Aveiro is a city on the Atlantic coast in the Beira Litoral region of Central Portugal. A major port for centuries, Aveiro is famous for its elegant canals and enjoys a sheltered location in a coastal lagoon behind a collection of jetties and islets, and is therefore often compared to Venice.
Aveiro is situated 68 km to the south of Porto and 58 km north of Coimbra, straddling the "ria" of Aveiro and the river Vouga a few kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean, where you can easily reach by car (5 minutes) or by bue(every hour). The city of Aveiro has a population of approximately 57,000 inhabitants, where 14,000 are students at University of Aveiro, one of the most important Portuguese Universities
Part of the city is bathed through canals, bridges, and painted boats called moliceiros, similar to the gondolas of Venice. For this reason, the city is called the "Portuguese Venice", although the comparison is exaggerated. The real charm of Aveiro lies in its coast, with its fantastic sandy beaches of São Jacinto, Barra and Costa Nova. This local coast is well known as a Costa da Prata or the Silver Coast.
Aveiro has humid wet temperate climate, coolish in the summer and not so cold in winter. November, December, and January make up the rainy season, while July and August are the driest months. Autumn and Winter tend to have strong coastal winds, excellent for kite or wind-surf, as well as for sailing.
The city is connected to highway number 1 (A1) which is the main road of the country, but also a toll road.
You can easily reach to Aveiro through A17 highway, which is linked to A8 highway from Lisbon and A25 highway, that comes from Spain through Salamanca.
A newly inaugurated central train station is positioned near the center of the city, with regional and fast trains to most chief cities, such as Porto, Coimbra or Lisbon. You can walk through Avenida Lourenço Peixinho for 10 minutes and you are on the main central spot o Aveiro - Rotunda das Pontes.
There are coaches that connect Aveiro to a lot of Portuguese cities and also cities in Spain.
Aveiro is easily navigable on foot. The local bus terminal can be found about 15 minutes walk from the canal zone.
A very convenient way to see Aveiro is to use the BUGA (Free-use Bicycles of Aveiro) service. There are 2 BUGA shops (lojas) spread about the city. If there are bicycles available, you simply have to give to the BUGA shop employee your ID and you'll have a bike to take a free ride.
Bikes can be used within a certain BUGA area of the city, delimited by signs. When you are finished with the bike, just return it to the shop (loja) and take your ID back. You have until 7 pm to return your bike to the BUGA shop you took it from, nice, free and easy!!!
The city of Aveiro has five bus lines operated by Moveaveiro, who unfortunately have no English website. That said, the buses are of little use to tourists as most points of interest are easily within walking distance in Aveiro. Transdev Portugal operates a number of longer-distance services. Of note are especially the lines that go from Aveiro to the beaches, including Barra and Costa Nova.
- 1 Aveiro Cathedral (Sé de Aveiro). An example of unique Portuguese baroque architecture.
- 2 Aveiro Museum. In the former Convento de Jesus
- 3 Câmara Municipal.
- 4 Antiga Capitania de Porto de Aveiro (former capitanate of the port of Aveiro).
- 5 Carmelite Church of São João Evangelista.
- 6 Dom Pedro Children's Park.
- 7 Fish market.
- Fisherman's Wharf, Bairro de Pescadores (at the seaside).
- Surf at Costa Nova and Barra Beach - You can rent a wetsuit and a board on local surf shops.
- Windsurf and Kytesurf on the river and on the sea - You can rent this material on local windsurf shops.
- Moliceiro tours - leaving from the central canal.
- Sailing at Costa Nova Beach - There's a local Sailing club - CVCN - where you an find sailing lessons.
- Kayak at Ria de Aveiro or Rio Vouga - It is quite easy to find local guides that takes you for a different afternoon experience.
- Walking tours - There is a local walking tour shop that has 3 way-outs every day.
- Take some sun at Costa Nova and Barra Beach
- 1 Hiking in the Dunas de São Jacinto (Take the bus to Forte de Barra and then the ferry). There are four different paths through the woods. You can see the Atlantic and the some lakes.
- Salt from the nearby salt flats.
- Vista Alegre - Famous and somewhat pricey local ceramics. You can also visit the Vista Alegre factory in the neighboring municipality of Ilhavo, 10 km away.
- Forum Aveiro,(shopping mall) the central market, is situated downtown near the canals. Shops are open daily until 11PM.
- Rua dos Combatientes da Guerra and Avenida Dr. Lourenço Peixinho are the main shopping streets in town.
- 1 3 metades, Rua José Estêvão 82 (Near the Igreja da Vera Cruz). Organic shop with traditional bread and rolls, which are much more tasty than the normal industrial bread you get in Portugal.
- Ovos moles - A traditional product made from egg yolk. Sold at most of the local bakeries.
The area with the most restaurants sits between the Old Neighborhood (Bairro Antigo) and the fish market plaza (Mercado do Peixe). There are also some decent restaurants and seafood shops at Barra and Costa Nova beaches.
- Porta 35, Rua do Tenente Resende, 35. Tasty burgers (from 5 €), best craft beer from Aveiro, english speaking friendly staff
- Café Ramona, Rua Eça de Queirós, 12. Frequented by students and youths, this place offers perhaps the best hamburgers in town. Try the hamburguer à Ramona - meal for 5€
- Pizzarte, Rua Eng.º Von Haffe, 27. Pizza shop decorated with chess pieces. Popular with the young set. Have a glass of champanhada with your pizza - meal for 7€
- Cervejaria O Augusto, Largo do Rossio, In the main central area of Aveiro you can find an amazing steack or just some day dishes for 5€.
