Las Palmas cityscape Gran Canaria Island

The Complete Travel Guide to the North of Gran Canaria

The Canary Islands are a popular summer destination for many Europeans due to a combination of great weather, epic beaches, diverse landscapes, and low-cost flights available almost year-round.

Today we’ll be focusing on Gran Canaria. And considering that it’s quite a big island (and we have a lot to write about), we divided the information into 2 parts: the North and the South in 2 different blog posts. In this one, we’ll be covering the northern part of the island.

 

Climate

Subtropical. People say the weather in the Canary Islands is of an eternal spring, making it the best in the world. The average annual temperature is 24 degrees.

To check the weather during your trip go to www.accuweather.com/Gran-Canaria

 

Getting to Gran Canaria
(Inter-island transportation)

Ferry

We usually do the island crossing by ferry due to the cost being similar to commercial air travel, and because we don’t get the chance to be on a boat that often.

There are 2 ferry operators making the connecting routes between island: Naviera Armas and Fred Olsen.

 

Ferry a Tenerife

 

To give you an idea of costs and travel times, here’s the info on the trip from Tenerife to Gran Canaria:

Naviera Armas

Cost: €35
Trip duration: 2h45
Docks in the port of Las Palmas, where a transfer will take you to the city center in 10 minutes (no extra fees).

For the ferry timetables check www.navieraarmas.com/timetables

Fred Olsen

Costs: €40
Trip duration: 80 minutes for the ferry, and 25 minutes for the shuttle bus (no extra fees). The ferry docks in Agaete but a shuttle bus will take you to Las Palmas.

For Fred Olsen ferry timetables check: www.fredolsen.es

Airplane

Canaryfly and Binter have frequent flight connections between islands. Prices are reasonable — €20 on average — depending on the month.

Airplanes land at Las Palmas Gran Canaria Airport, located 19 km from the capital Las Palmas or 30 km from Playa del Inglés in the south.

 

Gran Canaria from above

Photo by Marc Ryckaert

Airport Transfer Buses (for inter-island and international flights)

To get anywhere on Gran Canaria you can hop on one of the blue buses (guaguas as locals call them) parked right outside the terminal.

The ticket cost for Las Palmas is € 2.95 and for Playa del Inglés € 3.50. You can’t beat that!

For timetables and alternative routes check: Guaguas Global

 

Accommodation

As a tourism-dependent island, there’s an array of accommodation options scattered all over Gran Canaria. Prices start at €12 a night in a hostel, up to €120 a night in a four-star hotel.

In the north of the island, most are located near the beach of Las Canteras. We’ve stayed at hotel Pujol (pronounced Poo-whole). 😀

 

What to do in Las Palmas

The Historic Quarter of Vegueta

Vegueta is an old neighborhood with the best colonial architecture of the island. You can walk for hours on cobblestone streets, finding new alleys and admiring the historical houses from the 15th century.

Right on the center is Santa Ana square and Cathedral. There’s a fee to go in, but don’t bother, the interior is a bit dull.

 

Santa Ana square and Cathedral

Photo by Jvhertum

 

We recommend instead spending your money at one of the many outdoor cafes in the area eating tapas and enjoying the sun.

There’s a craft market every Sunday.





Calle Mayor de Triana (Shopping street)

Triana neighborhood — also one of the oldest in Las Palmas — has become the main shopping district of the city. Small old-timey shops, popular stores or fancy boutiques are always presented in beautifully restored buildings, making for a beautiful walk even to the most frugal.

 

Calle Mayor de Triana, Shopping Street in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Photo by Matti Mattila

 

Vegueta Market

Vegueta Market is the first market ever built in the Canary Islands back in 1856. And today remains the spot where locals come to buy fresh produce.

Tip: you’ll be tempted to buy some of the glorious tropical fruit displayed on the stalls. If you do, ask for the price beforehand as several vendors tend to overcharge tourists.

 

Museums

House of Columbus (Casa de Colón)

A museum about the relationship between the Canary Island and the Americas.

 

Casa de Colón in Vegueta, Gran Canaria

House of Colombus museum

Location: Calle de Los Balcones, on the historic quarter of Vegueta.
Admission fee: €4 (you can visit the building’s library for free).
Opens: Mondays to Saturdays 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sundays 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

 

Museu Canario

A museum about the prehispanic population and the history of the archipelago.

