Aveiro is a picturesque city located in central Portugal, known for its beautiful canals, colourful boats, and historic architecture. It is often referred to as the “Venice of Portugal” due to its many canals and bridges, which are reminiscent of the famous Italian city.
One of the main attractions of Aveiro is its beautiful canals, which are lined with colourful buildings and traditional fishing boats called moliceiros. Visitors can take a boat tour of the canals to admire the stunning architecture and learn about the history and culture of the city.
Aveiro is also known for its historic landmarks, such as the Aveiro Cathedral, which dates back to the 15th century, and the Convento de Jesus, which houses a museum of sacred art. The city also features several charming squares, such as the Praça da República, which is lined with beautiful buildings and cafes.
Another attraction of Aveiro is its delicious cuisine, particularly its traditional sweets, such as the ovos moles, which are made with egg yolks and sugar and are shaped into delicate shells or other decorative shapes.
Aveiro is also a great base for exploring the nearby coastal town of Costa Nova, which is famous for its colorful striped houses, as well as the beautiful beaches of Barra and São Jacinto.
Overall, Aveiro is a charming and colourful city that offers a unique and authentic Portuguese experience, making it a great place to visit for families, couples, and solo travellers alike.
What to see in Aveiro
Aveiro is a charming city in central Portugal known for its canals, colourful boats, and Art Nouveau architecture. Here are some of the top things to see in Aveiro:
- Ria de Aveiro: The lagoon that surrounds Aveiro is known as Ria de Aveiro, and it’s a beautiful place to take a stroll or a boat tour. There are several companies that offer boat tours of the lagoon, which are a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
- Aveiro Cathedral: The cathedral is one of the city’s most important landmarks, with its beautiful façade and impressive bell tower. The interior is also worth a visit, with its ornate altarpieces and painted ceiling.
- Art Nouveau Museum: Aveiro is known for its Art Nouveau architecture, and the Art Nouveau Museum is a great place to learn more about this artistic movement. Housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building, the museum has a collection of furniture, ceramics, and other decorative arts from the early 20th century.
- Costa Nova: This colourful fishing village is located just outside of Aveiro and is known for its striped houses and beautiful beach. It’s a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the fresh sea air.
- Mercado do Peixe: This fish market is a great place to try some of the fresh seafood that Aveiro is famous for. It’s a bustling market with a wide variety of seafood on offer, from sardines to octopus.
- Aveiro Salt Pans: The salt pans are a network of canals and salt flats located just outside of the city. It’s a unique landscape and a great place to take a walk or a bike ride.
- Santa Joana Museum: This museum is housed in a former convent and has a collection of religious art and artefacts, including a stunning Gothic cloister.
- Forum Aveiro: If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Forum Aveiro is the city’s largest shopping centre. It has a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and a cinema.
Where to eat in Aveiro
Aveiro is known for its fresh seafood, but there are also many other traditional Portuguese dishes to try. Here are some popular restaurants in Aveiro:
- Marisqueira dos Santos – This seafood restaurant is well-known for its fresh seafood, including clams, prawns, and fish.
- Mercado do Peixe – Located in the fish market, this restaurant is perfect for seafood lovers looking for a casual dining experience.
- O Bairro – A trendy, modern restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with a twist.
- Restaurante O Batista – This restaurant serves a variety of Portuguese dishes, including codfish, octopus, and grilled meats.
- Cais do Sodré – A restaurant with a riverside terrace and a seafood-focused menu.
- Restaurante O Canastra – This cozy restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.
- Armazém da Alfândega – This restaurant is located in an old warehouse and serves modern Portuguese cuisine, including seafood and meat dishes.
- A Peixaria – A small seafood restaurant with an intimate atmosphere and a daily changing menu based on the freshest catch of the day.
These are just a few of the many options available in Aveiro.
Where to stay
Aveiro offers a range of accommodations for visitors, from luxury hotels to more budget-friendly options. Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Aveiro:
- Hotel Moliceiro: This boutique hotel is located in the historic centre of Aveiro and offers stylish rooms, a bar, and a restaurant. It’s a great option for those looking for a high-end experience.
- Hotel João Capela: This hotel is located in a quieter part of town and offers comfortable rooms at a more affordable price point. It’s a good option for travellers on a budget.
- Hotel Imperial: This historic hotel is located right on the main canal and offers simple but comfortable rooms. It’s a good option for those who want to be right in the heart of the action.
- Pousada de Aveiro: This former convent has been converted into a luxury hotel with elegant rooms and a beautiful garden. It’s a great option for those looking for a unique and high-end experience.
