Hi there and welcome! You know, Coimbra is probably the only big-ish town in Portugal where summer is actually low season. It’s the definition of a university town and without the students, it’s pretty dead. On the other hand, it’s pretty lively the rest of the year and you’ll be at the epicentre of Portuguese university traditions (both good and bad!).
Anyway, bureaucracy… You’ll hate it. SIM cards are the least of your concerns. You can get prepaid SIM cards for €5 or something, but you can also get a combined TV+Internet+phone monthly subscription (once you have a flat) and get a single bill for everything. Getting a NIF is also surprisingly easy. Here’s our own little guide on that: Applying For A Portuguese NIF Number .
Things start getting more complicated when it comes to your social security number (NISS). If you’ve already secured a job contract, talk to your employer because they should be able to help you through the process/take care of it for you, since they’ll need to inform them of your employment anyway. If you’re actually coming to work as a freelancer, this article has some information to get you started, not only regarding the NISS, but the whole process: How to Become a Freelancer in Portugal and Issue Recibos Verdes. If you’re going to create your own company, your mileage may vary.
I don’t know how the housing market is in Coimbra, for someone looking for a whole flat. For people just looking for a room, it should be fine and very dynamic, since every year there are lots of students coming and going, starting and terminating contracts. I do know that the prices haven’t escalated to the same extent as Lisbon and Porto, which is good for you. This article was written for people looking to buy a home, but even if you’re just renting, there’s also good stuff there (such as all the websites with property listings and our way of describing the size of a house/flat): Buying a Home in Portugal
To open a bank account, this guide from Expatica seems thorough (even for other topics, this is a good website for you to check out as well): Opening a bank account in Portugal . It might sound ridiculous, but my first-hand experience with this is very limited. My own bank account was initially a student account that I didn’t even open at the bank, but at the university (the bank folks came to us and made everything tremendously simple). Even after finishing my studies, there was no added bureaucracy.
Cars are heavily taxed in Portugal, which makes buying a new car here extremely expensive, at least for our low salaries. You surely get better value for money buying it abroad, if you’re willing to drive it all the way here. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply if you’re only buying it just before moving here. That’s because if you’ve owned the car for less than six months before driving it to Portugal, you’ll pay tax on it (ISV) as if it had been imported - and it could cost a few thousands of €. In your situation, it’s only worth bringing a car from abroad if you buy a used one (lower ISV). Even if you buy a car here, don’t go for a brand new one - go for a semi-new car, at the very least. 100% new cars are truly, truly overpriced.
Hope this helps, at least a bit Again, if you’re employed by a company, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. I’m sure they can help you a lot in all of this.