Shopping in Lisbon
Shopping in Lisbon is less about multinational chains and more about locally owned shops. Instead of the same-old mass-produced goods, you’ll find ceramics and lace made by Portuguese craftspeople, foodstuffs and wine that impart the nation’s flavor, and clothes by established local designers.
Family-owned stores are still common in Lisbon, especially in Baixa, where a grid of streets from the Rossio to the Rio Tejo has many small shops selling jewelry, shoes, clothing, and foodstuffs. Trendy Bairro Alto is another district full of little crafts shops with stylish, contemporary ceramics, wooden sculpture, linen, and clothing; some open only in the afternoon and stay open—sometimes with their own resident DJ—until after the restaurants and bars around them have begun filling up.
Bairro Alto is also one of the shopping hubs of Lisbon’s flourishing fashion scene. The brightly lighted modern shops of local designers stand in stark contrast to the area's 16th-century layout and dark, narrow streets. The same can’t be said of the antiques shops that abound in the Rato and Bairro Alto. Many are on a single long street that changes its name four times as it runs southward from Largo do Rato: Rua Escola Politécnica, Rua Dom Pedro V, Rua da Misericórdia, and Rua do Alecrim. Look on the nearby Rua de São Bento for more stores. There's also a cluster of antiques shops on Rua Augusto Rosa, between the Baixa and Alfama districts.
Chiado, Lisbon’s smartest shopping district, has a small shopping complex as well as many stores with considerable cachet, particularly on and around Rua Garrett. And Praça de Londres and Avenida de Roma—both in the modern city—form one long run of haute-couture stores and fashion outlets. International luxury brands are also increasingly found on the city’s downtown axis, Avenida da Liberdade.
Several excellent shops in Baixa sell chocolates, marzipan, dried and crystallized fruits, pastries, and regional cheeses and wines—especially varieties of port, one of Portugal's major exports. Baixa is also a good place to look for jewelry. What is now called Rua Aurea was once Rua do Ouro (Gold Street), named for the goldsmiths' shops installed on it under Pombal's 18th-century city plan. The trade has flourished here ever since.
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