Everybody loves a refrigerator magnet to remind them of their vacation, but Lisbon’s historical and family-owned stores and craftsmen sell the best souvenirs. The magnets probably weren’t even made in Portugal! But you have the opportunity to buy keepsakes that say “Only in Lisbon, Only in Portugal.”
Leitão & Irmão Jewelers
If you would like to bring something beautiful home from Portugal, look no farther than Leitão & Irmão (and Brother) Jewelers.
Originally from the city of Porto, in 1873 Don Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, appointed Casa Leitão to be goldsmith to the Brazilian imperial house, and in 1887, Dom Luis I, King of Portugal, appointed them to be official jewelers of the king.
As a result, the family and workshop have been in Lisbon ever since.
These master craftsman have all manner of jewelry: engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, pendants earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, chains, and crosses.
They have also crafted bar ware, candlesticks, serving sets, table accessories, home and office utensils, and animals as well as nativity scenes.
These master craftsman do repairs, custom orders, transformations, reproductions, and restorations.
The original store opened in 1877 and is still in business at Largo Do Chiado 16.
The firm’s workshop is in the Bairro Alto Store at Travessa da Espera, 8 – 14.
Also have a shop in Estoril at Arcadas do Parque, Avenida Clotilde 52, Estoril.
Chapelaria Azevedo Rua – Haberdasher
Founded in 1886, Chapelaria Azevedo Rua is a maker of fine hats, umbrellas, and walking sticks. Located at Praça D. Pedro IV, 69 (Rossio Square)
The family-owned business has seen five generations of hat-makers.
In the beginning, and for a long time, they sold only men’s hats.
But in the 1980s, the founder’s grandson and great grandson decided to change the business model and cater to women as well. https://www.azevedorua.pt/
Fábrica Sant’ Anna, the oldest tile-maker in Europe, opened for business before the 1755 earthquake.
Everything created in the shop is made completely by hand, as they have been doing for hundreds of years. As a result, each piece is original and unique.
You will find an assortment of tiles, panel projects, pottery and handmade dishes in their showrooms.
Open every day from 9:30 until 6pm, the craftsmen are happy to show you around their workshop.
Contact them through their website in order to arrange a three-hour pottery / tile class.
Calçada da Boa-Hora 96 (workshop and showroom) in the Boa-Hora neighborhood, north of Belém, or Rua do Alecrim, 95 near the Baixa-Chiado metro station.
Cortiço e netos – Cortiço and Grandsons
Joaquim Cortiço collected Portuguese tiles in 1979 and 2013. Most of the tiles in his collection are from the 1960s and onward, and most of the manufacturers have since shut down their workshops, or those designs have been discontinued. Although they are all modern, these pieces are the last available from many of the artisans. Rua Maria Andrade, 37D. Home — Cortiço e Netos (corticoenetos.com)
A Ginjinha and Ginjinha Sem Rival
Ginjinha is a sweet flavored liquor made from soaking sour Morello cherries in aguardente with sugar and cinnamon for roughly five months. A bottle is 18% alcohol by volume.
The drink is commonly served as a shot, with or without the alcohol-soaked cherries “Com elas o sem elas?” Com is with, sem is without.
150,000 liters of Ginjinha are produced each year.
A Ginjinha, Largo de São Domingos 8, just north of Rossio Square was the first establishment to sell the beverage in Lisbon.
The tiny closet-sized bar opened in 1840.
A shot will set you back one euro forty. The bartender will fill it up to the top, and then after tipping back, you can wash your hands in the thoughtful little sink to the right.
Step through the door and out into the plaza, and you are looking in the direction of the bar’s nearest competitor, A Ginjinha sem Rival.
Ginjinha without Rival is just a block up Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 7.
Shots are priced the same at both shops. Either shop would be a great option for buying gift bottles for friends.
Opened in 1732, Livraria Bertrand hold’s the Guiness World Record as the longest continually running bookstore in the world.
As the sign inside the store says, “We witnessed: one earthquake, one Civil War, nine Kings, one regicide, 16 presidents, three Republics, six coups, two world wars, the building of a wall, and it’s fall, the unification of Europe, changing to euro, and we have the books to tell you all about it.”
Livraria Bertrand has a large selection of books, many of which are in English.
Portugal’s two greatest writers are Jose Saramago and Fernando Pessoa.
Other books which would make great souvenirs are books about azulejos, Portuguese cooking, Portuguese history, the history of Lisbon, and local picture books. Located at Rua Garrett 17.
Also, if you love books, be sure to check out one of my other favorite Lisbon bookstores – Livraria Ler Devagar – the Read Slowly Bookstore, at the LX Factory. https://lerdevagar.com/
Conserveira de Lisboa
Founded in 1930, the Conserveira de Lisboa is a major, family-owned distributor of canned fish. They actually own and can three brands – Tricana, Minor, and Prata do Mar.
