In Portugal, a trip back in time

At the top of Celas, a sloping residential area of ​​Coimbra, in the center of Portugal, where bourgeois houses and student shared accommodation mix, The Luggage stands out with its white facade, huge windows, tiled roof, covered roof. porch marked by stone columns and elegant moldings.

This thirteen-room boutique hotel was created ten years ago in a Victorian-style house built in 1927, commissioned by a wealthy family in the city, importers of Brazilian coffee and lovers of English culture. The owners have preserved the decor of the place and its warm atmosphere, while the touches of the fifties filled the pieces of antique furniture scattered around, especially in the dining room, a kind of time capsule with a checkerboard floor and Scandinavian chairs.

An establishment closer to a holiday home than a hotel, with many nooks and crannies where you can relax in checkered woolen armchairs. The spacious light-filled suite 201 offers the most beautiful view of the old city, illuminated after dark.

Despite contemporary details such as quality bedding, Suite 201 has retained its historic character with ceiling moldings, painted wooden internal shutters, pine parquet floors on which a sideboard and armchair are placed. On the other side of the double doors, an equally spacious bathroom with tiled floors and a marble sink recreates the charm of the olden days. The Luggage is a relaxed, very accessible address, ideal for exploring the city on foot.

Rua Antero de Quental, nº 125-129, Coimbra. From €49.50 per night.

At 260 meters: taste typical dishes

Cottage cheese and pumpkin pudding with granola from Troika Beer & Food.

It’s probably not the most elegant restaurant in Coimbra, but it’s one of the tastiest. First the soup, a Portuguese specialty masterfully interpreted by Troika Beer & Food, then pulled cod, eggs “broken” (another Lusitano dish) or desserts… the whole menu, made up of local dishes, matches. Let yourself be guided by the advice of the French-speaking chef, whose warm service will make you forget about the rather cold atmosphere of the place.

Rua Tenente Valadim No. 7.

At 750 meters: lose yourself in an exotic garden

The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covers 13 hectares in the heart of the city. A maze of paths along which exotic trees grow, like a huge one Ficus macrophylla, there are tiered gardens and tropical greenhouses with a stream and a waterfall. Wildly romantic, this green lung deserves to get lost there or sit on one of its stone benches and observe hundreds of shades of green…

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