Shopping in Portugal

Shops in Portugal abound and there are many great deals to spend your Portugal currency on. Some of the best buys include leather goods, hand painted tiles, copperware, crystal, embroidered linen, cork products, filigree jewelry and locally made pottery. From local markets to trendy boutiques shops in Portugal all carry a variety of the most common goods. Most towns and large villages have a local covered marketplace that opens every morning. Food and vegetables as well as souvenirs can be purchased, often for low prices. Shopping at markets also provides and opportunity to glimpse the daily life of the Portugese as markets are big part of their lives.

The currency in Portugal is the Euro which was implemented in 2002. Money can be changed at Banks, Cambios (Bureau de Change) or at one of the local currency exchange machines found along the streets. When needing money ATM’s can be found along the streets in the bigger cities identified by “MB” meaning MultiBancos. Most regular banking hours run from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Visitors may find some banks in Lisbon open until 6:00pm. Banks close for important events and holidays so keep this in mind when visiting.

Portugal currency can be spent anywhere in the country and most hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards as well. If taking traveler’s cheques to change into Portugal currency rest assured that they are easily exchanged. Try to avoid additional exchange rate charges by having your traveler’s cheques issued in Euros, Pounds or US dollars.

Liquor shops in Portugal can be mind boggling with bottles lining seemingly endless shelves! Prices for local wine, liqueurs and spirits are quite low and the variety is fantastic. Especially good deals include red and “green” wines, particularly Dao and Santola wines. Avoid the tourist shops and head to a wine cellar when looking to buy port wine. Prices may be slightly higher but the quality supercedes the tourist shops in Portugal.

When visiting the Madeira Islands spend your Portugal currency on their well-known fine wicker goods, intricate embroidery and exquisite lace products. Going north to the Algarve and beyond there are many markets not to be missed. Street markets are traditionally held on Saturdays are usually in the main center of town. In main tourist centers markets tend to stay open until the later afternoon. Some great markets to visit include Lagos, Albufeira, Estremoz, Coimbra (especially for ceramics) and Carcavelos which is held on Thursdays.

The most popular spot for shopping in Portugal is without a doubt in Lisbon. Chiado is a choice shopping and residential district and offers a broad variety of shops ranging from 100-year-old bookstores to affluent jewelry stores. Close by visitors will find the old historical district of Bairro Alto where there are even more great opportunities for shopping in Portugal consisting of traditional and contemporary stores. Baixa/Rua Augusta is one of the most seductive shopping districts in Lisbon and is located downtown.

Upscale isn’t the only way to go in Lisbon. Currency in Portugal can go far when looking for deals. Shoes made in the country tend to be of very good quality and can be found for as little as 10 Euros for a solid pair. Clothing can also be found for fairly cheap. Keep your eyes peeled for less trendy shops while in the city and don’t be afraid to go in and look around. Some of the best deals can be found in the most obscure and curious shops.

When in the north visiting Porto head to the main area in downtown at Rua de Santa Catarina for excellent shopping in Portugal. There are many upscale fashion shops and trendy boutiques in the area. Around the Meridien Park Atlantic Hotel visitors find Avenida da Boavista which is also loaded with great stores for shopping in Portugal.

Many visitors say that the Alfama area in Lisbon has great shops that are quite small and can be hard to find but are worth a look around as they evoke an old-style character with goods that reflect days gone by. The most famous of Lisbon’s flea markets is held here every Tuesday and Saturday. Feira da Ladra is great for jewelry, nic-nacs, clothes and antiques. No matter where you choose to shop there is some kind of treasure for everyone from young to old in Portugal.

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