Discover Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal


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Whether you’re planning a vacation or considering relocating to Portugal, Aveiro is a must-see destination that promises to leave a lasting impression. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the allure of Aveiro and why it should be at the top of your travel bucket list.

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Where is Aveiro, Portugal?

Aveiro is situated on the west coast of Portugal, a 2.5-hour drive from Lisbon and an hour’s drive from Porto. The city is conveniently located between the two biggest cities in Portugal, making it a perfect location for people who want to experience the countryside while enjoying the coast. Coimbra, the closest major city to Aveiro, is only an hour’s drive away.

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What is Aveiro, Portugal like?

The locals in Aveiro are welcoming and friendly, making it easy to make friends in this beautiful coastal town. Aveiro is a great location for families looking for a quieter, smaller city to call home. The city is also an ideal destination for ocean lovers who prefer to live in areas that are not too touristy.

Getting around the city on foot or by bicycle is easy since the city does not have many hills. Although Aveiro is known as the Venice of Portugal, it is not as busy or congested as many other coastal cities. This makes it a very popular place for people to settle down and enjoy a quieter life, while still experiencing city life.

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What is the weather like in Aveiro?

Aveiro has a pleasant climate throughout the year. The coastal city has perfect weather for enjoying the amazing beaches during summer, and winters are not nearly as cold as the rest of Europe. The lowest ever recorded temperature was 27 °F, recorded in December 1980 and in January 1985. It is also very rare for snow to fall in Aveiro. 

Summers are also not as hot as the interior center of Portugal, with the maximum temperatures mostly in the mid-70s. 

The best time to enjoy the outdoors in Aveiro is during summer, which falls between June and August. Rainfall is around 900 mm per year and mostly occurs during the winter.

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How to get to Aveiro?

Aveiro’s central location on the west coast of Portugal and the excellent public transport system make it an easy destination to reach from anywhere in Portugal. There are two main modes of transport to Aveiro: by car or train.

By car, there are two main roads from Lisbon that lead to Aveiro: the A8, which passes many of the smaller villages such as Nazare, and the A1, the main highway of Portugal, which mostly runs past all the towns on the way. Porto is a little closer, and the easiest way to reach Aveiro from Porto is by taking the A1, which takes just over an hour.

Trains from both Lisbon and Porto run frequently and take approximately the same time as driving. Travelling by train in Portugal is a great way to experience the country’s beautiful scenery while relaxing with something to eat or drink.

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Education in Aveiro

Aveiro is well-known for the “Universidade de Aveiro,” a highly ranked university on the World University Rankings at 801-1000. Established in 1973, the university currently has approximately 12,500 students enrolled, making it one of the larger universities in Portugal. The university is popular on a global level and is home to students from around 96 nationalities. It offers many courses, including eight masters in English, and is an excellent choice for expats looking for a tertiary education destination in Portugal.

Aveiro also has several primary and secondary schools, both public and private, providing a range of educational options for students of all ages.

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The cost of living in Aveiro

The cost of living in Aveiro is relatively affordable when compared to other popular west coast cities in Portugal, like Cascais, or compared to similar sized towns in the Algarve, such as Faro or Lagos. and it offers a high standard of living. 

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Aveiro is approximately 30% cheaper than in Lisbon. Even though salaries may be slightly lower in smaller cities like Aveiro, the cost of living makes up for it. For instance, a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost around €25, while a monthly pass for public transportation is only €36. Rent prices are also much more reasonable than in larger cities, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costing around €500 per month. 

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Real estate in Aveiro Portugal

Not surprisingly, the real estate market in Aveiro, Portugal has been on a steady rise in recent years. Property prices in Aveiro have increased by about 20% over the last year. 

The average price per square meter for an apartment in the city center is around €2,500, while outside the city center, the average price drops. This puts the price for a 100 square meter apartment around €250,000.

In US dollars, the average price per square foot in Aveiro is over $250, which means that you can expect to pay around $250,000 for a 1,000 square foot apartment, and $500,000 for an average size house. However, compared to larger Portuguese cities such as Lisbon and Porto, property prices in Aveiro are still relatively affordable.

While the real estate market in Aveiro is competitive, it still presents opportunities for investors and homebuyers alike. With a relatively affordable cost of living and growing popularity as a tourist destination, Aveiro’s real estate market is likely to continue its upward trend in the years to come.

In terms of property types, apartments make up the majority of the real estate market in Aveiro, with a growing number of new developments being built to cater to the increasing demand. However, traditional Portuguese townhouses, known as “Moradias,” are also popular among buyers and can be found in the city center and surrounding areas.