Location: Calle del Dr. Verneau, on the historic quarter of Vegueta
Admission fee: €5 (free for kids under 12 y.o.)
Opens: Mondays to Fridays 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

 

Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno

Exhibition and activity center of contemporary art from the Canary Islands, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Location: Calle Los Balcones, on the historic quarter of Vegueta (near Casa de Colón)
Admission fee: €5
Opens: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

 

Beaches in the North of Gran Canaria

Las Canteras

Las Canteras is the largest beach in Las Palmas, covering a 4 km slice of coast. Being located right by the city, it is the central hub for local life and the favorite spot for surfers and tourists.

 

Playa Las Canteras Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

 

If you’re not up for an entire day just laying on the beach, you can hang out on one of the numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops in the wide promenade by the sand.

 

Las Canteras Gran Canaria

Photo by Pepelopex

Gui Gui

Gui Gui is a secluded beach on the west side of the island (it’s actually two: small Gui Gui and big Gui Gui). Getting there means a 2.5-hour hike or a boat trip from the nearest town of Tasartico.

The long walk to Gui Gui is worth it as the mountains and scenery along the way are just as impressive as the destination. The beach itself is an unspoiled paradise where you can spend the rest of the day and even spend the night (if you do so, take the appropriate gear as the nights get quite cold).

Many hikers that come to Gui Gui and camp overnight say the night sky is breathtaking.

Typical villages on the North of Gran Canaria

Agaete

A fishing village in Puerto de las Nieves, with one of the most picturesque landscapes on the island made of white and blue houses by the sea.

 

Gran Canaria

 

Besides the small town itself, we recommend:

• The necropolis of Maipés
• Las Salinas de Agaete where you can swim in a natural pool

 

Firgas

Firgas is known as the “balcony of the Atlantic”, for having the best viewpoint on the ocean and the entire northern part of the island.





Artenara

It is the highest city of the island and the perfect spot to rest from the beaches of the coast.

 

El mar de nubes en Artenara Gran Canaria

 

Here in Artenara, we recommend:

• Natural Park Pinar de Tamadaba
• The caves of the Guanches
• Acusa Archaeological Park
• Astronomical observatory Vega de Acusa

 

Night Sky in Artenara, Gran Canaria island.

Photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes

Nature attractions

Tamadaba Natural Park

Close to Agaete, Artenara and San Nicolás de Tolentino is the Natural Park of Tamadaba.

 

Tamadaba

 

Here you’ll find the oldest and best-preserved pine forest on the island classified by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve extending from the summit of the mountain all the way to the west coast. Along the park, you can expect some breathtaking views of the Atlantic and the Teide (all the way on Tenerife island), stunning valleys, and little old villages.

🚶‍♂️ Great hiking and walking site.

Getting to Tamadaba Natural Park by Bus

From Las Palmas bus station, take the hourly Bus No. 102 to Agaete. In Agaete stop at El Lomo and follow the trail to Tamadaba.

 

Rural Park del Nublo

Right in the center of the island is the Rural Park del Nublo, a natural wonder also classified by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.

 

Parque Rural Nublo

Photo by Tamara K.

 

We recommend visiting:

• The natural lagoons
• The volcanic boilers of Tejeda Valley
• Roque Nublo ravines
• Roque Bentayga
• Las Niñas dam

🚶‍♂️ Great hiking spot.
⛺ Campground available

 

If you have any question or some extra info to add, let us know in the comments.

Cover photo by El Coleccionista de Instantes

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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Barra beach in Aveiro

Discover Barra and Costa Nova: the beach getaways by Aveiro

Like all the Aveiro locals, Nuno and I spent many summers with our family and friends on the beaches of Barra and Costa Nova. Being an affordable summer destination, the shore is brought to life every year by the influx of visitors coming from the neighboring cities to soak up the rays, boogie-board, and stroll on the boardwalks.

 

promenade at Barra beach

But when winter sets in, the beach remain the cheeriest getaway for the local sun worshipers to escape — so there’s still plenty to do during the cold season as well.

 

Public transport from Aveiro to Barra and Costa Nova Beaches (Updated July 2018)

You can take the Transdev bus (L5951) in the Rossio area or near the Train Station, which will take you to Barra or Costa Nova in around 40 minutes.

Ticket cost: €4,80 (round-trip)
Timetable: 

Public Bus Aveiro to Barra Costa Nova beach(Click on the image to enlarge)

Keep in mind that your bus stops are called either “Barra” or “Costa Nova”, not “Forte da Barra” which is far from the beach.

