Aveiro Bucket List: Amazing Places to Visit in Aveiro, Portugal
Known for its canals, the city of Aveiro has one of the most colorful landscapes in Portugal. It is also a favorite day trip from the city of Porto thanks to its storied history and culture and attractive beaches. Aveiro is also referred to as the “Venice of Portugal” because of the maze of canals that crisscross its city center. The colorful boats on the canals also make Aveiro’s city one of Portugal’s charming destinations.
15 Best Things to Do and See in Aveiro, Portugal
Take a ride on a traditional ride called Moliceiro.
With all its canals, the high point of visiting Aveiro is a colorful boat ride. These boats are locally known as the moliceiro and a little roomy than those in Venice. Besides the marvelous and unforgettable experience of booking a moliceiro boat ride, it is also one of the best budget-friendly activities to do in the city. It can be booked instantly any day of the week throughout the year.
The canals are fed by a nearby lagoon, which gives the city its romantic vibe.
Check out the church of Sao Joao Evangelista.
Dating back to the 1700s, the church of Sao Joao Evangelista is one of the most famous buildings in the city. It was built during the immense prosperity in Portugal, thus explaining its incredible gold-plated woodwork.
Its interior is also stylish, thanks to the white and blue azulejos.
Take photos of the iconic Costa Nova
This rainbow-striped oceanfront village in downtown Aveiro is worth visiting. Before everything became all touristy in the city, Costa Nova was just a tiny laidback fishing village, and the charming houses used to hold fishing equipment.
Today, some dollhouse-like houses are offered as accommodations options for visitors. If you love seafood, check out the nearby fishing market, where you will find all sorts of seafood, including crabs, whelks, goose, shrimp, and barnacles, all fresh from the water and prepared as you watch.
Visit Praia da Barra Lighthouse
Rising 62 meters tall, Praia da Barra Lighthouse is the tallest in Portugal. It was built in 1893 to warn ships from coming too close to the mainland since the Aveiro lagoon’s waters are shallow and dangerous.
Every Wednesday afternoon, visitors can climb up its 271 steps to the summit to enjoy the city’s views and the ocean from the top.
Check the Museu Historico da Vista Alegre
Comprising a 17th-century citadel, a factory, a sanctuary, and a residential quarter, Vista Alegre has been around for over 200 years.
The museum is housed in one of the factory buildings, and visitors can get a chance to learn about the history of the ceramic producing factory along with the role of porcelain in the local community.
You will find over 30,000 pieces of art on display and some old kilns with people working.
Ride a bike around Aveiro
The landscape of Aveiro is perfect for bike riding, thanks to its flatness and paved canal piers. In fact, bikes are the most preferred means of transport in the city, and this has even been boosted by the introduction of BUGA, a bike-sharing platform.
BUGA provides bikes with special locks, so you will be able to lock up the bike when you want to walk around on foot.
Birdwatch at Natural Reserve of Sai Jacinto Dunes
For nature lovers, the Natural Reserve of Sao Jacinto Dunes should be among your top priorities in Aveiro. This wetland system includes a 7-kilometer long trail around it with designated spots for birdwatching.
However, due to its location, it is pretty challenging to reach the park except through a ferry or driving all the way around the channels.
Discover the Art Nouveau
Though Aveiro has many awesome places and sites, its series of charming Art Nouveau-inspired buildings contribute to its legacy as an unenclosed Art Nouveau museum. Visitors to the city tend to design their own free self-guided tours of the city and its architecture.
In addition to exploring the city’s architecture, visitors can also check the Museu de Arte Nova (Art Nouveau Museum) and the Tea House for some tasty local treats.
Shop at Forum Aveiro
This unique shopping hub is located along the canal and features two-story classical designs. It is quite a stylish place to hang around with grassy spaces and rooftop cafes.
You will find all the big luxury brands here, including Mango and Zara, and renowned local stores like Oysho, Bershka, and Pull & Bear.
This is also an ideal place to try some of the best Iberian dishes.
Lounge on a beach
A fun fact about Aveiro is that it is actually not located on the coast per se. If you want the beach, you will have to travel some 10 kilometers to find one. There are two main beaches – Costa Nova and Barra, and they can be reached easily by public buses.
Try some Ovos Moles
Nothing proves you were in Aveiro than bringing back home some ovos moles, the famous traditional sweets made of eggs and sugar. They are creamy and sweet and can be found anywhere in the city.
Check out the old train station.
Constructed in 1916, the city’s old train station terminal is one of Aveiro’s best structures from the 20th century. It stands next to the new terminal and features blue azulejos depicting ancient scenes from around the city.
Learn Aveiro’s maritime history at Museu Maritimo de Ilhavo
In the past, Aveiro’s city used to be known throughout Portugal for its cod fishing activities. And to make sure this history is not lost, the city constructed the Museu Maritimo de Ilhavo.
The display at the museum includes a mockup of the trawlers used by fishermen and lifeboats and instruments of the ancient trade.
Admire statues on the bridges
The city of Aveiro has plenty of large-scale statues depicting important figures in its history. Some of the most common ones include Fogueteiro and Parceira do Ramo.
Enjoy Iberian dishes
Food in Aveiro is heavily influenced by seafood and fish. Among the best dishes in Aveiro to try are feijoada de buzios and arroz de marisco.
Aveiro Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Aveiro, we listed places to visit and other unique activities in Aveiro, Portugal. We also listed some of the best travel and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Aveiro hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.