Finally, the info post!
After leaving Coimbra, we left for Porto. We decided on the way to stop in Aveiro, the town that some call the Venice of Portugal.
We didn’t have time to stop to eat in Aveiro, but we did walk around and explore the town – it boasts some beautiful architecture.
Lots of the roads in Aveiro are paved with beautiful tiles.
If you’re on route to another town, I would suggest stopping somewhere else to eat. Aveiro’s city life is quite tourist centered. However, the town and it’s architecture are gorgeous enough to merit a stop.
After Aveiro, we headed to Porto. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, and home to lots of beautiful structures; it’s also the home of port wine! The biggest attraction is its beautiful coastline; from the opposite side of Liberdade square, one can see this beautiful view.
Right near this view is the Dom Luis bridge. This bridge is unique in that it’s made up of two levels – the bottom level in for cars, and the top level (which sports gorgeous views) is for bikes and the local tram.
In the city, you’ll find a bustling environment, with beautiful architecture. There are structures such as this one:
And neighborhoods like this:
Chapels with structures like this one:
And fun antics such as this one:
Inviting alleys and restaurants like this:
And lastly, the views are beautiful.
Porto, along with Lisbon, is the perfect place to go if you’d like to capture the heart of Portugal in a short amount of time.
Top Things to Do in Aveiro and Porto
- Walk along the canal. The canal flows through the city of Aveiro, and is just lovely to walk along. Go early in the day or late at night, or you will be walking through hoards of tourists.
- Walk through the neighborhoods. From what I could tell, Aveiro offered some of the most uniquely decorated buses in all of Portugal. Most of the time, the outsides were covered in bright tiles. Additionally, the streets are often paved with tiles, which is a beautiful sight.
- Visit Liberdade square. Located in the heart of Porto, Liberdade square boasts restaurants, musicians, and a bustling crowd. Not to mention, a gorgeous view of the water!
- Walk the neighborhoods. I know what you’re thinking! Alex, you say this about everywhere you go. I know! I do. But I really believe it’s a crucial part of feeling out everywhere you go. Porto is built upwards (as many Portuguese cities are – it’s a very mountainous place); anywhere you stand, you can look up and see the neighborhood ascending beautifully.
- Try port wine. I’m gonna be honest on this one guys; neither of us liked port wine. However, it is the local wine and it really is part of the experience! According to the locals, it’s meant to be drank before or after you meal, as it’s quite sweet.
- Cross the Dom Luis bridge – both ways. As I mentioned earlier in the post, Dom Luis bridge is made up of two levels – one for bikes and trams, and one for cars. The fun part is, you can walk on both! So I would recommend starting on the side of Liberdade square and crossing along the bottom (with cars). When you get to the other side, climb up the mountain that’s right ahead (okay, it’s actually roads on a mountain; it’s easier than it sounds) and walk along the neighborhoods at the top! They offer gorgeous views of the city. From here, keep walking until you reach the top of the bridge, and cross back.
How much will you spend?
I’m going to talk to you about Porto on this front; Ian and I only briefly passed through Aveiro, so we didn’t spend any money there. However, it seemed quite tourist occupied, so I would imagine the restaurants are pretty pricey.
Accommodation: Because it’s such a big city, Porto offered a variety of prices for accommodation. The nicer (really nice) hotels can run up over a hundred euros; the hostels, however, can run pretty cheap. And, if you’re feeling spontaneous, many of them have signs outside for cheap walk ins!
Food: Porto is quite a tourist attraction, so the restaurants around here cater to that. You can expect to spend about 20$ per person on dinner here, but that includes wine and appetizers!
Transportation: As with most Portuguese cities, almost everything is within walking distance. Save those euros and walk everywhere you need to go!
Keep checking for the next part of our adventure, Sintra!