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
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