Close this search box.

Things to Do in Aveiro: A Friendly Guide to Exploring Portugal’s “Venice of the North”

Share Article

If you’re looking for a charming destination in Portugal, Aveiro is a must-visit spot. Known as the “Venice of Portugal,” this coastal city is famous for its picturesque canals, colorful boats, and stunning architecture. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply soaking up the laid-back Portuguese lifestyle, there are plenty of things to do in Aveiro that will make your trip unforgettable.

One of the best ways to experience Aveiro is by taking a boat tour along its canals. You’ll get to see the city from a unique perspective, passing under bridges and admiring the colorful buildings that line the waterways. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife, such as herons and ducks.

Another must-see attraction in Aveiro is the Mosteiro de Jesus, a stunning convent that dates back to the 15th century. This beautiful building is home to some of the most impressive examples of Portuguese Renaissance architecture, as well as a museum that showcases the history of the city. Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate beautiful architecture, a visit to the Mosteiro de Jesus is a must when you’re in Aveiro.

Exploring Aveiro’s Canals

If you’re in Aveiro, exploring the canals is a must-do activity. The city’s nickname is “Venice of Portugal” because of its many canals. The canals are fed by Aveiro’s lagoon and are what give Aveiro its unique character. Here are two ways to explore the canals:

Boat Tours

One of the best ways to explore the canals is by taking a boat tour. You can choose from a variety of boat tours, including traditional moliceiro boats and modern electric boats. The tours are usually guided, and the guides will tell you about the history and culture of Aveiro as you cruise along the canals. The boat tours are also a great way to see the colorful buildings and bridges that line the canals.

Gondola Rides

If you’re looking for a more romantic experience, you can take a gondola ride on the canals. The gondolas are similar to the ones in Venice, and they’re operated by local gondoliers. The gondola rides are usually private, so you’ll have the boat all to yourself and your loved one. The gondoliers will serenade you with traditional Portuguese music as you glide along the canals. It’s a great way to see Aveiro from a different perspective and create some unforgettable memories.

Overall, exploring Aveiro’s canals is a fun and unique experience that you shouldn’t miss. Whether you choose to take a boat tour or a gondola ride, you’ll be able to see Aveiro’s beauty up close and learn about its culture and history.

Historical Landmarks

Aveiro is a city rich in history. There are many historical landmarks that you can visit and explore. Here are two of the most popular ones:

Aveiro Cathedral

The Aveiro Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Dominic, is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. It was built in the 15th century and is located in the heart of the city. The cathedral is known for its ornate interior, which includes intricate carvings and beautiful stained glass windows. You can also climb the bell tower for a stunning view of the city.

Museu de Aveiro

The Museu de Aveiro is located in the former Convent of Jesus, which was founded in the 15th century. The museum houses a collection of religious art and artifacts, as well as exhibits on the history of the convent and the city of Aveiro. One of the most popular exhibits is the tomb of Princess Joanna, which is located in the convent’s chapel.

Both of these landmarks are must-visit attractions for anyone interested in the history and culture of Aveiro. Make sure to add them to your itinerary when planning your trip to this beautiful city!

Beaches and Natural Sights

If you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water, Aveiro has plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from. Here are two of the most popular:

Costa Nova

Costa Nova is a picturesque beach with colorful striped houses known as “palheiros” lining the sand. These houses were originally used by fishermen to store their equipment, but today many of them have been converted into vacation homes. The beach itself is wide and sandy, with plenty of space to lay out a towel and soak up the sun. If you’re feeling active, you can rent a bike and explore the surrounding area.

Barra Beach

Barra Beach is one of the longest beaches in Portugal, stretching for over 10 kilometers. It’s a popular spot for surfing and other water sports, thanks to the consistent waves and strong winds. If you’re not interested in surfing, you can still enjoy the beach by taking a leisurely stroll along the shore or renting a beach umbrella and chair to relax in. At the southern end of the beach, you’ll find the Barra Lighthouse, which is the tallest lighthouse in Portugal and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day by the water or an active day of surfing and biking, Aveiro’s beaches have something for everyone.

