If you like a treasure hunt for your bric-a-brac, you’re in luck. Lisbon and the surrounding areas have markets happening weekly if you know where to go.
Feira da Ladra
Campo de Santa Clara, Thursdays and Saturdays
This is Lisbon’s biggest market without a doubt. It is aptly named Feira da Ladra (thieves’ market) and it occurs in the neighborhood of Alfama which is accessible by the Tram 28. The market starts at the Arco de São Vicente and continues well behind the Santa Engracia Church. It offers everything from 16th century tiles to old clock cogs, to socks, cell phone chargers, used clothing, modern jewelry, and upscale antiques. You can find the vendors claiming their square meters at dawn, laying blankets and erecting Sumol umbrellas. The locals can attest that if you’re looking to buy something that isn’t exactly legal or registered, this is the time to go. If it isn’t firearms or illegal substances you’re looking for, sleep in until 10am when the market is in full swing. Note: With the street vendors, haggling is not only welcome, it’s expected, but don’t try it inside the storefront shops, they won’t take it kindly.
Praça Comércio Artisan Market
Saturdays and Sundays, Terreiro do Paço,
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 under the arches at Praça Comércio which generally includes about 30 different vendors and is one of the smallest you will find. Hand-painted cobblestone coasters, hammered Nespresso capsule jewelry, ceramics, masks, and crochet items are among the most common wares. When the sun’s boiling hot and you need a shady place to browse, it’s quite a welcoming spot.
Feira da Avenida Liberdade
May to Oct: Every second weekend, fourth Thursday, and fourth Saturday of the month
Beginning at Praça da Alegria and continuing up Avenida Liberdade almost until the beginning of Parque Eduardo VII, you will find rows of tables of junk ranging from old electric kitchen equipment, ragged toys, and broken watches mixed with treasures like vinyl records, antique oratorios bordados (embroidered religious iconography), vintage radios, coins, and more. This isn’t the best market of them all, but it’s a way to make your way up the hill a bit more interesting.
Belém Flea Market
First and third Sunday of each month, Gardens of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Another great flea market happens twice a month in the neighborhood of Belém in the park in front of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Vendors here sell antiques, cameras, books, and tourist trinkets alike, and it’s accepted practice to bargain for your buy. If you’re looking for an antique copper kettle or a charm for your bracelet, this is the place to go. Prices can range from several centimos to several hundred Euros, so make sure you have enough cash on hand as you’re not likely to find a vendor that will take Visa or Mastercard. If it’s the first Sunday of the month, don’t forget to peek inside the CCB across the park to continue your hunt with even more artisanal trinkets. Thirsty? Be on the lookout for a vintage bicycle pulling a lemonade stand behind it. Their mint-infused lemonades are to die for.
CCB Artisan Market
First Sunday of each month, Centro Cultural de Belém, Praça do Império
The Centro Cultural de Belém is the place to go to see concerts, sunset symphonies, the art exhibitions and installations at the Berardo Museum, and dance performances, so it’s no wonder that their own artist market is full of fantastic finds. Painstakingly curated, this market features retro furniture, antique baubles, handmade soaps, carefully-crafted fashion and accessories, organic saplings and seedlings, farm-raised goodies, delicious delicacies, and habit-forming compotes and sauces. Like to browse with a glass of wine? Not a problem. Like to talk with shop owners? Go ahead- these guys are the friendliest you’ll find.
Ribeira Market Food Court
Sun – Wed, 10am –
midnight; Thu – Sat, 10am – 2am
Avenida 24 de Julio, Cais Sodré
213 244 980
Just across the street from Cais Sodré station, you’ll find a huge domed market that sells everything from fish to flowers on one side, and a gastronomic selection of traditional and fusion foods made to order on the other. Into sampling the local brew? While Sagres and Super Bock are the two main brands (with arguably similar taste), there is a kiosk in the food-court area with seasonal Portuguese drafts and micro brews that you won’t find anywhere else. Looking for a great gelato? Try Santini’s outpost of its traditional Chiado parlor which has been scooping since 1949. Want to find a great selection of wines and spirits (sometimes even 100% Agave)? Check out what’s new at Garrafeira Nacional’s shop. Looking for an entire leg of Iberian Presunto, a dozen oysters from Rio Formosa, and a bolo de bolaca for afternoon tea? Look no further.
Ribeira Food Market
Daily, 6am – 2pm,
Fish mongers closed MondayOn the other side of the market, fresh fruit sellers line the main atrium with by the kilo produce of every imaginable color and creed at unbeatable prices and variety. Just beyond, walking through the butcher and fish section of the market is worthy of a few snapshots at the least. With pig heads smiling against all odds, live slithering octopi tentacles spilling over the sides of the stalls, gigantic fish that look like something out of Jurassic Park, and the laughingly sad smushed faces of fresh sole, it’s hard not to gawk. But don’t try to buy meat or fish on Mondays or after 3pm, because you’ll be out of luck. On the weekends, you might stumble across stamp collectors geeking out at one of the many tables set up inside and you might be able to sign up for tango lessons upstairs if you’re lucky.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique
Sun – Tue, 10am – 11pm; Wed – Thu, 10am – midnight; Fri – Sat, 10am – 1am
Rua Coelho da Rocha, Campo de Ourique
211 323 701
If it’s gastronomy you’re after, you might want to plan on popping into this haven for foodies. This market is relatively off the tourist strip. Take the Tram 28 though
the more residential neighborhoods and three stops past the Basilíca da Estrela (which is a landmark church so huge you can’t miss it.) Inside the market you can find fresh Portuguese oysters
shucked in front of you, leitão (suckling pig) sandwiches and platters, and percebes (delicious rock-clinging goose barnacles that look like they were designed Tim Burton). While this market is more for eating, you can still find fresh and candied fruits, various veggies, and canned goods that make excellent treats-to-go. For a list of vendors and events, check out their website.
