What To Do In Aveiro, The Venice Of Portugal

Aveiro, also known as the “Venice of Portugal”, is one of the top places you should add to your travel bucket list. In this post, we’ll share everything on what to do in Aveiro to have a wonderful time, with plenty of opportunities to explore the place as well as its incredible nightlife.

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What To To Do In Aveiro: Things To Know Before You Visit

What to do in Aveiro is take a ride in a moliceiro.
What to do in Aveiro is ride a moliceiro

Before we begin our journey on what to do in Aveiro, here’s a list of things to know before visiting Aveiro:

  1. Moliceiro Magic: TAveiro doesn’t have traditional boats, but rather “moliceiro” ones that were used for harvesting seaweed, and now they’re used to tour the city’s canal. Some of them have cheeky paintings, which will add a lot of fun to your mini-tour.
  2. The Salty Side of Life: Aveiro’s salt pans play a vital role in the city’s economy and history, therefore don’t forget to explore them as much as you can. PS, Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun!
  3. Artisanal Aveiro: Aveiro is the perfect place to buy some traditional Azulejos (iconic painted ceramic tiles), so always keep an eye out when browsing through artisanal markets.
  4. Tummy Love: During your trip, I highly recommend you try out the famous “ovos moles”. These egg yolk and sugar treats might just become your new favorite thing. But remember, moderation is key. Or is it?
  5. Talk the Talk: A little Portuguese can go a long way. Simple phrases like “Obrigado” (thank you) or “Bom dia” (good morning) can earn you some warm smiles.
  6. Beach Vibes: Costa Nova, a short trip from Aveiro, boasts sandy beaches and striking striped houses. Perfect for those “wish you were here” postcard moments. Or, you know, Instagram.
  7. Museum Moments: The Museum of Aveiro offers deep dives into the city’s history and religious importance. And who doesn’t like a little knowledge sprinkled onto their travels?
  8. Walking Shoes Are a Must: The city is best explored on foot, allowing you to appreciate the intricate details and alleyways fully. So, pack comfy shoes. Your feet will thank you!
  9. Cultural Nuances: Aveiro hosts a series of festivals in January, including the famous São Gonçalinho. Check local listings to ensure you don’t miss out on fun festivities during your visit.
  10. Weather Wise: Aveiro has a maritime climate, with mild temperatures year-round. A light jacket for evenings and occasional rain showers will serve you well.

Is Aveiro, Portugal, Worth Visiting?

Aveiro, affectionately called the “Venice of Portugal,” is unquestionably a destination worth adding to your itinerary. While it’s perfect for an afternoon or a full-day jaunt from Porto, it is a delightful experience. Unlike other parts of Portugal, Aveiro has plenty of budget-friendly options that will suit a wide range of travelers.

How To Get To Aveiro From Porto

If you’re looking to take a Porto from Aveiro day trip the best and most affordable way to get to Aveiro from Porto is by train. Here’s a quick and easy guide to take the train:

You can start your journey from the Sao Bento Station or the Campanha Station in Porto.

You’ll need a ticket to get on the train, so head over to the counter or one of the self-service kiosks to begin. You’ll need to buy a Siga card for €0.50 and then purchase your ticket (known as title). The Siga card is reusable, so make sure to not lose it.

The urban train goes from Porto Sao Bento Station straight to Aveiro Station in around 1 hour and 20 minutes. This train is very frequent, with about 1 or 2 running per hour. The ticket price is €3.55, so apart from the initial €0.50 for the Siga card, you’ll need extra money to buy the actual ticket. You can take a closer look at the train schedule on the Comboios de Portugal website.

If there’s one thing you must know before hopping on the train to Aveiro is that you need to validate your card, so make sure you do this as soon as you purchase your Siga.

Interested in day trips during your visit? See other beautiful cities to explore in Portugal and check out my day trips from Porto guide. 

How Many Days Should I Spend In Aveiro, Portugal?33

You can explore a lot of Aveiro in a couple of days, therefore the choice of how much time to spend here will be determined by what you hope to achieve. Here’s a quick breakdown/itinerary of what you can do in a specific timeframe.

