Often called the "Portuguese Venice," Aveiro's biggest draw for tourists is its canals and the colorful boats that float on them. Located on the west coast of Portugal along the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, this picturesque getaway is approximately 155 miles (250 kilometers) north of the capital of Lisbon. The easiest and fastest way to get to Aveiro is by train or rental car, but budget travelers might save some money by taking the bus. It's an easy day trip to make, whether you plan to return to Lisbon or continue on to nearby Coimbra or Porto.
|Train||2 hours, 15 minutes||from $18||Fast and convenient|
|Bus||3 hours||from $12||Budget travel|
|Car||2 hours, 30 minutes||155 miles (255 kilometers)||A scenic road trip|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Lisbon to Aveiro?
On a budget-friendly FlixBus, you can travel one way from Lisbon to Aveiro for as little as $12. The journey takes about three hours and makes no stops. FlixBus offers two buses per day from Lisbon, one at 6 a.m. and another at 4 p.m. You may also be able to find similarly cheap tickets on bus lines like BlaBlaBus or Rede Expressos.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Lisbon to Aveiro?
The fastest train you could take to get from Lisbon to Aveiro leaves from Santa Apolonia Station and takes at least two hours, 15 minutes. However, it could take as long as eight hours depending on which train you book. Portugal does have a high-speed train route that travels through nearby Coimbra and Porto, but it doesn't stop in Aveiro.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
Without making any stops or hitting traffic, you can drive from Lisbon to Aveiro in about two hours, 30 minutes. From Lisbon, you'll drive north to get on the A8/IC1 Highway. This route will eventually change to the A17/IC1, but you can basically stay on this road until you reach Aveiro. Alternatively, you could also take the E1 from Lisbon, which will take you past Coimbra. But before you decide to drive in Portugal, make sure you familiarize yourself with local speed limits and other rules of the road.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Aveiro?
Since Aveiro is located on the Atlantic coast, winters can be cold, windy, and wet. Summer is a great time to visit the beaches, with the hottest months being June, July, and August. This also tends to be the least rainy season. And if you want to catch the city at a particularly tasty time, plan a trip for August when the city hosts its annual, Codfish Festival, which happens to be one of the most iconic foods you can try in Portugal. To make the most out of a day in Aveiro, plan on leaving Lisbon early in the morning before rush hour begins.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Aveiro?
If time is on your side, you should use the opportunity of driving to Aveiro to take a scenic road trip up the Atlantic Coast. If you haven't visited Cascais and Sintra yet, you should take the A5 west to visit these two towns, where you'll find beaches and palaces as well as Cape Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe.
From Sintra, you can get on N247 to travel north and start your journey up the coast. There are multiple roads that follow the coastline, but none that you can stay on the whole time. This route does require switching on and off a number of different highways and detours in order to see all the coastal towns. However you wind up getting there, make sure to spend some of the journey along Estrada Atlantica, a road with unobstructed sea views.
What Is There to Do in Aveiro?
Aveiro is a popular day trip from Lisbon and many travelers also like to add it on to a visit to Coimbra or Porto. Whether you plan on staying a few hours or spending the night, make it a priority to go for a boat ride in the canals in a moliceiro. These colorful boats were once used for harvesting seaweed, but now offer sightseeing tours. In addition to the canals, you should also pay a visit to the other side of the lagoon to see the famous striped houses or outside the city to the salt pans, where you can learn about Aveiro's long history of salt production, which dates back to Roman rule.