Less than an hour south of Porto by train is the beautiful city of Aveiro, informally known as the Venice of Portugal. Yes, Aveiro is the place where you will see the Portuguese canals with the decorative ‘Moliceiro Boats’. I spent a day in Aveiro and wish I had stayed longer. In fact, I intend to on the next trip! So you are probably here to ask ‘Is Aveiro worth visiting?’ so let’s dive right in…
Is Aveiro Worth visiting?
My answer is definitely, yes! It’s worth taking a trip to Aveiro, and if you are pushed for time you can visit as a day trip from Porto by train. Even the train station is beautiful!
When to visit Aveiro
Aveiro is great to visit all year round. You may want to avoid the crowds and heat of August (which also is the British and Portuguese school holiday). In the winter, it can be a bit rainy and generally colder and more miserable, so I would void December and January which are the coldest months. It starts to perk up around March and so the spring time (March-June) is the perfect time to visit Aveiro.
Pros of visiting Aveiro
There are so many pros of Aveiro. The streets are colourful and the people are friendly. It’s also a popular student city and so what you get with that is good value eats and great bars and cafes. But the first thing I noticed about Aveiro? It’s flat!
Aveiro is the one thing that Porto and Lisbon are not – flat! Yes, if you just hate the constant uphill walks of the main cities then you will probably be really thankful of the flat landscape of Aveiro. It alsoeans that there is less chance of slipping in the rain (although usually you will want to avoid all Portuguese cobbles when slippy!)
Canals and Moliceiro boats
Aveiro is probably the most colourful city in Portugal in my opinion (and I have visited a lot!) The colourful houses surrounding the canals are highly instagrammable, as are the Moliceiro boats. The Moliceiro are the traditional Aveiro fishing boats that are painted with beautiful images – mostly of ladies! Aveiro is a great place for photography and generally just wondering around the pretty streets and absorbing the atmosphere.
Great Restaurants and Unique food – Ovos Moles
There are some amazing foods to try in Aveiro and one of the most amazing is the ‘Ovos Moles’ – this sweet treat is unique to Aveiro and will blow your mind! They are possibly too sickly sweet to have more than one though!
On market days, the main square is bustling. It’s also full of students having a drink and meeting with friends on the evenings in term time.
Beach – Costa Nova
A short drive from Aveiro is a a gorgeous beach – Costa Nova. It is famous for its colourful beach front houses and fish restaurants.
Cons of Aveiro
So what are the cons of Aveiro? I find this really difficult to answer…I’m not sure that there are any! Shall I just move there?!?!
I would say that a downside of Aveiro, as with most Portuguese cities, is that the cobbled stones become very slippy when wet, so be careful during the rain. I would also say that the weather is not as nice as the Algarve, so if it’s a sun tan you are looking for you might want to consider heading to the Algarve.
But all in all, Aveiro is a fantastic city. It’s accessible too….trains and buses run to Porto, Lisbon and Coimbra.
What to pack for Aveiro
Bear in mind that the time of year you are visiting will influence what you pack for Aveiro. Leggings, shorts and T shirts are a great starting point. But pack a nice dress (or shoes, trousers and shirt for men) because the Portuguese generally dress very smartly to go out. Seriously, some of them look half their age!!!
Planning Aveiro into your Portugal Itinerary
If you are mainly spending time in Porto (5-7 days) then it is easy to do Aveiro as a day trip. Trains go from Campanha and Sao Bento station (one of the most beautiful train stations in Portugal) and takes less than an hour. You can book tickets online with www.cp.pt – just make sure that you charge your phone fully (and take a battery pack) and carry your passport ID (I was once asked for it on the train and you need your passport number to book).
Aveiro makes a great stop off in any Northern Portugal itinerary. Why not consider combining it with Porto, Amarante and Lamego?
Further reading on Portugal
If you enjoyed my blog on ‘Is Aveiro worth visiting?’ you might also like to read….
- 4 days in Lisbon
- Is Porto worth visiting?
- Solo travel Portugal
- Castelo Branco travel guide
- Guarda Portugal – Ultimate travel Guide