If you are looking for day trips from Porto, Aveiro is a great option. This canal-filled city is sometimes referred to as the Venice of Portugal. There are many day trip options from Porto. But Aveiro is a great, easy option for those of you. Plus, travel within Portugal is not only cheap, but efficient. So, if you’d like to know what to expect from a day trip from Porto to Aveiro, keep reading.
Getting to Aveiro
As I mentioned, train travel in Portugal is cheap and efficient. Especially coming from New York. To get to Manhattan from a city twenty to thirty minutes away costs over $10. But a round trip ticket from Porto to Aveiro is around €6.80. And this is for a ride that’s over an hour long! As I mentioned in my post covering a day trip to Braga, I used São Bento train station. This train station is centrally located (unlike the Porto Campanhã station) and easy to navigate.
This website was a lifesaver during my time in Portugal. There are articles detailing a lot about train travel to various Portuguese cities.
The machines to purchase tickets (you can’t buy them beforehand for these shorter distances) are past the big clock/timetable and near the platforms. You can choose the English setting but even if you can’t speak Portuguese, the system is clear and easy to navigate. I didn’t notice the English option until I had a few trips under my belt.
You can also purchase tickets at the counter from a worker. It’s located before passing the large timetable. It’s on the right side of the station. However, the machines – even when the lines are long – seem much quicker than going to the counter.
The Train Journey
The train ride from Porto to Aveiro is a bit over an hour long. The views aren’t particularly breathtaking. But I did enjoy getting a further glimpse into Portugal. I did note that one of the stops, Granja, looked like it had a pretty awesome beach. I’m not sure what it’s like, but perhaps that can be a cool day trip from Porto. If I got bored during my ride I usually read a book or wrote in my journal. I relied on my phone for Google (maps and the regular search engine) and needed to preserve my battery.
I read The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau during my trip. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoy self-help books.
This Trip Came At the Right Time
Note: This is more personal, if you’d like to read just about the logistics of getting to and around Aveiro, skip to the next session.
During this point in my Portugal trip I was feeling a bit… down. It was weird because I was so happy to be in Portugal and traveling. But I think because of the gloomy weather, being ready to move on from Porto and the nerves from just getting into a hostel all became a bit much. Although my hostel experience turned out well in the end, the first couple of days were uncomfortable. Thus, I needed a change of scenery. BADLY.
My day trip from Porto to Aveiro came exactly when I needed it to. Not only did I love what I saw of Aveiro, I had my first really good meal there (I’m a picky eater) and it was warm and sunny. Perfect for the boat ride I took (more on this later). It’s like the Universe knew I needed a pick-me-up and made my time there wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Porto. But I think I allocated too much of my trip there.
My first plan for my day trip from Porto to Aveiro was food. But once out of the train station I got a tad lost (I’m terrible at direction, so not surprising). So I ended up exploring the town. I walked along the narrow streets and took in the sights of churches, restaurants, stores and people. Although I was in Portugal for a few days at this point, I still couldn’t believe I was in EUROPE.
I ended up ditching my first plan for food and decided to head into the center of town. Since Aveiro is the “Venice of Portugal” I knew that canal rides were offered. The rain finally subsided and I wanted to attempt a boat ride before the next downpour.
When arriving, you’ll likely see more than one boat tours offered, on both sides of the water. From what I saw all the prices were similar. The rides last between 30 an 45 minutes. I can’t remember the exact price I paid, but I believe is was around 10 euros.
My next bout of exploring came after the canal ride. My spirits were lifted and I really wanted to enjoy some good food to end off my day here. I of course got lost at finding the restaurant I was searching for. I’m bad at directions, remember? But I didn’t mind too much since I was able to see more of this amazing city. I felt more connected to Aveiro in my short time there than I had Porto and didn’t want to leave!
The restaurant I ate at was Forneria. I was in a pizza mode my entire trip. I treated myself to not only pizza, but fries… AND ice cream. It was my favorite meal that I had in Portugal thus far. I spent my time waiting for my meal and the check reading and taking in the sights. Upstairs where I sat had nice views of the water. I told my waiter I spoke very little Portuguese and he was very nice about it. My broken Portuguese wasn’t pretty, but it got me through the afternoon.
Tip: In Portugal, make sure you ASK for your check when you’re done. Often times you’ll just be waiting around and they won’t bring it to you, unlike in the U.S. for example.
Wrapping Things Up
My day trip from Porto to Aveiro was well worth it! After feeling down for a bit this was the change of scenery I needed. I’d definitely consider going back to Aveiro and spending a couple of days here. Have you been to Aveiro? What were your favorite parts of the city? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!