Destinations / November 29, 2016. By Susan Connolly
From port wine chocolates to port wine, wallets and handbags made from cork to colourful designer hats and intricately crafted filigree jewellery, shopping in Porto has something for everyone.
The obvious shopping highlight in Porto is its famous Port wine, particularly when tasting it is all part of the experience. But there are other treasures to be found in local shops and craft markets. Bolhão is Porto’s most famous market. We’ve put together a few more suggestions that we hope you will find useful.
Via Catarina, Porto’s charming little shopping centre is located on Rua Santa Catarina (the main shopping street in Porto). There are 93 shops and a food court with the usual international fast food chains and some local ones, but all the restaurant fronts are replicas of the kinds of facades typical of old Portuguese regional architecture.
Rua Formosa, 279
Visit this traditional grocer with a striking art nouveau façade built in 1917 and discover unique local food stuffs a little of everything Porto has to offer; bacalhau (dried salted cod), olive oils, dried fruit. Just off Rua Santa Catarina, not far from the Majestic Café.
Palácio das Artes – Fábrica de Talentos, Largo Sao Domingos, 20
Interior designer Paulo Lobo reinvents traditional Portuguese crafts with his contemporary design. Baskets, dolls and the most wonderful colourful hats.
The Urban Craft Fair is a great place to shop for local craft items. It takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday and on the third Sunday of every month in Rua das Galerias de Paris between 10.00 and 19.00.
Rua das Flores, 110
A diverse selection of regional and biological products sourced from small producers; preserves, cheeses, oils, wine and freshly baked artisan breads. The nice thing about this shop is that the products they sell can be tasted in store.
Largo Joaquim Magalhães 12, Vila Nova de Gaia
In this converted warehouse known as 3+Arte you’ll find a fun collection of art and crafts from local artists. Ana Dias and Maria João Alves began with a simple idea they were looking for a studio to work, but when they discovered this space it led to another project; an exhibition room, shop, meeting place for local artists and a spot for tourists who want to wander off the beaten track and enjoy a glass of port.
This wonderful statue of St Anthony by Ana Dias, Báu-necas, she also has lovely figurines and jewellery for sale.
Piece by Asdróvia
Cribs and saints in sardine tins, in tiny bottles, in light bulbs and match boxes.
Pieces by Francisco Gonçalves
Av. Fonte Cova, 4485-592 Modivas, Vila do Conde
If you like shopping for designer gear then don’t miss The Style Outlet, 130 of the most prestigious national and international fashion brands with discounts ranging from 30%- 70% all year round. By car it takes between 20-30 minutes from the city centre. There is a free shuttle service all day with a direct connection from the city centre to The Style Outlet, pick up points are Rua Sa Da Bandeira Theatre 9.15am and 13.45, Trindade Metro Station 9.30am and 14.00. Arriving at The Style Outlet at 10.15 am and 14.45. Departure from The Style Outlet for Porto city centre 13.00 and 17.45.
Arcádia has a long chocolate- making tradition. You can buy their handmade chocolates from their shop and café in the centre of Porto, Avenida dos Aliados.
Portugal is the world’s largest producer of cork and You’ll find these eco- friendly souvenirs in street stalls and markets; postcards, wallets, handbags, jewellery and household items all made from cork.
Crafted from fine strands of gold and silver the country’s love of filigree has continued throughout the centuries and Portuguese jewellery’s fine, intricate designs have become one of the best examples of the technique. There are some splendid jewellery shops on Rua das Flores and Rua 31 de Janeiro.
This is one of my go-to souvenirs when I want to give friends a gift from Porto. State of the art port wine glass to enhance your experience of drinking port. This official port wine glass designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, Portuguese architect from Porto, winner of the Pritzker prize (considered the noble prize of Architecture) for his reconstruction of Chiado in Lisbon after the fire. Available in the Vista Alegre shop in Porto, Rua Cândido dos Reis 6. If you’d like to take a set home they sell them boxed.
I hope this has inspired you to go shopping in Porto and if you do please come back and tell us all about it in the comments.