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 — 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. Here’s a glimpse of what you can see:

We wrote an 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
• Discover Barra and Costa Nova: the beach getaways by Aveiro.

 

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

 

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 €21 up to €39,60.

Porto to Aveiro: If you land on Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (Oporto), take the subway to Campanhã railway station (35 minutes for €2).

From Campanhã or São Bento railway stations, get the urban train to Aveiro (yellow line, 1 hour trip for 3.55€). 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 €17,50 
Porto to Aveiro (59km) toll rates start at €4,75

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

 

What to see and do in Aveiro

All spots mentioned in this post are marked on the map below by the dark blue pins.

They’re also marked on Maps.me. You can download the app here.

 

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 Fábrica Campos 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 sunsets.

 

Marinha da Noeirinha

Marinha da Noeirinha is an old saltern that was recently restored and is being explored in different ways. Here you can go on a guided tour and learn about the salt-making process, take a dip in its rustic salt-water pool, or even enjoy an afternoon on its “salt Spa”. Allegedly the high concentration of salt in the water and slurry yields them therapeutic properties that aid with skin conditions, allergies, and respiratory problems.

 

Salt Spa in Aveiro

 

If you’re interested in spending the night, there are water bungalows with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchenette, and a terrace.

 

Marinha Noeirinha Aveiro

 

Guided tour to the saltern: €5 adults and €2,5 children
Salt Spa: €2 per hour (or included in the ticket for the beach area)
Beach Area: €3.5 for half a day or €5 for a full day. Kids pay €2 and €3 respectively.

Check it out at noeirinha.pt

 

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 ’90s. 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 (under restoration – 2020)

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, pharmacy, 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 is “Casa Major” which was adapted into a multi-level museum and tea-house.

 

Art noveau museum in Aveiro

 

Entrance fee: €2
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM to 6 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’s 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 2020, ride fees start at €6 for children and €13 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 €13.

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 up to 2-hour rides (round trips).

During 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 Facebook page: facebook.com/exploreaveirowalkingtour.





Ovos moles Workshop

Ovos moles are the most renowned 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 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 2 hours 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, and prices change according to the duration of the tour — but you don’t need a tuk-tuk to visit Aveiro.
30 minutes ride: €7,50
45 minutes ride: €10
1-hour ride: €12,50
30-minute ride + moliceiro trip + a visit to the salterns: €15

 

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 €2.10

 

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 2020 so there’s free wi-fi at every hostel, restaurant, and cafes.

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 questions, feel free to leave us a comment or contact us
Podes escrever-nos em português se preferires. 


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 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.

All spots mentioned in this post are marked on the map below by the green pins.

They’re also marked on Maps.me. You can download the app here.

 

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

 

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 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.

On 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, head over to Revolta Hamburgueria, or to Porta 35 (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. Closes 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.

Other options are Musgo, Saladas+, and 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 go over to Gelataria Milano or 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.


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 remains the cheeriest getaway for the local sun worshipers to escape — so there’s still plenty to do during the cold season as well. Here’s a glimpse of what you can see:

Public transport from Aveiro to Barra and Costa Nova Beaches (Updated July 2020)

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: €4,92 (round-trip to Barra) and €5,20 (round-trip to Costa Nova)
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 a 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.

 

What to see and do

All spots mentioned in this post are marked on the map below by the yellow pins.

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 and 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 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 back. However, if you decide to spend the night you have:

Pensão José das Hortas (Costa Nova)

It’s a traditional Portuguese lodging with more than 100 years of history, located on the main street where all the colorful striped houses are.

As it is a family-owned business, it only opens during high season (from June to late September).

Camping (Barra)

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! 


Taking the public bus to the White temple

As the White Temple is located 13km from Chiang Rai center, you’ll need some sort of transportation to get there. The long distance and busy roads don’t make the bicycle a viable option, and the 300 TBH charged by taxis and songthaews sure don’t make them the cheapest.

Whenever this happens we make sure to find the next cheapest alternative, that in this case was the public bus.

We walked to Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1 (in the city center, near the night bazaar) to find a bus that could take us to our destination. As we arrived at the bus station, we came across a rickety old blue bus with a tarpaulin saying “White Temple” on it. That was easy!

 

Public blue bus to Wat Rong Khun

Public bus to White Temple

Banner on the blue bus

 

The banner and the ticket revisor that kept expansively confirming that was the “only bus to the White Temple” made us a little suspicious. But after several locals bought the ticket at the station kiosk and got on the bus, we took a change and did the same.

 

Bus timetable (2020)

Early mornings: 06:15 – 07:10 – 08:10 – 09:10.
From 
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM there’s a bus every 30 minutes.
Afternoons: 14:35 – 15:10 – 15:45 – 16:20 – 17:00

Cost: 20 Baht, one-way trip.
Duration: 20 minutes.

 

The bus was old, worn out, chock filled with character and worth the trip itself: from the weird proportions, the rickety noises, and the dashboard decorations made of Buddhist memorabilia, and every happy meal toy under the sun.

 

Old Thai bus interior

 

The revisor lady from before proved to be quite helpful by waving at us at the nearest bus stop to the White Temple: a generic spot just off Highway 1 (Phahonyothin Road), that we wouldn’t be able to identify on our own.

