Things to do in Aveiro

About Aveiro

Aveiro, often lauded as 'The Venice of Portugal,' boasts must-see attractions, including the historical Moliceiros boat tours, the Art Nouveau Museum, and the vibrant Costa Nova Beach with its captivating striped houses. Discover the Aveiro Cathedral's architectural splendor and the bustling Mercado do Peixe for local flavors.
Families with kids will enjoy the interactive moliceiro boat rides along the city's canals, a visit to the Aveiro City Park for its playgrounds and open spaces, and the sweet treat of trying the famous ovos moles at a local pastry shop.
Embrace the outdoors with a stroll or bike ride along the picturesque Aveiro canals, sunbathing and playing on the wide sands of Costa Nova Beach, or birdwatching in the wetlands of the Ria de Aveiro nature reserve.
When indoors, explore Aveiro's rich history and art at the Aveiro Museum, enjoy contemporary exhibitions at the Centro de Arte de Aveiro, or indulge in shopping and dining at the Forum Aveiro.
The best Aveiro tours include the historical city tour highlighting Art Nouveau architecture, the gastronomy tours featuring local cuisines such as fresh seafood and ovos moles, and guided excursions through the city's natural reserves and eco-systems.
The most popular museums in Aveiro include the Aveiro Museum, famed for its insights into the city's religious art and Princess Saint Joana, and the Art Nouveau Museum which showcases the region's significant cultural movement in art and architecture.
For rainy days, consider the audio-guided museum tours, which shelter visitors from the weather while offering cultural enrichment, or the covered mall areas such as Forum Aveiro, which provide a mix of shopping, dining, and occasionally indoor events.
Short tours in Aveiro, perfect for a quick experience, include condensed versions of the city canal tours on a moliceiro, a brief guided walk through the historic district, or a quick visit to the central fish market for a taste of local life.

Best Things to Do In Aveiro

Immerse yourself in the charming city of Aveiro, renowned for its canals, art, and culture. Discover top attractions and unique experiences.

Aveiro: Aveiro Salt Pans

What is it?
An active site of traditional salt extraction, with tours and educational exhibits.
Why you should go?
The Aveiro Salt Pans, or Salinas de Aveiro, offer a glimpse into the age-old craft of salt harvesting, a significant part of Aveiro’s heritage. Visitors can learn about the salt extraction process and its history while walking along crystalline mounds of white gold. This visit combines educational aspects with the simple beauty of a landscape shaped by traditional industry. The Salt Pans are a unique testament to human ingenuity in harmony with nature.

Aveiro: Buga Bikes

What is it?
A free bicycle lending program to explore the city's sights and neighbourhoods.
Why you should go?
What to do in Aveiro for an active yet budget-friendly experience? Take advantage of the Buga Bikes, a free bike-sharing service that offers a fun, sustainable way to see the city. Cycling through Aveiro’s flat, cobblestone streets and along the canals provides a different perspective and an opportunity to cover more ground than walking, discovering hidden gems along the way. It’s perfect for an adventurous afternoon out with the convenience of setting your own pace.

Aveiro: Mercado de Santiago

What is it?
A vibrant local market filled with fresh produce, flowers, and artisan goods.
Why you should go?
For a dose of local life, head to Mercado de Santiago, where you can browse stalls brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables, and regional products. It’s not just a place to shop; it’s a cultural experience, offering a chance to interact with locals and sample homegrown delicacies. Whether you're picking up ingredients for a picnic or just soaking up the atmosphere, this market is a flavorful slice of Aveiro life.

Aveiro: Aveiro Lighthouse

What is it?
One of the tallest lighthouses in Portugal, offering panoramic views of the coastline.
Why you should go?
Standing at the edge of Praia da Barra, the Aveiro Lighthouse is a beacon for visitors seeking breathtaking views. Climbing the lighthouse presents an invigorating challenge, rewarded by the sweeping sights of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding landscape. Though the ascent may be taxing, the experience and the photo opportunities from atop are unparalleled and constitute one of the best things to see in Aveiro.

Aveiro: Museum of Aveiro / Santa Joana

What is it?
A museum echoing the city's deep connection to Princess Saint Joana and her legacy.
Why you should go?
The Museum of Aveiro, often called Santa Joana after the city's beloved princess, is set in her former convent. This site merges the tranquility of spiritual life with the opulence of royal heritage. Housing a collection of sacred art and artifacts, it paints a rich portrait of the region's past. As an epitome of cultural discovery, the museum stands as a pillar among Aveiro excursions, inviting reflection on art, history, and devotion.

