The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
Lisbon has a thriving market scene, with a variety of markets hosted throughout the city.
These encompass a wide range of styles, from artisan markets selling unique gifts and crafts, through to traditional markets with fresh produce and inexpensive household items. The markets of Lisbon offer a chance to experience authentic Portuguese culture, while the craft markets allow the opportunity to browse for unique gifts and antiques.
Within these markets, you’ll frequently find food stalls selling tasty Portuguese street foods such as Bafana, Courate, or other delicious, sweet pastries.
This guide will detail the best markets of Lisbon, along with when they’re held and what to expect from them.
Related articles: Where to go shopping in Lisbon?
A craft market in the Largo do Chafariz in the Alfama district
The best markets of Lisbon are:
1) Feira da Ladra – The best market of Lisbon, held in the Alfama district every Saturday and Tuesday, specialising in antiques and collectables all the way through to bric-a-brac.
2) Feira do Relógio - The largest Sunday market of Lisbon, with a huge variety of stalls and a lively Portuguese atmosphere.
3) Mercado de Arroios – A fresh produce market, hosted in a market building that has an authentic atmosphere.
4) Mercado de Campo de Ourique – A part food market and fresh produce market, that lies at the end of the tram 28 line.
5) Mercado de Benfica – A vibrant fresh produce market, loved by locals but rarely visited by tourists.
6) Mercado da Ribeira – The oldest covered market in Lisbon, which also contains the popular Time Out Food market. Sadly the food market is often too crowded with tourists to fully enjoy.
Insight: Almost every district in Lisbon will have its own indoor market with a handful of stalls selling local produce. These are often a much better location to shop than the supermarkets.
The map below shows the location of all of Lisbon’s markets (Note: zoom out to see all of the points)
Key: 1) Feira da Ladra 2) Feira do Relógio 3) Mercado de Arroios 4) Mercado de Benfica 5) Mercado da Ribeira 6) Lx Market 7) Campo de Ourique
Portugal has a thriving market scene, as they provide much better value than the supermarkets and shops, which can be surprisingly expensive.
Many Portuguese meals are based on produce grown, reared or fished within Portugal, and the markets provide these farmers and producers with a direct way to sell to customers. Market foods are always significantly cheaper and generally better quality than in the supermarkets.
Traditionally, clothes and homeware stalls were run by gypsies (with the women dressed in their classical black dresses and shawls), with their items cheaper than in normal shops.
The Feira da Ladra market is a truly unique experience, and is highly recommended if you are in Lisbon on a Saturday or Tuesday morning.
The market is held to the east of the Alfama district, in the streets around the Panteão Nacional. It is packed with varied and unique stalls selling everything from antiques and reclaimed items, through to bric-a-brac and household junk.
Translated as the ‘thieves’ market’, the Feira da Ladra was historically where items of questionable origin were sold. These days the market traders are much more reputable, but the variety of items on offer continues. The decent items are generally snapped up early in the day, with only the bric-a-brac remaining towards the end of the day.
The market is a joy to wander and browse, but the price of items tends to be high. Bargains are rarely found here, with stall holders selling at higher prices to tourists, who make up the majority of the shoppers.
Information: The Feira da Ladra is held every Saturday and Tuesday between 8am and 3pm. The closest metro station is Santa Apolónia on the blue metro line.
The Feira da Ladra is hosted in the pretty streets of Alfama
The market contains a wide range of stalls
The Feira da Ladra market can get very busy in the summer
How about a small group tour?
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of their best tours of Lisbon include:
The Feira do Relógio is the largest market in Lisbon, and is held every Sunday in the Marvila district (formerly known as Chelas).
This is a huge market - with over 300 stalls - that takes over a main artery road close to the Bela Vista shopping centre. Feira do Relógio is a chaotic and lively market, where all manner of household items, clothes and foods can be purchased.
There are many stalls selling similar low-quality clothing and household items, but among them are many fascinating stalls with religious figures, furniture and locally produced wines. The main appeal is the bustling central food area, where you’ll find street food stalls, freshly baked breads, cheeses, meats, cakes and everything delicious from Portugal.