On the opposite side of the road, a few meters ahead were the grounds of the Wat Rong Khun.

 

Robot Sculpture Wat Rong Khun

 

White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)

Opening hours: from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, closes at mid-day for an hour.
Ticket fee: Foreigners pay 100 Baht.  Admission for Thai nationals is free. 

What to wear: shoulders and knees must be covered, and as always, shoes must be taken off before entering the main temple.

If you’re tired of visiting temples by now, suck it up and don’t miss this one — it’s one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions for a reason!

 

White temple bridge details

 

The lavishly decorated temple is unlike anything we saw around Thailand. Every element was consciously designed by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat and is full of symbolism.

 


On the bridge leading to the temple, you’ll find depictions of the anger, suffering and worldly temptations that you’ll have to leave behind to find happiness.

 


The temple is white to represent the purity of the Buddha, and the glistening intricate mirror work embedded on the plaster is there to reflect his wisdom to the world.

 

Wat Rong Khun

 

The interior of the main temple is all gold (and much smaller than it appears to be). On the back walls are paintings of pop culture reference like Hello Kitty, Spider-Man, the Terminator, and George W. Bush. These represent life without faith, they’re the false heroes incapable of saving the world from war and destruction.

On the walls in the front, where the altar is, you’ll see paintings of humans flying freely through the clouds. These represent the people who followed Buddha’s teachings and achieved peace. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but taking photos is not allowed in the main building.





The site grounds

On the outside of the temple is a canopy of prayer plates and by walking under it you’ll reach the meditation hall, the famous golden restroom, the art gallery and the museum. 

 

Canopy of prayer plates

Prayer plates at Wat Rong Khun

Predator sculpture

 

The museum is dedicated to the works of Chalermchai Kositpipat: many of his works are a satirical commentary on international politics and the destruction of the planet. You’ll need an hour for the visit.

The temple site is still under construction and expanding. Only by 2070, the artist complete vision will be finished.

 

White buddha

Esculpture at the Golden bathroom

 

In front of Wat Rong Khun is a small area with cafes, restaurants, and shops.

 

About Chalermchai Kositpipat

 

Back To Chiang Rai

Head back towards the highway where you got off the bus and find a wooden pergola/ bus stop on the opposite side. Hail to the first bus you see (every half hour-ish). The trip back is a further 20 THB.

 

Bus Stop Wat Rong Khun

 

If you have any questions or new info to share about buses to the White Temple, leave it in the comments below.


Bangkok travel guide Day 01

Bangkok Travel Bible - The Perfect 5 Day Guide (Day 01)

For some time now, Nuno and I wanted to create a travel guide with all the essentials of Bangkok. Basically, the guide we’d like to have found before our trip to Thailand.

So with that in mind we created a complete itinerary, divided it into 5 parts, and organized it by days to make it easier to digest. The order in which you start is up to you, and if you don’t have 5 days to visit Bangkok, just pick the days that best suit your traveler profile.

Each day of the itinerary is sequentially planned with all locations mapped in the most convenient order for you. We’ve considered the time it’ll take you to visit each site, as well as moving within the city from point A to point B. Oh, and we’ve also included launch breaks and suggestions of places to eat. It’s all covered.

Welcome to day-one. Let’s do this! ✊

 

Mario and Nuno in the Grand Palace

 

Bangkok Itinerary Map for Day 1 | The temple day

(All spots for day 2 are marked by dark blue pins).

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw

Entrance fee

Tickets cost 500 baht.
If you don’t want to waste time on queues, buy your tickets online at: www.royalgrandpalace.th/buy-ticket

Opening hours

The Grand Palace opening hours are 8:30 to 15:30.

We encourage you to wake up early and to be there in the first hour of the morning. Being a very popular site, be prepared to encounter a lot of people at the entrance — and we’re not just talking about tourists.

 

Grand Palace exterior 

Swindlers love to hang right outside the palace like vultures flying over a carcass. We still remember being approached several times by people telling us the palace was closed for foreigners that day (lie), or that we had to buy special clothes otherwise we wouldn’t be allowed in (half-truth). 

As the Gran Palace and Wat Phra Keaw are considered sacred, all visitors must dress according to the stipulated rules: trousers or long shorts, and no sleeveless t-shirts. If the staff members consider you’re revealing more than you should, you’ll be guided to a booth near the entrance that will lend you the appropriate cover up. The lending service is included in the ticket price.

⏲️ A proper visit will take you at least 2 hours.

 

Grand Palace buildings

Wat Prakeaw Bangkok

 

Lak Mueang

Near Wat Phra Kaew is a shrine called Lak Mueang that represents the guardian spirit of the city. Inside is the foundation pillar raised in 1782 when King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital of Thailand.

Thai people come here regularly to leave offerings and to pray. Traditional Thai dances are performed daily and are free to watch.

Lak Mueang is open from 6:30 until 18:30.

Lak Mueang Bangkok
Lak Mueang Pillar




Wat Ratchabophit

With a typical Thai exterior reminiscent of the Grand Palace, this temple has an interior with clear European influences similar to a gothic cathedral. Here, are also stored the ashes of several members of Thai royalty.

It’s open from 9:00 to 18:00 and free to enter.

