Wed. Jun 19th, 2024
Formerly a major colonial power, Portugal has accumulated great knowledge in craftsmanship. While in Lisbon, you can treat yourself to a vast variety of quality things: wines, ceramics, jewellery, leather goods, books and many more. Most shops in Lisbon open at 9 or 10am, and close in the evening at 7pm. Shops located in the malls will stay open as late as midnight. In the center, you’ll find some shops catering to tourists open on Sunday, but many take the day off. Early evenings and Saturday afternoons are the most popular shopping times in Lisbon. With such a multitude of shopping venues available, you won’t leave empty-handed.
(To visit the venues mentioned in this article, check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lisbon)
Image Courtesy of: Jiang Jiang

1. Roosters and Sardines (Not the Real Kind)

Roosters and Sardines (Not the Real Kind)
The rooster is one of the national symbols of Portugal, and sardines are very big too, as can be witnessed during the Festival of Santo Antonio in Lisbon every June. It’s a celebration of the patron saint of the capital, Santo Antonio, and the beginning of the sardine season. Miles upon miles of streets get overflown with people drinking beer and wine and eating grilled sardines bought from vendors at roadside stalls. You can pick up colorful and artfully made roosters and sardines all over the town. Some are ceramic, while others are made of cloth, wood, stone and even cork.

One of the best places to pick up these fun (and perhaps a little kitschy) items is the historic district of Alfama. The tiny shop, Ponto LX, at Rua Augusto Rosa 23, produces and sells some of the coolest handcrafted roosters and sardines in Lisbon. If you manage to duck beneath the low door and squeeze yourself inside, you’ll be able to browse this store’s very playful collection. You can spend as little as a few Euros for a ceramic sardine magnet, 10 EUR for a mid-sized rooster, and more than 40 EUR for a giant, human-sized sardine. Just up the road from Ponto LX, at Rua Augusto Rosa 13, you’ll happen upon Faldas do Castelo. This tourist shops is a bastion of Portuguese mementos. Ceramic roosters, statues, magnets, pictures and paintings line the walls. Prices vary widely, depending on the type, size and quality of the gift you have your eye on. If you want a typical memento from Portugal, then you can’t go wrong with Faldas do Castelo.

Where to find it:

Ponto LX, on Rua Augusto Rosa 23

Faldas do Castelo, on Rua Augusto Rosa 13

Offline reading and travel directions:

With GPSmyCity App you can read this article offline on your mobile device, use the embedded offline city map and GPS navigation, as well as create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured in the article.

2. Portuguese Ceramics

Portuguese Ceramics
Portuguese manufacturers have been making ceramic good for centuries. You can purchase classic pieces that have much in common, thanks to the former Portuguese global empire, with the ceramic work coming out of China and India in the past. Chinese designs were popular throughout Europe, and you can still see those influences in Lisbon’s ceramic shops, woven through artistic motifs found in the bowls, dishes and plates. In addition to the more ‘rustic’ ceramics on offer, you can also pick up some very modern goods that are colorful and sleek, made in a variety of patterns.
Where to find it:

Arte Rustica, on Rua Augusta 193, sells a wide range of ceramic dishware and tea sets. Many of the items have an Asian aesthetic to them. The prices are reasonable, and depending on what you want, you can spend as little as 15 EUR, and as much as a few hundred.

A Arte Da Terra, located in Alfama on Rua Augusto Rosa 40, is an art house showcasing some of the most creative ceramics in the city. Inside this lovely shop, you’ll find ceramic bowls, statues, and decorative pieces.

A Vida Portuguesa, on Rua Anchieta 11 in Chiado, sells only Portuguese made art and products, including a fine selection of modern ceramics, which you can find in the store’s large display case.

Folk Art Portugal, on Rua da Madalena 87 also carries ceramics and folk art from all over the country. Decorative bowls cost between 15-30 EUR in this cozy little store.

Offline reading and travel directions:

With GPSmyCity App you can read this article offline on your mobile device, use the embedded offline city map and GPS navigation, as well as create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured in the article.