1. Short Visit (1 Day):

  • Morning: Take a “moliceiro” ride and discover the beauty of the city’s canals.
  • Afternoon: Admire the Art Nouveau buildings throughout the city and stop by the main square to try some “ovos moles” at a local bakery.
  • Evening: Head over to the fish market or a local restaurant to eat extraordinary fresh seafood.

2. Extended Stay (2-3 Days):

Apart from doing the things listed above, you can:

  • Day 1: As outlined in the short visit above.
  • Day 2: Explore the salt pans and visit Costa Nova to capture stunning pictures of the stripped houses. Don’t forget to dine at one of the canal-side restaurants during the evening. 
  • Day 3: Visit the Museum of Aveiro or the Vista Alegre Museum, and then spend your afternoon shopping for traditional Azulejos and other artisanal crafts.

3. Comprehensive Experience (4-5 Days):

  • Combine all the activities above and explore the São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve and take a day trip to other nearby towns like Ílhavo or Barra.

Related post: Portugal Instagram Captions

Where To Stay In Aveiro

Aveiro has plenty of accommodation options that you can choose from according to your budget, availability, and preferences. Here are a few of our favorite options:


Hotel Aveiro Palace is located in the heart of Aveiro. This place features top-notch amenities and views, as well as impeccable service and the city’s most delicious breakfast. Plus, it is super close to the main attractions listed in the itinerary.

Mid Range:

Hotel Aveiro Center located in the center of the city as well, this hotel offers modern amenities and stunning views for an incredible price. If you’re traveling alone or with family, this is a great option to have in mind.

Budget Friendly:

Aveiro Rossio Hostel is perfect for budget travelers and backpackers thanks to its friendly staff and cozy environment. It has dormitory options as well as private rooms, with both having access to communal spaces.

To get an idea of all the hotels within the area within my budget, I use booking.com.


Related post: Where To Stay In Porto

Top 14 Things To Do In Aveiro

Cruise On Aveiro’s Canals: Navigating the Venice of Portugal

One of the gondolas in Aveiro. One of the best things for what to do in Aveiro during your visit.
Moliceiros in Aveiro, Portugal

Aveiro’s canals can be easily explored with a ‘moliceiro’ boat tour, guided by experienced locals. They share bits of history while passing through specific streets and monuments, which gives your boat tour another significance. 

Mosteiro de Jesus: Aveiro’s Historical Jewel

The Mosteiro de Jesus in Aveiro was built between the 15th and 17th centuries and is known for being home to the tomb of Joanna, Princess of Portugal. She spent a humble life in the monastery and was beatified in the 17th century.

It is a very popular attraction for both believers and people who like to admire the architecture of old churches and sacred spaces.

Museu de Aveiro: A Glimpse into the Past

Museu de Aveiro is an excellent place to learn about Portugal’s history and placement in the world. It features old artifacts, art exhibitions, sculptures, and more. Finally, the building itself is a masterpiece, with unique architecture that blends contemporary and ancient techniques.

Tour Moliceiro: A Traditional Voyage Through Aveiro’s Waters

One of the Moliceiros you will see when your visit Aveiro, Portugal.
Moliceiros in Aveiro, Portugal

A trip to Aveiro wouldn’t be complete without going on a Moliceiro tour. Moliceiros are the traditional slender boats in Aveiro. Up close you can see their vibrant colors and the intricate hand-painted designs. If you’re still wondering what to do in Aveiro, this is one of the top experiences!

Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo: Diving into Aveiro’s Rich Maritime Heritage

In the old days, Aveiro was considered a key port for cod fishing in Portugal, and this museum has plenty of artifacts and historical archives that capture that era.

Here you can admire a detailed-crafted replica of the trawlers that journeyed to distant waters like Newfoundland in pursuit of the prized cod. Further, the tools fishermen used and how they lived on the ships.

Apart from the local cod, the museum has a lot of information and exhibitions about the vibrant ecosystem of the Aveiro lagoon, including the salt harvesting methods, and moliceiro vessels used.

Explore the Rossio Area: A Glimpse into Aveiro’s Art Nouveau Legacy

This area showcases the rich heritage of the city that was influenced by Brazilian emigrants after returning to Aveiro in the early 20th century. Some places to keep an eye out for are Casa do Major Pessoa, and the Casa dos Ovos Moles, which feature incredible balconies and curved windows.