Why would you buy canned fish? Portugal is a fishing nation, and during the war and other bleak economic times, the Portuguese consumed a lot of this cheap, healthy staple item, keeping this business alfoat.
As a souvenir, the cans are authentic, sealed, and easy to transport. Conserveira de Lisboa | Established 1930
Rua das Bacalhoeiros 34, a few blocks northeast of Praça do Comércio.
At Rua do Carmo 87-A, Luvaria Ulisses has been selling custom-made gloves for men and women, sports gloves, driving gloves since 1925.
Some of the materials they handcraft include cashmere, leather, pigskin, and sheepskin.
If you see something you like on display, they will tailor the fit for you, and they will even let you design your own gloves. Luvaria Ulysses – Home (luvariaulisses.com)
Casa Pereira de Conceição
The Portuguese explorers brought tea back to Lisbon from Asia. One of Lisbon’s many tea shops, Casa Pereira de Conceição was founded in 1933. It is located at Rua Augusta 102. They sell coffee, tea, tea sets, coffee machines, chocolates, almonds, hand fans, and handicrafts.
A Vida Portuguesa – The Portuguese Life
This store has a little bit of everything. But everything they have is from Portugal: children’s games and toys, soap, toothpaste, flour, olive oil, tableware, candles, pencils, locally made jewelry, and the shop at Largo do Intendente has an excellent bookstore upstairs. https://www.avidaportuguesa.com/pt
They three shops. In Chiado at Rua Anchieta 11. Timeout Market, and Largo do Intendente (Pina Manique) 23
Loja Viúva Lamego
If you happen to be at A Vida Portuguesa’s Intendente store, you get a bonus! It is next door to one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon – Viúva Lamego. The facade of their building is all tile, created in 1865. Click on their excellent website to see the facade of the store and the beauty that they produce within. https://www.viuvalamego.com/en/handmade/
Museu Nacional do Azulejo – National Tile Museum
This one is government-owned, rather than family-owned. But it is a national treasure. And they will sell you replicas of the tiles on display. The museum is a must-see if you are interested in Portuguese tile.
They explain how azulejos have been made over the centuries, how the process has evolved, and they have examples of every style imaginable.
For me the highlight of the museum – which was set up in a former convent – is one of the most stunning chapels I have ever seen.
Caza das Vellas Loreto
Caza das Vellas Loreto has been hand-making and selling candles in Lisbon since 1789. In fact, they opened for business just as the French Revolution was beginning.
Their beautiful shop is located at Rua Loreto 53, near the Baixa-Chiado metro station. Candle Maker | Handmade Candles – Candles on Demand (cazavellasloreto.com.pt)
A Garrafeira Nacional
Founded in 1927, the store has become one of Portugal’s leading specialists in wine and spirits.
The family owned business carries a wide variety of vintage wines and liquors.
Their wine collection includes some of the rarest ports, Medeiros, whiskeys, Cognacs, and champagnes in Portugal.
The store has been accumulating a priceless collection of wines and spirits for more than 90 years. The oldest bottle goes back to 1715. It is believed to be the oldest Madeira wine in the world.
Whether in person or online the staff of the store is eager to educate you about Portuguese wine and wine in general. They also offer international shipping.
Santa Justa Store (central), Rua de Santa Justa. Other stores are located at Rua da Conceição 20/26, and Mercado da Ribeira Store
Av. 24 de Julho. (Timeout Market)
Lojas Com Historia – Stores with History
Several of the shops that I mentioned are members of the Lojas Com Historia network – The Stores with History network. http://lojascomhistoria.pt/
A city’s businesses are part of what defines that city and give it its unique character.
As such, Lisbon has sought to protect and promote its centuries-old, family-owned shops. The idea is to preserve Lisbon’s character and traditions.
Currently, the orgaization has at least 82 member stores, and more than 120 more have requested membership.
Each store must demonstrate to the city council that it produces or sells a culturally significant product, and that it has played a significant role in the history of the city in order to be designated a “Loja com historia.”
From the article, “How Lisbon is protecting its historic shops” written by Catarina de Almeida Brito:
“Architect Miguel Marques Santos – one of the selection team – told El País: ‘We value 21 criteria and the candidate must get at least 11; in the chapter of activity, we evaluate if they have own-brand products; in design heritage, interior design or if there are works of art; and in the intangible chapter, its history.’”
From the same article:
“One of the key challenges of the project is to educate landlords about the importance of the shops, and prevent forced evictions that have seen many historic stores replaced by new developments and higher-paying tenants.”
Bring home something authentic, something that someone put some care into creating. Bring home something that is difinitively Lisbon.
Know that I am not affiliated with any of these businesses.
If you are looking for things to do in Lisbon, let me recommend my articles, Five food tours and cooking classes in Lisbon Five food tours and cooking classes in Lisbon and Unique tours and experiences in and near Lisbon.