3. Pastéis de Belém

Pastéis de Belém
Pastéis de Belém, also known as the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, is a renowned café specializing in the sweet egg tart called the ‘Pastéis de Belém,’ or simply ‘pastel de nata.’ These egg tart pastries have been coming out of this bakery’s ovens for more than 150 years. The ‘pastéis’ is the pastry, and the ‘nata’ is the cream. You can buy them for less than 1 EUR individually, or in pretty cardboard packs of six or more for around 5 EUR. The tarts are a little similar to the French pastry crème brûlée, and should be partaken of with a dash of powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. Pastéis de Belém is located in the district of Belém, west of the city center, at Rua de Belém 84, just across the street and tram tracks from the massive Jerónimos Monastery. If you looking for a gift for someone with a sweet tooth, these simple but delicious pastries should fulfill your needs.
Where to find it:

Pastéis de Belém, on Rua de Belém 84

Offline reading and travel directions:

With GPSmyCity App you can read this article offline on your mobile device, use the embedded offline city map and GPS navigation, as well as create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured in the article.

4. Gold and Silver Jewelry

Gold and Silver Jewelry

Image Courtesy of: RSNY
Portuguese artisans make some of the finest gold and silver jewelry around. The people employed in this craft have a long tradition behind them. Portugal amassed an enormous amount of gold and silver from its former colonial holdings. The country once had one of the largest gold reserves on the planet (that’s all gone now). With so much precious metal to work with, the smiths and artists gained a lot of experience.

In the district of Chiado, you can stop by Ourivesaria Aliança, at Rua Garrett 50. This is an old jewelry shop where you can purchase some outstanding pieces of Louis XV silverware, as well as bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pedants and rings. The interior is reminiscent of the kind of elegant jewelry shops the upper class frequented a hundred years ago. You can also visit Joalharia do Carmo, at Rua do Carmo 87-B, which specializes in graceful gold, silver jewelry and silver filigree. It’s possible to purchase handmade works of art in the form of caravel sailing ships, animals, butterflies, hearts and other creative designs. A pendant can cost anywhere from 20-100 EUR. If you’d like to buy a filigree caravel sailing ship, then you’ll have to spend more than 1000 EUR. Any one of these pieces, often decorated with precious stones, would make a wonderful gift for any collector of fine jewelry.

Where to find it:

Ourivesaria Aliança, on Rua Garrett 50

Joalharia do Carmo, on Rua do Carmo 87-B

5. Moscatel de Setúbal

Moscatel de Setúbal
Portuguese muscatel comes from the region of Setubal, just to the south of Lisbon. The wine grapes come from the nearby Arrábida Hills. The winemakers add grape brandy to the mixture in order to stop the fermentation process, which makes Moscatel de Setúbal taste like no other muscatel wine in the world. This flavorful wine is always a good gift choice for a wine lover. You can pick up a very decent bottle of three-year-old Bacalhôa or José Maria da Fonseca muscatel for as little as 12 EUR. Of course, there are more expensive varieties for sale, which can cost as much as 50 EUR. In addition to muscatel, most wine stores also stock an abundance of premium vintages and tasty liquors.

Garrafeira Nacional, at Rua de Santa Justa 18, was established in 1927. The friendly staff of this excellent wine store can speak to you in English, Spanish, French and, of course, Portuguese. They’ll be able to answer all of your questions about muscatel, vintage, or any other kind of wine for that matter, in a very clear and concise manner. Manuel Tavares is another wine shop, located downtown, near Praça Figueira (Figueira Square) at Rua da Betesga 1. They also have an extensive collection of wines with a good selection of muscatel on display.

