Living In Aveiro: Why Expats Love It

Discover what it's like to live in one of the most popular expat destinations in Portugal - Aveiro.

Aveiro is a popular destination among expats looking for a coastal city in the Central Region of Portugal. This city is often called the “Portuguese Venice”. It’s full of colourful canals, boats and houses with the Ria de Aveiro being the biggest highlight.

Aveiro might not be the first city people think of when moving to Portugal, but it is a great location for expats looking to settle down.

Is Aveiro a nice place to live?

Aveiro is a fabulous place to live. Here you have the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque water canals, colourful boats, regional shops, and cafés on a daily basis.

You are likely to meet up with friends for a nice cup of coffee and to savour all the wonderful flavours of the region.

Aveiro is quite a vibrant town without the stress of living in Porto or Lisbon. And if you miss it terribly, Porto is only a 45-minute drive away and Coimbra (the third most important city in Portugal) is even closer.

Is Aveiro a good place to retire?

For the same very reasons, Aveiro is a perfect retirement destination.

It’s actually one of the best cities for expats looking for a quiet, yet vibrant retirement place

Aveiro is located in the central region of Portugal, at the start of the Silver Coast. It is the perfect place for expats who want a smaller city with a lively town centre, plenty to do and visit, great medical care and English-speaking locals. 

Aveiro is a flat city, where it is easy to get around on foot or by bicycle, which makes it inviting for long walks.

You can take a stroll in the city’s historic centre, pass by the canals, take a tour of the Art Nouveau Museum, visit the Fish Market, have a coffee near the Praça 14 de Julho, or just enjoy the heartbeat of the city.

Another thing retirees appreciate in Aveiro is its healthcare.

Healthcare in Aveiro

Portugal’s healthcare, in general, is excellent, ranking number twelve in the world according to the World Health Organization.

As a resident, you have the option to join and use the public healthcare system, sign up for private health insurance (between €40 and €100 per month, depending on age and pre-existing conditions) or opt for an international health insurance plan.

To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal. 

Aveiro has two hospitals: one public and one private. For a city with a population of 73,600 people, it seems to be quite enough. If you go public, the one thing that might be frustrating when you need to see a doctor is a long wait at one of the health centres in the city.

To find out more about healthcare in Portugal, read our Living In Portugal guide.

Is Aveiro good for families?

Aveiro is a great destination for families interested in stability and quality of life and education for their children.

The University of Aveiro plays centre stage, having ranked among the top six higher education establishments in Portugal in the year 2021/2022, according to the Centre for World University Rankings.

Local schools have excellent ratings as well, and there are several options both in terms of private and public schools.

Getting around Aveiro

You can get around easily in the city of Aveiro using buses, both from private and public companies. The regional trains have very efficient and punctual service and Aveiro’s train station, decorated with typical tiles, offers a great atmosphere while you wait for your ride.

You can also travel the city in a more imaginative way by boat throughout the many canals the city has to offer.

Is Aveiro safe?

Aveiro is quite a safe city, with low crime rates. Most residents feel safe walking home at night, and violent crime is rare.

The presence of many resident university students and tourists offers quite a lively atmosphere. Therefore, it makes total sense to be a bit vigilant in public places and take reasonable precautions regarding your property and personal safety.

The cost of living in Aveiro

One of the advantages of living in Aveiro is the low cost of living, in terms of services, food and rent. It is especially evident when compared to major cities like Lisbon or Porto.

The cost of living in Aveiro is around 9% cheaper than in Lisbon. The estimated monthly costs for a family of four are €1,795.46 without rent. A single person’s estimated monthly costs are €515.57 without rent. 

A one-bedroom furnished apartment in the city centre may be found for €800 per month. Add about €150 for utilities (gas, electricity, water, all depending on usage), internet and mobile phone packages, €100 for health insurance for two (it may increase with age and pre-existing conditions), €350 for groceries and supermarket plus €500 if you opt to dine out as well.

Transportation costs could run around €200 with a car, and a monthly pass for public transport would be around €55.

Housing costs

Renting an apartment in Portugal will always have a primary weight on your personal budget. However, rental prices in Aveiro are lower than in Porto, for example. A one-bedroom apartment in the city can be found for around €500 and up to €1300, depending on the area you chose to live in, the size in terms of square meters and whether it is a house or an apartment.

While considering renting a property in Aveiro, take a look at the guide “Renting A Property In Portugal”, which will help you understand the process you need to go through.

The same rule applies if you are looking to buy in Aveiro. The prices can range from €180.000 if you are looking for a T1 apartment (one bedroom) to €300.000 for a T4 house (4 bedrooms) with a first floor and attic.

You will find very useful tips on the property purchasing process in our Buying A Property In Portugal guide.

