The Best Shopping in Lisbon
Lisbon contains all of the usual international brands, especially along Avenida da Liberdade, but it is also said to be the least expensive of the major European cities. If you seek authentic souvenirs and goods, you’ll find unique local wares in the Feira da Ladra flea market or the shops of the central Bairro Alto district. Bring home jewelry, wine, cork products, leather, or traditional Portuguese delicacies.
R. da Misericórdia 135, 1200-272 Lisboa, Portugal
One of Portugal’s oldest cosmetics companies, Claus Porto cemented a major comeback after Lisbon’s coolest store, A Vida Portuguesa, began carrying its products. In 2016, the company opened its own boutique in the trendy Chiado district, offering even more access to its eye-catching inventory. Packaged in art deco– and Belle Époque–style cases, the signature products look supremely cool as bed-and-bath decor. Of course, you could also buy the soaps, lotions, and shave creams for actual use. As an extra incentive, on Saturdays, men who spend more than €50 (around $60) receive an old-school hot shave in the barbershop at the store.
15B Rua Serpa Pinto
One of Lisbon’s most unique and interesting shops, this high-design destination features colorful items (backpacks, handbags, blankets, shoes, homewares) made from burel, a Portuguese wool that, until recently, was used for little more than the heavy cloaks worn by shepherds in the Serra da Estrela mountains. For Loja da Burel, the storeowners resurrected the fabric as well as its artisanal weaving process, breathing new life into a Portuguese mountain tradition. While not everything here is entirely practical, it’s all very well-made and quite beautiful, making the store worth a visit even if you’re not in the market for a wool baseball cap.
R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, Portugal
In a tucked away corner of Lisboa, in the no-man’s land between the core of Lisboa and Belem, is the bustling new design and arts district, the cornerstone of which is the LX Factory. Set on movie-set looking ground of an old manufacturing district, the LX Factory is a great place to get away from the more tourist parts and hang out amid the design firms, production studios, restaurants and shops — all having a design-centered focus. Very cool retail and restaurants, even a hotel, all tucked under the constant roar of the off/on ramps to the Big Bridge. It’s a destination place, so don’t do what I did and try to walk there from Barrio Alto on a 98 degree day! The cool thing is they didn’t gloss it up, but kept the place to its core history, with wonderful decay and industrial bones still in place. Two great places to be sure to check out: the 1300 Taberna restaurant, set in beautiful space with factory skylights and extremely nice people and, the Ler Devagar bookstore — which is the store that attracted me to this special place and often cited as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It is set amidst an old printing plant, which like the rest of the area, they left all the old parts in place, so the whole bookstore is built around the old two story printing press, with seats, racks and even a cafe nestled amidst the old printing units, catwalks and folders. So cool. Worth the trip. A lot happenin’ here.
Largo do Carmo 26, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
In spite of a world where nowadays every street is full of huge chain stores, we can still find treasures like this tiny shop. In the romantic Largo do Carmo, this charming shop is decorated in ‘50s style with red velvet sofas and classical stacked boxes. It sells exclusive and unique handmade shoes. The great quality of shoes made in Portugal is well known abroad. (The singer Rihanna designs shoes that are manufactured in the north of the country; Shakira wears Portuguese shoes; and, if you are fond of royalty, did you know that Princess Kate wore Portuguese shoes at her wedding?) Women can find heeled shoes or Oxford shoes (also known as men’s shoes). Men can find timeless classics. Everything sold is unique, trendy, and bold. After belonging to the same family for three generations, in February 2012 the shop was sold. But luckily, it was sold to another family!
R. das Salgadeiras 10, 1200-396 Lisboa, Portugal
Portugal produces at least half of the world’s cork, harvested from its many cork oak forests. A design shop in the Bairro Alto neighborhood sells umbrellas, handbags, and kitchenware made from the recyclable material. Rua das Salgadeiras 10, 351/21-609-0231.
Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisboa, Portugal
Perched on a steep hill in the lovely neighborhood of Alfama, you will in no doubt leave with a great souvenir or gift. Sellers throw down blankets or rugs in rows and sell a variety of hand-made goods, antiques, books, clothes, military objects, etc. I took home two wonderful brass bottle openers and a couple of old world maps. Getting to the market is easy and the trip there is quite beautiful; take the Tram 28, or Tram 12 up the hill through the tight, and narrow neighborhood streets (becos). After you’ve spent all of your Euro, take a short walk over to the Santa Engracia Church, Museum of Decorative Arts, or the National Pantheon. Oh, and don’t forget to take in the views and snap a few pictures.
26 Praça do Príncipe Real
In the posh neighborhood of Príncipe Real, this shopping galleria, located in an exquisite 19th-century neo-Moorish palace, showcases Portuguese brands and designers. In addition to the shops, you can find temporary exhibitions and a restaurant with garden seating. A stone staircase, flanked by bronze statues holding lamps, leads to the second floor.
Praça Dom Pedro IV 69/72/73, 1100-202 Lisboa, Portugal
Thanks to the grandson of the founder (Manuel Aquino de Azevedo Rua), who now manages the shop, this lovely place is still open. Notable people like Fernando Pessoa and Spain’s King Carlos have been among its customers. Even with fashion changes over the years, the hat shop has been able to keep on going, adapting to new times. It has hats for men and women. Do you need a wedding hat, a beret, or a fancy number with plumes? Take a look at this shop.
R. do Carmo 87-A, 1200-093 Lisboa, Portugal
This small little wonder of a shop is located at 87 Rua do Carmo, the most fashionable street in Lisbon after the superseding Rua Garret. It is the last shop in the whole of Portugal, which is exclusively dedicated to the bespoke hand manufacture of leather gloves. The cream of the Lisbon society has been its avid clientele since 1925, procuring high quality leather tailor made gloves for those days when the sunshine is not enough to warm the hands. At about 50€ per pair, depending on the model and leather, you do not have to go to Italy to get a product of this tremendous quality. A woman from Chicago once told me that she had visited Lisbon ten years ago, where she had the opportunity to purchase a single pair. She was so impressed and the gloves had left such a good memory that she was here to get three or four more pairs in case she did not have the opportunity to come back to Lisbon for another ten years.
R. dos Fanqueiros 77, 1100-226 Lisboa, Portugal
Are you looking for a funny, original, and practical gift? In this shop you will find it. Pillow cases with phrases like “I love you too” or with swallows or frogs (that might turn into a prince). If you take your lunch to work, check out the lunch set (bag, box, and pot). And for the kitchen, there are many colorful accessories. Some time ago, I bought a scratch map, where you can scratch the countries you’ve visited. The shop also had another map where you color the countries visited till you have the all world in color. And you can take it with you, because it comes in a tube.
R. Garrett 77, 1200-273 Lisboa, Portugal
I often go to Chiado for dinner, a drink, or a visit to Bertrand bookshop, and every time I pass the door of Paris em Lisboa I breathe deeply—so that I feel the wonderful smell that comes from this store. Founded in 1888, it was chosen by Queen Amélia to be the official supplier to the royal palace. In the 1930s, due to customers’ changing habits, it created a section for household items. Nowadays it sells bed, bath, kitchen and table linens, and other accessories.