 

Weather warning

The most frustrating thing about living in Aveiro is the constant stiff wind that won’t quit. That’s why if you’re coming to spend a day at the beach, be sure to get yourself a windscreen. There’s 90% chance that it’ll be breezy and not get pounded by sand will make your day much more pleasant.
Summer average temperature: 20ºC

Windy beach

Don’t expect warm tropical waters either — it’s the Atlantic ocean.
Sea average temperature: 16ºC

Having said that, there’s still a 10% chance of you having the best beach day of your life, ‘cause when it’s good, oh… it’s gooood.

 

Barra Beach

The beach is divided by a long breakwater: to its right is the laid-back ‘old beach’ (or meia-laranja). To the left and stretching along 1.5 km is the ‘new beach’, frequented by different types of crowds spread throughout its length. Right next to the breakwater is where families and children hang, but if you keep moving you’ll find a younger demographic in the area called 7º ano.

 

The beach and breakwater of Barra beach

 

The Lighthouse

It’s right here on Barra beach that you’ll find the highest lighthouse of the Iberian Peninsula, and the oldest in Portugal. The view from the top is spectacular and a definite must-see.

 

Barra beach in Aveiro
Barra beach view


Go up the 288 steps on Wednesdays, during the summer from 2 PM to 5 PM and in the winter from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Free of charge.





Meals

As the commercial and residential areas are right next to the beach, you’ll easily find many options to eat and drink but these are the ones we recommend:

Miami serves our favorite burgers in the entire world along with the crispiest fries!

 

Miami burgers restaurant

 

For good handmade pizza try Pizzaria Brasão on the main street in front of the lighthouse. Also on that same main street is the hip sushi house Barba Azul.  

But if you don’t feel like spending time on a restaurant, grab a quick bite at the supermarket Auto Mercado Gonçalves in the beginning of the breakwater: they sell deep fried goodies, bread, fruits, and drinks. Grab what you need for an utensil-free meal and have a picnic at the beach!

 

Mini Market Gonçalves exterior
Mini market in barra beach

For an afternoon snack

Regueifas

Try the Portuguese sweet bread called regueifa or a pão de deus with sugar and shredded coconut on top. Regueifas are a staple from Barra and have been sold here since we can remember. In fact, a good summer day is not complete without a regueifa.

 

Regueifas and pão de deus


Get yours at the Iracema kiosk, a small wooden stall right at the entrance of the breakwater.

Iracema kiosk

 

Bolacha Americana

Bolachas Americanas, are big wafers sold by a loud gentleman carrying a white can through the beach. He’s a well-known figure in Aveiro and has been selling Bolachas Americanas since he was 12. His name is Carlos, and you won’t be able to miss him if he walks by you.

 

Bolacha americana

 

Tripa

If you haven’t tried a tripa yet, do it! Along the main road parallel to the beach, many kiosks sell them with a myriad of fillings to choose from.

 

Vendor making a tripa of Aveiro

 

For more info on other Aveiro delicacies and dishes read Aveiro Travel Guide: best food, bars, and accommodation.

 

What to do in Costa Nova

By now, you probably saw one of these colorful striped houses on the internet — they’re in Costa Nova, only a 15-minute walk from Barra beach. Around here, key attractions are organized on a main street parallel to the sea, along with locally owned shops and seafood restaurants.

Striped houses of Costa Nova Aveiro

The beach

The smaller beaches are a great alternative to the crowded sands of Barra, perfect for relaxing and sunset strolls.

 

Costa Nova beach

 

The Fish Market

On the main street is the tiny Municipal Market where the hardworking fishmongers sell the catch of the day like they’re mother and grandmothers taught them: effusively. It’s a treat to walk through and a great place to get a typically Portuguese gift.

Municipal market Costa Nova
During summer opens from 8 AM to 8 PM.
On winter weekdays opens from 8 AM to 12 PM. On weekends opens from 8 AM to 6 PM. Always closed on Mondays.

 

A must-eat in Costa Nova

Don’t miss Café Atlântida and try a pastel de nata — they’re said to be the best in Aveiro. The staff is not friendly, but the tarts make up for the tartness.

 

pastel de nata atlantida Costa Nova

 

Beach bars and cafes

Along the boardwalks of Barra and Costa Nova are several beach bars providing fresh drinks, good music and bean bags for lounging on the sand.