Related Post: 2 Days In Porto Itinerary

Admire The Old Train Station

The Aveiro Train Station and Aveiro must-see attraction

The city’s rich history welcomes you when you approach Aveiro by train. The old train station terminal, completed in 1916, starkly contrasts its modern counterpart, serving as an architectural reminder of the early 20th century. 

Its most striking feature is undoubtedly the blue azulejos – traditional ceramic tiles. Crafted at the Fábrica da Fonte Nova, these tiles beautifully illustrate scenes native to Aveiro and its surrounding areas.

From moliceiros (the city’s iconic boats) and salt farms to depictions of locals in traditional attire and glimpses of the city’s canals, the azulejos are a visual journey through Aveiro’s vibrant past. Essentially, this station isn’t merely a transportation hub but a living time capsule, capturing and preserving the essence of Aveiro as it was over a century ago.

If you enjoy these beautiful blue tiles, find out where to see azulejos in Porto here.

Forum Aveiro: More Than Just Shopping

Forum Aveiro is not your typical shopping mall, but rather a one-of-a-kind building with two-story galleries with bridged passages. Inside, you can find rooftop cafes that will grant you the best view of the city.

Here you can find world-known brands like Zara, Mango, Bershka, Oysho, and Pull & Bear, among many others, as well as a great food court with plenty of dining options. 

As if this wasn’t enough, Forum Aveiro has a big cinema, so if the movie you were dying to see is released during your trip, rest peacefully knowing that it will be available at this cinema.

Shop For Crafts: Delving into Aveiro’s Artistic Soul

Aveiro has plenty of artisanal markets that we highly encourage you to browse. Each local artisan brings their personal style to each creation, so you won’t find two of the same!

You can find incredible pieces such as lacework and hand-carved wooden trinkets, therefore you have plenty of souvenir options to choose from.

Take A Trip To Costa Nova: A Blend of Oceanic Charm and Rich Heritage

Not sure what to do in Aveiro that is unique? Costa Nova is located between a serene lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean and was originally a fishing villa. It has a rich history that is portrayed by its weatherboard cottages adorned with traditional vertical stripes. 

If you take a day trip, make sure to stop by the fishing market located on the Cais dos Pescadores and try a wide range of seafood options. 

Admire The Ceramics: A Glimpse into Aveiro’s Artistic Craftsmanship

Aveiro has plenty of artisanal markets that I highly encourage you to browse. Each local artisan brings their personal style to each creation, so you won’t find two of the same!

You can find incredible pieces such as lacework and hand-carved wooden trinkets, therefore you have plenty of souvenir options to choose from.

Indulge in Ovos Moles: Aveiro’s Sweet Legacy

I don’t think we stressed enough how delicious ovos moles are, and that they are a must when in Aveiro. These treats date back centuries when soon-to-be-married couples gifted eggs to nuns in ancient convents.

The unique appearance of the treat is made to replicate clams and whelk shells, which is why it is made with such a meticulous pace. 

Related post: Porto Food Guide

Praia da Barra Lighthouse: A Towering Beacon of Aveiro

Not sure what to do in Aveiro that is unique? Dominating the backdrop of Praia Velha, the Praia da Barra Lighthouse stands as a sentinel, reaching a height of 62 meters and holding the title of Portugal’s tallest lighthouse. Built in 1893, this architectural marvel served a vital purpose, thus the waters off Aveiro, treacherously shallow, posed significant risks to ships.

The lighthouse will give you one of the best views of the city, which is why I highly recommend you book a tour in advance.

Get Lost In The Streets: Aveiro’s Labyrinth of Discovery

Don’t be afraid to get lost in the streets of Aveiro, the place is so beautiful that the paths beg you to explore them, even if they’re outside your map. Forget your itinerary and tour the countless streets and alleyways that are filled with art and history.

Pay attention to the architecture and colors the houses and buildings have, and don’t forget to get your camera ready to quickly snap pictures of the live music that usually takes place. When in doubt, just as a local and they’ll gladly help you get back on track.

What To Do In Aveiro Conclusion

Hope you found this post helpful for your visit to Aveiro, Portugal. Aveiro is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing time filled with history and beauty. As you can see in the brief itinerary above, there are many different things you can do during your trip that don’t require you to spend a lot of money or book in advance.

Add this place to your bucket list or run to your favorite website and book your trip. You won’t regret it!

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