What to visit in Aveiro?
Updated: Jun 21
Aveiro is called the Venice of Portugal because the city is cut by numerous canals, on which the "Moliceiros", typical gondolas of the region, circulate. Its Ria de Aveiro is described by the writer Saramago as "a living body that connects the land to the sea like a huge heart."
Unlike Lisbon, walking around the city on foot does not require much effort, since the city is flat, and those who like to pedal can opt for the "bugas" - the bicycles provided by Aveiro's city council and whose use is free! Discover all you need to know about Aveiro and its unique atmosphere with us.
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What not to miss?
Museum of Aveiro
Located in the former Convent of Jesus of the Female Dominican Order, the museum of Aveiro was founded in 1458. Princess Saint Joana used to live there. It reflects the experience of the community of nuns for almost four centuries, with different architectural styles. You will be amazed by Saint Joana's tomb (she was canonized in the 17th century), and a large collection of religious art, particularly religious paintings. The cloisters and courtyards are also beautifully maintained.
Capela da Vista Alegre
One thing you can’t miss when you pass by a Portuguese city is visiting a church. Vista Alegre's chapel is an imposing building built in the 17th century. This national monument is an artistic jewel! It contains one of the most luxurious funerary works of the region: the mausoleum of Manuel de Moura Manuel, bishop of Miranda and rector of the University of Coimbra, who had his so-called leisure estate in this place. It’s open every day and you only pay 1,5€ to enter.
Ria de Aveiro
In Aveiro, everything lives around the 47 kilometers of water that runs parallel to the sea. The Ria is a silver mirror that reflects the color of the moliceiros and Art Nouveau houses, which makes the unique charm of Aveiro. In the city center, you will find several companies that will allow you to see Aveiro uniquely for 45 minutes. This is a must-see! It’s approximately 10€ per person, depending on the company.
Praia da Barra
Located near the pier, which marks the entrance to the Port of Aveiro and where the Ria flows, Praia da Barra offers perfect conditions for the practice of many sports such as surfing, bodyboarding, and kitesurfing, sailing, and fishing. It is a very lively area during the summer, until the end of the night, in the numerous bars and parties.
Lagoon of Aveiro
This 45-kilometer-long lagoon is one of the last remaining pristine coastal marshes in Europe. It is also a refuge for many species of birds. Tourism and aquaculture are the mainstays of the Aveiro lagoon region. It is also famous for its artisanal fishing and as a center for the collection of Flor de sal, a very expensive variety of salt.
What else to visit?
Museum de Arte Nova
Do you want to travel back in time for an afternoon? You have to visit the Museum of Arte Nova. Between the art stored there, it’s possible to stop in a beautiful tea room where you can take a well-deserved break while tasting the best of Portuguese history.
Igreja de Misericordia
The inside of this church is of a rigid grandeur with a long high nave and 16th-century patterned azulejos.
Salinas de Aveiro
In the Aveiro region, salt production has always played a major role in the economy. Currently, only 7 salt production marines are in activity and only a few continue to bring us the Aveiro salt and ensure that this art continues to endure in our days and not only in memories. Visiting Salinas de Aveiro will take you about 45min. Accompanied by a guide or a sailor, you can learn about its history, the still artisanal stages of production, and even, in the summer season, watch the harvesting of salt, seeing up close the hard work of the salt workers themselves.
How to travel there?
Aveiro is located 57km south of Porto. You first need to book a flight to the Porto Francisco Sá-Carneiro airport.
After that, the best way to get to Aveiro is by train. From Porto, the journey takes 1h10 and is not expensive. The train ticket costs about 4€.
You will arrive at the Sao Bento metro station. It is located near the tourist areas so you only have to take a ticket to get to your place.
You can take the bus, but it is not the most recommended transportation. The travel time is much longer, more expensive and there are fewer departures. It is 9€ with Rede expressos.
If you come by car, we recommend parking in the Forum Aveiro shopping center or the Manuel Firmino Market. You can also park on the street, but you will have to buy a ticket every two hours.
When to travel there?
The ideal time to go to Aveiro is between June and September. The climate is also pleasant from March to November. For swimming, the best period for a suitable water temperature is from June to October.
For a week on a budget, you should prepare around 550€ per person. Concerning the accommodation, a two or three starts hotel will be 60€ by night.
As for the food, count 20€ for a day if you go to low-budget restaurants. The transport is 14€ and the cultural visits are around 7€.
Where to eat?
Like every Portuguese city next to the ocean, Aveiro is full of traditional restaurants where you can eat fresh fish and seafood. This close connection to the water strongly influences the style of cooking in the region.
We suggest taking a look at Canastra do Fidalgo’s menu with their delicious grilled fish and seafood appetizers. You will taste a delicious meal while enjoying a beautiful view of the river Ria de Aveiro. The cherry on top is the amazing waiters.
Every bakery and pastry shop around Aveiro sells the famous Ovos Moles. However, the locals say some are better than others, and the best ones are at Confeitaria Peixinho and Maria da Apresentação e Herdeiros.
At Cervejaria o Augusto, you must try the Bifana (Portuguese snack with pork in a loaf of bread). Be careful, the portion are always generous!
You’re curious about Portuguese food specialties? Check out our blog about Portuguese gastronomy and follow @thewalkingparrot to always be updated.
Feira de Março (25th of march-25th of april)
This is a month-long celebration that marks the end of winter and spring’s arrival in the city. You will experience a wide variety of attractions, activities, and musical events. Everything is happening in the city’s Exhibition Park, easily reachable by bus. Food lovers will be in heaven with the many food stalls selling sweet and savory treats.
FESTIM (30th of June-9th of July)
This is a classical music festival that plays a major role in promoting Portugal as a cultural center to its European counterparts. It grows every year and it has earned itself a huge fan base from all over the country.
Codfish Festival (August)
The codfish festival is deeply historical. It is dedicated to the mainstay of Portugal’s distinctive cuisine: salt cod. You will see plenty of exhibits and concerts to enjoy.
This festival celebrates the “1000 ways to cook cod fish” that exist in the country’s gastronomic archives. It’s also a paradise for food lovers since there are numerous opportunities to taste diverse cod dishes.
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