With its network of canals, bridges, and colorful boats sailing through the city, Aveiro has earned its nickname as the Portuguese Venice. A few miles south of Porto, this picturesque city charms visitors with its riverside promenade lined with Art Nouveau buildings, colorful coastal towns, and delicious cuisine.
If you’re looking to spend a day in Aveiro, our itinerary includes the top attractions and recommendations of places to eat while you’re in town.
Aveiro Walking Tour
Admire the train station
It’s easy to reach Aveiro by train from Lisbon or Porto. But even if you’re arriving by car, it’s worth stopping at the local train station to capture the stunning ornamented façade filled with blue and white tiles evoking regional motifs.
Aveiro's Train Station
Visit the Aveiro Museum
From the station, it’s only a few minute's walk to the Aveiro Museum. Set inside a 15th-century monastery, it showcases a variety of Renaissance paintings, sculptures and jewelry, mostly with a religious theme. Don’t miss the gilded chapel and the carved tomb of Portuguese Princess Joana, who stayed here during the last years of her life.
Join a moliceiro tour
One of the most iconic features in Aveiro is the moliceiros. These colorful boats resemble the Italian gondolas, which explains why the city feels like a mini Venice. For years, the moliceiros were used to harvest seaweed, but these days they offer a fun way to explore Aveiro’s canals. Head to the pier to catch a boat and enjoy the 45-minute tour through the city.
Capture the Art Nouveau buildings
Follow the city’s Art Nouveau walking route. The trail includes stops at the Art Nouveau Museum, the Casa dos Ovos Moles and the Cooperativa Agrícola. After capturing all the buildings, you can sit down and relax at Jardim do Rossio, a small garden facing the canals.
Sample the local sweets
Portugal is known for its sweets - every region and city has its own speciality. Aveiro is known for its ovos moles. This traditional sweet made with egg yolks and sugar is stuffed inside cute little casins shaped like shells. You can try it at Maria da Apresentação or learn how to make them at Oficina do Doce. Another famous sweet is the tripas, similar to a crepe but with a thicker dough. Tezero makes some of the best ones in town.
Watch the sunset at Marinha da Troncalhada
Bordering Aveiro’s lagoon is a series of salt pans that belong to the Ecomuseu Marinha da Troncalhada, an open-air museum that showcases the traditional methods of Portuguese salt production. You can walk around the area and catch the sunset reflecting on the water.
Salt Flats In Aveiro
Other things to do in Aveiro, Portugal
- Passadiços de Aveiro: This popular trail stretches for around 7km along the Aveiro lagoon. It officially starts at Cais de São Roque in the center, but it’s better to drive to the Cais da Ribeira da Esgueira and follow the trail from there. Along the way, you’ll pass through salt marshes and pine trees.
- Aveiro Beaches: Head towards the coast, and you’ll find a series of beaches and seaside towns. Praia da Barra is the closest one, but we recommend heading a bit further to Costa Nova. This old fishing village stands out with its colorful striped houses. Beyond the beach, you should visit the Mercado do Peixe, a lively market selling fresh fish and seafood caught nearby.
- Museu Vista Alegre: If you want to learn more about Portuguese ceramics, don’t miss a visit to this factory museum. It has over 30,000 items, some of which date back to the 19th century. There’s also a workshop area where you can admire the process of hand painting ceramics.
- Museu Marítimo de Ílhavo: Located in the town of Ílhavo, this museum tells the story of Portugal’s maritime past. It focuses on the codfish trade and even includes an aquarium with Atlantic cod.