>  Cultural Experiences   >  A Day Trip to Aveiro: The Romantic City

A great day trip from Porto is to Aveiro. We decided to take the train to enjoy the scenery along the way. I was interested in seeing the moliceiro and sampling of the ovos moles.

South of Porto, Portugal, is this petite port city, Aveiro, which has become a destination spot for many tourists. Known for its salt and seaweed production, it has also become a college town, with a major university that makes up about a quarter of the population. It is also famous for its beautiful canals, streets full of history, and a long stretch of white sandy beaches. The best way to navigate around Aveiro is by foot as it is a small city.

Tour City Canals on a Moliceiro

In 1808, when channels were cut, opening the town to the sea provided access to the city center. Barcos moliceiros once used to collect seaweed from the lagoons and today used to transport tourists.


Each flat bottom boat is painted with unique motifs that tell the past stories: the bow, the massive part of the boat. Inscriptions related to the painted motif will be in the central part of the boat. You may say depictions of popular devotion, military, girls’ heartthrobs, or regional jobs in the stern. These interesting moliceiro boats are not only individual floating art pieces but a real treasure of the town.

Moliceiro tours leave from Rossio Park and last about 45 minutes. The cost is $10.00 per person

Indulge in Ovos Moles

Famous sweet sugar treats are called Ovos Moles. This delicious treat is made of a mixture of egg yolks and sugar placed inside a small rice paper casing in nautical shapes, such as shells. Legend has it that Ovos Moles came about by a nun with a sweet-tooth at the Convent of Jesus. She was being forced to fast by her Mother Superior for committing the sin of gluttony. Disobeying orders, she grabbed the only ingredients she could find in the kitchen, eggs, and sugar and began to concoct something tasty. Fearful of being caught, she hid the mixture inside what was used to create the communion wafers. The next day, the nuns discovered the confection and deemed it so perfect, it could only be a miracle of God.

Ovo Moles

Casa da Ovo Moles

Odilia dos Anjos Soares learned about this recipe in 1882 and founded Casa da Ovos Moles which later she created the brand Maria da Apresentacao da Cruz & Herdeiros. This business has been passed down from generation to generation.

Click here for a recipe

Walking Tour of Art Nouveau Architecture

Along the canal. near the city center is Art Nouveau style design on the facades of buildings. Art Nouveau style was imported into Aveiro by wealthy immigrants from Brazil. The design inspiration is from natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.

Art Nouveau

Testa & Amadores

As we walked near the Aveiro Cathedral, we saw Testa & Amadores, an artistical design building. This building is on the corner with Art Nouveau décor, which once operated as a warehouse and grocery store.

Location: Click Map; Avenida de Santa Joana, 31-43

Major Pessoa House, built-in 1907,  has a façade in carved stone with artistic forged iron. Inside the house are colorful tiles depicting the landscape around Aveiro. Today the home knows as the New Art Museum (Art Nouveau).

Open Tue.- Fri. 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Weekends from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Closed Monday. Entrance Fee Required.

Location: Click Map; Barbosa Magalhaes St. #9,10, 11 and Travessa do Rossio

Aveiro Rossio Hostel is known for the ornate design windows with a wrought-iron balcony.

Location: Click Map; located at Largo do Rossio

The Aveiro Museum

The Aveiro City Museum is also known as the Ovos Moles House. The building’s upper floors stand out because of the curved windows and the flower design trim around the windows.

Location: Click Map; located at Joao Mendonca St.


Republic Museum stands out by its exuberant façade, dominated by a figurehead of a woman situated near the balcony. The decoration mises floral stone motifs with the wrought irons of the windows and balcony guards.

Location: Click Map; located at Joao Mendonca St.

Cooperative Agriculture Building has an elegant pink polychromatic tile covering the façade of the building.

Location: Click Map; located at Joao Mendonca St.

Take a look near these buildings and see the construction’s details to make such elegant designs.

Ceramic Mosaics

If you arrive at Aveiro by train, you will be in awe of the blue azulejos tiles that tell a city’s story. The tiles tell stories of working-class citizens’ lives and the many crafts that were practiced in the region.

Location: Click Map

Aveiro Train Station

Aveiro Train Station

In the central area of Aveiro, you will find images of historical events designed with colorful tiles. As you wander the streets, you will see many ceramic mosaics.


Visit the Praca da Republica and notice the grounds covered in small mosaic tiles. You across the waterway

Location: Click Map

Clerigos Church

Clerigos Tower

Notice the Republic Square wall panels, which have a background of orange color tiles representing traditional activities and characteristic symbols of the region, all design by Vasco Pine Augusto Ferreira White.

Church of Carmelitas

Church of Carmo

Praça Joaquim de Melo Freitas paved with small mosaic pieces. Many restaurants and shops to provide the guest with the enjoyment of the beautiful view.

Colorful Street Art

Outside of the Aveiro train stations is a chiseled portrait of a face on the building’s surface. Vhils is the artist; known to Portuguese as Alexandre Farto. He has been involved with urban communities creating images with a bas-relief carving technique. His artworks can be found in over 30 different countries.


Another impressive mural is called the Arch of Commerce by Kest, underneath an archway depicting birds and fish.


Located on Eduardo Cerquerica St., you will find murals painted by LuckyHell artist.


As we walked towards Republic Square, I noticed on a school building wall a painting with a mural created by Ruta Zooter.

Root Zooter

A Vida Portuguesa

Aveiro’s street art is fascinating and nicely creative pieces throughout the city.

Roam the Historical Churches

Aveiro offers several fascinating historical attractions to visit. Near the city center is the Church of Sao Domingo, also known as Aveiro Cathedral.

Aveiro Cathedral

Misericordia Church

Aveiro Cathedral, founded in 1423, designed in a Gothic style, is the most notable perhaps for its façade, clad in the most beautiful, designed ceramic tiles. Inside are white-washed arch ceilings with some of the most detailed wood carvings.

A short stroll to the Praca da Republica is the Misericordia Church. This Renaissance church is known for its beautiful polychrome azulejos, blue tiles depicting historical themes. Explore the interior as you will find more ceramic tile works and an elegantly designed organ, installed in 1767.

Carmelitas Church

Carmo Church

Carmelitas Church was built by a noble family for the Carmo nuns’ convent during the 16th century. The construction of this church took over 200 years to complete. Today this church is owned by the city and used for court hearings.  You can take a stroll thru the grounds and will see blue tile designs outlining the outer walls.

Carmo Church was founded in 1613 by the Barefoot Carmelites Friars. It functioned as the College of Philosophy for some time. Check out the tile murals depicting various religious stories.

Capela dos Santos Martires

Igreja da Vera

Capela dos Santo Martires is a tiny chapel, built-in 1670 with a bright yellow exterior border. Inside are a few benches with beautifully decorated religious figures.

As we began our walk back from the canal, we came upon Church of Our Lady Presentation, also known as Igreja da Vera Cruz.  The two tile panels with hagiographic motifs adorn the face, which catches your eye as you walk by the church. Go inside and check out the magnificent golden arches.

Aveiro has some of the most interesting architecturally designed buildings to explore.  We enjoyed our day wandering through many narrow cobblestone streets, admiring the colorful murals. Aveiro is a must-see if your travel takes you to Portugal.

Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

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