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A shopper’s guide to Lisbon’s most unusual stores

25th September 2014 Print
Lisboa Central

Autumn is the ideal time to take a shopping city break to Lisbon – the weather is mild, flights are daily and affordable from the UK, and centrally located hotels cater for all budgets. From cosmopolitan large shopping malls to the country’s oldest music store, there is quality and quirkiness guaranteed with a shopping trip to Lisbon.

Head to one of these unusual shops and embrace the city’s culture and varied shopping scene: 

Manuel Tavares – founded in 1860, this charismatic shop specialises in Portuguese delicatessen and is one of the oldest in Lisbon. A wide range of wines, fine charcuterie, dried fruits and cheeses from all Portuguese regions can be found in this central store.

Feira da Ladra – this famous flea market is held every Tuesday and Saturday in Alfama from dusk till dawn and sells a rich mix of new and antique goods, from clothing, books to furniture.

A Vida Portuguesa – take a step back in time in this stunning shop in Chiado, which sells original soaps, books, blankets, tiles and gourmet products in original retro packaging. 

Pelcor – this contemporary fashion brand has a store in the heart of Baixa selling sustainable accessories in 

cork skin only, including handbags, belts, purses and wallets.

CNM Companhia Nacional de Musica – the oldest music store in the country is a meeting place for music lovers, musicians, intellectuals and tourists seeking a slice of genuine Portuguese culture.

Caza das Vellas Loreto – this quirky shop has produced handmade candles since 1789 – using the same technique two centuries later. Decorative, scented, organic and altar candles are some of the popular varieties available. 

Outra Face da Lua – a fabulous vintage clothing and accessories store in Baixa with an adjoining tea room selling cakes, snacks and light lunches.

Garrafeira Nacional – Open since 1927, this rustic downtown Lisbon wine shop , offers over 4,000 Portuguese wines, including ports which the staff can arrange to be shipped anywhere in the world.

Luvaria Ulisses – founded in 1925 and located in Chiado, this is the only shop in Portugal dedicated to the sale of all styles of gloves for all occasions.

Conserveira de Lisboa – this old fashioned Baixa shop from the 1930s sells one product only: canned fish. The tuna, squid and sardines come from Portugal’s Atlantic waters and are known for their quality and are packaged in high decorative vintage-inspired cans which make wonderful gifts.

The simplest way for first timers to navigate the many shopping areas in Lisbon is by district. Chiado is the stylish commercial and cultural hub of the city, where contemporary high street fashion stores are located nearby to ancient book stores, coffee houses, old Portuguese tile and porcelain shops and seemingly unknown historic monuments. 

Baixa is the main pedestrianised shopping and banking district and runs from the river Tagus waterfront to the Avenida da Liberdade, with streets named after shopkeepers and craftsmen who traded in the area. Avenida da Liberdade is a long tree-lined boulevard, completed in the 19th century in the style of the Champs-Elysees in Paris; and is now home to all the major luxury brands including, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Burberry.

Lisbon’s hippest district, Bairro Alto, or the “upper district” is a picturesque neighbourhood, with a wide range of alternative shops, including stores owned by local designers and those selling second-hand clothes, interior decorations and music. By day it is a peaceful place to explore, but by night this district becomes the epicentre of Lisbon’s nightlife, with buzzing bars and traditional fado houses spilling out on to the cobbled streets. Running on from Bairro Alto is the district of Principle Real which is centred around a stunning park and is where the trendiest crowds shop for art work in independent galleries and design stores.

For a step back to Moorish times, Alfama, the city’s oldest and quaintest quarter is a labyrinthine of alleyways, stairwells and tiny squares with village-like grocery stores and shops selling more traditional souvenirs and gifts.

Simple and rustic to luxury hotels are located in every district and it is possible to stay in Lisbon on all budgets. Direct flights to Lisbon operate from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol with TAP Portugal, BA, easyJet and Ryanair. 

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Lisboa Central