My name is Filipe and welcome to my travel guide on Aveiro! I have a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering. Right now my profession is taking real estate photos and showcasing Portugal on my social media to people who are interested. Currently, I live in the central region of Portugal. What inspired me to create content was my love and passion for my home country that I adore so much. Sharing this passion with others gives me joy.
Why Aveiro is Such a Wonderful Destination
Throughout my travels, I have visited Aveiro about five or six times – and one time I actually spent some days staying at a nearby coastal village called Costa Nova, which is located 11km from Aveiro. When visiting I like to allocate my time between strolling around the city center, going inside cafes to eat the typical local sweets of Ovos Moles and Tripa, and seeing the traditional boats (Moliceiros). I also enjoy heading to the nearby beaches.
The main attractions of Aveiro are the Moliceiros boats, the canals and the Art Nouveau architecture. The boats found in Aveiro used to be utilized for harvesting a type of seaweed from the ocean called “Molico”. This was then deployed in the region to fertilize the land across the agricultural sector.
The original boats had sails, but since the arrival of motors they were converted to modern vessels and used for tourism rather than to harvest seaweed. The paintings you see on the boats were a way for locals to express important events in the region and for political satire. Nowadays, the art of painting the boats is important to the artisans who do this work.
Travelers should also know that the cuisine is another big reason to visit. Aveiro has some of the best sweets in Portugal and the seafood is nothing short of spectacular. Additionally, the city boasts a couple of beautiful parks that I recommend checking out. All in all, Aveiro is visually pleasing to the eye and a breath of fresh air thanks to the ocean that is situated close by.
My Favorite Place in Aveiro: Canal Central
My favorite part of Aveiro is where the Canal Central is located, at the city’s entrance. It’s where the most beautiful houses can be found and the oldest traditional shops. This part of town feels more cosmopolitan than other areas and it has a big impact on people who are visiting for the first time.
What are the Best Things To Do in Aveiro?
Nestled along the shores of Portugal’s western coast, Aveiro truly is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. With its charming canals, historic architecture and vibrant culture, this city known as the “Venice of Portugal” offers a wealth of experiences for travelers seeking an authentic Portuguese adventure. Below is my list of the top five things to do in Aveiro:
1. Book a Moliceiro Boat Tour & See the City Center
Beginning your Aveiro journey by joining a Moliceiro boat tour is a great idea. These colorful, gondola-like vessels glide gracefully along the canals – giving you a unique perspective of Aveiro’s waterside architecture and enchanting scenery. As you meander through – you will witness the bridges, traditional boats and azulejo-tiled buildings that define the city.
After this quintessential Moliceiro experience, exploring the bustling city center should be on the agenda. Here, you can discover quaint streets lined with shops, cafes and historic landmarks. Don’t forget to capture some Insta-worthy moments against the backdrop of Aveiro’s alluring streets.
2. Indulge in Local Cuisine and Delicacies
Sampling the local cuisine, influenced by the city’s maritime heritage, is a must. Be sure to try Ovos Moles – a dessert made of sweetened egg yolks – and seafood dishes including oysters, codfish and Caldeirada stew. Wash down your meal with Vinho Verde, a regional white wine. The local markets and waterfront restaurants offer a feast for the senses and a true taste of Aveiro. Some of the best restaurants are listed here:
3. Explore Vista Alegre – A Porcelain Treasure
Learning about the rich history and artistic beauty of Vista Alegre, a historical industrial community known for producing some of the world’s most exquisite porcelain, is something every traveler will enjoy. Visit the Vista Alegre Museum to witness the craftsmanship that goes into creating these masterpieces. The museum houses a collection of porcelain pieces dating back centuries, providing a glimpse into Aveiro’s artistic culture.
4. Venture to Bussaco – Nature’s Retreat
Escape the bustle of Aveiro for a day trip to Bussaco, a haven of nature located atop Bussaco Mountain. This protected exotic forest is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Explore the trails that wind through the forest, immersing yourself in the serenity of towering trees and diverse flora.
Bussaco is also home to a historic palace turned luxurious 5-star hotel called Bussaco Palace Hotel – allowing you to experience the opulence of a bygone era. Two picturesque lakes and natural springs add to the allure of this destination, making it the perfect choice for a tranquil getaway.
5. Visit Costa Nova’s Colorful Striped Houses
A short drive from Aveiro takes you to Costa Nova, a coastal village famous for its colorful striped houses. These vibrant, candy-striped cottages create a whimsical atmosphere along the shoreline – making Costa Nova a photographer’s dream. Stroll along the scenic boardwalks by the ocean, inhale the salty sea breeze and admire the scene. You can also relax on the sandy beaches, enjoy a seafood meal at a local restaurant or go shopping.
Tips for Visiting Aveiro for the First Time
For me, I think it’s worth staying for at least two or three nights in Aveiro – not just to explore the city but also the surrounding spots such as Costa Nova, Vagos, Agueda, Mira and Serra do Bussaco. All of these places are interesting in their own right and worth visiting on your Portugal trip.
Other than that, you should know about the microclimate. The weather might be more chilly than the rest of Portugal, regardless of the season. In terms of transport, the best option is to rent a car and explore the region. Buses run in the city, however the frequency isn’t ideal. If you would like help planning your trip, I offer one-on-one video consultations. You can also follow my Instagram (@FilipeinPortugal) for regular tips. Thanks!