If you’re in the mood to shop indoors for antiques, collectibles and bric-a-brac, check out Atlas’ top picks around town.
Rua São Bento
Running the gamut from ancient icons to early baroque to bauhaus, you can find just about any style of any decorative item here on this street starting after the Parliament building and up the hill until Rato. Some are pricier than others, some will look at you strangely if you try to bargain, and some won’t help you at all if you’re wearing the wrong shoes. Whatever your fancy, it’s a fun way to spend the afternoon.
Rua São Bento 243,
Mon, 10h – 13h; Sat, 10h – 18h
For no-frills furniture with clean lines and the best price on the entire street, do yourself a favor and see what’s going on at Casa Xadrez. They sell wood desks, simple sofas, dining tables, and wood, wicker, and bamboo furniture fit for any occasion. The lady who runs it might not have exactly what you want in this showroom, but she has a secret hideaway across the street full of overstock which she keeps locked. This is one of the only places on São Bento that you can bargain, but honestly the prices are so fair it might not even occur to you. Ask and you shall receive.
Cantinho do Vintage
Av. Infante D. Henrique, 2, Poço do Bispo
912 007 552
Mon, 9h – 13h; Sat, 10h – 18h
If you’re looking for antique cinema folding seats, 1950s Eames-style loungers, a vanity from the 1920s or old reclaimed doors and signage from gas stations and more, then check out this warehouse space in Poço do Bispo. Cantinho do Vintage has a feel of a meticulously curated garage sale mixed with a museum highlighting the best (and worst) from decades past. Go for buying, browsing or simply for decorative inspiration, and you’ll be happy you did. Most items are in near-mint condition and the staff
is knowledgeable and happy to help- or leave you alone to explore. Call ahead or check the website in the summer months, as their hours change and they are often closed for the holidays.
Concept Low Cost Outlet
Praça David Leandro da Silva, 27, Beato
911 728 153
Mon – Sat, 10h – 19h
If it’s an intricately-carved traditional spiral bedframe or turn-of-the-century glassware in sets of odd numbers you seek, perhaps even a cassette tape of Amalia or simply an old typewriter, this is the place to find it. The prices are more than fair even if the charge for delivery isn’t. If you happen to be walking through this neighborhood of soon-to-be-converted warehouse spaces, you should take a moment to pop your head in. Don’t overlook the almost-hidden staircase at the back right side of the shop. It will lead you to the second floor which showcases a surprisingly decent selection of vintage clothes and accessories and larger furniture items you might not want to miss.
Shopping Malls at a Glance
Lisbon’s shoppings (malls) are mainly located outside the city center. Luckily, the metro is easy to use and it can get you there pretty quickly. Almost all of them have cinemas, so it’s a nice way to spend a rainy day when there’s nothing else to do.
This is the biggest mall with the best accessibility. Just hop on the blue line to Colégio Militar and you exit right into it. It holds around 350 stores (for some chic dresses, check out Etxart & Panno), 60 restaurants, a cinema, and most importantly, Lisbon’s only IMAX screen. What’s playing?
Amoreiras is located in its names-sake neighborhood and is most easily accessible by bus as the nearest metros require some up-hill walking. 235 stores (including area, my favorite for home goods), 50 restaurants and a cinema can be found inside. What’s playing?
It’s worth a visit just to be in the very modern Parque das Nações, and connected via underground tunnel to the Calatrava-designed Oriente Station which offers a few more shopping options. The Centro is home to 3 floors of stores for the home and
the body while on the 4th floor you can grab a bite at one of its many eateries. Check out Loja de Gato Preto for gift items, or stop into the cinema for a flick. What’s playing?
This mall is in the heart of Lisbon right behind Marques de Pombal park. For upscale shopping for top-shelf luxury handbags, shoes, clothing, and even sporting goods, look no further, but be prepared to take a beating in your bank account. While most malls cater to quantity and big-brand anchor stores, the “El Corte” department store appeals to the aesthetic of the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Sacks 5th Avenue. It carries Frye, Longchamp, and YSL to name a few. The basement floor offers gourmet goodies, a grocery store akin to Harrod’s, a few places to eat, and of course, a cinema. What’s playing?
Helpful Hint: Lisbon Eat and Shop Card
For 6€, get at least 10% off in more than 30 restaurants and 5% off in more than 100 stores. The card lasts for a period of 72 hours.
Good deal for 3 days, no? They are available for sale at any “Ask Me” Tourism Office and also online here.