Academic Life

Coimbra and academic life are inseparable. When we think of Coimbra, we think of a unique academic tradition and experience. Coimbra owes the students its vigour and liveliness. In this city, students live an experience full of joy and tradition with festivals and academic traditions - Queima das Fitas (Annual Student Festival), Festa das Latas e Imposição de Insígnias (Freshmen and Freshwomen’s Welcoming Student Festival) - events that take a particular symbolism at the different stages of student life. Studying in Coimbra is living in a huge student community and sharing an incomparable academic environment.


Characterised by the noise of cans on the streets and a whole week of concerts that fill the Praça da Canção, Festa das Latas e Imposição de Insígnias is the first academic festival signalling the arrival of new students. Its high point is the cortejo, a parade where the freshmen and freshwomen, known as caloiros, parade in their costumes chosen by their sponsors, known as padrinhos(as), conveying satirical and critical messages about society in cardboard posters. The parade ends near the river Mondego, where the sponsors baptise their caloiros.


Queima das Fitas is, par excellence, the academic festival of the students, being considered by many the largest student celebration in Portugal. In May, the Monumental Serenade starts the week of party and concerts at the Praça da Canção, where during five nights several artists, bands and university choirs will perform live.

Queima das Fitas is also known for its parade with students in floats ornamented with the colours of each faculty.

The Polytechnic of Coimbra students are invited by the Academy to actively participate in these moments that are, from the start, the major and visible expression of the academy spirit.