Travel ads do work.
This happened to me while waiting at Coimbra’s train station. I was waiting for the next train to my hotel when I saw an ad on tv: Visit Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal. Then came a montage of happy gondola-riding tourists on the canal. I knew then where to go next. After all, my plans stopped at Coimbra and I had wanted to be more adventurous for the rest of my trip.
I’ve never heard of Aveiro until that tv ad. I originally planned on going to Porto but as luck would have it, Aveiro was literally on the way. I haven’t been to Venice, hence the alluring thought of going to a Venice-like place was too good to overlook.
I left Coimbra just as a storm was brewing. I remember sitting outside at one of the cafes, having another cafe con leche when one of the umbrellas from across me got caught in the wind! That was my cue to go.
I arrived at the city’s charming train station and I immediately saw the stark contrast of the new and old train stations. The old building displays the traditional and striking blue azujelos (a form of Portuguese ceramic tile). It immediately caught my attention.
Aveiro is no means a small town. I was actually surprised of how big it is and how modern most of the attractions are. Another great thing was that there were no crowds of tourists and most of the stores closed early, at least when I was there. There were times I thought I was the only one out and about because it was so quiet.
Venice of Portugal
The main reason why the travel ad worked for me was Aveiro’s inviting nickname. The canals and the gondolas were the highlights for me. Walking by the canal was calming and leisurely, thanks to zero tourists. I had so much fun taking Instagram-worthy photos as well as hanging out and people watch.
If the canal was not reason enough to visit Aveiro, watching one of the best sunsets in the world was well worth it.
Discovering Aveiro was truly exciting for me. This adventure just made me love travel more and I am so enthused about taking travel to the next level. My goal of checking off my bucket list just added a fresh take of discovering new and underrated destinations.
Aveiro is one of those underrated and undiscovered destinations. Next time you’re planning to visit Portugal, add this city to your list!