Where to find it:

Garrafeira Nacional, on Rua de Santa Justa 18

Manuel Tavares, on Rua da Betesga 1

6. Portuguese Decorative Handmade Candles

Portuguese Decorative Handmade Candles
Paraffin wax can be molded into a variety of shapes, and dyed any color you can possibly conceive of. In Lisbon, there’s one store that excels in the art of candle making. The candles produced there can easily be considered art. Casa das Velas do Loreto, located at Rua do Loreto 53 in the Barrio Alto neighborhood, produces some very unique candles. The proprietors of this small store make everything, from specially candles, used for important ceremonies and religious occasions, to humorous candles and those shaped and colored like exotic fruit. The variety of sizes and shapes you’ll find on the shelves is pretty amazing. Some of the fruit pieces look good enough to eat.

Casa das Velas do Loreto is a family-run shop with an exceptionally long tradition of candle making behind it. The ancestors of the current owners opened the store more than two hundred years ago. Candles will run you anywhere from 18 EUR and up. Many people come in for the joke candles, but the store also has some exceedingly elegant candles for sale. Most are free standing, but some come in glass containers or need to be put in a candleholder. For quality work, and a bit of history and fun, you really can’t beat Casa das Velas do Loreto.

Where to find it:

Casa das Velas do Loreto, on Rua do Loreto 53

7. Azulejos Decorative Tiles

Azulejos Decorative Tiles
When you stroll through Lisbon, you can’t help but notice the blue and white ceramic tiles decorating the façades of many of the old buildings. These ceramic tiles are called ‘azulejos,’ and they make wonderful gifts for friends and loved ones back home. Specialty shops in the city sell sets of these tiles. You can hang them on the wall in beautiful mosaics, often depicting rural and ocean-faring scenes. You can buy tiles individually as well, to use as simple art pieces, coasters, or as a hot pads for dishes.

Two of the best shops in Lisbon for azulejos tiles are Azulejos Sant’Ana, located at Rua do Alecrim 95 in the district of Chiado, and Solar at Rua Dom Pedro V 68-70. Sant’Ana is an azulejos factory and shop that has been churning hand-decorated ceramic tiles since 1741. The designs and sublime motifs are painted by hand. Anyone, who appreciates ceramic art, will be glad to have one or a few of these tiles. Solar is the place to buy antique tiles, some more that 400 years old. The tiles come from old churches and other buildings that were torn down or refurbished. The prices of the tiles vary widely. Some that are sold as mementos will only set you back 10-20 EUR, while larger sets, commissioned pieces and antique tiles can cost well into the hundreds.

Where to find it:

Azulejos Sant’Ana, on Rua do Alecrim 95

Solar, on Rua Dom Pedro V 68-70

8. Port Wine

Port Wine
Vinho do Porto, also know as Port wine, is a dessert wine that comes from Porto, Portugal, but is consumed all over the country, much as the whole world. Depending on your budget, you can pick up a nice bottle of Port wine for 10-20 EUR, but if you really want to impress, several more options are available. You can try Late Bottle Vintage (LBV) Port wine, which comes from a single grape harvest. If you want something more unusual, try a bottle of Vintage Port. Vintage Port comes from only the best grape harvests, and can be aged for up to one hundred years. A bottle of the good stuff will set you back at least 120 EUR or more.

One of the best places to browse, buy and learn about Port wine is the Napoleão Wine Shop. This establishment has been in business for more than 30 years, and the employees really know Port and Portuguese wines. Napoleão operates nine shops in the city, with the most central branch located at 70 Rua Fanqueiros downtown, not too far away from the river. They also have another shop in the upscale shopping district of Chiado at Rua da Misericórdia 121. Casa Macário, at Rua Augusta 272-274, also specializes in vintage Port, with some very old bottles running as high as 800 EUR. The store’s very knowledgeable staff can help you select some of the best vintages of Port wine to take home with you.

Where to find it:

Napoleão Wine Shop, on Rua Fanqueiros 70

Napoleão Wine Shop, on Rua da Misericórdia 121

Casa Macário, on Rua Augusta 272-274

9. Cork Handbags, Hats and Wallets

Cork Handbags, Hats and Wallets
Cork can be used for a lot more than sealing wine bottles. Portugal is one of the largest producers of cork in the world. Cork trees are mainly grown in the southern region of Algarve. With such an overabundance of cork, local artisans decided to make use of this spongy wood in a variety of fun and stylish products. Cork handbags and shoulder bags are some of the most popular items available. They come in a variety of designs, and because they’re made from cork, you can rest assured that they’re waterproof. In addition to bags, you’ll also be able to find cork wallets, hats and shoes.

