The Five Senses in Portugal: Iris

Submitted February 28, 2020

Óla! I finally arrived in Coimbra, Portugal, where I will be studying for a semester at the University of Coimbra. I have been here for about 2 weeks now and I am loving this city so much!
All I can think of when I got to Coimbra was how pretty and the city was, especially since I arrived on a very sunny and hot day. With the temperature being a nice 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the atmosphere of the city felt so positive and it made me even more excited to explore the city. The first couple of days here, I had no itinerary and just got lost wandering around the city and it was honestly one of the best things for me to do.

Ponte de Santa Clara, Coimbra
Ponte de Santa Clara

One thing that I wasn’t expecting was walking up and down hills all day long. When I first arrived, I noticed that the city was very hilly and you much have to get through them to get to your house, classes, or even to a restaurant. Although it is tiring, walking around Coimbra is the fastest way to get around the city because many things are only 10- or 15-minutes walking distance.

Colorful Buildings in Coimbra
Colorful buildings seen everywhere walking around Coimbra.
Coimbra building and van
I thought this was a cool picture of a building and van matching.

Another thing that was surprising for me to see was the many wonderful colors of the buildings in Coimbra. No matter what street you are walking along, you will see buildings in beautiful shades of yellow, pink, blue and many more. Every time I look around the city, I see many colorful buildings and it still leaves me in awe even after looking at them every day since I’ve arrived.
I live super close to the campus of the university which is awesome! It takes me 5 minutes to walk to my classes which are all conveniently in the same building. Although my apartment is located in the middle of a hill, I still need to walk up a set of stairs and a hill to get to class. There are also a lot of bakeries, restaurants and cafes near my apartment which is great for whenever I want to get coffee or a quick meal.

Pastéis de Nata
Pastéis de Nata

My impressions of Coimbra have been positive so far. The people here have been welcoming and I have been able to practice my Portuguese a lot! Being able to walk everywhere including to the mall, botanical garden, and well-known sites has been enjoyable. Soon I will be starting classes so I will update my experience and impression with university life in the next blog