Wat Ratchapradit

A very beautiful temple close to Wat Ratchabophit that stands out for its Khmer influenced prang structures — like the ones you can find in the Angkor Thom Temple in Cambodia. 

Opens from 9:00 to 19:00 and admission is free.

 

Wat Ratchapradit

White Prang at Wat Ratchapradit
Wat Ratchapradit Buddha

Wat Pho

By now, you’ve probably seen countless pictures of a humongous golden reclining Buddha somewhere in Thailand — here’s where it is.

 


Wat Pho is just a 10-minute walk away from the Grand Palace.

It’s open from 8:00 to 17:00 and tickets cost 100 baht. However, don’t think you’re only paying to see the famous Buddha. The temple grounds and gardens are beautiful.

 

Golden Buddhas in Wat Pho

Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho is also one of the best schools of Traditional Thai medicine and massage, so if you’re interested in a quality massage here’s your chance! These are the prices:

Traditional Thai massage

• 420 Baht for 1 hour
• 260 Baht for 30 minutes

Foot Massage

• 420 Baht for 1 hour
• 280 Baht for 30 minutes

For more information on what to expect from a Thai massage at Wat Pho visit: www.thaizer.com/getting-a-thai-massage-at-wat-pho-bangkok

 

Lunch Break

If you started the day early like we suggested, it’s probably lunch time by now and you’re likely to be hungry. 

Grab lunch in the square right behind Wat Pho by the Tha Tian Pier. There are plenty of street food stalls to choose from. After lunch you can catch the ferry to Wat Arun right there at the pier.

 

Pad Thai Street Food





Wat Arun

Open from 8:30 to 17:30. The admission fee is 50 baht.

Being one of the most visited temples in Bangkok, stopping by Wat Arun after lunch is a smart move and here’s why: since the internet decided that Wat Arun was a popular spot to watch the sunset, many tourists started to cross the river in the late afternoon.

That’s why we assigned the visit to Wat Arun after lunch, because we know it would be a particular quiet time in the day.

Tip: If you’re not following the sequence in this itinerary, early mornings are also a good time to visit.

Ferry Boat to Wat Arun

 

Climbing Wat Arun’s central prang will give you a privileged panoramic view of the river and the old part of the city. Last time we visited it, the prang was under restoration, so send us some pictures if you can. Thanks!

Crossing the Chao Praya River to Wat Arun

To get to Wat Arun (on the other side of the river)  you have to take the ferry departing from Tha Tien Express Boat Pier every 10 minutes or so. The trip takes around 5 minutes and gets you right by the temple for a 5 Baht fare.

 

2 extra sites close to Wat Arun (to visit if the day is going as planned)

1. Santa Cruz Church and the Kudeejeen neighborhood

Santa Cruz Church is one of Bangkok’s oldest Catholic churches, built to cater the religious needs of the Portuguese community that lived in this part of town. 

For 200 years, the peaceful communities of Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims that settled around the church co-created a unique multicultural neighborhood (Kudeejeen) that is definitely worth exploring.

If you’re interested in a bit more history on the Portugal – Siam relations, read: www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/santa-cruz-church.html

 

2. Wat Prayoon

This temple stands out for its epic 80 meter high Chedi, the red iron fences made by ancient weapons, and the surrounding turtle pond and rock garden. 

The peaceful temple grounds have many benches near the pond for you to relax. However, if you’re not into contemplative rest, visit the Buddha Images Museum. It has thousands of amulets, images and artifacts that were found inside the base of the Chedi upon its restoration.

Wat Prayoon is open from 9:00 until 18:00 and there’s no entrance fee.

 

Bonus visit of the day

Artist’s House or Baan Silapin

It’s the farthest place on the map, but worth a visit if you have time to spare.
Open from 10:00 to 18:00, this 200 year old Thai wooden house it’s a creative space located along one of the main canals of the Chao Praya River.

 

Artist House in Bangkok

 

It’s a great place to chill after an hectic day in the city. So grab a coffee, enjoy a traditional thai meal by the river, or watch the free daily Thai puppet shot at 14:00.

The easiest way to get here is by taxi, but if you want to save some money (and don’t mind walking for a little bit) there are buses that can get you close-by. 

Buses to the Artist’s House

From the city center 🚌

Hop onto the bus nº 68 and get off at the stop Wat Tha Phra. From here you’ll have to walk an extra 20 minutes.

From Wat Arun 🚌 

If you’re at Wat Arun, take bus nº 710 to Bang Wa BTS station. Then, get off at Petchkasem 14 Tha Phra Intersection. From there walk 20 minutes north. See map above.

An evening on Rambuttri Alley

Rambuttri it’s a chilled and bohemian street enclosed with cool bars, lighted trees, and a mellow vibe that’ll make you want to hang out for the evening — especially after a full day.

 

Rambuttri Alley

 

If you want a super affordable meal, we suggest any food stall along Rambuttri Alley for dinner, drinks and dessert. However, if for some reason you feel a little iffy about food stalls, most bar terraces will serve meals, just expect a more touristy price.

 

Rambuttri Alley at night


Not tired yet?

If you don’t feel like slowing down just yet or manage to thrive around chaotic energy, there’s also the famous Kao San Road, parallel to Rambuttri Alley. There’s plenty of loud music, vodka buckets, and food vendors selling fried insects in their push-carts. Why not try some?