In Barra, the ones we like best are 7º ano de Praia and Offshore, right next to each other.

 

Offshore bar


In Costa Nova, we always hang out at Bronze
because it has the best terrace and sea view.

 

Bronze in Costa Nova

 

The boardwalks

In the midst of winter on those days when we’re missing summer the most, we often go for a stroll along the boardwalks whilst eating a warm tripa. Walking on the sand dunes and having the ocean as a backdrop makes them extra scrumptious. You should try it: it’s both soul cleansing and artery clogging.

Barra beach boardwalks


Some people use the boardwalks for jogging though.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Choices.

 

Other activities

Through the scenic route from Barra beach all the way up to Costa Nova, is an excellent path for running, cycling, and skating. If you don’t have gear for any of that, rent a bicycle on Be Tour at the Memorial Park in Barra beach (between the lighthouse and the ria) for €5 per hour. Only from June to September.

 

Bike rental in Barra beach, Aveiro


Many schools offer lessons in surfing, sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle on the ria, and the list goes on.

Surf’aqui – Surf school: with surf lessons, bodyboard, longboard, stand up paddle lessons.

Trilhos d’Água  Diving school: for diving lessons.

Ria ActivaWindsurf and Kitesurf lessons, and bicycle rentals.

 

Accommodation

Accommodation at the beach tends to be even pricier than in the city, so go enjoy your day by the ocean and return to Aveiro by the end of the day — there are plenty of buses to take you there and back.

However if you came prepared, camping can be an affordable option: there’s a camping ground in the middle of the residential area in Barra.

 

Note that every place mentioned in this post is marked on maps.me. Download the app and the map for guidance. If you have any questions, contact us. We live here and we can help you out! 

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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What to do in Aveiro, Portugal

Ultimate Aveiro Travel Guide: the best food, bars, and accommodation

Whether you started by reading our Ultimate Aveiro Travel Guide, or just found this post at random, you should know that we’re delivering to you more than the average tourist experience in the city. If the first part was all about introducing Aveiro to get your trip started off on the right foot, this part is all about the best accommodation, typical restaurants and what to do late at night—either chilling after dinner or partying to the after-hours.

Note that all places mentioned in this post are marked on maps.me. Download the app and the map.

 

Ria central canal in Aveiro

 

Accommodation

Due to the international exposure that Aveiro has gained in the last couple of years, tourist influx and accommodation have multiplied tenfold. Most options are located in the city-center, around the Rossio area and Lourenço Peixinho avenue.

Still, and without knowing how much are you willing to spend on accommodation, we want to tip you off to the fact that most hotels and family-run housings in Aveiro are ridiculously overpriced. Sleeping in Aveiro is not exactly cheap when compared to other big Portuguese cities like Lisbon or Porto.

 

Ponto de Abrigo Aveiro

 

However, when Nuno and I travel we pick our accommodation based on price, proximity to the city center, and the reviews and comments on booking sites. Therefore, those were the criteria for our following selection:

 

Ponto de Abrigo: www.facebook.com/pontodeabrigo

Aveiro GuestHouse: www.facebook.com/aveiroguesthouse

Dona Dores House: www.facebook.com/FernandoGuestHouse

 

Tip: If you plan to make your reservation through Booking or Agoda, double-check the prices in the respective Apps as it may be cheaper to book from there. We talked about this and much more on the post Travel Apps We Use and Love

 

What to Eat

You can try many recognizable Portuguese flavors in restaurants across Aveiro. However, the secular connection its people have with the sea enriched the local cuisine with unique dishes.

 

Fish market

 

Fish

There’s quality fresh fish everywhere in the city, but Maré Cheia is really popular for knowing how to cook it well. Try the grilled fish, the fish stews, and the typical eels stew.

Dishes start at €16.
Closed on Wednesdays.

 

Meat

For traditional Portuguese meat dishes, we recommend 2 Duques (Closed on Sundays), Snack bar Picota, and Evaristo (Closed on Saturdays). They serve delicious homey food in generous portions, with prices starting at 7€.

At Cervejaria o Augusto in the Rossio, try the bifana—an old-school Portuguese snack of fine pork steak in a loaf of bread.

In the outskirts of Aveiro, on Bairrada, the roasted suckling pig is one of the most appreciated dishes. It can be a pricey meal (that we suggest you eat only when you visit Bairrada) but to have an idea of what it tastes like, eat a sandes de leitão (piglet sandwich) for €4,50 at Tasquinha do Leitão, in Praça do Peixe.

