Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra

4.5
#1 of 125 in Things to do in Coimbra
Library · Traveler Resource
Create an itinerary including Biblioteca Joanina
Browse a collection of 250,000 volumes, some dating back to 1750, at Biblioteca Joanina, a rich European library. The older works are difficult to preserve because of their fragile papers, but the site uses both modern technology and ancient techniques to maintain them--including hosting a colony of live bats, which eat bibliophagic insects and woodworms. Walk through three rooms of the library, adorned with decorative arches, painted ceiling murals, and gilded shelves carved out of tropical wood. Take a guided tour and learn about the history of the institution. To visit Biblioteca Joanina on your holiday in Coimbra, and find out what else Coimbra has to offer, use our Coimbra.
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Biblioteca Joanina reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
5,031 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Our family of four adults really enjoyed this (and the rest of the University and Coimbra). Luckily two of the four of us had data on our phones, as most rooms had a display of QR codes (one for... 
    Our family of four adults really enjoyed this (and the rest of the University and Coimbra). Luckily two of the four of us had data on our phones, as most rooms had a display of QR codes (one for...  more »
  • Amazing historic library ! One of the most beautiful in the world! You are not allowed to take pictures however ! A real shame as you would like to capture the memory of its beauty ! 
    Amazing historic library ! One of the most beautiful in the world! You are not allowed to take pictures however ! A real shame as you would like to capture the memory of its beauty !  more »
Google
  • The library might be a glorious and wonderful place, but I'll never know because the website doesn't mention that between the car parks (which it gives details of) and the library is a climb equivalent to a medium sized hill. This is really, really important to know if you have any mobility issues. The website is entirely silent on how to get to the library if you can't walk up the steps and roads to get there. It should at least warn potential visitors about what is involved in getting there. I'm just glad I didn't buy tickets in advance.
  • Not a great visitor experience. Once you have found the ticket office (5 minutes walk off site), paid €12.50 for a ticket you then queue. You are let inside by a somewhat surly person to wait at a closed door. After 5-10 minutes the next door is opened and you wait in another room, this one lined with books and empty display cabinets. After another 10 minutes wait you are allowed into the main library for 10 minutes. No photos allowed, only a QR code brief guide, no-one to point out items of interest. It is such an important library and yet the University has done so little to make this a welcoming, engaging and enjoyable visit.

Plan your trip to Coimbra

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.