- Hostel do Alboi: This hostel is located in a historic building and offers both dorm rooms and private rooms at an affordable price point. It’s a good option for budget-minded travellers who don’t mind sharing space with other guests.
Tours from Aveiro
Aveiro is located in central Portugal and is known for its beautiful canals, colorful moliceiro boats, and picturesque old town. There are several tours and activities available in and around Aveiro that visitors can enjoy. Some of the popular tours from Aveiro include:
- Aveiro Ria and Costa Nova Tour: This half-day tour takes you on a trip to the beautiful Costa Nova beach where you can see the famous striped beach houses. You will also get to explore the beautiful Ria de Aveiro lagoon, and learn about the region’s fishing and salt harvesting traditions.
- Aveiro Traditional Boat Tour: This tour takes you on a 45-minute ride on a traditional moliceiro boat along the canals of Aveiro. You will learn about the history of the boats and the city while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Aveiro and Coimbra Full-Day Tour: This full-day tour takes you to two of Portugal’s most beautiful cities – Aveiro and
- Coimbra. You will get to explore the canals and historic centre of Aveiro, and then visit the UNESCO-listed University of Coimbra and its beautiful library.
- Aveiro and Bairrada Wine Region Tour: This full-day tour takes you to the nearby Bairrada wine region, where you can taste the region’s famous sparkling wine and enjoy a traditional lunch.
- Aveiro and Costa Nova Private Tour: This private tour takes you on a half-day trip to the beautiful Costa Nova beach and the Ria de Aveiro lagoon. You will travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and have a guide to provide you with interesting information about the region.
These are just a few examples of the many tours and activities available in and around Aveiro. Visitors can also go on walking tours, bike tours, and birdwatching tours, or explore the nearby natural parks and beaches.
- Aveiro is a charming city in Portugal with plenty of opportunities for shopping. Here are some of the best places to shop in Aveiro:
- Forum Aveiro: This shopping centre is located in the heart of the city and offers a wide range of stores selling everything from clothes to electronics to home goods.
- Mercado do Peixe: This fish market is a great place to pick up fresh seafood and other local products.
Mercado Manuel Firmino: This market offers a variety of local produce, meats, and other food products.
- Ria Shopping: This shopping centre is located on the outskirts of the city and offers a wide range of stores and restaurants.
- Street markets: There are also several street markets in Aveiro where you can find unique souvenirs and local crafts. One of the most popular is the Saturday market, which takes place in Praça do Peixe.
Aveiro has a Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers, and mild and wet winters. The average high temperature in the summer months of July and August is around 27-28°C (81-82°F), while the average low temperature in the winter months of December and January is around 5-6°C (41-43°F). It’s worth noting that Aveiro is known for its occasional strong winds, particularly in the winter months.
Holidays with kids
Aveiro, known as the “Portuguese Venice,” offers a number of family-friendly activities that both children and adults will enjoy. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a boat ride: One of the best ways to see Aveiro is from the water. You can take a ride on a traditional moliceiro boat or a more modern electric boat. The boat rides will take you through the city’s canals, providing beautiful views of the colorful houses and historic landmarks.
- Visit the beaches: Aveiro is located near some of Portugal’s best beaches, such as Barra and Costa Nova. These beaches offer a variety of water activities, such as swimming, surfing, and sailing. You can also take a stroll along the boardwalks or relax on the sandy shores.
- Explore the city center: Aveiro’s city center is a maze of colorful buildings and historic landmarks, such as the Aveiro Cathedral, the Convento de Jesus, and the Museum of Aveiro. Take a walk around the city and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the streets.
- Taste the local food: Aveiro is famous for its sweets, such as ovos moles and pão de ló. Take your kids to one of the local pastry shops and let them try the delicious treats.
- Visit the Salt Pans: The Aveiro Salt Pans are a unique natural attraction that offer a glimpse into the traditional salt harvesting methods. You can take a tour of the salt pans and learn about the history of salt production in the region.
How to get to Aveiro
Aveiro is located in central Portugal, about 70 km south of Porto and 250 km north of Lisbon. Here are some options for getting to Aveiro:
- By plane: The nearest airport to Aveiro is Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, which is served by many international and domestic airlines. From the airport, you can take a direct train or a bus to Aveiro.
- By train: Aveiro is well connected by train to Porto, Lisbon, and other major cities in Portugal. The train station in Aveiro is located in the city centre, making it a convenient option.
- By bus: There are regular bus services from Porto, Lisbon, and other major cities in Portugal to Aveiro. Rede Expressos and FlixBus are two major bus companies that operate in Portugal.
- By car: You can rent a car and drive to Aveiro. The A1 highway connects Lisbon and Porto, and Aveiro is located about halfway between the two cities.