Portuguese frat house in Coimbra

A Portuguese Frat House

When we hear the words frat house, many of us automatically picture something that looks like this…

American frat house

American frat house


… with people in there who behave along these lines:

Frat house kind of fun!

Frat house kind of fun!


Well, in Portugal, things roll a bit differently.

Coimbra is the most college student oriented city in our country. The University there is one of the oldest and continuously working universities in the world, dating back to the 13th century. As you can imagine, student traditions are deeply rooted in the life of Coimbra and that’s why it is so common to come across frat houses.

In Portugal, frat houses’ names have little to do with the Greek alphabet. Instead, students here choose much more… hmm… manly names. On today’s photo we feature Real República Bota-Abaixo, loosely translating into “down-it fraternity house”. Yes, we’re talking about booze. The neighboring Paços da República Baco also seems to have dedicate their home’s name to Baco, the Roman god of wine:

Paços da República Baco, Coimbra

Paços da República Baco, Coimbra


Some of Coimbra’s frat houses are nestled in the most traditional cobble-stoned alleys of the city or inside buildings that breathe out history, catching the eye of tourists like us passing by.
They might make use of their windows to post student related or politically charged messages, but whatever happens behind closed doors, well… that’s a whole other story!

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  • Franca Says

    Nice! It looks like a very interesting area and place that we would choose to walk to if we were in Coimbra. We love student areas, they have always that slightly crazy look :)

    • Zara Says

      The whole of Coimbra is a “student area”, actually!
      You would have fun over there! ;)

  • Stacey Says

    Hey that’s really cool!

    I’m glad, even though they are still drinking houses, they are more a part of the community around them.

    • Zara Says

      Yeah, but they’re not just drinking houses. According to what I saw in their blogs and FB pages, they have a lot of cultural activities going on too, like concerts, film fests and the likes. I bet it’s all good young vibes inside! :)

  • P Portugal Says

    Wow, Superb looking .. Location is also interesting. These are look awesome :)

  • Dennis Says

    What a beautiful city. While I would love to visit, I can’t help but think that all those frat houses make for a poor working environment. However, this city looks like the place to party. I always thought frat houses were an American thing too, so really cool article, Zara.

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