 

Fried bugs Thailand

 

Day 02 of the itinerary is coming soon!


View gold stupas in Mandalay

What to visit in Mandalay Archeological Zone

To help you make the most out of your time in Mandalay, here’s our selection of temples and sites you shouldn’t miss. Most are within walking distance of each other — like the ones at the foot of Mandalay Hill — and the farthest ones are only a quick taxi or bicycle ride away.

 

Mandalay Palace


⏱️ You’ll need at least 2 hours to see the Palace complex.

Ticket fee

If you’re planning to visit more than just the Mandalay Palace, you can purchase the Mandalay Archaeological Zone Combo Ticket for €6.15 (10,000K). It’s valid for one week.

It’s not clear what monuments this ticket gives you access to. And even though it should be stamped at the entrance of every monument you visit, our tickets were only checked at the entrance of the Royal Palace and the Shwenandaw Monastery. 

The Palace Complex

Located near Mandalay Hill, the Palace is inside a walled fort and surrounded by a 20-meter wide moat. Visitors can only use the entrance on the east side through a gate guarded by armed men. 

These days the palace complex consists of several wooden buildings rebuilt in 1990 after it’s destruction during World War II. Nevertheless, most buildings remain closed to the public, and the few ones opened are poorly lit, completely empty and a bit smelly.

 

Mandalay, Myanmar

 

Even though it’s an important part of the country’s history, we found the complex to be uninspired and dull. However, we felt like the view from to the top of the watchtower compensated for all other visit restrictions.

 

Mandalay Palace Complex





Mandalay Hill

Entrance fee

It’s supposed to be free, but if you’re a foreigner you’ll be charged 1000 MMK (€0.63) for a permit to take photos.

Climbing the hill on foot (not an easy task)

Right at the beginning is a sign asking you to climb the stairs barefoot — do so.

Along the way, you’ll find several stalls: some selling knick-knacks, some selling snacks. You’ll see small temples with buddha images, viewpoints overlooking the city, and stairways that never seem to end.

 

Stalls at Mandalay Hill

Buddha at Mandalay Hill

 

After 20 minutes we guarantee that you’ll regret your decision, as the 240 meters climb of stairs will feel like hiking through the Kilimanjaro. Yet, if you’re lucky to do it on a mild day, you can reach the top in 30-40 minutes. 

What’s up there

At the top of the hill is the Sutaungpyei Pagoda, where you can rest and observe the many locals practicing the Buddhist ritual of pouring water over the Buddha statues.

 

 

But the real reward for the struggle of climbing the hill is the stunning panoramic view that stretches for miles. The big Irrawaddy River reflecting the sun, the city melding with the trees and the green with the gold of temples and stupas.

 

Mandalay View

Alternative transport to get to the top (easy task)

If you’re short on time — or simply pass the quad workout from climbing all those stairs — share a motorbike taxi for 1000 MMK (€ 0.63), or 5250 MMK (€ 3.07) to go alone. It’ll leave you at the top entrance.

 

Temples at the foot of Mandalay Hill

The surrounding area of Mandalay Hill is also rich in Buddhist sites and monuments. Here are the 5 temples we recommend (our tickets weren’t checked at any of these):

Atumashi Monastery a.k.a. Atulawaiyan

 

Atumashi Monastery Mandalay

Atumashi Monastery in Mandalay

 

Shwenandaw Monastery

An all-wood monastery decorated with low reliefs of animal figures, floral ornaments, and Buddhist stories. This temple was brought from Amarapura and rebuilt here.

Shwenandaw temple
shwenandaw kyaung wooden temple

Kuthodaw Paya

A beautiful temple referred to as “the world’s largest book” where the pages of Tripitaka (the guiding principles of Theravada Buddhism) are engraved in marble blocks. The blocks are protected by 729 small white altars, organized around the large central golden stupa.
A must-visit.

 

Kuthodaw Pagoda Stupa

Kuthodaw Pagoda white altars

 

Sandamuni Paya

The Sandamuni temple bears a resemblance to Kuthodaw, but it’s known for housing the largest iron Buddha image in Burma. 

 

Golden buddha inside Sandamuni Paya

 

Kyauktawgyi Buddha Temple

At the south entrance to Mandalay Hill is the Kyauktawgyi Buddha Temple. There’s a statue of the seated Buddha carved into a single block of pale green marble, extracted 19 km from Mandalay and brought here by the force of men.

 

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

 





Must-see temples around town

Maha Myat Muni Paya

One of the most visited temples in the southwest of Mandalay, known for its 4-meter gold-covered Buddha statue, believed to be 2000 years old and covered by a 15 cm layer of gold. The Buddha’s face is polished daily at 4:00 pm.

For about 1600 MMK (€ 0.98) you can add one gold leaf to the statue. But only men are allowed to do it.

 

 

Shwe In Bin Kyaung Temple

In the south of Mandalay, you’ll find the far less popular (but equally beautiful) temple of Shwe In Bin Kyaung. The temple stands out for its beautiful wood carvings and teak structure.

 

Shwe In Bin Kyaung, Mandalay

 

Note:

All temples mentioned above can be visited with the Mandalay Archaeological Zone Combo Ticket.


