The best stores and shopping streets
Lisbon remains Western Europe's least expensive capital and shopping is also a cultural experience, especially when visiting historic stores like the tiny Luvaria Ulisses glove shop and Casa das Velas do Loreto for candles (Rua do Loreto, 53).
The city isn't particularly big on markets, but there is a flea market (called Feira da Ladra) by the National Pantheon every Saturday and Tuesday mornings, and a colorful market of fresh produce open every morning on the waterfront (Mercado da Ribeira).
We've selected some of the best shops you may want to browse for fashion, handicrafts, design, music, and more. Check out the menu at the bottom of this page and take note of the following Lisbon shopping advice:
THE 10 LISBON SHOPS YOU CAN'T MISS
EMBAIXADAPraça do Príncipe Real, 26 (Príncipe Real)
What started as a palatial residence in the 1800s is now Lisbon's most interesting shopping destination. Converted into a concept store in 2013, its rooms spread over two floors are now dedicated to lifestyle products, mostly from Portuguese designers and brands.
Further up the street, on number 42 of Rua da Escola Politécnica, is yet another former mansion converted into a concept store, managed by the same team, called "Entre Tanto," equally presenting "Made in Portugal" brands.
A VIDA PORTUGUESARua Anchieta, 11 (Chiado)
It instantly became one of the city's most famous shops when it opened in 2007. It attracted the attention of locals for offering long-forgotten products made in Portugal, and the curiosity of tourists who enjoyed the retro packagings. It's all presented in a former storage space filled with wooden cabinets, and it's one of the places to get Portugal's famous soaps.
CORK & CO.Rua das Salgadeiras, 10 (Bairro Alto)
Well-located on a quiet street in Bairro Alto, here you'll see that anything is possible with cork. The eco-friendly material that Portugal is famous for is presented here in the form of fashions, accessories, and furniture.
PELCORRua das Pedras Negras, 28 (Baixa)
The brand with the seal of approval of New York's MoMA Store, has a shop hidden downtown, where it offers its award-winning cork design pieces, from handbags to shoes, to even umbrellas.
LOJA DA BURELRua Serpa Pinto, 15B (Chiado)
Not as famous as cork, but also a genuine Portuguese product, is the wool from the Serra da Estrela mountain range in the center of the country. At this shop it's put to innovative uses, like protective tablet covers, backpacks, and rugs.
ARCÁDIALargo Trindade Coelho, 11 (Bairro Alto)
Rua de Belém, 53-55 (Belém)
It's Portugal's most famous chocolate brand, created in the city of Porto in 1933. It now has several shops in Lisbon, and the two most accessible to tourists are found by Bairro Alto and in Belém. The chocolates come in different shapes and sizes, and mixed with a variety of flavors, but consider the Port Wine-filled bonbons.
CONSERVEIRA DE LISBOARua dos Bacalhoeiros, 34 (Baixa)
It comes recommended in every guidebook. It's an old-fashioned shop from the 1930s, offering just one product -- canned fish. But they're no ordinary cans and it's no ordinary fish. They come in attractive vintage-designed packagings that make them wonderful gifts or souvenirs, and the fish is from Portugal's Atlantic waters, known for their quality (tuna, sardines, squid, etc., in a variety of sauces). The interior hasn't changed in decades, including an old cash register, and that's also part of the attraction.
TOUS (OURIVESARIA ALIANÇA)Rua Garrett, 50 (Chiado)
For over 100 years this was the jewelry store "Ourivesaria Aliança," and that's the name you still see above the door. However, in 2012 it was taken over by Spanish brand Tous, although the interior was kept intact. It remains Lisbon's most beautiful shop, a regal Louis XV-style space that's much photographed by tourists (from outside...)
BERTRANDRua Garrett, 73-75 (Chiado)
It may look like an ordinary old bookstore, but as you'll see on the tiled façade, it was founded in 1732. That makes it the world's oldest bookshop, and a Guinness World Records certificate on a wall to the left of the entrance proves it. At the back are international periodicals, and a few English-language books. It's a good place to look for translated Portuguese literature from names like Nobel Prize author José Saramago or Fernando Pessoa.
