Vista Alegre Museum & Aveiro, Portugal

During the May holiday, we made a road trip to Aveiro – a city about two thirds on the way from Lisbon to Porto. One of the highlights of the trip is Museu Vista Alegre.

Vista Alegre is a high-end Portuguese porcelain manufacturer. If you’ve been to Lisbon, you are likely to come across its shop in the heart of the Chiado district.

The Vista Alegre Mussum is located in the city of Ílhavo, about 15 minutes by car from Aveiro.

The museum is in the old Vista Alegre factory building, alongside a small chapel

Capela de Nossa Senhora da Penha de França (Capela of Vista Alegre)

and three shops (two by Vista Alegre, including an outlet store, and one by Bordallo Pinheiro – a well-known ceramic artist and manufacturer in Portugal).

The old factory turned museum has two tall chimneys which are no longer in use and have turned into stork nests.

The entrance fee to the museum is 6 euros.

Upon entering, you will see two large furnaces, burning coal and firewood in the old days.

After which, there are room after room of beautiful glasses, procelains and lithophanes of varies themes.

When the factory was running, the Vista Alegre community is equipped with a creche and one of the oldest fire trucks in Portugal.

In contrast with its “upscale” and expensive-looking store in Chiado, the Vista Alegre shop here is behind a lovely garden.

It carries some award-winning design pieces:

Not looking to buy a piece of art for daily use? there is also a Vista Alegre outlet store on the opposite side of the regular store.

And a Bordallo Pinheiro store with his signature cabbages, frogs, butterflies and a giant snail.

I bought a cute little frog off this wall 🙂

Back to Aveiro, we had a pleasant boat ride along the canal for 13 euros.

Bitcorn bar anyone?

I took a walk to Salinas de Aveiro – the salt pans – that are not in use during this time of the year.

For lunch, I went to a Michelin restaurant called Salpoente, and had the executive menu, featuring a confit of cod, shrimps in creamy stew, padron peppers, herbal olive oil as main course and a divine coconut pannacotta with guava purée, all for 13 .50 euros.

Aveiro is known for a local speciality pastry called Ovos moles de Aveiro. It is made of egg yolks and sugar, wrapped inside a rice paper casing.

I wasn’t in the mood for another dessert, but I could easily fit in a gelato of the same flavour 😛

This concludes our quick jaunt to Aveiro. We stayed one night at Hotel Moliceiro, right across the street from the canal boats dock.

Coming up next: Gelatos in Lisbon

22 thoughts on “Vista Alegre Museum & Aveiro, Portugal

  1. So many lovely things in this post. The storks are wonderful! Further favourites are the pink cup with golden handles, the purple vase made of human figures, the cup with many butterflies growing out of it, the street art under the bridge (!!) and the fact that you can always squeeze a gelato in. 😉

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  2. I only had one night in Aveiro, so I did not have the time to check out the museum. However, the strolls along the Venetian-like canals, along with the distinctive moliceiro boats, were breathtaking. I recall having an Ovos moles, but I was ambivalent to it as it was too much with the egg yolk. A lovely little place that I recommend to anyone visiting Portugal…and to get Michelin food for only 13.50 euros is the dream!!!

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  3. Fabulous shots of ceramics in Lisbon. I remember buying lots of little rustic pots in Lisbon after drinking too much at a local restaurant. They have travelled all over the world and are still intact!

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      1. YES, and we will have a gelato — FOR SURE!

        Curious, what type of business are you in? Travel industry? I’m working on some children’s books. I’m trying to find a critique partner, so that I can make faster progress on my stories. Have a buddy. it’s not easy. Any ideas?

        OH, I was on Twitter, and there is a British writer who is sending me her book. I will read and give a review. I liked it, because it takes place in Egypt. Trilogy, First Book: Harkhuf the First Explorer. She is self-published right now. She’s sending me the 2nd book to review. We are having rainstorms in Chicago – PERFECT for reading! Look forward to your NEXT Lisbon adventure.

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      2. Oh I love rainstorms. I’m in IT. Will check out the books you mentioned. I have writer friends here. I can ask her. She’s currently on vacay in the States, getting that vaccine shot ;). I will mention to her next time i see her.

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      3. Ok, thank you. There must be a MIRACLE waiting for me, right! LOL – I’m Aquarius, I read that it is my Emerald year. I haven’t seen it yet… BUT there is still hope. Good for your friend coming to get shot here. It’s probably the best way to get it. Hang in there!

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    1. I’ve never been to the Azores. Planning to go as soon as it’s relatively safer. Do you have any recommendations on where to go/stay/eat? 🙂 I’ll definitely show you around Lisbon or mainland Portugal.

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      1. We only visited Sao Miguel. We ate around randomly and were very surprised how good it was. Only the first day was ‘eh’. We ate at a place in the marina that we’d skip but I can’t remember the name. Def try their local dish that gets cooked in pot that’s placed in the ground and baked by volcanic heat. We did this on a tour. This was our favorite. We stayed at Hotel do Colegio and there was a restaurant next door that Vic loved. He never enjoyed octopus until then. Don’t remember the name. Maybe we’ll go to lisbon and the Azores in the future. Today I’m hopeful, yest I wasn’t in the best place. This weekend is my Dad’s bday and since he passed I keep thinking about all these things I wanna do but can’t since covid. I know, we’re all in the same spot. My brain is freaking out a bit, running out of patience and I haven’t stayed in NY this long in a long time.

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