Pelcor Lisboa, located at Rua das Pedras Negras 28, downtown in the district of Baixa, specializes in all things cork. You’ll find plenty of gorgeous bags, accessories, footwear and even goods for home and kitchen, all made out of cork. You can also pick up Portuguese-made cork bags and wallets (as well as leather ones) in Casa de Sibéria, at Rua Augusta 254. Wallets usually start around 20 EUR, while bags, depending on the size and quality, will run you from 80 EUR on up. If you’re in the market for a unique and playful gift, then you should give cork a try.

Where to find it:

Pelcor Lisboa, on Rua das Pedras Negras 28

Casa de Sibéria, on Rua Augusta 254

10. Model Trolley Cars and Vintage Toys

Model Trolley Cars and Vintage Toys
As you wander around Lisbon, you’ll probably notice the new, modern trams rolling through the city and, of course, the classic and very iconic ‘Tram 28.’ The small (and constantly changing location) tourist shops in the center, and especially on Rua Augusto, hawk toy trams and trolley cars, along with all of the other mementos for sale.

Any true aficionado of quality models and vintage toys should check out Antes e Depois at Travessa da Espera 47-49, in the neighborhood of Bairro Alto. This charming little shop sells classic toys from a long-gone era. Real children and the child in all of us will simply delight at the wooden and retro toys (no videogames here) found inside Antes e Depois. Model cars, trams and trains are among the items on offer. These are vintage toys, so they aren’t cheap. For the craftsmanship, and the mere nostalgia factor offered by a gift purchased here, these classic toys aren’t really overpriced either. Some of the toys are made out of metal, some plastic and some cloth. A visit here will remind you of how you felt when you first visited a toy store back in the day. The shop is open from 2pm on the weekend, but only from 5pm during the week.

Where to find it:

Antes e Depois, on Travessa da Espera 47-49

11. Ginjinha

Ginjinha is a famous Portuguese cherry liqueur, sold all over Lisbon. The young and old drink it alike, on the streets, at home and at night on the town after dinner, and in the bars. The bottles are very colorful, and you can see the sour cherries floating inside the glass. One of the best places to sample and buy a bottle or two of ginjinha is A Ginjinha, situated at Largo de São Domingos 8. You’ll probably notice groups of people hanging around the door of this small ginjinha shop. You can buy a small glass of ginjinha for 1 EUR, and take a bottle home with you for around 10 EUR. Some of the better stuff can cost as much as 20 EUR a bottle. If you like, you can munch on the cherries left in the glass after you’ve downed the liquid.

Ginjinha shops have long been used as meeting points where locals can gather. There’s a lot of Portuguese culture and tradition behind this sweet cherry drink. A bottle from one of these shops would make a fine gift for any alcohol enthusiast. Most of the shops that sell wine and spirits also have a selection of ginjinha bottles, in case you don’t have a chance to stop by A Ginjinha.

Where to find it:

A Ginjinha, on Largo de São Domingos 8

12. Hand Embroidered Linens

Hand Embroidered Linens
Portugal has a long tradition of producing elegant, hand-embroidered linens. The artisans crafting these linens make use of silk and other materials, as well as bullion knots and a wide variety of stitches. When finished, they come out with some very refined designs and embroidery work. At the top of Lisbon’s Park Eduardo VII, just in front of the giant Portuguese flag flapping in the wind, men and women set up tables for the day and sell hand-embroidered handkerchiefs and linens, ranging in price from 10-30 EUR. This is a great place to buy from locals who run small cottage industries.