 

Leitao Sandes (suckling pig sandwich) from António dos Leitoes Porta Larga - Coimbra, Portugal

 

Burger Joints

If you’re in the mood for a good burger, Porta 35 is a convenient option due to its location right in the Praça do Peixe. 

Cafe Ramona serves the most famous burgers in town, but getting a table around here on Fridays and Saturdays can be tricky. Closed on Sundays.

 

Hamburguer Ramona AveiroPhoto: Café Ramona

 

Vegetarian and Vegan

For our vegan friends, Vegifruit serves veggie options of soups, baguettes, and salads with fruit juices at great price deals. Closed on Sundays.

Another option is Ki, a vegan and macrobiotic restaurant with desserts to die for. Closed on weekends.

 

Bakeries

Aveiro has to be the Portuguese city with more pastry and bakery shops per square meter. There’s at least one in every corner.

 

Ria Pão bakery

 

Try Ria Pão in the Rossio area, or Fanepão 88 closer to the Santa Joana Museum. You’ll find the counters brimming with cakes, pastries, cookies, and bread. To avoid the flood of people that come here from 4 PM to 6 PM, make it an early afternoon snack.

 

Aveiro pastry shot filled with cakes

On Lourenço Peixinho avenue, Pastelaria Ramos
 is known for the best cartuchos in town. We can describe them as gooey-chocolaty-cylinder-shaped-cakes filled with whipped cream. Yes, please!

 

Cartuchos de Aveiro

 

Ovos Moles

Every bakery and pastry shop around Aveiro sells the famous Ovos Moles and all its derivatives such as fios de ovos, castanhas de ovos, broas de ovos… we could keep going.

 

Ovos moles

Confeitaria Peixinho Aveiro

 

Nonetheless, locals say that some ovos moles are better than others, and the best are sold at Confeitaria Peixinho and Maria da Apresentação e Herdeiros, two neighboring stores right in the city center. 

 

Tripas

Compared to the favored ovos moles, tripas are the underdogs of Aveiro sweets. Let’s just say that if tripas were in a band, they would be Kelly Rowland, and ovos moles would be Beyoncé.

Maybe it’s the unfortunate name “tripa” (that translates into “gut/ intestines”) that makes people apprehensive, but the truth is that these semi-baked-waffle-doughs from heaven, are the most comforting and versatile baked-sweets around town. You can eat them on their own with a dash of cinnamon on top, or take it to the next level with a filling of your choice such as chocolate, ovos moles, jam, ham and cheese, and the list goes on.

 

Mario eating a tripa

Our favorite filling is apple jam and cinnamon ’cause it tastes like warm apple pie. You can find them being sold until late at night on kiosks in the Praça do Peixe and around Aveiro beaches. Enjoy!

 

Ice cream

To nibble on some ice cream with a Portuguese twist, go over to Gelados de Portugal. You’ll find flavors like ovos moles, port wine, and Portuguese custard tart to name a few.





Nightlife

Although Aveiro is not exactly “the city that never sleeps”, we do know how to have a good time. At night, Praça de Peixe becomes the favorite spot for locals to hang out and have a drink.

 

Cais dos botirões at night

Most bars are closed during the day, but starting at 10:00 PM to around 3:00 AM music gets louder and the entire area gets occupied by the terraces of bars and cafes.

 

Praça do Peixe at night

 

Bars

Despite not abundant (and most quite small) bars cater music to suit almost every taste. Here are some of the best options:

Toc’aqui: Portuguese and international music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. 

Kitten’s Irish Bar: One of Aveiro Irish pubs. It’s small and cozy with a wide selection of craft beers.

GuesthouseStands out for its good location and great terrace, perfect for hanging out with friends on sunny afternoons and warm summer nights.

 

terraces at night in Aveiro

 

Mercado Negro: In an old building with the façade facing the central canal of the ria is Mercado Negro: a bar with different areas distributed throughout an old apartment, and the only place during the winter where you can have a glass of red wine by the fire.

Mercado Negro houses several exhibitions and concerts throughout the year.

Má IdeiaChill place with alternative music and friendly staff.

Luxor Bar: An Egyptian themed bar with a sitting area and a dancing area. It’s located outside Praça do Peixe and has a cover charge.