Mandalay City Riverfront

Mandalay City Survival Guide

The great city of Mandalay is one of the main gateways into the country — especially for tourists arriving by plane wanting to stay close to Bagan. 

Visiting Mandalay was wonderful, and despite Nuno’s fears about safety, we never felt insecure. We actually experienced the opposite as we were constantly greeted with kindness, politeness and a smile.

 

Burmese boys

Photo by Thomas Schoch

To visit the city properly, we suggest at least a 4 days stay.

If you are looking for practical information on how to get into Myanmar, go to:
Entering Myanmar (Land borders, airplanes and limitations).

 

Transportation

From the airport to Mandalay city

Shared taxi

Nuno and I shared a taxi with other two travelers we met on our flight to Mandalay. As we were 4 on a 6 person vehicle, we had to wait for other passengers to fill the taxi. No one came, so we left after 30 minutes.

The ride to the city took 50 minutes and cost € 3.04 each.

Private taxi

You can accept a tout in the post-customs arrival area, or by signaling one of the taxis parked outside the airport. Prices are the same.

A private taxi with AC will cost €9.00 and without AC for €8.00.

 

Moving Around in Mandalay

Bicycle

Our favorite way to move around is by renting bicycles. Renting one can cost you €1 or €2  a day, and most hotels provide this service.   

But be careful, traffic in the city can be chaotic.

 

Traffic in Myanmar

Photo by Jakub Halun

 

Motorbike

You can also rent a Motorbike directly though your hotel for € 7 to € 9 a day.
Have in mind that there are no gas stations outside the city, but you’ll be able to find improvised stalls selling gasoline in glass bottles for €0.60 (1000 MMK).

 

 

Taxi

Considering that buses in Mandalay are not very reliable, taxis are a good way to get around town. It’s usually easier to ask your hotel reception to call one (as the vehicles are hard to identify), then just negotiate the fair with the driver.

 

Taxi in Mandalay

Photo by Jakub Halun

 

Motorbike Taxi

If you prefer feeling the wind in your face signal a motorbike taxi.

For reference: a day of sightseeing costs around € 6. You can book it for a “3 day tour” and visit Sagaing, Amapura and Inwa. It will cost from € 9 up to to € 12 (15,000 to 20,000 MMK).

 

Bridges over Irawadi

 

Mandalay City

Mandalay has an interesting cultural blend due to the large Chinese and Indian communities living there and contributing to the development of the city. Walking around you’ll find something under construction in every street.

 

Street in Mandalay

 

Motorcycles and bicycles run through the wide dusty roads and street markets still manage to attract more people than malls — fortunately.  

 

Mandalay street market

 

Climate

Mandalay has a subtropical climate, and the best time to visit is from November to February (winter), which coincides with the peak of tourism.

Summer lasts from March to May which is hot and heavy in rainfall.





Hotel in Mandalay
Photo by Clay Gilliland

Accommodation and Amenities

Hotels

Accommodations do not abound, so expect prices to be higher than other southeast asian countries. Always book a room in advance.

In the center of Mandalay, hotel prices range from € 5 to € 40 a night. Most budget-friendly accommodations may not include AC or wi-fi, but luckily they all tend to include breakfast.

We stayed at the Fortune Hotel, and the breakfast included bread, coffee, tea, jam, butter and eggs.

Homestays

Homestays are considered illegal in Myanmar, meaning that foreigners should only stay at licensed hotels and houses. 

Monasteries

In exchange for donations (starting at 5000 MMk/ €3.07), many monasteries in Mandalay receive men and women providing a humble bed on the floor and food.

But here’s our 2 cents on this subject:
Even if these temples accept a donation from tourists, let’s not forget that these rooms are meant for pilgrims. Therefore, they should not be seen as a cheaper accomodation alternative for travelers.

 

Food

We can’t say we found a great variety of restaurants. However, buffet-style family restaurants are common all over the city. You’ll be able to find them on the ground level of many houses.

 

IMG_1405

 

The price of a simple meal starts at € 0.90 up to € 3.00.

A western food meal is around € 4.50 to € 9.00. And as you may expect by now, meals around tourist spots will be pricier — the more western the meal, the more international the price will be. Also, have in mind that restaurants close early at night we learned this the hard way.

 

Nightlife

Mandalay is not a city for those who enjoy nights out. All businesses close early. 

Internet Connection

Around here the internet connection is a bit more limited than in other southeast asian countries. There aren’t many businesses with Wi-Fi available to customers, and when there are, the connection is weak and slow.

Bakeries and cafes will be your best options to find free Wi-Fi.

 

Daily average expenses in Mandalay

Accommodation: €7,21 each
Water (1,5L): €0,13
Launch: €1,08
Dinner: €1,56
Afternoon snacks: €1,14
Bicycle: 1,52


Archaeological Site of Italica in Seville Spain

Quick Guide to the best Museums and Historical Sites in Seville, Spain

Some people find museum visits to be boring or unnecessary — and we do know that the experience of enjoying art is quite subjective. However, the 2000 years of history that the city of Seville holds, equipped it with an amazing cultural offer that should definitely be admired.

That’s why we made a roundup of the city’s best museums and historical sites.

