 3€. 

I think you should absolutely choose Coimbra for your Erasmus destination, because not only is it a gourgeous city, it also has a really good University and an amazing student life, wether you are a party animal or more of a stay at home type of person. The city has a very rooted and serious academic tradition, so it will also be a cultural experience on another level for you, no matter where you're from. 

The student environment is really great and cosy. You also have a very large network of Erasmus students and in each Faculty you choose to go to you have a group of volunteers whose job is to ingrate you and make your experience more enjoyable. You have coffee shops everywhere and outodoor spaces where you can ejoy a beer with your friends. Beers ir also a staple of the city and it is very cheap, but don't worry if you don't like it, neither do I, and I managed just fine!

The food here is a variable. You have two types of food: fast and cheap food, and more tradtional and a little bit pricier. The cheap food consists of burgers, sandwiches, fries, wraps and that sort of thing, but I would 100% recommend you try the more local and traditional food. Also, the University has a really large network of caffeterias, where you can get a meal with soup, a main course (either meat, fish or vegetarian), bread and desert for as little as 2,40€!

As for housing, that is a little bit tricky. You can't get a decent room for less that 160/180€ and most of the times your expenses are not included (water, gas, electricity). Internet is usually provided by your landlord. My biggest recommendation is that you start looking for housing as soon as you can. You can also try to aquire a room via the University and its residences but although really economic, they are often not in the best condition in terms of conservation of builidings and you most likely will share your room with antoher person. Another great option are the Repúblicas, where the rent is very low and you do get to have your own room, but be aware to the fact that Repúblicas often host a lot of parties. 

The cost of living is not very high. You can find ways to spend a lot of money anywhere, but general rule, you can find places to eat for fairly little. Supermarket is a bit more expensive everyday, but going out is fairly cheap. My advice is that you buy drinks in the supermarket and drink before you actually go out, so that you don't spend that much money. 

In terms of night life, Coimbra is a really safe city, at least in my perspective. Most of the clubs and bars are located on the center attraction of student life in Coimbra: Praça da República. This is where you will find all the cafés, all the bars, the clubs and the restaurants!

I recommend you try the AAC Bar, the Rugby Lounge Club and the 24 Bar. 

For eating I really like the University's cafeterias, but also Republika, 100 Montaditos, Brunn's and Moçambique.

If you have difficulties learning the language don't worry: The Faculty of Letters provides courses for the students. Also, many people speak English and Spanish in Portugal.

I hope after reading this you decide to come to Coimbra and that you have and amazing stay!

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