 

Clubs

If going to bed at 3 AM is for babies, here’s where you can go next:

Sal Club: At a walking distance from Praça do Peixe it’s the new acquisition to Aveiro night scene, that has gained a lot of popularity over the past year.

Estação da LuzConsidered one of the best nightclubs in Portugal. Cover charge is €10 and ladies nights are on Fridays.
It’s about a 15-minute taxi ride from Aveiro. Taxi fees should be around €10.

 

Discoteca Estaçao da LuzPhoto: Estação da Luz

 

Cultural Options

Teatro Aveirense has a cool theater agenda that you can check on their website: www.teatroaveirense.pt
In addition, they do weekly screenings of indie and classic films.

 

Teatro Aveirense

 

For good theater (albeit a more humble lineup) we recommend the Estaleiro Teatral, at the Infante D. Pedro Park.

For good travel photography and film, visit Trilhos da Terra.

 

 

If you have any question, feel free to leave us a comment or contact us
Podes escrever-nos em português se preferires. 😉

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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Traveling in Aveiro

The ultimate travel guide to Aveiro

The city of Aveiro is becoming a must see destination in the center north of Portugal.

This beautiful coastal city that Nuno and I call home has a lot to offer: Art Nouveau, soft sand beaches, ovos moles, free bike rides and one of the brightest blue skies you probably ever seen—and all within arm’s reach.

Some people wrongfully call Aveiro the “Portuguese Venice” (usually those who never visited Italy) and even though there are some similarities between Venetian gondolas and moliceiros, that’s pretty much it. Aveiro has a unique bright personality and doesn’t need an international doppelganger to stand on its own.

 

Cais Botirões

 

As a great weekend destination, visiting the city will take you no more than 2 days, but to see the whole region you’ll need a couple more at least.

We wrote this Aveiro post series divided into 3 parts: in full, they’ll compile the outright best information for an excellent time in the city. To curate this info we dug deep, knocked on doors and asked friends for advice to create a travel guide made of worth-seeing classics, trendy spots and tips only locals know about. Keep reading part one or jump to: Aveiro Travel Guide: the best food, bars, and accommodation or Discover Barra and Costa Nova: the beach getaways by Aveiro.


Every single place we mention on these posts is marked on Maps.me, download the app for guidance. 

 

Climate

The best time to visit Aveiro is between March and September. During the winter months (December to March) temperatures hover around 9ºC and the sun shines all year round. Nonetheless, pack a windbreaker—Aveiro is a VERY windy city and it gets cold at night.


Aveiro center Vera-Cruz

 

Location

Map of Aveiro

 

How to get to Aveiro

By train:

By being located between Lisbon and Porto, Aveiro gets to be served by the Northern Railway Line.

Lisbon to Aveiro takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes, train ticket prices start at €20,20 to €26,30.

Porto to Aveiro: If you land on Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (Oporto), take the subway to Campanhã railway station (35 minutes for €1,95).

From Campanhã or São Bento railway stations, get the urban train to Aveiro (yellow line, 1 hour trip for 3.40€). Urban trains run hourly and every day of the week, check the timetables here or download the CP App.

 

By car:

If you’re planning to drive, many freeways will bring you to Aveiro: A1, A5, A17, and A29.

Lisbon to Aveiro (233km) toll rates start at €17,40 
Porto to Aveiro (59km) toll rates start at €4,65

There are a free car and caravan parking facility near Rossio, free of charge.

 

What to see and do in Aveiro

Ria de Aveiro

The saltwater canals permeating through the city center are an extension of the Ria, a coastal lagoon that gives Aveiro it’s unique appeal. Walking along its canals and crossing the footbridges guarantees you won’t miss the most picturesque parts of the city. 

 

Bairro da Beira-Mar

This is the most typical neighborhood of Aveiro established by the hardworking fishermen, salt workers, and their families.

It’s an esteemed city quarter, assembled by narrow streets and simple houses, embellished by a mishmash of colors and patterns of Portuguese tiles.
This is also where São Gonçalinho celebrations happen every year.

 

São Gonçalinho (January)

Hands down the most random and entertaining celebration in Aveiro.
Every year, in January, people go to the top of the São Gonçalinho chapel— patron saint of Aveiro—to throw sugary hard cakes as a way to fulfill their vows.
The crowd below tries to catch the rock-hard cakes called ‘cavacas’, not necessarily for being tasty, but because they’re said to bring good luck.