Warning: This is a packed and busy market that attracts all types, so always be careful with valuables (due to pickpockets) and never flash cash.
Information: The market is held every Sunday from 9am to 2pm on the northern section of the Avenida Santo Condestável. The best way to reach it is via the Bela Vista metro station on the red metro line.
There’s over 2km of stalls in the Feira do Relógio
The Mercado da Ribeira is one of the oldest markets of Lisbon and has been held daily in the same grand building since 1892. The market today is divided into two sections, with the fresh produce market in the eastern hall and the Time Out food market in the western hall.
The eastern hall has stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, along with fish, meats and locally produced items. This side of the market has many similarities to the other fresh produce markets listed later in this guide. The Mercado da Ribeira still sells inexpensive fresh produce and is a slice of authentic Portugal in a district that is rapidly being swamped by tourism.
The western side of the Mercado da Ribeira contains the Time Out food market, a vibrant dining and socialising venue that brings together food stalls from many of Portugal’s finest chefs. This is a buzzing venue that is a wonderful place for lunch, with the market continuing late into the evening, often hosting live music. Being purely designed for tourism, prices (especially for drinks) are on the high side, but the food is delicious and the atmosphere is amazing.
Information: The Mercado da Ribeira is open every day 8am to 2pm, and the Time Out food market is open every day from 12am to 12pm. The closest metro station is Cais do Sodre (on the green metro line).
The Mercado da Ribeira is housed in a grand building
The fruit and vegetables side of Ribeira market
The Timeout food market side of the Ribeira market
This once-traditional market serves the Ourique district of Lisbon and has followed the example of the Time Out Market, combining stalls and food stands while still trying to attract tourists and locals alike.
Campo de Ourique Market is much smaller than the Time Out Market but has not been fully swamped by tourism. It offers an enjoyable mix of fresh produce and gift stalls, with tempting food stands in the center.
The Campo de Ourique district lies at the end of the tram 28 route, and the market provides a pleasant attraction before riding the tram back to central Lisbon.
Location: GPS: 38.71606, -9.16682
Campo de Ourique has a selection of excellent food stalls
Along with traditional stalls selling local produce and fresh fish
The Mercado de Benfica is a locals’ market, with a focus on food items and fresh produce. The market has been held for over 50 years in a grand, circular building with a distinctive, domed roof.
The food stalls are grouped together, with butchers and specialist meat producers on the outer ring, lively fish stalls at the centre, and fresh fruit and veg stalls on the rings between them. The market also sells a range of spices and produce imported from Africa and Brazil, reflecting the diversity of the surrounding district. Outside is the Levante market, with its selection of household and clothes stalls.
The Mercado de Benfica is a fantastic location to purchase fresh meats, fish or specialist vegetables, which are much cheaper than in any supermarket. There are plans to modernise the Mercado de Benfica, with restaurants around the upper ring and the Levante market moving to the rear, but hopefully, this will not mean losing the traditional character of the market and its stall holders.
Details: The market is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm (closed Sunday and Monday).
The middle ring, with stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables
The Mercado de Arroios is another of Lisbon’s traditional fresh produce markets, housed in a uniquely styled building.
Within the market are many stalls selling meats, fish, fruit and veg. The market building is a circular, domed structure that dates from 1942, which has a light and airy feel.
The Mercado de Arroios has a similar feel to the Mercado de Benfica but is much more accessible, being on the green metro line and just a 3-minute walk from Arroios station.
Information: Open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 2pm (closed Sunday).
The Lx Market is an artisan and craft market held in the LxFactory every Sunday.
This is the creative centre for Lisbon, with many unique shops and restaurants housed within an abandoned factory. The market fills the main street of Lx Factory, boasting craft stalls, vintage items and unique gifts. As it is aimed at tourists, items do tend to be higher in price.
LxFactory is always well worth a visit, but even more so on a Sunday afternoon. Also hosted at the same time is the Lx Rural, a higher-end fresh produce market that is also found in the Lx Factory.
Information: Every Sunday, 10am until 6pm
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