If you’re after something a little more urban, try the linen shop Teresa Alecrim, with locations in the Amoreiras Shopping Center (number 1116), and in the district of Chiado at Rua Nova do Almada 76. You can purchase beautiful bed covers, pillowcases, sheets and more, with unique and stunning designs. Linens typically run in the range of 30-100 EUR, depending on what you’re buying. For the quality on display, the prices are well worth it.

Where to find it:

Park Eduardo VII, just in front of the giant Portuguese flag flapping in the wind

Teresa Alecrim, located in Amoreiras Shopping Center (number 1116), on Avenida Eng. Duarte Pacheco 2037

13. Traditional Portuguese Jams and Honey

Traditional Portuguese Jams and Honey
Many of the same shops that sell ginjinha and other typical Portuguese items will also stock and sell traditional Portuguese jams and honey. These tasty preserves are artfully packaged in appealing jars and come in a variety of flavors. You can purchase traditional berry jams, as well as some other enticing choices and mixes, including almond, muscatel, pumpkin, Port wine and African chocolate.

A Vida Portuguesa, at Rua Anchieta 11, generally keeps a good stock of quality jams and jarred honey on hand. Amatudo, located at Rua da Madalena 76-78, is a shop that offers its customers Portuguese mementos and products of a high caliber. You’ll find a decent selection of jams and honey inside, all in very pretty jars and packaging. If you’re looking for a present with a bit of local flair, a few jars of gourmet Portuguese jam or honey just might fit the bill. A jar will generally cost you about 3-6 EUR. The producers use all natural ingredients, ensuring the best quality and taste.

Where to find it:

A Vida Portuguesa, on Rua Anchieta 11

Amatudo, on Rua da Madalena 76-78

14. A Book from Bertrand Bookstore

A Book from Bertrand Bookstore
Fernando Pessoa is the quintessential Portuguese writer associated with Lisbon. He was a poet, writer and translator who lived in the first part of the last century. He wrote under his own name, as well as more than 70 pen-names. Some of the most famous names he worked under, such as Alberto Caeiro, Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis, had their own distinct biography and writing style. Pessoa, responsible in large part for bringing modernism to Portuguese writing, lived a fairly quiet and humble life in Lisbon. An edition of his work(s) or a biography about the man himself would make a great gift for those who like to read.

One of the best places to buy books in Lisbon is Bertrand, located at Rua Garrett 73-75 in the district of Chiado. Bertrand is one of the oldest books shops in the world. The store was first opened in 1732, and then was reopened at a new location in 1755, after the original store was leveled in Lisbon’s massive earthquake of the same year. The bookseller has been going strong ever since. In addition to books in Portuguese, Bertrand also has a large collection of English language books. Finding just the right gift for the reader on your list should be a pinch here.

Where to find it:

Bertrand, on Rua Garrett 73-75

15. Leather Shoes and Belts

Leather Shoes and Belts
Portuguese craftspeople excel at the art of leatherwork. These days, Portuguese goods have been crowded out of the market by an influx of leather goods coming from Asia, but there is still a lot of quality merchandise on offer. If you’d like a pair of designer, well-built shoes (for men and women), or a very sleek leather belt, you’ve come to the right city. Prices vary, but 40-150 EUR should put you in a pair of elegant shoes, and the chances of someone having the exact same pair at home are slim to none.

The pedestrian street downtown, Rua Augusta, is Lisbon’s ‘shoe central.’ Arte, at Rua Augusta 242, carries men and women’s shoes, perfect for work or a night out on the town. Some of the best-known Portuguese brands are Armando Silva (men’s) and Sofia Costa (women’s). The interior of Arte is quite stylish, laid out so the attentive staff can take good care of you. You can choose from Portuguese-made footwear, as well as some imported Italian designs. Sapataria Lisbonense, at Rua Augusta 202-204, has been in business of selling leather shoes since 1887. This shop has a very wide selection of Portuguese shoes. The retailer Sapataria e Chapelaria Lord, at Rua Augusta 201, sells a variety of leather products as well. You’ll find leather shoes inside, bags, and as the name ‘chapelaria’ (hat store) suggests, a good selection of hats.

