Espinho is a seaside resort town of 32,000 people (2011) in the north of Portugal. Its main source of income is tourism. In the beginning of the 20th century it became a spa town due to the quality of the water on its beaches. It has one of the best gambling casinos in all of Portugal, where players from all over Europe come, and where you can see great shows.
Espinho is served by the Lisbon-Porto "Linha do Norte" railway line, so it is easy to reach from the two biggest cities in Portugal. Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Ovar, Aveiro and Coimbra are within an hour or two of traveling time. Less frequent trains are available to Santa Maria da Feira from the Espinho-Vouga train station which is approximately 500 m south of the main Espinho train station. There are a few daily Alfa Pendular fast trains to Lisbon and all Intercidades trains stop at Espinho.
The A29 and A1 highways offer access to Espinho, the road signage is easy to follow. Regional road N109, connects Espinho to nearby cities of Porto and Aveiro but be prepared to move at a slower pace.
Espinho has a civilian airfield servicing private pilots and small aircraf. The Aeroclube da Costa Verde clubhouse and club members aircraft are housed at this facility. The "aeroclube" offers a variety of air related activities and hobbies.
The most interesting areas of the city are within walking distance close to the train station downtown.
- Main Church - Igreja Matriz de Espinho.
- City Hall square and adjacent João de Deus city park.
- The fishermen pulling the nets to the shore using a traditional technique named xávega on early morning in the south of the city.
- City open air market, every Monday - fish, vegetables, clothes, shoes, fabric, etc.
- The City Museum at the Fórum de Arte e Cultura de Espinho in which the fishing history of the city is depicted. The museum is in the building of a former factory of canned fish called Brandão Gomes.
- Walk on the city-long promenade by the beach.
- Swim (be careful with the currents though) and enjoy the sun on the nice white sand beaches that Espinho offers.
- Learn to surf, or rent a board if you can already, with one of the surfing schools in the city.
- Walk on the gangway that starts in the northern beach of Espinho and takes you through the dunes with a fine sea view up to several kilometers into Vila Nova de Gaia. Another gangway built in 2013 takes you towards the southern areas of the municipality (civil parishes of Silvalde and Paramos).
- Watch a volleyball match. Espinho is the Portuguese volleyball capital. Three local clubs host matches regularly: Associação Académica de Espinho, Clube de Voleibol de Espinho and Sporting Clube de Espinho.
- Gamble or watch a show in the Casino.
- Play tennis at Complexo de Ténis de Espinho.
- Rent a light aircraft (if a PPL holder) at the Aero Clube da Costa Verde and fly over the region on a clear day or take your first flying lesson with a competent instructor.
- Visit the Planetarium and watch the stars from the Observatorium at Centro Multimeios de Espinho.
- Watch a concert at the Music Academy.
- Play golf at the Oporto Golf Club, in the suburb of Paramos, south of the city of Espinho.
Festivals and events
- FIME - Espinho International Music Festival, that takes place every year.
- CINANIMA - Festival Internacional de Cinema de Animação, an international animation festival in November
- FEST - New Directors New Films Festival, an international film festival.
- Sporting Clube de Espinho is an eclectic sports club with a proud tradition and sporting history.The football team plays in the lower leagues but volleyball is big. Home match schedules are available from the club website.
Fresh vegetables and local fish in the weekly open-air market.
Being a coastal town with deep fishing roots, Espinho has a wide variety of seafood restaurants by the beach.
During the summer there are plenty of bars by the beach. In other seasons, you might want to visit "Bombar" or "Doo Bop", two vibrant places by the beach where locals gather for a drink and good music late in the evening and into the night.
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The Tourism Office (Posto de Turismo, address: Alameda 8 - Centro Comercial Solverde II) is open daily.
- Santa Maria da Feira with its Castle and its interactive science museum Visionarium is less than 20 km away and reachable by train or bus.
- Arouca and the Freita mountain range (Serra da Freita), a nice hiking spot, are less than 75 km away by car.