 

Pabellón de la Navegación and the Schindler Tower

It’s a modern building on the south side of the Guadalquivir River that served as a pavilion for the Seville Expo ‘92. Today it’s a museum dedicated to the Age of Discovery and the host for many itinerant exhibitions.

 

Pabellón de la Navegación 011


Check the museum program when you’re in Seville at www.pabellondelanavegacion.com

When you visit, go up the Schindler Tower for one of the best panoramic views of the city.

 

Canal de Alfonso XIII - Seville - Schindler Tower

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vientocero/6637853559

Entrance fee
 €4.90

Museum hours
• Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m to 7:30 p.m.
• Sundays from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m
• Closes on Mondays.

👪 All the lights and interactive displays of the main exhibition makes the Pabellón de la Navegación a family friendly museum.

Getting there
🚌 Get on the buses of the C1 or C2 lines and hop off at the Inca Garcilaso Station, right in front of the Expo Sevici building.

Centro Cerámica de Triana

A new space conceived from the restoration of the old ceramic factory of Santa Ana, right in the center of the Triana Quarter. It’s a small museum and archaeological site on the history of ceramics and its influence on the economic and cultural development of Seville.

You can add this museum to your daily itinerary as it is located right next to the Triana market and many tapas bars.


Museum entrance

Entrance fee
General public pay €2.10.
Students and groups of 10 people pay €1.60.

Museum hours
• Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.
• Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

Now, even though we believe that this is a must-visit museum, we wouldn’t call it “family friendly” as kids would probably find it boring.

Tip: If you buy the general ticket to the Alcazar of Seville you can enter the museum for free.





Cristina Hoyo’s Flamenco Dance Museum

Located at the heart of Barrio de Santa Cruz this museum provides a great way to explore the historical roots of Flamenco Dancing through videos, music, and artifacts.

Museum entrance fee
Adults pay €10, children €6 and students €8.

Opening hours
• 10H00 to 19H00.

Tip: Every Friday and Saturday at 19H30 visitors of the museum can attend a flamenco show for a discounted price.

Flamenco shows ticket cost
To attend the regular shows adults pay €22, children €12, and students €15.
Tickets to the most intimate shows (44 people max.) adults pay €30.

Flamenco shows schedule
17H00, 19H00, and 20H45. On high season there’s an extra show at 22H15.

Museo De Bellas Artes (Museum Of Fine Arts)

It’s a museum housed in a former nunnery from the XVII century, that holds an amazing collection of Spanish art. Most of it is of religious inspiration, and it’s organized on 14 chronologically ordered rooms, and divided by different artistic styles (from gothic to XX century modern art).

 

Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla

 

In here you’ll find extraordinary art pieces from famous and influential artists like Velázquez and El Greco to name a few.

Entrance fee
European citizens get in for free.
For everyone else, tickets cost €1.50

Museum hours
• Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m.
• Sundays and holidays from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

More info at www.museosdeandalucia.es

Itálica Archeological Site

9km from Seville is the Archaeological Site of Italica — once one of the main Roman cities in the Iberian Peninsula due to its great strategic importance to the Roman Empire. It was here that Trajan and Hadrian, two great Roman emperors were born. And it’s also likely that you’ve seen Itálica on an episode of Game Of Thrones.

 

Italica Roman Amphitheatre

 

On your visit, you can walk through a huge Roman amphitheater (that seated 25 000 people), stroll along the ancient streets and enter some of the houses and public buildings from 206 BC.

 


Photo by D.Rovchak
Italica Roman Ruins
Photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA.

Entrance fee
European citizens can enter the premises for free.
Everyone else pays €1,50 to get in.

Opening hours
• From April to June 30 opens from 9:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m Tuesdays and Saturdays. And 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m on Sundays and holidays.
• From July to September 15 opens from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m and closes on Mondays.
• From September 16 to March 31 opens from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m Tuesday to Saturday. And from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m on Sundays and some holidays.

Getting there
🚌 At the Plaza de Armas, in the center of Seville, hop on the Bus M-170 (Seville > Santiponce) or the M-170B (Seville > Las Pajanosas).

🚗 If you have your own vehicle, take the N-630 road towards Merida.

👪 Family friendly

More info at www.museosdeandalucia.es

Cover photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA.


Seville Spain

Experiencing Seville in 3 cultural traditions

As travelers, we all hope to live deep cultural experiences when we travel to a new country. But that’s something we can’t get from just visiting the monuments and landmarks highlighted on a travel guidebook. So, in order to enrich your visit to Seville, we’re going to show you 3 local and living traditions that you can actually get involved in.

 

1. Flamenco

Influenced by Moorish, Jewish and Gypsy cultures, Flamenco is considered one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

flamenco#1

 

One of the perks of being in Seville is that you can experience flamenco dancing in various intimate settings venues, bars, and tablaos around town. Which means that you can do so while enjoying a glass of wine and the typical Spanish tapas.

 

La noche larga de los Museos

Rocío Molina 2

Show de Flamenco - El Palacio Andaluz

 

The Flamenco Biennial (September/ October)

For almost a month (September to October) professional and amateur dancers come together to dance Flamenco in its most traditional form, and in more contemporary expressions.

 

Rafaela Carrasco-II Bienal de Flamenco


The festival takes place on many stages scattered around town, and although some shows are free, most tickets start at €10 all the way up to €40.

