Complete guide to visiting Aveiro

Visit Aveiro and discover the famous Portuguese Venice.

Visit

Aveiro is distinguished because of its famous canals and moliceiros. The bonds of friendship bridge, the ovos moles and the colourful little houses cannot be forgotten either.

If you want to visit a city that encompasses Portuguese traditions and a unique essence, then it is Aveiro that you have to visit. Portuguese gastronomy is present in any restaurant and Portuguese history is told from street to street. But the colours, the sea, the people, the different flavours are what give even more life to this part of Portugal.

Go to Aveiro. Visit the Salinas de Aveiro, take a trip in a Moliceiro and enjoy the ria. Enjoy the beaches of the county, see the Colored Houses of Costa Nova, visit the Aveiro Museum and have fun buying fresh fish.

What to visit?

Salinas de Aveiro

In the Salinas de Aveiro (salt flats), you have the privilege of learning about the production of “white gold”, salt. If you prefer, you can also try the salty baths and discover the diversity of waterfowl that are part of the Aveiro estuary. Take a guided tour and learn how the salt flats work.

Costa Nova Beach

Costa Nova beach is an obligatory place to visit for those who go to Aveiro, not only for the quality of the beach, but also due to the Coloured Houses that are close to the beach. On the one hand, people can find the sea, and on the other they can find the river. The beach has a long sandy stretch, ideal for walks. If you prefer to stroll along the walkways, you can opt for those that are along the estuary.

Costa Nova Coloured Houses

The Costa Nova Coloured Houses are the Haystacks of Costa Nova. These colourful, striped houses give life to the shore of Costa Nova beach. When visiting Aveiro, you can't miss the haystacks, so head to Costa Nova beach  to take a walk and enjoy the little houses.

Barra Beach

Barra beach is close to Barra's Lighthouse. The beach is ideal for sports such as sport fishing, surfing, kitesurfing, bodyboarding, volleyball and sailing. Barra beach features a Blue Flag and offers toilets, showers, sun loungers and sunblinds.

Barra Lighthouse

The Barra Lighthouse, located in Barra beach, is the highest lighthouse in Portugal. If you want to visit this lighthouse, remember that the building is 62 metres high. Visits are held on Wednesdays, starting at 2:00pm.

Aveiro Walkways

The five-kilometre walkways take visitors to stroll between Vilarinho and Esgueira. It is common to assume that the Aveiro Walkways end or can be started in Aveiro, however, the wooden route does not reach the Centre of Aveiro. If you want to start the route in Aveiro, you will have to walk two kilometres along a tar path and a dirt trail alongside the motorway until you reach the beginning of the wooden walkways, in Esgueira. The same would happen if you start the walk in Vilarinho and if you reach the end of the walkways - at the end, you will have to travel the same two kilometres to the centre of Aveiro. The walk is mainly flat. During the trail, you can find informative signs about the fauna and flora of the Ria and you can see the different birds that also inhabit the estuary.

Cathedral of Aveiro

The Cathedral of Aveiro is located in the city centre and belongs to the Diocese of Aveiro. In the Cathedral of Aveiro, you can visit the four chapels that compose it. The space also features Tile Panels from the 18th century and a Baroque organ, from 1754. If you visit the site, you should take time to appreciate the architectural features of the church’s façade.

Aveiro Canals

The Ria de Aveiro has five urban canals in Aveiro: the Central Canal, the Côjo Canal, the Pyramids Canal and the São Roque and Santos Mártires canals. The Canals can be visited on board the moliceiros. While riding the Ria on these peculiar boats, you can also enjoy the colours of the city.

Bonds of Friendship Bridge

The Bonds of Friendship Bridge connects the banks of the Aveiro estuary and, as the name implies, is decorated with countless ties or friendship bracelets. If you take the moliceiro route, you will have the opportunity to appreciate the colours that illuminate the Bridge. For sure, the monument will not go unnoticed.

Art Nouveau Museum

The Art Nouveau Museum of Aveiro presents permanent and temporary exhibitions of Art Nouveau. Alongside the exhibits, the museum also features a Tea House. If you want to stop by the Tea House in the evening, during the weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy live music.

Aveiro Museum

Created in 1458, the Aveiro Museum was a Dominican women's convent. Located in the former Convent of Jesus of the Dominican Women's Order, this cultural space is one of the oldest in the county. The Museum of Aveiro is known for having welcomed Princess Santa Joana, daughter of Afonso V. In the cultural space, you can walk the monumental route and see the permanent exhibition. You should not miss this place and appreciate the decoration, architecture and divisions of the museum.

