4 spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon

4 spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon

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Most times when you travel, shopping is the last thing on your mind. Still, these four options for alternative shopping in Lisbon take you off the malls, off the crowded streets, and on to the chance of finding special surprises (and original souvenirs).

Maybe going on a shopping spree isn’t quite what you have planned, but these aren’t the places for a shopping spree. These areas are in parts of the city that can get busy at some times of the day, so I suggest a combination of Metro and walking as the easiest way to get there.

They are also close enough to some must-see spots, so you can continue to explore the city when the shopping is done.

Feira da Ladra on a Saturday morning (one of the four spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon)
Feira da Ladra on a Saturday morning

Feira da Ladra

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, from sunrise to sunset, Campo de Santa Clara transforms itself into Lisbon’s oldest flea market.

Anyone can sell and buy anything, from things you need to the things you won’t remember why you spent money on later: books, vinyl records, clothes, kitchenware, antiques (I fell in love with a pair of old ceramic door knobs once).

All you need is cash in hand and some pretty good negotiating skills to haggle away with established or one-time-only sellers.

Just resist the urge to buy vintage azulejos (glazed ceramic tiles).

Avenida Guerra Junqueiro on a rainy day (one of the four spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon)
Avenida Guerra Junqueiro on a rainy day

Av. Guerra Junqueiro

This street on the upper side of Lisbon used to be the go-to place for shopping in the 1980s.

It’s usually not crowded. Along with small cafes and smaller shops, you can find most of the established stores you would find in any large shopping area.

Shop owners have started an association to promote these smaller retail chains and bring back the customers to an almost forgotten city area.

If you’re looking to buy unique souvenirs, take a look at the Loja Bordallo Pinheiro and the Mercearia Criativa. One sells designer ceramics by 19th-century Portuguese artist Bordallo Pinheiro. At the other, you can buy all sorts of local products from wine to cheese and from chocolates to jams

Type of shopping:

Shopping street with a mix of brands and small businesses

Metro:

Green line

Closest Metro station:

Alameda

Walking distance from Metro:

Approx. 250 m (3 minutes)

One of the shopping streets in the Mouraria neighborhood (one of the four spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon)
One of the shopping streets in the Mouraria neighborhood

Martim Moniz

The place to go to find all those delicious ingredients for Asian cuisine that you can’t find elsewhere in Lisbon. It’s where I buy my spices.

You will also find many stores that sell electronics, clothes, and decorating items. Can’t find the most unusual tool or device elsewhere, or forgot to bring your power adapter? There’s a chance you’ll find it at Martim Moniz (when in doubt, ask around).

For great prices, step away from shops closer to the central streets and go deeper inside the narrow streets of the Mouraria quarter — that’s where the good deals are.

Most of these shop owners have been living in Portugal for more than fifty years, so there is an exciting blend of customs.

Type of shopping:

Asian stores

Metro:

Green line

Closest Metro station:

Martim Moniz

Walking distance from Metro:

Approx. 100 m (2 minutes)

Top sites to visit nearby:

Continue shopping in the Baixa-Chiado quarter, or take some time to appreciate the architecture of the theaters at Portas de Santo Antão street (as long as you dodge the tourist traps)

An old edition of "Os Lusíadas" on display in one of the antique stores in Rua de São Bento (one of the four spots for alternative shopping in Lisbon)
An old edition of "Os Lusíadas" on display in one of the antique stores in Rua de São Bento

Rua de São Bento

I always feel like a kid in a candy store walking down this street.

Although some of the vintage shops may be too overstuffed and unappealing, it’s always a great adventure to walk inside one of them and find small treasures.

Not all of them affordable treasures. But still, always a fun way to get lost in time.

Further down the street, after you pass the Parliament building, pay a visit to the bookstore that only sells travel-related books and merchandise. One of the perfect spots in Lisbon for booklovers.

This is also the street where renowned Fado singer Amália Rodrigues used to live. You can visit her house that has been turned into a museum after she died in 1999.

Type of shopping:

Vintage pieces and antiques

Metro:

Yellow line

Closest Metro station:

Rato

Walking distance from Metro:

Approx. 800 m (9 minutes)

Top sites to visit nearby:

You can walk all the way down the street to Santos (with also interesting design shops and the very eclectic “The Triangle”) and then get to know Cais do Sodré or, when you reach the Parliament take a right and walk up Calçada da Estrela to visit Jardim da Estrela and the Basílica.

Read more about shopping in Lisbon:

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