Find more info about the program and prices here: www.labienal.com

 

Cristina Hoyo’s Flamenco Dance Museum

Located at the heart of Barrio de Santa Cruz this museum provides a great way to explore the historical roots of Flamenco Dancing through videos, music, and artifacts.

Tip: Every Friday and Saturday at 19H30 visitors of the museum can attend a flamenco show for a discounted price.  

Museum entrance fee:

Adults pay €10, children €6 and students €8.

Museum opening hours:

10H00 to 19H00.

Flamenco shows ticket cost:

To attend the regular shows adults pay €22, children €12, and students €15.
For the intimate shows (44 people max.) adults pay €30.

Flamenco shows schedule:

17H00, 19H00, and 20H45.
On high season there’s an extra show at 22H15.





2. Easter Holy Week / Semana Santa (March/ April)

If you are traveling through southern Spain in the months of March and April (check the precise date here: Seville Holy Week), don’t miss the opportunity to experience how the Holy Week is celebrated by Sevillians.

It’s a unique cultural manifestation in the world, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Hindu, Buddhist, or an atheist. The Seville Holy Week is the greatest religious event in all of Andalusia — and perhaps all of Spain.

After weeks of preparation, thousands of people gather on the main streets of Seville to be part of the celebrations. Men dressed in creepy long tunics with pointy hats (“creepy” due to the resemblances with the KKK tunics, but not related) carry on their shoulders heavy altars with images of Christ and Mary.

 

Holy Week Seville

 

The city gains an eerie atmosphere as the strong incense smell that follows the processions blends with the scent of orange blossoms in the sidewalks. At night, there are music concerts all over town.

 

Altar and procession in Seville Holy Week

 

Tips for the Holy Week:

• Most processions begin at 7:00 p.m.
• Some processions are done in absolute silence, so turn off your phone.
• Choose wider streets and follow the procession for about 200 or 300 meters to see, listen, and feel the intensity of the ritual.
• During Holy Week it’s mandatory to book accommodation, restaurants, and events in advance.
• Respect people’s faith and dedication to these processions.

 

3. Seville fair (April)

The Seville Fair is one of the largest and most famous fairs in Spain.
Marking the beginning of spring, the fair kicks off in April (usually 2 weeks after Easter Holy Week) in the neighborhood of Los Remedios.

 

 

At the fair, you’ll find horse parades, flamenco music, and dancing, bullfighting, and Sevillanos dressed to the tee on private tent parties — this is Seville most exclusive party after all.

 

Seville Feria de Abril 2012 015

 

The tents (called casetas) are privately owned by religious groups and rich people — does the name Duchess of Alba rings any bell?

 

2013-04 Spain 164

 

So unless you’re able to bribe the concierge, the only casetas you can enter are the ones run by the municipality.

How to get to the Seville Fair

🚇  Metro:
Hop on the metro in the city center and get off at the station 
Blas Infante.

🚶  By foot:
If you don’t mind the walk, you can reach the fair in 20 minutes from the city center.

🚌  By public bus:
During the week, public buses operate 24 hours a day, and the fleet is reinforced — yet they’re likely to be crowded anyways. Hop on the bus C1, C2, or 41 and get off at
Recinto Ferial.

Tips for the Seville Fair:

• Avoid the weekend if you can. If the weekdays are busy, the weekend is PACKED!
• Visit the fair during the day. At night everyone gathers inside their casetas and if you didn’t score an invitation by a member, you’ll be left outside alone — and at night, nothing happens outside them.
• The first Monday at midnight is the Alumbrado: the moment in which the major turns on the lights of the beautiful Portada, and the rest of the fairground. We’d say this is only night that is worth to be at the fair.

 


• Food and drinks are expensive, so eat before going.

For a more detailed explanation of all that goes down at the fair visit: www.sunshineandsiestas.com/feriasevilla

Cover photo by Seville Congress & Convention Bureau


Seville Cathedral in Spain

10 Must-Visits and Must-Sees in Seville, Spain

The Moorish, Romans, and Christians that passed through Seville left in the city an incomparable cultural legacy that still lives on. This past heritage that can be seen all over town — in the arts, language, and architecture — is a big part of what makes Seville, to this day, one of the most vibrant cities in Spain.

And that’s why we wanted to put together information on the best spots, monuments, and landmarks that you can visit when you’re in town.

P.S. Since monuments tend to have a large tourist influx, buy your tickets online to avoid the queues.

 

1. Seville Cathedral

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Its real name is Saint Mary of the Sede Cathedral, and it’s the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world.

 

Cathédrale de Séville

Seville Cathedral

 

One of the most interesting facts about the Cathedral is that it was built over a Muslim mosque right after Seville was reconquered by the Christians from the Muslim Moors. However, the real ex-libris of the building is the La Giralda tower: an old Moorish minaret that was converted into a bell tower.

Still the tallest building in Seville, La Giralda was the highest tower in Europe for many centuries. Its 104 meters of height is not the only impressive thing about La Giralda. The tower is so wide that it could be climbed by a man on horseback.

 

Seville cathedral, Spain

 

From the top of the tower, you’ll get the best view of Seville and El Patio de Los Naranjos — one of the remains of the old mosque.