- Ferro, Rua Tenente Resende 30. Very close to the fish market, this place serves meat and fish dishes at affordable prices.
- Barrigas, Rua Eng. Von Haff, 36. C. Popular restaurant where the special is "francesinhas", a dish more typical of Oporto. It is a type of ham, meat and cheese sandwich covered in melted cheese and a spicy sauce. Flame-roasted meats are also on offer, and you might catch some live Brazilian music.
- Galetos Dourados, Rua Eng.º Von Haff, 7. Brazilian-style chicken restaurant.
- Cafe Zig-Zag, Avenida Dr. Lourenço Peixinho Good cafe for a quick lunch. Standard menu with daily specials.
- La Mamaroma, Cais do Alboi 21. Italian restaurant with a wood-fired oven. One of the house specialties is a stone-cooked fillet-- an enormous beef fillet cooked slowly on a hot stone.
- Restaurante a Barca, Largo Jose Rabumba, 5. Specializing in fish.
- Travessa do Peixinho, Rua Eng. von Haff, 34. Seafood.
- Porterhouse, Rua João Afonso 13/15. Tucked away but worth looking for (ask at a hotel, they know where it is). The BBQ ribs are amazing and unlike anything else you'll find in town.
- La Piazza, R Conselheiro Luís Magalhães 46-A. Another hidden gem. Top-notch casual Italian food just off the main avenue.
- Restaurante Mercado do Peixe, Praça do Peixe (the fish market plaza). Situated in the upper part of the fish market, this place specializes in fish.
- Adamastor, Travessa Lavadouros, 1. Fish and seafood in the fish market.
- Restaurante O Moliceiro, Largo do Rossio, 6. Fish, regional stews, meat.
The most famous area for night bars is Praça do Peixe (fish plaza).Here you will find a good variety of bars typically open til 3AM in winter, and 4AM in summer. Note that all the bars in Praça do Peixe have free entrance. Clubs are best on Friday and Saturday nights from 1AM to 5AM. Women usually pay no admission fees, but for men it is usually around €5. Drinks are fairly cheap, around 4 or €5. Try a caipirinha with strawberries (morangos).
- Botirão, Canal de São Roque (near Praça do Peixe). Great sangria and bossa nova in a clean and beautiful traditional style bar. Sangria costs €7 and has a very mild taste, but don't be fooled-- it packs a punch.
- Clandestino. Praça do Peixe. Alternative music.
- 1 Estaçao da Luz, R. da Fonte, ☎ . Somewhat outside of town, this is the dance club preferred by the locals. House with some mainstream pop as well. One of the smaller dancefloors/bars features salsa music. It is somewhat selective, so it is possible that tourists are sometimes denied entry.
- Mercado Negro, Praça do Peixe. An alternative space with a bar, good music, an auditorium that usually hosts both national and international independent artists' concerts, and modern design in an old art nouveau building.
- Quest (Belas Artes), Rua Belas Artes nº3 (Oiã), ☎ . This club is on the outskirts of Aveiro, in a small village called Oiã (also an industrial area). This club has four floors and 5 bars. One bar is outside, there is a nice terrace with patio furniture. The dance floor has lights, a large TV screen, and features mostly house music.
- Aveiro Rossio Hostel, Largo do Rossio - Rua de Joao Afonso de Aveiro, No 1, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The first and only hostel in the city opened in 2009. It is run by a local Portuguese couple who are extremely accommodating and helpful. The hostel is very modern with a kitchen, terrace area, cable TV, free Internet and Wi-fi. Private rooms are available. Dorms from €16, Portuguese breakfast included.
- Pousada de Torreira / Murtosa - Ria de Aveiro, Nature Hotel, Bico do Muranzel 3870-301 Torreira, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the isthmus that connects Murtosa to the beaches of São Jacinto, the Pousada de Murtosa Torreira, Ria de Aveiro is set in a preserved area with a unique natural beauty. Surrounded by water, this is the ideal spot for fishing, water sports or going to the beautiful beaches which are near the Costa Nova's typical colourful houses.
- Hotel Afonso V, Rua Dr. Manuel das Neves 65. Situated 10 minutes on foot from the town center, this hotel has a good quality-to-price ration. The hotel has two annexes, one of which is a little older with cheaper and more simple accommodations.
- Hotel Imperial, Rua Dr Nascimento Leitao. Downtown.
- Residencial Azevedo. At Costa Nova Beach.
- Hotel Barra, Avenida Fernandes Lavrador, 18 (at Barra Beach), ☎ .
- Pension José das Hortas, Avenida Jose Estevão (at Costa Nova Beach), ☎ . Shared baths. Doubles 45€..
- Hotel Moliceiro, Rua Barbosa de Magalhães - Nº 15/17 Directly in front of the Praça do Peixe (fish market) a few doors down from the tourism office., ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2 pm, check-out: 1 pm. An excellent hotel in central Aveiro.
- Hotel as Americas, Rua Eng. Von Haff 20. Close to the train station and 15 minutes from the city center.
- Hotel Melia Ria, Cais da Fonte Nova. Newly-constructed four-star hotel situated at a 10 minutes' walk from the center. Spa, good breakfast