The pros of living in Aveiro

  • Aveiro has a low cost of living in comparison to major cities like Porto and Lisbon.
  • It is a popular location for retirees, but you can find people of all age groups as the University of Aveiro brings young people from all over the country to Aveiro.
  • It’s a modern city with colourful architecture and a lot of fun and interesting activities.
  • The city is close to amazing beaches such as Barra Beach.
  • Aveiro is conveniently located for travelling to Porto and Coimbra

The cons of living in Aveiro

  • Aveiro is a small city with less than 80,000 people and might feel isolated for someone who enjoys the big city buzz.
  • The city can feel quite cold and humid during winter.
  • If you are looking for a job, it can be more difficult to find it in Aveiro in comparison to Porto or Lisbon.

The best areas to live in Aveiro

The best locations in Aveiro, in terms of real estate, would be places with sea or Ria de Aveiro views, which are the two points that add value and will make the investment safe in the future. 

Living in Aveiro - Costa Nova houses
Costa Nova, 3 km south of Barra, and its famous striped houses with verandas overlooking the beach and the lagoon.

Aveiro is flat and everything is relatively near and within walking distance, so most of the locations feel central and trendy. Here are some of the popular spots in Aveiro for expats:

1. São Jacinto

It is a lovely coastal area between the Ria de Aveiro and the Atlantic Ocean. The São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve lies north of the parish, and it is mostly sought for leisure and recreation. It has a beautiful landscape and attractive environment.

2. Glória and Vera Cruz

Glória and Vera Cruz is a very popular parish in Aveiro. It is the larger and most populated parish in the city. Located right in the centre, it is beautiful, full of history and culture, and very convenient for everyday living.

3. Esgueira

Esgueira is also a relatively large neighbourhood quite popular with the young population.

4. Santa Joana

Santa Joana is another trendy parish in Aveiro, and it is home to various touristic, architectural, and religious landmarks in the city.

Other popular neighbourhoods

São Bernardo is a central neighbourhood and quite popular among tourists and expats.

Aradas and Cacia are very popular with families because of the quiet atmosphere.

Oliveirinha, Eixo e Eirol and Requeixo, Nossa Senhora de Fátima e Nariz are also charming parishes, welcoming to most expats.

Things to do in Aveiro

Allow me to invite you for a tour around Aveiro and raise your enthusiasm for this lovely town.

Living in Aveiro - canals
Canals crisscross Aveiro in all directions and the residents use the boats as means of transport to get around the city.

Let’s start with one of the must-dos: a tour in one of the typical boats called “moliceiros”. These slender, colourful boats are used to collect seaweed or “moliço” from the Ria de Aveiro. 

In the mood for shopping? You are in the right place, as the city’s shopping centre is right here, by the bridge.

If you are an admirer of architectonic wonders, you must visit the Art Nouveau Museum, on one of the banks of the Central Canal.

You can also check the Aveiro City Museum, which has content that illustrates the moments, the facts, and the protagonists that have given soul to the history of this charming city.

Do a bit of history

Since we are on a roll and your adventure must continue, we advise you to explore the historic centre.

This part of town has quaint squares, various shops, several churches and many restaurants and pastry shops. Here you should take a break and taste the traditional Aveiro sweet known as “Ovos Moles”, a delicious custard of egg yolk, sugar, and water, wrapped in a wafer.

Beaches are a must

Of course, you will want to enjoy the proximity of the beach and take a walk near the coloured houses of Costa Nova, taking in the scenery that makes Aveiro such a unique city in the country.

The Barra beach is well known for the lighthouse, one of the largest in Portugal, marking the point where the Ria runs into the sea. 

To end any day in style, visit the Dunas de São Jacinto Nature Reserve. Here you will find scenery that remains undecided between land and sea, composed of sandy beaches, marshland, freshwater, and saltwater, and is home to many valuable wildlife species.

Final words on living in Aveiro

Whatever locations you are considering while planning your life in Portugal, one of the best cities to live in Portugal is, undoubtedly, Aveiro.

Aveiro is particularly attractive to expats because of its uninterrupted sea views, stress-free environment and rich historical background.

A laid-back lifestyle with all the amenities on your doorstep and two big cities within easy reach are just a small sample of what this city is all about. 

Other popular locations in Portugal to consider:

You might find useful:

  • Living in Portugal – The Expats’ Guide – the benefits and drawbacks of living in Portugal, visa options, residency, the cost of living, healthcare, taxes and more;
  • Best Places To Live In Portugal – a detailed overview of the most popular Portugal locations for expats starting from the southern region of the Algarve and its towns and going up North all the way to Porto.
  • Didn’t find what you were looking for or need further advice? Comment with your question below and we will do our best to help.
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Joana Torres Fernandes

Joana is an enthusiast about improving people’s lives with their relocation to her beautiful and beloved country, Portugal, helping expats navigate through the bureaucracy for a smoother life-changing experience. This is why she is a Partner at L.V.P. Advogados, a law firm based in trendy Lisbon, and she is specialised and highly experienced in Immigration. She aims for a trustful, exclusive, and efficient relationship with the individual and family cases she embraces.

Joana loves her dog Balu, really enjoys travelling and trying out new décor ideas.

For help and advice contact Joana here: Enquiry

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