There are 2 types of visits available:

• The interior of the Cathedral for €9 (locals, the unemployed, and under 14 pay €4)

• “The Roofs of the Cathedral”, a guided tour through the roof of the Cathedral, that also includes a visit to the interior afterward. The price is €15 and lasts an hour and a half.

You can buy your tickets online here:  www.articketing.vocces.com

Timetables

Monday: 11h to 15:30h
Tuesday to Saturday: 11h to 17h
Sunday: 14:30 to 18h

Exceptional timetables (July and August)

Monday: 10:30 to 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:30 to 18:00
Sunday: 14:00 to 19:00

2. General Archive of the Indies

UNESCO World Heritage site.

Right next to the cathedral is the Archivo General de Indias, a building where all the documents referring to the Spanish colonies and overseas expansion are stored. Perfect for anyone who likes history — plus, the entrance is free.


Timetable:

Monday to Saturday das 9:30 às 17h
Sundays and holidays 10:00 às 14:00h.

 

3. Alcázar of Seville

Located near the Cathedral in the heart of the city, is the oldest royal palace still in use in all Europe. The upper levels are still used by the Spanish Royal Family as the official Seville Residence.

For all the Game of Thrones fans: the palace was used as set for Water Gardens at Dorne.

Day-visits ticket cost: €11.50 (students up to 25 y.o pay €3). Free for under 16 and locals
Night-visits ticket cost: €14.

You can buy the tickets online here: www.realalcazarsevilla.sacatuentrada.com

Timetable:

October to March from 9:30 to 17:00h
April to September from 9:30 to 19:00.

 

4. Barrio de Santa Cruz

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is an old Jewish Quarter that flourished by the mosque — now the Seville Cathedral. It’s a charming and complex labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys, and squares painted by colorful houses and the flowers on pretty much every patio.
In case you get lost, find a bar with a terrace and grab a drink. You can find your way back later.

 

Bar Las Teresas 001

 

5. Barrio de San Bartolomé

The neighborhood of San Bartolomé is a less visited but equally picturesque neighborhood located around a church with the same name.

Here, we recommend a visit to the ancient Moorish palace Casa de Pilatos. Ticket cost to visit the entire palace is €12. The cost to visit just the ground floor is €10. Both visits include an audioguide.

 

Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos (Seville)

Timetables to Casa de Pilatos:

November to March 9:00 às 18:00
April to October 9:00 às 19:00





6. Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Garden

A 10-minute walk from the Cathedral is the Plaza de España. Built on 1929 for the Ibero-American exhibition, it gained interplanetary recognition when it appeared as planet Naboo in Star Wars Episode II.

Plaza de España

 

Right in front of the Plaza de España is a large park perfect for a bike ride or for a walk on the peak heat hours of the day. Along the park, you’ll find statues, fountains and the Mudejar Pavillion that serves as the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville.

If you are a European citizen you can enter de Pavillion for free. Other nationalities pay a €1,5 fee.

Timetables for the Mudejar Pavillion

June to August it’s open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:00 to 15:00.
The rest of the year it’s open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 às 21:00. Sundays and holidays from 9:00 às 15:00h.

 

7. Seville Aquarium

Right by to the river, near the Maria Luisa Park is the Aquarium of Seville. Great for families with kids.

Ticket cost:

Adults pay €15
Kids 4 to 14 pay €10
For family discounts, group rates and timetables check:  www.acuariosevilla.es/en/hours-and-rates

 

8. Barrio de Triana

Another typical neighborhood next to the Guadalquivir River and a must-visit for those wanting to experience the genuine atmosphere of Andaluzia.

During the day check the local Triana Market, and at night have a drink at one of the many bars in Calle Betis or Calle Pureza. If you’re interested in attending a genuine Flamenco show, go to Casa Anselma. Drinks can be expensive around here, but the Flamenco is the real deal.

 

Seville 2017

 

Public Transport to Barrio de Triana

Catch the metro and leave it in Plaza de Cuba and Parque de Los Principes, or hop on the bus nº5,6,40,43, C1 or C2.





9. Metropol Parasol

This controversial building that many Sevillians refer to as “the mushrooms of Seville”, has four different levels that you can visit.

 

Metropol Parasol - Sevilla

 

At level 0 you’ll find an Antiquarium with Moorish and Roman remains. At level 1 is Seville’s old central market with fresh produce, a bar, and restaurants. On the second level are the panoramic terraces usually used for concerts venues. And finally, the last level on top of the structure is a great viewpoint over Seville.

 

Vista aéra Metropol Parasol

 

The Antiquarium can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 The price of the ticket is € 2.

To access the top level, you’ll have to pay a €3 fee and can only do it from Sundays to Thursdays 9:30 to 23:00 and Fridays 9:30 to 23:30.

 

10. Palacio de las Dueñas

After a 15-minute walk from the Cathedral is a very eclectic palace (which still belongs to Alba’s house) filled with large collections of Spanish paintings and artifacts. The buildings and courtyards were influenced by Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish styles, making it a major historic home of Seville.

 

Ticket cost:

€10. Children and students under 25 pay €8.
You can book your tickets here: www.lasduenas.es/tickets

Timetable:

From April to September it’s open from 10 to 20h, and between October and March, it’s open from 10 to 18h.

Cover photo by Matt Kieffer.