Local Cuisine

When it comes to food, Aveiro has a lot to offer. From fresh seafood to sweet treats, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds. Here are some of the local cuisine options you should try:

Seafood Delights

As a coastal city, Aveiro is known for its fresh seafood. You can find a variety of seafood dishes in the local restaurants, from grilled fish to seafood stews. Some of the most popular seafood dishes in Aveiro include grilled sardines, octopus rice, and seafood cataplana. If you’re a seafood lover, you won’t be disappointed with the options available in Aveiro.

Ovos Moles de Aveiro

Ovos Moles de Aveiro is a traditional sweet treat that you must try when visiting Aveiro. These sweet egg yolk pastries are shaped like shells or fish and are often served in colorful packaging. You can find them in most pastry shops in the city, but the best place to try them is at the Confeitaria Peixinho, a local pastry shop that has been making Ovos Moles for over 150 years.

In addition to these two options, there are many other local dishes and treats you can try in Aveiro. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for recommendations or try something new – you might just discover your new favorite dish.

Shopping and Markets

If you’re looking for some retail therapy during your visit to Aveiro, you won’t be disappointed. The city has a variety of shopping options ranging from local artisan shops to modern malls.

Forum Aveiro

Forum Aveiro is a modern shopping mall located in the heart of the city. It has a wide range of shops selling everything from clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods. You can also find a variety of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite to eat or a drink while you’re shopping.

Local Artisan Shops

If you’re interested in supporting local businesses and artists, Aveiro has a variety of artisan shops selling handmade goods. These shops offer unique items such as pottery, jewelry, and textiles that make great souvenirs or gifts. You can find these shops scattered throughout the city, particularly in the historic center.

One popular shopping destination is the Farmers Market, where you can find fresh produce and locally-made products such as honey, cheese, and wine. It’s also a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the friendly vendors.

Overall, Aveiro offers a great shopping experience with a mix of modern and traditional options. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or unique handmade items, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-visit attractions in Aveiro for first-time visitors?

Aveiro is a charming city with a lot to offer. If you’re visiting for the first time, there are a few attractions you shouldn’t miss. Take a boat tour of the canals to see the city from a unique perspective. Visit the Aveiro Museum to learn about the city’s history and culture. Walk around the old town to see the colorful Art Nouveau buildings. Finally, head to the beach to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Can you recommend any evening entertainment options in Aveiro?

Aveiro has a vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of options for evening entertainment. You can enjoy live music at the Mercado Negro or the Teatro Aveirense. If you’re in the mood for a drink, head to the Praça do Peixe or the Rua da Praia. For a more laid-back evening, take a stroll along the canals and enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery.

What are some unique experiences to have in Costa Nova?

Costa Nova is a picturesque fishing village located just outside of Aveiro. Here are a few unique experiences to have in Costa Nova. Take a walk along the beach to see the colorful striped houses. Visit the fish market to see the local catch and try some fresh seafood. Finally, take a boat tour of the Ria de Aveiro to see the beautiful scenery.

Are there any cost-effective activities to enjoy in Aveiro?

Yes, there are plenty of cost-effective activities to enjoy in Aveiro. Take a walk along the canals to see the city’s beautiful architecture. Visit the Aveiro Museum, which offers free admission on Sundays. Head to the beach to relax and enjoy the scenery. Finally, take a bike tour of the city to see the sights and get some exercise.

Which museums in Aveiro should I add to my itinerary?

Aveiro has several museums that are worth a visit. The Aveiro Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the city’s history and culture. The Museum of Sacred Art is also worth a visit, with its collection of religious art and artifacts. Finally, the Museum of Art Nouveau is a must-see for anyone interested in this unique architectural style.

Where can I find the best dining spots in Aveiro?

Aveiro has a thriving food scene with plenty of options for dining out. For traditional Portuguese cuisine, head to O Bairro or A Peixaria. For something more upscale, try the Michelin-starred Aveiro Restaurant. Finally, for a unique dining experience, head to the Mercado do Peixe and choose your own fresh seafood to be cooked on the spot.

You might also like