We made a video about it:

Praça do Peixe e o Mercado José Estevão

It’s a small Eiffel-style iron and glass building in the Beira-Mar neighborhood, and one of Aveiro fish markets, opened Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7 AM to 2 PM. 
There’s a restaurant on the first floor.

At night, the vicinity comes alive with bars, cafes, and terraces: starting at 10 PM to approximately 3 AM-ish.

 

Fish market in Aveiro Portugal

 

Fábrica Campos and the Fonte Nova Quay

Now a repurposed building, it was a manufacturing plant of paramount importance for Aveiro during the XIX and XX centuries.

 

Fonte Nova quay

In front of it is the Fonte Nova Quay, a beautiful urban space widely used by locals and perfect for a late afternoon stroll or lawn rest.

 

Fonte Nova Quay Aveiro

There are cafes, a supermarket, restaurants and a sushi place called Subenshi to grab dinner after the sun sets.

 

Cale do Oiro Pool and Spa

A rustic salt-water pool placed in the middle of Marina da Troncalhada saltpans, that became a popular tourist attraction in the last few years.

The high concentration of salt in the water and the slurry, yields them therapeutic properties that aid with skin conditions, allergies and respiratory problems.

Opened from July to October.
Entrance fee: €2 or €4 with a guided tour.

 

Park Infante D.Pedro

In the mood for a picnic? Visit the city park that locals call “Parque da Macaca” (Monkey Park) due to a very bad-mannered monkey that lived there during the 90’s. Nowadays the monkey is no more but the park is greener than ever. As for animals, there are fish, turtles, and ducks on the lake.

 

Aveiro city park

Park Infante D. Pedro

 

Aveiro old Train Station

A XIXth century building, that was closed and lamentably discarded after the new train station was built. The white building is covered with several Portuguese tile panels, illustrating the region and its people. Worth a picture.

 

Aveiro old railway station© NH53

Fórum Aveiro

A shopping mall that doesn’t look or feel like one.
Instead of an obnoxious eyesore planted in the city center, it’s unique architecture merges beautifully with the city and invites you in for a walk.

 

Forum Aveiro

 

Here you’ll find the convenience of a food court, parapharmacy, a rooftop garden with great views and everything else a shopping mall has.





Festival dos Canais (July)

A one-week festival packed with a vast range of performances, workshops, and music of Portuguese and international artists. Events take place at different points of the city, every day, starting in the afternoon and extending to the late-evening.

The festival is free, open to the public and family friendly.
Check the full program and highlights on the site www.festivaldoscanais.pt

 

Museums (all closed on Mondays)

Ecomuseum Marinha da Troncalhada

As a big salt producer back in the day, Aveiro managed to have 275 working salterns during the 80’s. Today there are less than 10, and Marinha da Troncalhada is one of the few that still works.

You can visit the eco-museum independently, for free, at any time of day—but we recommend doing it late in the afternoon, due to the epic sunsets.

 

Gazeebo in Marina da Trocalhada

Mario walking on the salt pans of Aveiro

 

If you’re with a group of 6+ people and want to learn about the whole salt picking process, request for a guide at the City Museum (€1 per person). There isn’t any written information on the site, however, if you speak Portuguese, have a chat with the salt workers!

This is also a great place for bird watching (aquatic birds, perching birds, and birds of prey).

 

Seagulls flying in Aveiro© César Sotelo

Art Nouveau Museum

Aveiro is an acclaimed city-museum of Art Nouveau in Portugal. Around the city center, you’ll find several of these beautiful historic buildings and one of them “Casa Major” was adapted into a multi-level museum and tea-house.

 

Art noveau museum in Aveiro

 

Entrance fee: €2
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9 AM to 12.30 PM and 13.30 PM to 5 PM.

Tea House opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 09:30 AM to 02:00 AM
Weekends 09:00 AM to 03:00 AM

 

Aveiro Museum a.k.a Santa Joana Museum

A former female religious convent transformed into Aveiro main museum, now houses permanent exhibits of sacred art from the Portuguese baroque period, jewelry and artifacts of historical importance to the city. Such as the tomb of the Order’s most famous nun, Princess Santa Joana.

Entrance fee: €4
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.

 

Museum Santa Joana

Aveiro Museum Santa Joana's tomb
Aveiro Museum of Santa Joana

 

Museums discount tickets

For €5 you can get a general ticket that grants you access to all the museums in the city center:

• Ecomuseum Marinha da Troncalhada
• Art Nouveau Museum
• Aveiro Museum
• City Museum

The general ticket can be bought at the counters of the museums mentioned above (keep in mind that they’re all closed on Mondays).