LUVARIA ULISSESRua do Carmo, 87A (Chiado)
Competing for the title of "world's smallest shop," this is a tiny glimpse into 1920s glamour. In the Art Deco space fits only about two or three people at a time, looking for hand-made gloves that never go out of style.
WHAT TO BUY
Portugal produces most of the world's cork, and today it's not just for bottles anymore. This eco-friendly material is now used for all kinds of design products and fashion accessories that have gone international since New York's MoMA started selling them at its store. Look for the Pelcor and Cork & Co. stores in Lisbon.
Italian shoes are considered the world's finest but those "Made in Portugal" are now in second place. They range from quite reasonably priced to expensive.
Oprah Winfrey said they're one of her favorite things, so the world is now also a fan of Portuguese soaps. But they're not recent products. They've been made since the 1800s and are 100% natural. They've maintained beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau packagings from the 1920s and have become one of the favorite gifts to take from Portugal. The brands to look for at local gift shops are Claus Porto, Ach Brito, Castelbel and Confiança.
The Portuguese developed a love affair with gold ever since Portugal filled its churches and palaces with that precious material from Brazil. So the gold jewelry now sold in Lisbon has more karats than elsewhere in Europe (at least 19.2), and some of the jewelry stores in the Chiado district are the city's most beautiful shops.
WINE & GOURMET PRODUCTS
Portugal is one of Europe's major wine-producing countries and there's more than Port Wine. You may find labels from north to south of the country at the wine stores in Baixa, and will also discover the local cheeses, the emblematic canned fish, the award-winning olive oil, and the famous pastries for a gourmet basket to take back home.
CRAFTS & CERAMICS
Embroidery and handicrafts are found in many shops in Lisbon's tourist areas but to make sure they're really Portuguese, look at the price -- if expensive, it's the real thing. Check out A Arte da Terra not far from the cathedral in Alfama and Vista Alegre Atlantis in Chiado for the best pieces. Also don't leave without checking out the wonderful tiles at Solar in the Principe Real neighborhood and at Fabrica Sant'anna in Chiado.
The biggest shopping district in town used to be home to the most exclusive local stores, but they're now mostly international names like Zara and H&M. The main streets are Rua do Carmo and Rua Garrett, where you'll also find the world's oldest bookstore (Bertrand) and the city's most beautiful jewelry shop (Tous - Ourivesaria Aliança).
This has become the most interesting shopping district, down one long street (Rua Dom Pedro V which eventually becomes Rua da Escola Politécnica). There are galleries, independent boutiques and design shops for the city's hippest crowds, as well as the most beautiful and appealing shoppling gallery in a palace from the 1800s called Embaixada.
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE
Think of this as the local Champs-Elysées, a long tree-filled boulevard that's home to the major luxury brands. There's Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci, but also some of the best local jewelry and shoe stores.
This is a mix of tourist kitsch "Made in China" and more genuine local souvenir shops, international chains, and archaic-but-charming shops like haberdashers surviving on low rents. The main pedestrian shopping street in town, Rua Augusta, offers both local and international brands.
Bairro Alto is no longer the alternative shopping district but a few interesting shops do survive, especially on Rua do Norte, Rua das Salgadeiras, Rua da Atalaia, and Rua da Rosa.
MALLS AND DEPARTMENT STORES
Lisbon and surroundings has some of the biggest shopping malls in Europe and most are very accessible from the center. The biggest in the city is Colombo, although the most pleasant may be the light-filled Centro Vasco da Gama on the waterfront with its food court terraces. The very first one was Amoreiras, today smaller but more upscale and a favorite of those who prefer smaller crowds. In the heart of the central Chiado district is the small but very popular Armazéns do Chiado, often used as a meeting point for more shopping in the neighborhood.
Lisbon's grand department stores burned down in the great Chiado fire of 1988, but today there's the large Spanish "El Corte Inglés" uptown.