Maritime Museum of Ilhavo

The cultural space features five permanent exhibitions. At the bottom of the Museum, you can learn more about cod fishing and the agro-maritime toil of the Ria de Aveiro. At the top, you can enjoy the Algae and Shell Room, the Sea Room and the Arts Room. If you prefer, you can take a guided tour. 

Vista Alegre Museum

The Vista Alegre Museum shows the progress of Portuguese porcelain. According to the Municipality of Ílhavo, “the visitor is invited to enter the world of the first glass manufactured, in the unique pieces of the final period of the Portuguese monarchy, in the commemorative pieces of remarkable dates and in the Persian decorations executed throughout almost 200 years of manufacture”. If you have the opportunity, you should also visit the Chapel of Our Lady of France.

Troncalhada Marine Ecomuseum

The Ecomuseum exhibits the forms of artisanal production of salt, divulges the landscape, fauna and flora. Visitors can visit the Ecomuseum individually or request a guided tour.

Santo André Museum Ship

The Santo André Museum Ship is located in Jardim Oudinot, in Gafanha da Nazaré. The monument advertises the art of dragging. If you want to visit the ship, you can visit the engine room and the centre of the ship. A curious fact? The ship is about 71 metres long and has a hold that can accommodate twenty thousand quintals of fish.

Infante D. Pedro

The Infante D. Pedro is the City Park of Aveiro. The space was created in the former estate of the Franciscan friars, from 1862. The Park features a waterfall, a staircase with a fountain, tile panels, a Tea house and Avenida das Tílias. Within the Park, you can access cafés, bathrooms and children's activities. In this place, you can discover the birds and flora that distinguish the different points and you can take the opportunity to stretch your legs and take some photographs.

What to eat?

Aveiro's gastronomy is marked by ovos moles (soft eggs) and fish stews. Being a municipality that joins the river and the sea, fish is an intrinsic part of the dishes of restaurants and families of Aveiro. Sweets, such as ovos moles  and its derivatives, such as egg chestnuts or egg threads, are other snacks that strongly mark the gastronomic culture of the municipality. Other specialties, such as American crackers and sweet casings or eel stew, must also be taken into account when visiting the Portuguese Venice.

If you do not know the famous ovos moles, Excelente leaves you a set of curiosities about these sweets. The recipe for ovos moles came from the nuns of the Convent of Jesus. According to Oficina do Doce, ovos moles “are obtained by joining yolk with a sugar syrup and traditional know-how, following the conventual recipe transmitted in secret over generations”.

If you want to experience this tourist icon, you should visit the Peixinho Confeitaria, the M1882 - Maria da Apresentação da Cruz, the Fábrica dos Ovos Moles or the Kiosk of ovos moles.

Espeto do Sul

The sushi festival and the meat rotation are the dishes that most stand out at Espeto do Sul. People who have already visited the restaurant highlight the effective service, the quality of dishes and good prices.

Salpoente

The restaurant was highlighted by the Michelin Guide, in 2019, and has already won several awards. Those who visited the restaurant consider the Salpoente worthy of all awards, saluting the gastronomic experience that customers can have there. If you visit the restaurant, try the Tasting Menu and explore the flavours that characterise Aveiro.

Faros Gourmet

If you are going to know Faros Gourmet, then, you have to try the tapas to be able to capture all the small delicacies and snacks that characterise most of the Portuguese gastronomy. If you don't just want to venture through the starters and decide to opt for a main course, you can opt for francesinha, hamburger, risotto, among others. For dessert, don't let the Ugly Cake slip away.

MUSGO - Restaurante Vegan

The vegan restaurant features varied dishes such as Tofu Bread, Seitan Stroganoff, Handmade Samosas, Shitake Mushroom bean stew and Vegetable Lasagna, among others. If you want to try homemade drinks, you have to go to Musgo.

Un Poco Loco - Tacos & Drinks

Un Poco Loco - Tacos & Drinks presents itself as “the only Mexican-influenced restaurant in the city and one of the few in the central area of the country”. The restaurant offers Antojitos, typical Mexican snacks, Tacos and Tostadas, Salads and Desserts. If you want to try some Mexican drinks such as tequila or mezcal, Un Poco Loco - Tacos & Drinks has a “wine cellar specialised in Mexican products”.

O Bairro

Do you want to taste the “Cashew Cheesecake”, the “natas do céu”, the fish dish named “o mercado volta ao bairro”, the steak dish “Eiso bife”, and the plate of sautéed mushrooms with shrimp “Ninho terra e mar”? So, go to O Bairro. In addition to the food, you can also enjoy the characteristic atmosphere of the restaurant and the city.