 

Tours and Workshops

Moliceiro boat ride

You can sail along the scenic route on a moliceiro, just keep in mind that these boat rides were tailored to tourists. All moliceiros tend to have a guide on board spitting out mindless information for 45 minutes straight, disregarding if you’re interested or not.

Having said that, on Rossio along the central canal are plenty of boat operators. As of July 2017, ride fees start at €5 for children and €10 for adults.

 

Aveiro city center with art nouveau buildings


Near Fábrica Campos/ Fonte Nova Quay and far from the commotion of the city center, the boat operator 
Eco Ria offers tours with optional upgrades. Prices also start at €10.

As there are fewer tourists around this area, you might be lucky enough to get an entire boat for yourself.
Check the tours info on their website (it’s translated into several languages): www.ecoria.pt

 

Motorboat ride to the beach

One of the motorboats that connected Aveiro to Costa Nova in 1945, was transformed into a boat museum offering tours from the city center (Rossio) to the beaches of Barra, Costa Nova, São Jacinto and Torreira. Tour fees start at €15 for 45 minutes rides all the way up to 2-hour rides (round trips).

During the month of July, they have tours to the Big Moliceiro Sailing Regatta in Torreira, it’s a must see. For information on the specific days (as the dates of the regatta change yearly), contact the Lancha da Costa Nova: www.praiadacostanova.pt

 

Lancha da Costa Nova

 

Tip: These motorboat tours, by removing you from the city center to places you cannot see otherwise, are a great way to glimpse the natural side of the Aveiro estuary. Besides, you’ll be paying a similar price to the moliceiro boat rides that can’t seem to do anything but going through the same ol’ tourist route.

 

Explore – Aveiro Walking Tours

For a fun, cultural activity we recommend Explore-Aveiro Walking tours. They have several in-depth tours beyond the touristic circuits, with cool-knowledgeable guides on the history and folklore of Aveiro.

The tours are mostly tip based, meaning you’ll have to tip the guide at the end. For dates and info, check their website:  www.explore-aveiro.com. You can also book your tour from there.





Ovos moles Workshop

Ovos moles are the most renown sweet of Aveiro and can be tasted at any bakery around town. But if having a bite is not enough, you can learn its history and make your own at an ovos moles workshop at Oficina do Doce. The bonus is: you can eat them in the end.

Fee: €2 per person
Duration: 45 min.

Call them, email them or go to the shop and ask if they can squeeze you in with a bigger group (workshops only happen with 10+ people).

 

Moving around in Aveiro

Buga (Aveiro’s free bicycles)

Aveiro is practically flat, there aren’t any big hills and renting a bicycle on a BUGA stand is really easy. All you need is a document with your identification as collateral (like a driver’s license or passport) and the bike is yours for the day to use within town limits, and free of charge!

BUGA stands opening hours:
Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM
Weekends 10 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 6 PM

 

Buga Stand for bike rent

 

Tuk-tuk

The vehicles from Aveiro Tuk-Tours are electric, so go green.
Prices change according to the duration of the tour:
30 minutes ride: €7,50
45 minutes ride: €10
1-hour ride: €12,50

Actually, go greener and walk—you don’t need a tuk-tuk to visit Aveiro.

 

Bus

Around here, everything is a 15-minute walk from everywhere else. Buses are only necessary to get to the beach.

However, prices and timetables are here: www.aveirobus.pt
Tickets can be bought on the bus for €2.

 

Reaching the beach

Barra and Costa Nova beaches are a 20 minutes bus ride from the city center. There are 2 bus stops at different ends of the city: one right by the railway station and the other near Rossio.

Read all about it on the post: Discover Barra and Costa Nova: the beach getaways by Aveiro.

 

Facilities (miscellaneous)

It’s 2017 and there’s free wi-fi at every hostel, restaurant, and cafes. You’ll be fine.

Currency exchange stores, electric car charging-points, self-service laundries and everything else we mentioned in this post are marked on Maps.me.
Note that many typical restaurants close on Mondays.

 

If you have any question, feel free to leave us a comment or contact us
Podes escrever-nos em português se preferires. 😉

Nuno and Mario

Hi there! We’re Nuno and Mário and we share helpful tips to make travel planning easy for you.

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