The beautiful little European city where it is still a toasty 19C in December

Coimbra may not be as well known as Lisbon and Porto, but Portugal’s fourth-largest city has a lot to offer.

The historic city used to be Portugal’s capital until Lisbon took over the title.

The mild temperatures mean visitors will not have to wrap up in too many layers to enjoy Christmas celebrations in the riverfront city.

This weekend, residents in the central Portuguese city will enjoy temperatures topping at least 19C.

Daytime temperatures in December average around 15C, while it drops to a more chilly 6C at night.

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Every year, the Coimbra Christmas Market, or Mercado de Natal de Coimbra, is a signature event of the city’s Christmas calendar.

Dozens of open-air Christmas market stalls offer visitors food and gifts.

Coimbra also boasts an incredibly preserved medieval old town, with the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha.

The historical buildings in the old town were classed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013.

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Built on the grounds of a former medieval palace, the historic University of Coimbra is the oldest in the country.

The university is famed for its baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, and its 18th-century bell tower.

The botanical garden at the university is the fifth oldest in the world.

Around 140,000 people live in Coimbra all year round but during summer months, the population swells to over 200,000.

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Just outside of Coimbra, adventurers and nature lovers also have plenty of mountain and river landscapes to contend with.

One of Europe’s tallest trees, Karri Knight, can be found in Vale de Canas, just outside the city, with a height of 73 meters.

Meanwhile, Portugal enjoyed a bumper summer tourist season this year, with a new record number of foreign tourists visiting the country in May.

International travelers arriving from the UK represented the largest share of tourists in May.

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