Things to do in Aveiro

While Aveiro is not the busiest city in Portugal, there is a lot to do in this gem on the western coast. Whether you want to relax or have some adventure, Aveiro delivers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the attractions Aveiro has in store for you:

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1. Beach days

Praia da Barra is very popular among visitors and locals with its two main beaches. The upper beach has calm waters for swimming and beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. The southern beach is more for the adventurous with surfers regularly being spotted in the rolling waves. 

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2. Architecture

The Art Nouveau-style buildings of Aveiro have always been an attraction for visitors and something the locals are extremely proud of. Between 1904 and 1920 this new style of buildings was big news in Europe and even dubbed the “Aveiro Style” by many people. 

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3. Canal cruises

Used for harvesting seaweed in earlier days, the moliceiros are now a mode of transport and tourist attractions in Aveiro. These colorful boats can take you on awe-inspiring tours around the city, using the canals as its roads. 

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4. Mosteiro de Jesus

Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, this convent is famous for having housed royalty such as Joanna Princess of Portugal, and daughter of Afonso V. The building has beautiful woodcarvings inside that is worth seeing. 

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5. Museu de Aveiro

The Museu de Aveiro, located in the heart of the city, is a must-visit for anyone interested in art, history and culture. Housed in the former Convento de Jesus, a stunning example of Portuguese Baroque architecture, the museum features an impressive collection of religious art and artifacts, including intricate gold and silverwork, paintings, sculptures and tapestries. Visitors can also explore the convent’s original cells, chapel and cloisters, which provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the nuns who once lived there.

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6. Forum

The Forum Aveiro is a modern mall offering a wide range of shopping options, including popular international and local brands, as well as a cinema, food court and numerous cafes and restaurants. The mall’s bright and airy design, with a large central atrium and natural light streaming in from above, creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.

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Lesser-known facts about Aveiro

While many people are familiar with Aveiro’s canals and colorful boats, the city has a rich history and culture that extend beyond its well-known attractions. Here are some lesser-known facts about Aveiro, Portugal:

  1. Aveiro was once a significant salt-producing center, and visitors can still see the salt flats today.
  2. The city is home to several Art Nouveau buildings, including the stunning Casa de Cha tea house.
  3. Aveiro has a vibrant cycling culture, with extensive bike paths that make it easy to explore the city on two wheels.
  4. Aveiro’s carnival celebration, known as “Carnaval de Aveiro,” is one of the largest and most colorful in Portugal, featuring parades and elaborate costumes.
  5. Visitors to Aveiro can take a boat tour of the canals, which offer a unique perspective on the city’s architecture and history.
  6. The city is also known for its delicious seafood, particularly the local specialty of eel stew.
  7. Aveiro has a rich maritime history, with a museum dedicated to the city’s seafaring past.

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Why should you consider moving to Aveiro?

Beyond its tourist attractions, Aveiro is a wonderful place to live, offering a high quality of life and a range of benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider moving to Aveiro:

  1. Affordable cost of living: Compared to other major cities in Portugal, Aveiro has a relatively low cost of living, with affordable housing, food, and transportation costs.
  2. High quality of life: With a mild climate, access to nature, and a relaxed pace of life, Aveiro offers a high quality of life and a sense of well-being.
  3. Strong economy: Aveiro is home to several major companies and industries, including technology, tourism and education, providing ample job opportunities.
  4. Vibrant culture: From its lively Carnaval celebrations to its art and music festivals, Aveiro has a rich cultural scene that is sure to appeal to those who love the arts.
  5. Excellent healthcare: Portugal has a highly regarded healthcare system, and Aveiro is no exception, with top-notch medical facilities and specialists available for residents.

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The downside of living in Aveiro

While Aveiro is a wonderful city to many, like any place, it has its downsides. Here are some potential challenges to keep in mind if you’re considering living in Aveiro:

  1. Limited job opportunities: While Aveiro does have a strong economy, job opportunities may be more limited than in larger cities, especially in certain fields.
  2. Lack of diversity: Aveiro is a relatively small city, and as such, may not offer the same level of cultural and ethnic diversity as larger cities.
  3. Language barrier: While many people in Aveiro do speak English, Portuguese is the primary language, and non-native speakers may find it challenging to communicate and navigate day-to-day life.
  4. Public transportation: While Aveiro does have public transportation, including buses and trains, it may not be as frequent or reliable as in larger cities.
  5. Limited nightlife: While Aveiro does have a lively cultural scene, including music and art festivals, the nightlife may not be as vibrant as in larger cities, and options for late-night entertainment may be more limited.

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Discover Aveiro: a dream destination

If you’re looking for a new place to live in Portugal or just a great vacation spot, Aveiro is definitely worth considering. This coastal city has a lot to offer, from its stunning architecture and scenic canals to its rich culture and friendly locals. Ultimately, Aveiro provides a welcoming and relaxed environment that is sure to make you feel at home. 

Explore more wonderful destinations for moving to Portugal: 

This article originally appeared on MyDolceCasa and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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