Lisbon is full of fabulous markets; whether you fancy browsing for books, clothes, or simply enjoying the fresh produce on offer in the covered markets, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
Markets are a huge part of life in Lisbon, and many people prefer to get their food at the market twice a week rather than go to the supermarket as the produce is so fresh and locally grown. You will bump into all types of people at a Lisbon market, from home cooks looking for a bargain to chefs checking out the catch of the day. In the clothes and antiques markets, you’ll see plenty of locals too, the Portuguese love a bargain and will happily spend a few hours rubbing shoulders with eager tourists to find the perfect vintage dress or costume jewellery piece.
Some of the regular markets have been going for decades and have spread out over that time, so whether they’re in a historic covered marketplace, or sprawl out al fresco, its best to give yourself a few hours to explore. Don’t forget the food when your hunting for treasures, either. You’re never far from a neighbourhood cafe or food truck, so don’t forget to try a Portuguese salgado snack. Cafe culture is a way of life in Lisbon, and snacking is a great way to discover some of the excellent little cafes, snack bars, and bakeries the city has to offer.
Must-Visit Markets In Lisbon
Whether you are visiting Lisbon for the day or 3 days in the capital, there is always room to squeeze in a market or two. Below are some of my favourite markets in Lisbon. You may also be able to pick up sought after Lisbon souvenirs at the market too.
Salgados are savory finger food snacks that are enjoyed from late morning onwards but are at their most delicious when fresh out of the over at around 11 am; locals often enjoy a Salgado and a Lambretta (a tiny 150ml glass of ice-cold beer) standing at a cafe counter. Salgados are usually fried and should be eaten warm, avoid anything that looks as if it has been in a display case feeling sad all morning, and find somewhere that cooks fresh batches often.
The pastel de bacalhau is, without a doubt, the most popular and is a delicious little morsel made from flaked salt cod, potatoes, eggs, and parsley crenelled and deep-fried. Rissois de camarão, the breaded half-moon pastries filled with shrimp and bechamel sauce, are also very popular, along with puff pastries called chamuças or croquetas filled with any combination of cheese, ham, or spinach. Empanadas are also worth trying; these snacks are small pies rather than being a fried delicacy and are usually filled with chicken, duck, or pork.
Feira do Relógio(Market of Clock)
This is away from the main tourist trail, but it’s definitely worth the trip. You can pick up so many bargains here that your main problem is going to be how to get it all home again! Hop on the metro to Bela Vista and make the short walk out to the Olivais neighbourhood for the Sunday street market. You can buy almost anything you can imagine here, from furniture and electricals to clothes and cut flowers. Bring your reusable bags, but don’t get carried away if you only travelled to Lisbon with hand luggage.
Feira da Ladra
This huge flea market is a Lisbon institution, and you cannot miss it if you are at all interested in handicrafts and vintage clothes and records. The name translates as ‘Thieves Market,’ but don’t worry – it’s not plagued with vice and crime. The name comes from the fact that in the past, the Alfama area was known as a shady area full of crooks and ner do wells. It’s not like that these days, thankfully, it’s a popular and safe tourist area.
Since the thirteenth century, the Feira da Ladra has been the place to go if you’re looking for a bargain, you may have to rummage, and be prepared to haggle as prices often get bumped up for tourists.
LX Factory Sunday Market
This old industrial complex dating from 1846 was reborn in 2008 as a cool art and cafe space. The factory-style architecture was maintained as a complex of exhibition spaces initially, and shops, restaurants, and cafes were later added.
The market hosted every Sunday at the LX Factory caters to the more discerning shopper, you’re not going to pick up any super cheap bargains, but you can enjoy checking out the organic fare and enjoying the setting.
While you’re there check out bookshop Ler Devagar in a former print shop, one of the highlights of the LX Factory complex, it maintains the old printing press on display, and the bicycle artwork by Pietro Proserpina hanging over patrons heads is a fun touch. The LX Cheesecake Factory is an institution, and Time Out has named the chocolate cake, which is the specialty of cafe Landau, as the best in the city.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique
This market is for food only, and it’s worth popping by if you’re self-catering in Lisbon. The indoor market hall has been home to a market since 1930 and was revamped in 2013 to add an exhibition area and room for restaurants and cafes. You can pick up local cheese, cured meats, and bread to take away, or you can chill at the communal dining tables while you enjoy lunch from one of the restaurants.
If you’re planning to visit Fernando Pessoa’s house, then the market is a great place to drop into lunch. Campo de Ourique is also the best place to start a Tram 28 ride as it tends to be quieter before you descend to the river and the popular Martim Moniz stop.
Feira de Alfarrabistas
If you are a book lover, then you cannot miss the book fair every Saturday in Chiado. It is busy, it is in the heart of downtown but don’t let that put you off. If you’re in the market for a genuine first edition, or you’re a comic book fan looking for something unusual, then you’re sure to find it here.
Mercado da Ribeira
The Mercado da Ribeira is the ‘real’ name of what most people know as the Time Out Market. In 2014 part of this 19th-century marketplace was made-over into what now houses upmarket food stalls handpicked by the restaurant specialists at Time Out Magazine, Lisbon.
You may not have stumbled across the other side of the market, though, and if you don’t venture away from the food stalls, you’ll be missing a treat. Until 2 pm daily, a food market operates, selling meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables at much better prices than supermarkets. It’s worth going just to see the fish stalls, the Portuguese are huge fish and seafood lovers, and there is a myriad of beautiful whole fish laid out for people to examine before they buy.
Mercado Jardim da Estrela
This isn’t a cheap market, but it is in a beautiful setting. The Jardim da Estrela park is a lovely place for an evening stroll, and you can check out this small market while you’re there. It is on once a month, and in the summer, you can enjoy live jazz as you browse the locally made clothes and crafts.
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