17 Uniquely Portuguese Things to Buy in Lisbon
1. Roosters and Sardines (Not the Real Kind)
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.
Faldas do Castelo, on Rua Augusto Rosa 13
2. Portuguese Ceramics
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.
3. Pastéis de Belém
4. Gold and Silver Jewelry
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.
Joalharia do Carmo, on Rua do Carmo 87-B
5. Moscatel de Setúbal
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.
Manuel Tavares, on Rua da Betesga 1
6. Portuguese Decorative Handmade Candles
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.
7. Azulejos Decorative Tiles
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.
Solar, on Rua Dom Pedro V 68-70
8. Port Wine
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.
Napoleão Wine Shop, on Rua da Misericórdia 121
Casa Macário, on Rua Augusta 272-274
9. Cork Handbags, Hats and Wallets
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.
10. Model Trolley Cars and Vintage Toys
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.
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.
12. Hand Embroidered Linens
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.
13. Traditional Portuguese Jams and Honey
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.
Amatudo, on Rua da Madalena 76-78
14. A Book from Bertrand Bookstore
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.
15. Leather Shoes and Belts
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.
Sapataria Lisbonense, on Rua Augusta 202-204
Sapataria e Chapelaria Lord, on Rua Augusta 201
16. Football (Soccer) Jerseys and Scarves
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.
17. Portuguese Leather Gloves
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.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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