Where to find it:

Arte, on Rua Augusta 242

Sapataria Lisbonense, on Rua Augusta 202-204

Sapataria e Chapelaria Lord, on Rua Augusta 201

16. Football (Soccer) Jerseys and Scarves

Football (Soccer) Jerseys and Scarves
Lisbon, and Portugal in general, is a place where people go mad over soccer. This is the national sport, and the Portuguese are very good at it. Everyone has his or her favorite local team, and of course there’s also the national team to root for. In the capital, you have a choice between two football clubs. Some people support Benfica, while others stand behind Sporting. When the two teams meet in competition, the city usually goes wild.

Sports jerseys and scarves with team logos on them are popular items in Lisbon, especially around the game time. If you have a favorite team, the choice is simple. If not, you can go by color or design. For those of you who are unsure, local vendors will steer you in the right direction (probably toward a team they favor).

There are many places where you can buy sports paraphernalia. Some of the best are on Rua Augusta. As you walk down this pedestrians only street, toward the Arco da Rua Augusta and the Tagus River, you’ll pass by a lot of small shops and kiosks selling soccer jerseys and scarves. They tend to change location, and set out more goods when a game is approaching, but you can always find something for sale. You can also buy sporting merchandise at Sports Zone, at Rua do Crucfixo 119, near Rua Augusta. Depending on the quality, sports jerseys and scarves will run you about 5-20 EUR.

Where to find it:

Sports Zone, on Rua do Crucfixo 119

17. Portuguese Leather Gloves

Portuguese Leather Gloves
The Portuguese have been making fine leather products for hundreds of years. The quality and designs of their leather bags and gloves are simply outstanding. One of the coolest places to shop for women’s gloves is the store Luvaria Ulisses at Rua do Carmo 87-A. This art-deco glove shop is probably one of the smallest shops in the world. Even though there isn’t a lot of elbowroom inside, the service you’ll get from the staff is outstanding. These people really know leather gloves. One glance at your hand and they’ll bring out the perfect fit. All you have to do is browse the store’s showcase and indicate the style that tickles your fancy the most. You can choose from gloves with fur lining, or without, all coming in a myriad of styles and colors. If you’re buying for a friend, make sure you have some idea about the size of her hand, as these gloves fit, well, ‘glove tight.’
This elegant shop has been in business since the 1920s, and it still retains some of the old world charm from that bygone era. If you’re a fan of custom-made gloves, then squeeze into this tiny shop, and squeeze into a pair of wonderful gloves. Prices begin at around 35 EUR and go up from there.
Where to find it:

Luvaria Ulisses, on Rua do Carmo 87-A

Other Interesting Souvenirs from Portugal

If traveling to Portugal is not on your immediate agenda, or you simply can’t afford an extra space in your luggage, fortunately, these days, you can find a wide selection of authentic and truly interesting Portuguese souvenirs online. Presented here are some of the Portuguese products sought by foreign visitors, now available online for your convenience. 

1. Portuguese Sardines – Lightly smoked Portuguese sardines in olive oil (with or without lemon flavor), spring water, or tomato sauce are the best sardines sourced from the unpolluted waters of coastal Portugal with utmost care for the health of the planet and the ocean ecosystem. For ultimate enjoyment, try them spiced in a hot Piri Piri sauce with carrot, cucumber, laurel, clove and pepper corn.
2. Piri Piri Hot Sauce – Of all the European nations, Portugal is probably the one most associated with spices, thanks to the legacy of its centuries-long spice trade with the East which is now evident in the local cuisine. The taste of Portugal – traditional hot sauce Piri Piri – is the heart and soul of Portuguese kitchens, takes its name from the African bird’s-eye chilli pepper. Piri Piri is ideal for many dishes, from traditional (chicken, grills and snacks) to sophisticated (prawns, mussels) and even vegetarian. Among other ingredients, the blend also includes lemon peel, black pepper and smoked sweet paprika.


By Lala