The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The Feira do Relogio (Market of Clocks) is the largest market in Lisbon and is hosted every Sunday morning in Chelas district of Lisbon.
The market is a chaotic mix of stalls selling a range of products and goods, including a large fruit and vegetable section, and countless stalls selling clothes and hardware. The Feira do Relogio takes over the main road through the district, and the two rows of market stalls extend for over 1km, attracting many thousands of bargain focused shoppers.
The narrow aisles of the Market of Clocks are densely packed with shoppers, and above the clamour are the screaming voices of traditional gypsies women, trying to attract potential customers with their “Everything 1 Euro!” and “Bargains Galore!”.
As a visitor to the Feira do Relogio, the market is an exciting and lively place to experience typical Portuguese daily life. You may need your wits about you, to jostle through the crowds, avoid having your phone stolen, or seeking out the bargains – but this is part of the “fun” of a bustling market!
The Feira do Relogio with market stalls as far as the eye can see
The Feira do Relogio market is located in the Chelas district of Lisbon, on the Avinda Santo Condestável. The closest metro station is Bela Vista (on the red metro line) and the market is to the rear of the Pingo Doce supper market.
The market is held every Sunday morning, and many of the stalls start to close by 2pm. The busiest times are between 11 and 12.
There is a wide range of stalls and some of the best stalls are local farmers who come to sell their produce
The Market of Clocks has 2km of stalls; there are two main aisles on either side of the expressway, each 1km in length. The fruit, veg and food market is positioned in the middle of the market (near the bridge and petrol station), but there is no particular order for the rest of the stalls.
Always pay attention to your wallet and valuables while in the crowded sections of the market, as it can be a favourite of pickpockets and opportunistic thieves. Locals even joke, “Any item that is stolen, will soon appear on a stall, and can be bought back by the end of the visit to the market!”
A morning visit to the Feira do Relogio could be combined with an afternoon visit to the Parque das Nações. The Parque das Nações is the modern side to historic Lisbon and is only four stops further along the red metro line.
Related articles: Parque das Nações
Bacalhau (salted and dried cod) sold at the market is a fraction of the price in the supermarkets
The market culture is still very popular within Portugal, while the trend is dying out across much of Northern Europe.
One of the main reasons is that many Portuguese who live in the city simply cannot afford to shop in the expensive stores which line the streets of Lisbon. The Feira do Relogio market also provides an inexpensive method for produces to sell directly to the public and is why there are so many veg, fruit and stalls.
Many of the stalls are run by Portuguese gypsies selling items of questionable quality. Portuguese gypsies women can be easily identified as they dress in traditional black clothes and wear excessive gold jewellery.
The main road through Chelas is closed to host the market
At the south entrance of the Feira do Relogio market is the large Pingo Doce supermarket. Though distinctly Portuguese, is not markedly different from any other major out of town shopping centre.
On the hill to the south west of the Feira do Relogio market is one of the poorer districts of Lisbon, Chelas. As an experiment to improve the standard of the neighbourhood the central government decided to repaint the drab blocks of apartments of Zone J.
This idea was taken to the extreme and the colours chosen where vivid and classing, purple and green, orange and blue, yellow and blue. Unsurprisingly the colours failed to improve the standard of the neighbourhood and even infuriated older residents.
Over the last 10 years the some of the apartments have been slowly converted back to the original white colour, but some of the lurid colours still remain.
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