Aveiro: Canal Cruise

What is it?
A scenic boat tour along the Ria de Aveiro's charming waterways.
Why you should go?
Experiencing Aveiro without a canal cruise is like visiting Venice without a gondola ride. Floating along the town's picturesque canals gives visitors an unparalleled view of the colorful Art Nouveau houses and historic sites lining the water's edge. A guide provides fascinating insights, making this one of the best Aveiro tours to learn about the city's maritime traditions and architecture in a tranquil setting.

Aveiro: Costa Nova Beach

What is it?
A stunning beach known for its distinctive striped houses.
Why you should go?
Couples and families alike flock to Costa Nova Beach, not just for its soft sands and clear waters, but for the photogenic striped ‘palheiros’ houses that define the coastline. This unique setting offers a blend of relaxation, water sports, and sightseeing, making it one of the fun things to do in Aveiro for visitors seeking both leisure and local culture.

Aveiro: Cathedral of Aveiro

What is it?
The city's historical cathedral, with stunning architecture.
Why you should go?
Also known as São Domingos Church, the Cathedral of Aveiro stands as a beacon of faith and history in the city center. Its architectural blend of Baroque and Mannerist styles calls to worshippers and history buffs alike, offering a peaceful space for reflection and appreciation of religious art. Attending a service or simply admiring the artistry is among the serene Aveiro activities that should not be missed.

Aveiro: Forum Aveiro

What is it?
An open-air shopping center with retail, dining, and cultural events.
Why you should go?
Forum Aveiro offers a modern contrast to the historical character of the city. This vibrant shopping and entertainment complex invites visitors to indulge in retail therapy, enjoy a meal with panoramic canal views, or partake in the frequent cultural events held here. Its accessible location makes it one of the top places to visit in Aveiro for an enjoyable day or evening out.

Aveiro: Aveiro Museum

What is it?
A museum set in the former Convent of Jesus, showcasing local history and art.
Why you should go?
The Aveiro Museum, also known as Museu de Aveiro, is a treasure trove of religious art, sculptures, and paintings, making it a top destination for cultural enthusiasts. Housed in the beautifully restored Convent of Jesus, the museum also tells the compelling story of Princess Saint Joana, providing insights into the city’s past. It's one of the essential Aveiro excursions for anyone interested in the region's heritage.

TOP-5 tours in Aveiro for first time visitors

  • Explore Aveiro's historic core with an audio tour that reveals the secrets of the city's Art Nouveau details and traditional azulejos (ceramic tiles).
  • Delight in the flavors of Aveiro on a culinary-focused tour that guides you to the best spots for local specialties like ovos moles and fresh seafood.
  • Uncover the charm of Aveiro's canals with an audio guide narrating the journey as you float past landmarks and under ornate bridges.
  • Take a cultural dive into the Aveiro City Museum and other historic sites with a tour that illuminates the city's rich heritage and artistic endeavors.
  • Enjoy a serene walk through the verdant spaces of the city, including parks and natural reserves, on an eco-tour that celebrates Aveiro's green heart.

Fun things to do in Aveiro with kids

Aveiro is a family-friendly destination with a variety of fun-filled activities suitable for children. Start with a whimsical ride on the bright and colorful moliceiro boats, which are sure to captivate kids with their whimsical designs. Gliding along the canals, little ones can spot the city's architecture and maybe even feed the ducks along the way. Head over to the Forum Aveiro for an open-air shopping and recreation experience. With its child-friendly spaces, parents can shop while youngsters enjoy the play areas. The Forum also occasionally hosts workshops and activities that are perfect for keeping the little ones entertained. For a day out in the fresh air, visit the Parque Infante D. Pedro, a green oasis with a playground and plenty of space for kids to run and play. Families can take leisurely strolls, discover small ponds with ducks, and enjoy a tranquil picnic in this pleasant park setting. Each of these attractions ensures that families have a memorable and engaging time in Aveiro.