Bacalhau & Afins

As the name of the restaurant may indicate, the dish that is most privileged is cod. Cod pastry, cod à brás, cod rice, cod with mango or breaded cod are some delicacies that you can try in Codfish & Afins.

Cais da Tosca

Alheira snacks, Roe and Mussel Salads, Tosca Paella, Chipped Cod, Ovos rotos, Coentree Pluminhas or Veal Burger are some of the dishes presented by Cais da Tosca. In addition to having a location labelled as “excellent”, the restaurant is seen as “great” for snacks and good meals.

Fama by Luís Lavrador

Fama by Luís Lavrador presents itself as “a space of conviviality and familiar flavours, waiting for you, in Aveiro!”. Developed by a father and son, the restaurant offers the “fama” menu, a menu created by initial entry, main starter, fish dish, meat dish and dessert. However, if you prefer, you can individually choose the elements that will make up your meal.

Maré Cheia

Maré Cheia offers a variety of fish and seafood dishes. The seafood cream, the seafood, the crab, the lobster are some of the delicacies you can try at the restaurant. The cream milk, Natas do céu, the apple pie and the Ovar sponge cake are the desserts that you should not miss.

Where to sleep?

Hotel Afonso V

The hotel is located 700 metres from the centre of Aveiro and 800 metres from several restaurants. The Aveiro Museum, Forum Aveiro Shopping Centre and the Old Captaincy of Aveiro are also close to the accommodation. The rooms feature a private bathroom, a TV, and if you ask in advance, you can make use of the minibar. The hotel offers laundry and free Wi-Fi.

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Hotel do Mercado

Hotel do Mercado privileges colourful rooms consisting of two single beds or a double bed. Some units have a balcony and have walls with paintings relating to Aveiro. In addition to enjoying breakfast, guests can access the fitness centre. The hotel also offers a range of activities that are common in the county.

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Light Blue Apartment

The apartment has 1 bedroom, an equipped kitchen with a fridge and microwave, a bathroom, a washing machine and a TV. The accommodation features towels, bed linen and a city view. The Chapel of São Gonçalinho, the Church of Vera Cruz, the Old Captaincy of Aveiro, the Forum Aveiro Shopping Centre and the Aveiro Museum are some of the points of interest that are closest to Light Blue Apartment.

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Soldouro Guesthouse

Soldouro Guesthouse features six rooms to be booked individually. All units feature a wardrobe, a private bathroom, a TV, towels and bed linen. Some of the rooms have a balcony. Forum Aveiro Shopping Centre, the Church of Vera Cruz, Aveiro Museum and the Old Captaincy of Aveiro can be visited near the accommodation.

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Patio79 Aveiro

Patio79 Aveiro is located in the centre of Aveiro. The rooms at the house have a wardrobe, desk, air conditioning and a TV. Some rooms also have a patio. The accommodation is located near the Forum Aveiro Shopping Centre, the Old Captaincy of Aveiro, the Church of Vera Cruz, the Museum of Aveiro, among others.

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Hotel Aveiro Palace

Guests at Hotel Aveiro Palace overlook the Central Canal and Moliceiros de Aveiro. All rooms at the hotel have a private bathroom and a TV, while some have a seating area and a desk. Guests can try breakfast and drinks served in the hotel lounge.

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Hotel Aveiro Center

Hotel Aveiro Center offers composite rooms, tea and coffee making facilities, TV and work desks. Guests can try the buffet breakfast in the hotel room or in their rooms. People can choose a double or triple room, a suite or a twin room. The hotel also offers twin rooms accessible to disabled guests.

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Cais do Pescador

The accommodation has several units, such as lofts, apartments, studios, among others. Featuring modern architecture, some units feature a kitchen, private bathroom and dishwasher. Cais do Pescadoris pet-friendly.

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Hotel das Salinas

The hotel is located in the centre of Aveiro, close to the Chapel of São Gonçalinho, the Church of Vera Cruz, the Forum Aveiro Shopping Centre and theAveiro Museum. Rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, a TV, a bathroom and a work desk. The studios feature a fully equipped kitchen. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the hotel room or in the privacy of their rooms.

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Barcos Casa Aveiro

Barcos Casa Aveiro offers accommodation, private parking, a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a private beach area, a garden, a spa and a wellness centre. The rooms feature a kitchen, seating area, private bathroom, a TV and a sun terrace. Barcos Casa Aveiro provides facilities for disabled guests.

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With all these tips, pack your bags, book the hotel and go through the streets of Aveiro. Visit the Salinas de Aveiro! Take a moliceiro trip and don't miss the ovos moles!

Complete guide to visiting Aveiro
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Complete guide to visiting Aveiro