Located in the northern part of Portugal, about an hour from Porto and two and half from Lisbon, Aveiro is a city with a very rich cultural heritage that combines tradition with modernity as well as nature. It’s formed around a lagoon, or Ria de Aveiro, giving it unique characteristics.

The city of Aveiro dates back to, at least, the 10th century, with roman occupation for the salt exploration and trade center through the middle ages, but human presence in the region can be traced back to prehistoric times. The city gets its name from the latin Alavário, meaning “where birds gather”, due to the lagoon’s perfect conditions.

In modern times, Aveiro is often considered “The Portuguese Venice” due to its water canals and traditional boats (Moliceiros), resembling its italian counterpart. The region is well known for its fish, eels and conserves, but also for its traditional sweets, Ovos Moles, made with egg yolk and sugar (like many other portuguese desserts!) and Pão de Ló.

With around 78 thousand inhabitants, it has the infrastructures and services that can be found in a larger city, and the safety and quiet of a small city, making it a very pleasant place to live and work.

The Nightlife is definitely present here as well, with most of the bars and clubs situated in the main square, the “Praça do Peixe” or Fish Market/Square, but you will also find many other places around town.

The city’s situation on the Atlantic coast gives it a typical coastal climate, where you can definitely feel the breeze as well as the strong wind, but also presents you with extensive white sandy beaches, mostly natural and untouched. Some of the best beach locations are only a few minutes away, with the beaches of Barra and Costa Nova accessible by car, bus and even bicycle. 

Due to the city’s and inhabitants' close proximity to the lagoon, be it as a form of sustenance and livelihood or for fun, it definitely is one of the most important marks of the region. You are able to practice a range of aquatic activities and sports such as sailing, surfing or kitesurfing. However, there is also a deep connection to the inland part, with the Arouca Geopark as well as other mountain ranges (Freita, Caramulo, Buçaco mountain ranges) being close by.


What can you find in the campus?

Buildings for education and research, housing for students and professors, dining halls, libraries, book stores, rooms for conferences and shows, exhibition galleries, sports hall, running track, laundries, post offices, banking agency, shops, playground for children and kindergarten. All of this in a single campus, surrounded by the natural beauty of old salt pans and within just a couple of minutes walking from the city center. The University also disposes of presentation videos where you can see the beauty of our campus.

Some numbers:

  • There are 65 buildings in campus
  • The campus area is equivalent to the area of 92 football pitches
  • There are 15 housing facilities in campus
  • There are 2 libraries with 250000 titles available

Santiago Campus

This very big campus can often be compared to a small city. It is situated between Aveiro’s city center and the lagoon (or Ria de Aveiro). It englobes all the central services as well as the research facilities, and other supporting infrastructures.

Here, you can find the university residences, canteen and cafeterias, libraries and bookstore, cultural and sports facilities as well as services for daily life such as laundries and shops.

Crasto Campus

This smaller campus is an enlargement of the Santiago Campus, and offers similar services. Here, you can find the Department of Medical Sciences, more student residences, a canteen, and the home of the student’s association.

School of Design, Management and Production Technologies of Aveiro North (ESAN)

In addition to Aveiro, the UA Campus is also present in the cities of Águeda and Oliveira de Azeméis. 

In this last one, designed to meet new needs for training, research and development, ESAN started its life in 2014/15, geared with classrooms, laboratories as well as offices, in new and modern facilities. Here, you will also find the Knowledge Resource Center (CRC) Library, part of a network of documental information and museum services of the University of Aveiro, optimized for the areas of Production Technologies, Industrial Design, Organization and Management.

Oliveira de Azeméis is a city with a strong business culture, which also attracts a lot of tourism due to its rich natural and architectural heritage.



Academic Traditions

Praxe (New Student’s initiation)

You might be surprised the first few times you spot groups of students wearing black costumes, similar to the ones seen in Harry Potter movies. 

This is a traditional portuguese costume or suit for university students, which origins can be traced back to the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe, that adopted the same clothing for all students, independently of their background and family’s wealth, in order to combat discrimination: everyone dressed exactly the same, everyone was a student, a no one was above others.

It is now used as part of an initiation, or hazing ritual for freshman students done by older students, usually as a way of integrating all the new students from different parts of the country into the academic life, and as a way for everyone to make new friends!

Nowadays, the cultural part persists, and even though not everyone chooses to dress with the traditional “traje”, it is still an honor for those who do. Every university now may choose different rules in order to be able to dress it, and some are more or less severe.

In Aveiro, the norm is to:

  • Participate in the Praxe from the 1st year of university;
  • Complete the freshmen behavioral evaluation;
  • Wear the Traje according to the dress rules (varying by university: some don’t allow visible piercings, only black socks, no sunglasses, etc);
  • Correct knots for each course, year and role within the Praxe;
  • Customization with emblems allowed from the 2nd year onwards.

You will mostly see these suits, or Trajes, in some specific occasions:

  • Beginning of Classes when older students welcome the newcomers.

  • Academic Weeks are the most fun times of being a student! They are usually outside of evaluation periods when students have more freedom from their studies, or sometimes even no classes, and involve concerts during the full day and night, with partying happening during the same time!  There are also options that involve less partying, such as sports competitions or tournaments.

  • Desfile Académico (Students Parade) where everyone dresses up in the Traje, and rides around the city in a decorated car made by the students of the course that it represents, and usually involves a lot of alcohol, both to drink and to spray and wet everyone around!

  • Tuna Concerts The Tuna is the University Band, where students often play traditional instruments and have dance moves inspired by Portuguese folklore. They play in most university events, as well as organize their own concerts and small festivities!



At the University of Aveiro the members of the academic community can enjoy excellent conditions to practise sports. 

The UA provides a multi-purpose pavilion equipped with a room for gymnastics and martial arts, a running track, a football field and a small gym.

With a quite comprehensive programme of sporting activities, UA offers various modalities, from recreation to competition, guided by qualified technicians.