We love Lisbon because it’s a small town wrapped up inside a big city. Prices are way less here than what you would find in any other European capital, no matter if you’re on the hunt for food, clothing, gifts, or antiques. Even better, the atmosphere is much more relaxed, and a lot of the older stores haven’t changed since they opened.
Atlas’ top picks
Flea Markets at a Glance
On the weekends, it’s common to see folding-table vendors popping up in just about every public space to hock their hand-crafted hard and soft goods alike. This one for example is held on Saturdays and Sundays under the arches at Praça Comércio which generally includes about 30 different vendors and is one of the smallest you will find.
The biggest market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays and is aptly named Feira da Ladra (thieves’ market) in the neighborhood of Alfama, via Tram 28. The can be found behind the Santa Engracia Church. It offers everything from 16th century tiles to cell phone chargers. Haggling is not only welcome, it’s expected.
Another great flea market happens twice a month in the neighborhood of Belém in front of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Vendors here sell antiques, books, and tourist trinkets alike. The market extends into the modern courtyard of the Centro Cultural de Belém where it becomes much craftier, with artisans selling edibles, wearables,
home goods, and hand-made soaps.
Rua Augusta 176, Baixa
213 475 907
On Lisbon’s premier pedestrian street, Rua Augusta, there is an underwhelming selection of chain stores like H&M, Pull&Bear, Zara, and more where you can find plenty of mass-produced wearables that will have you blending in in no time. The breath of fresh air comes when you enter the 2-story Truz boutique which features women’s clothing and accessories that can’t be found elsewhere. Their racks are stocked with interesting items to satiate every aesthetic, from delicate and understated to fierce and bohemian.
The prices can vary drastically, but there’s almost always something delightful for less than 20€ that will have you wanting to snip the tags immediately and try it out on the street. Keep in mind this boutique is cash only, so if you’re planning a wardrobe overhaul, it’s best to note the nearest Multibanco is about forty paces out the door and across the street. If you’re on a budget, try the rack in the back left corner as there are lots of discounted items just begging for you to take them home.
R. Rodrigues de Faria, Alcântara
213 259 992 website
This former warehouse-turned-bookstore (translated as Read Slowly) is perhaps the only place where you can sip a glass of wine, snack on a cheese plate, and read just about any book you can imagine…at least in Portuguese. The English book section is slim, but you’re sure to find a few Saramagos and most certainly a translated Pessoa.
A large white mobile hangs from the high ceilings, riding a bicycle and flapping her wings, which draws your eye upwards to the tower of book-filled shelves all around you, and the remains of the printing press at the center of the 2nd floor. Surrounded by steel walkways and tables and chairs for an aerial view, the steampunk press connects you to a side room that offers constantly rotating art exhibitions. This is legitimate bookstore porn and reason enough to walk through the hip alleyways of the LX factory in Alcântara. As a weary traveler with a penchant for a good book, you can’t beat it.
Conserveira de Lisboa
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 34, Baixa
218 864 009 website
Loja das Conservas
Rua do Arsenal, 130, Baixa
911 181 210 website
This adorable celebration of the Portuguese canning tradition offers the old canned staples and also offers a selection from some canning new-comers who have created branding decals for the newer generations. Mix and match your favorite fish with sauces from spicy tomato to Portugal’s signature azeite (olive oil). Meticulously curated wooden-crate gift boxes are also available.