Things to do in Aveiro with family

Aveiro provides a picturesque setting perfect for creating family memories. The city is known for its stunning canals, and taking a moliceiro boat tour is an ideal way to enjoy the sights together, making it one of the top things to do in Aveiro. Kids will be thrilled by the brightly painted boats, while adults appreciate the historical commentary. Another family favorite is the sprawling Parque Infante D. Pedro, offering lush lawns, shaded paths, and playgrounds. It's a prime spot for a family picnic and a respite from the bustle of the city, with ample opportunities for children to play and explore the park's diverse flora. Lastly, the Aveiro Salt Pans give families an intriguing look into the traditional salt harvesting in the region. Educational tours at the pans teach the process of salt production, an activity that sparks curiosity for all ages, while the scenic views create a perfect backdrop for family photographs. These attractions highlight the best of Aveiro, ensuring fun for the whole family.

Free things to do in Aveiro

Embrace a wealth of experiences without spending a Euro as you delve into the free things to do in Aveiro. A leisurely stroll through the historic city center allows you to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, marvel at the distinctive Art Nouveau buildings, and relax by the beautiful canals, making for picturesque moments at no cost. Next, the Aveiro City Park, known as Parque Infante D. Pedro, offers a tranquil escape with its duck-filled ponds, verdant landscapes, and shaded walking paths. It's a perfect locale for families and individuals to unwind, enjoy a picnic, or simply while away an afternoon amidst natural beauty. Lastly, a visit to the bustling Mercado de Aveiro introduces visitors to the heart of local life. Feast your senses on the colorful displays of fresh produce, flowers, and artisan products, engage with friendly vendors, and experience the true essence of Aveiro's community spirit, all for free. These attractions are just a sample of what to see in Aveiro, promising enriching experiences and delightful discoveries without a price tag.

Cheap things to do in Aveiro

Exploring Aveiro doesn't have to come at a high price, with numerous affordable activities to enjoy. A visit to the local markets, like Mercado do Peixe, offers an authentic and inexpensive glimpse into Aveiro life. Here, visitors can savor fresh seafood, taste traditional treats, and mingle with locals amidst the lively ambiance. For those on a budget, the iconic moliceiro boat rides through Aveiro's canals are surprisingly budget-friendly. This quintessential Aveiro experience provides scenic views of the town’s colorful buildings and bridges, all while being serenaded with tales of the city's rich cultural heritage. Lastly, indulge in the city's sweet tooth without denting your wallet by trying the famous ovos moles. These egg-based confections are a local specialty and can be found at small prices at pastry shops throughout the city. Tasting this treat is a must-do for an authentic Aveiro experience. These attractions cater to budget-conscious travelers who want to experience the best Aveiro tours and activities without the expense.

Things to do in Aveiro for couples

Aveiro, with its dreamlike canals and exquisite Art Nouveau architecture, creates the perfect backdrop for a romantic escape. Couples can glide through the city's waterways on a traditional moliceiro boat ride, taking in the whimsical urban landscape while enjoying tranquil moments together, an experience that stands as a highlight among things to do in Aveiro. For an intimate cultural experience, the Museu de Aveiro beckons. Housed in an old convent, the museum's serene cloisters and exceptional art provide a peaceful retreat into the city's past, perfect for art-loving pairs seeking quiet reflection. As twilight sets, a leisurely walk along the Costa Nova beach offers couples a serene end to the day. The beach's iconic striped houses and soft, golden sands set against the crashing waves make for unforgettable sunset moments. Together, these attractions craft an ambiance of love and wonder, catering to those searching for the best Aveiro activities for couples.

Things to do in Aveiro at night

As the sun sets on the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro transforms into a nocturnal playground with a variety of evening activities. Start with a romantic walk along the canals, where the shimmering lights create a magical atmosphere and the city's Art Nouveau buildings take on a new persona under the night sky. For those seeking a more vibrant nightlife, head to the Fish Market square, also known as Praça do Peixe, where a plethora of bars and restaurants come alive with music, laughter, and the clinking of glasses. It's an ideal spot for couples or groups to experience the local nightlife and indulge in some of the best culinary offerings in Aveiro. And for culture enthusiasts, the Aveiro theatre scene doesn’t disappoint. With a variety of performances ranging from drama to dance, visiting Teatro Aveirense or other local venues presents an opportunity to immerse in the arts and perhaps catch a glimpse of Portugal's rising stars. These attractions highlight Aveiro's charm, providing memorable experiences long after the daylight has faded.